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The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events
Jane Roberts
A Seth Book
Spiritual Science
Published by Prentice Hall/NY in 1981

A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2012


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By the time this book was published I had begun reading all of Jane Roberts' new books as soon as they came out. I acquired this one in February 1982 and completed it around May 1982. Living as I do in an area which is subject to hurricane incursions from time to time, I was particularly interested in what Seth had to say about myself and the nature of these mass events. In the understanding I reached from reading this book I was no longer frightened of impending hurricanes — I came to recognize them as perennial dead-tree-limb trimmers much like the spin cycle on a washing machine that cleans up our dirty laundry. Hurricanes, Seth tells us, have people steering currents that attract hurricanes into areas where people's lives have been stultified and which need a little moving and shaking to get them back on track again. For over twenty years since reading this book, I have placed Seth's words before me in every hurricane season and seen them confirmed.

How does one confirm such a thing? Here's how I did it. I reasoned that if what Seth said was true, then one could expect that huge hurricanes would not hit the same area in successive years, if ever again at all. Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans in 1967 and Hurricane Camille the Gulf Coast of Mississippi a couple of years later. No hurricanes have returned along those identical paths with identical strength. Maybe some will return, but I'm convinced that when one does, there will be good reasons for why they will be pulled into these areas. Out of the destruction will arise a newer and better locale, as I expect has happened in Homestead, Florida since Hurricane Andrew, South Carolina since Hurricane Hugo, New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, and the Northeast in the years after 2012's Hurricane Sandy. I lived in California for three years and the mass events we had there were earthquakes, mud slides, Santa Ana Winds, and raging fires. Give me a nice dependable hurricane any day over those mass events.

Along the way during these past twenty plus years, I discovered EAT-O-TWIST which reminds me that Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To, where what I suppose I want or what I don't want to happen ends up happening. Let me be a little more explicit as it occurs to me that I seem to have covered everything that could happen. Not so. There are many things that fall outside of things that I want to happen and things that I don't want to happen to me; I'm only human and as such I can only spend time supposing about some finite set of things happening or not happening to me — the set of things that I think of, that I create images of happening [whether or not I want to avoid them or to have them happen makes no difference], those are the things that I'm supposing and my supposing acts as steering currents to draw those things to me. The Super Bowl quarterback who says, "I dreamed of this as a kid" is one example. The writer of the passage, "The thing I most feared has come upon me" is another example. What are you spending your time supposing? How would you change your supposing if you understood that EAT-O-TWIST never breaks?

So what I'm talking about when I use the word suppose is just our normal impulses as we think about those things we want to have happening or to avoid happening to us. I say normal to remind you that it is the very ordinary levels of thinking I'm referring to, the kind that you may never think of as providing steering currents in your life. When Norman Vincent Peale made a big splash with his "Power of Positive Thinking" I'm sure that many other people beside me thought that this form of thinking was some heroic, extraordinary form of thinking that required special effort to effect change in our lives. Here's Jane Roberts as she shares with us in the Introduction to this Seth Book her confusion on this same issue that Seth will quickly lay to rest for her and us.

[page 8] When Seth began this manuscript, I was personally working on the idea of "heroic impulses" (those separate from our usual ones) that would operate as inner impetuses toward constructive action. In this book, though, Seth states that it is our normal everyday impulses that we must learn to trust. Even I was taken aback! Our usual impulses? The ones I ignored while I was looking for the "heroic" ones? And finally I began to understand: Our normal impulses are heroic, despite our misunderstanding of them. In a way, this entire book is an introduction to our impulses, those we follow and those we deny. . . . In a way, impulses are the language of the psyche.

In a Seth book, Jane may do a brief Introduction and her husband Robert Butts will intersperse comments as he takes down the dictation of Seth, noting the date and time, and other peripheral events such as pauses in the dictation or some activity of their young tiger cat, Billy, for instance. When Seth refers to Jane, he calls her Ruburt, and when he refers to Robert, he calls him Joseph, and even points to phrases that should be underlined or given a tonal emphasis (these appear in italics). In this next passage Seth is finally speaking on the issues he had promised during an earlier dictation: "illnesses, epidemics, and mass disorders" — all of which may be subsumed under the rubric of "mass events."

[page 20] I have thus far stayed clear of many important and vital subjects, involving mass realities, because first of all the importance of the individual was to be stressed, and his power to form his private events. Only when the private nature of reality was emphasized sufficiently would I be ready to show how the magnification of individual reality combines and enlarges to form vast mass reactions — such as, say, the initiation of an obviously new historical and cultural period; the rise or overthrow of governments; the birth of a new religion that sweeps all others before it; mass conversions; mass murders in the form of wars; the sudden sweep of deadly epidemics; the scourge of earthquakes, floods, or other disasters; the inexplicable appearance of periods of great art or architecture or technology.

First Seth explains that every death is at some level a suicide on an individual basis. I found that a little difficult to accept at that time in my life, but shortly afterward I heard a seminar leader quote a statistic from a Los Angeles study that showed that in 85% of the cases of single occupant automobile fatalities, the driver who died had a previous, unsuccessful suicide attempt. That was a statistic that pointed toward the very reality that Seth was asking me to comprehend. In this next passage Seth extends this principle to mass events in which many people die, calling them mass suicides.

[page 30] To a certain extent, epidemics are the result of a mass suicide phenomenon on the parts of those involved. Biological, sociological, or even economic factors may be involved, in that for a variety of reasons, and at different levels, whole groups of individuals want to die at any given time — but in such a way that their individual deaths amount to a mass statement.
      On one level the deaths are a protest against the time in which they occur. Those involved have private reasons, however. The reasons, of course, vary from one individual to another, yet all involved "want their death to serve a purpose" beyond private concerns . . . for unconsciously the species well knows there are reasons for such mass deaths that go beyond accepted beliefs.

I recently encountered this passage in Joubert's Notebooks, "All cries and all complaints exhale a vapor, and from this vapor a cloud is formed, and from these heaped-up clouds come thunder, storms, the inclemencies that destroy everything." He wrote this about 200 years ago. Those invisible patterns that underlie the "cries and complaints" are vigorous mental patterns, Seth tells us, and:

[page 41] Each person's thoughts flow into that formation, forming part of the earth's psychic atmosphere. From that atmosphere flows the natural earthly patterns from which your seasons emerge with all their variety and effects. You are never victims of natural disasters, though it may seem that you are, for you have your hand in forming them. You are creatively involved in the earth's cycles. No one can be born for you, or die for you, yet no birth or death is really an isolated event, but one in which the entire planet participates. In personal terms, again, each species is concerned not only with survival but with the quality of its life and experience.
       In those terms, natural disasters ultimately end up righting a condition that earlier blighted the desired quality of life, so that adjustments were made.

This next aspect of personal health, what Gregory Bateson called, "an ecology of mind," is immensely important and yet has remained invisible to and uncomprehended by those it affects the most, up until now. The cells and organs of our body can only respond to what they encounter on a cellular level and have no knowledge of the cultural world in which the whole organism operates. They rely on our assessment of exterior dangers and when we notify them of a threat, they begin to react to those conditions.

[page 48] The body will, therefore, react to imagined dangers to some degree, as well as those that are biologically pertinent. Its defense systems often becomes overexerted as a result.

Common rashes are an example of a signal of a poison causing a reaction to counteract the poison, but the poison is not really there, only the signal of a poison. The resulting rash is really an outward sign of the body's healing states for an illness that never occurred. On a psychic level this happens all the time and results in no end of harm to the body. The worst perpetrators of this kind of psychic effect on the body are the news media who no longer report only events that have already happened, but devote most of their coverage to things that might happen. Mix that with a lack of attention by most people to their immediate environment and you get a potent cocktail for illness and disease.

[page 49, 50] Many people, however, do not pay attention to everything in their environments, but through their beliefs concentrate only upon "the ferocious dog four blocks away." That is, they do not respond to what is physically present or perceivable in either space or time, but instead [dwell] upon the threats that may or may not exist, ignoring at the same time other pertinent data that are immediately at hand.
      The mind then signals threat — but a threat that is nowhere physically present, so that the body cannot clearly respond. It therefore reacts to a pseudothreatening situation, and is caught between gears, so to speak, with resulting biological confusion. The body's response must be specific.

How can one experience an overall sense of health and contentment if one's body is asked to respond biologically to something that isn't really there? One's body can only respond to such bogus situations with bio-illogical confusion.

[page 50] Left alone, the body can defend itself against any disease, but it cannot defend itself appropriately against an exaggerated general fear of disease on the individual's part. It must mirror your own feelings and assessments.

Second to the news media in doing damage is the medical profession who single-mindedly act as though creating fear of diseases in the public will somehow get them well. One wonders if they are not thereby violating the first principle of the medical profession: First, do no harm. How could they be doing harm? If you haven't understood the above, Seth lines it out in detail for you:

[page 50] Usually, now, your entire medical systems literally generate as much disease as is cured — for you are everywhere hounded by the symptoms of various diseases, and filled with the fear of disease, overwhelmed by what seems to be the body's propensity toward illness — and nowhere is the body's vitality or natural defense system stressed.

Nowhere is our body is more stressed than by the over-exuberant efforts of the modern medical profession to lure, coerce, browbeat, and scare people into otherwise unnecessary and dangerous medical procedures that often leave them debilitated and at the mercy of the medical and pharmaceutical industry for the remainder of their lives. The latest campaign is against Alzheimer's Disease which is a fancy new name for what used to be called simply "senility." Have you noticed how much more common this dis-ease has become in recent decades?

[page 50] Senility is a mental and physical epidemic — a needless one. You "catch" it because when you are young you believe that old people cannot perform. There are no inoculations against beliefs, so when young people with such beliefs grow old they become "victims."

Now, I'm just a human being, not a medical doctor, but I imagine that medical doctors would consider it foolish to believe that what we believe can make a great change in the quality of our lives. And yet, did not these same doctors at one time hold a very strong belief that they would become doctors someday? Given the long years and hard work of becoming a doctor, the strong subjective feelings of wanting to be a doctor were essential to creating their current reality as doctors.

[page 51] More and more, the quality of your lives is formed through the subjective realities of your feelings and mental constructions. Again, beliefs that foster despair are biologically destructive. They cause the physical system to shut down.

As human beings in the 21st Century, we are bombarded on all sides by medical, scientific, and cultural theories which offer predictions of impending doom that leave us feeling powerless.

[page 54] Religious, scientific, medical, and cultural communications stress the existence of danger, minimize the purpose of the species or of any individual member of it, or see mankind as the one erratic, half-insane member of an otherwise orderly realm of nature. Any or all of the above beliefs are held by various systems of thought. All of these, however, strain the individual's biological sense of integrity, reinforce ideas of danger, and shrink the area of psychological safety that is necessary to maintain the quality possible in life. The body's defense system becomes confused to varying degrees.

What happens as a result of such endemic confusion? Our bodies are subject to intense stress, a stress that is proven to be the cause of many diseases. The result is that the predictions prove to be true. One can always make an accurate prediction if the act of predicting creates the conditions specified by the prediction. In other words, if you make a prediction of certain diseases, which prediction gets people so upset as to create a breeding ground in them of those same diseases, you can be certain, that given enough time, your predictions will be proven to be true. Of course, to get away with this charade, people will have to be convinced that everything happens haphazardly in the world, which is exactly what scientists tell us is the case.

[page 57] Your scientific beliefs tell you that your entire world happened accidentally. Your religions tell you that man is sinful: The body is not to be trusted; the senses lead you astray. In this maze of beliefs you have largely lost a sense of your own worth and purpose. A generalized fear and suspicion is generated, and life too often becomes stripped of any heroic qualities. The body cannot react to generalized threats. It is therefore put under constant strain in such circumstances, and seeks to specify the danger. It is geared to act in your protection. It builds up strong stresses, therefore, so that on many occasions a specific disease or threat situation is "manufactured" to rid the body of a tension grown too strong to bear.

The worst examples I can think of is in so-called "public service announcements" which, to my mind, should be properly labeled as "public dis-service announcements" because of the harm they unknowingly cause to the very public they claim to service. Most of these PSA's lead people into states of mind or meditative states that are harmful to them, sometimes causing the very illnesses they claim to be trying to help people overcome.

[page 57] Unfortunately, many of your public health programs, and commercial statements through the various media, provide you with mass meditations of a most deplorable kind. I refer to those in which the individual is further told to examine the body with those symptoms in mind. I also refer to those statements that just as unfortunately specify diseases for which the individual may experience no symptoms of an observable kind, but is cautioned that these disastrous physical events may be happening despite his or her feelings of good health.

In 1982, remote control TV's were just coming into production and I went out immediately and bought one. I stopped watching the nightly news programs completely and kept the remote control handy to immediately mute or switch the channel when one of those drug commercials or PSA's came on. As soon as remote control radios came on the scene I bought several of those for similar reasons. I also studied a Jonathan Parker tape which included a dramatic way of protecting oneself from any such "mass meditations" by the news media and medical community. When confronted with a negative thought, one imagines the Red Circle with a Red Slash diagonally across it and places that sign over whatever the image conjured by the mind, saying forcefully to oneself at the same time, CANCEL! This is a very effective inoculation from infection by the PSA, but as with any disease or fight, it's better to avoid it than to launch a defense.

[page 57] Public health announcements about high blood pressure themselves raise the blood pressure of millions of television viewers (even more emphatically).
       Your current ideas of preventative medicine therefore, generate the very kind of fear that causes disease. They all undermine the individual's sense of bodily security and increase stress, while offering the body a specific, detailed disease plan. But most of all, they operate to increase the individual sense of alienation from the body, and to promote a sense of powerlessness and duality.

If you want to promote a product, what better way to do it than, through your promotion, create more of the very condition that your product claims to be able to relieve? If you want to sell food, create the feeling or illusion of hunger in your viewers. If you want to sell headache medicine, create headaches. If you want to sell sleeping pills, create a fear of insomnia which will keep people awake night. If you want to sell anti-allergy medications, get people to self-diagnose themselves as having an allergy and thereby converting them into lifelong customers. [I did not know anyone who had an allergy or hay fever as a child in the days before television, and now I'm surrounded by people who claim to be so afflicted.]

[page 58] Headache remedies are a case in point here. Nowhere do any medically-oriented commercial or public service announcements mention the body's natural defenses, its integrity, vitality, or strength. Nowhere in your television or radio matter is any emphasis put upon the healthy. Medical statistics deal with the diseased. Studies upon the healthy are not carried out.

The above passage reminds me strongly of what Mark Twain said about statistics, "There are two kinds of lies: damn lies and statistics." Rightly understood, statistics are lies that damn many people to illnesses and diseases that they otherwise would never have or, if they did, they would recover from without ever having taken notice of them! And especially they would not have taken any medications, whose side-affects and resulting dependency has forever reduced the quality of their lives while improving the quality of the economic lives of the producers and pushers of the medications.

It was this book that undoubtedly first led me to consider the harm done by radio and TV PSA's and none have caused more people problems over the years than the perennial flu season messages. They claim direct evidence for a benefit while sloughing off any suggestions of harm. Is this a reasoned and balanced approach to medical advice, or is it the opposite?

[page 71, 72] While Ruburt was working at one of his books a few days ago, he heard a public service announcement. The official told all listeners that the flu season had officially begun. He sternly suggested that the elderly and those with certain diseases make appointments at once for flu shots.

I daresay we have all heard those announcements, always given with the authority of the medical industry. How can you question such a disembodied voice over the radio that presumes to know everything about what's good for you? How long does it take you to recover from a presupposition? Can you recognize the presupposition in the previous sentence which comprises Matherne's Rule #39? If so, can you not also recognize the presuppositions in using a voice of authority, who represents your doctor, who claims to know what's good you as an individual? Presuppositions are merely suppositions (supposed truths) which operate unconsciously upon your supposing mechanisms and, since EAT-O-TWIST doesn't break, cause you to end up having to get the flu shots, get seriously ill, or both, up until now. If you drop the presuppositions and stay healthy without the flu shots, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

[page 72] The official mentioned, by the way, that there was indeed no direct evidence connecting past flu shots with the occurrence of a rather bizarre disease that some of those inoculated with the flu vaccine happened to come down with. [RJM: the paralyzing Guillain-Barre syndrome, 1976, which scientists later directly connected with the flu shots of the time.]

Another presupposition embodied in those authoritative PSA's is that the elderly are somehow more susceptible to diseases. I wonder, if that were so, how did they live long enough to be elderly? This thought undoubtedly escapes doctors whose predominant metaphor for the human body is that of a machine: everybody knows that as a car gets older, it becomes more susceptible to breakdowns. What if the human body is not a machine — but a living spirit in flesh who responds to suggestions and presuppositions by shaping its life accordingly? Then one could expect that the humans who listened earnestly to those PSA's would begin to shape their lives so as to create medical statistics that would confirm that the doctors were right! It seems obvious to everyone today that the elderly are more susceptible to diseases — that "that susceptibility is a medical fact of life."

[page 72] It is a fact, however, without a basic foundation in the truth of man's biological reality. It is a fact brought about through suggestion. The doctors see bodily results, which are quite definite, and then those results are taken as evidence.

Is there any direct evidence to the contrary of the statement "the elderly are more susceptible to diseases"? Given the chauvinism of America doctors who presuppose their medical system is the best in the world, it's likely that they would treat any evidence to the contrary as a mere anomaly and discount it immediately.

[page 72] In a few isolated areas of the world even today, the old are not disease-ridden, nor do their vital signs weaken. They remain quite healthy until the time of their death.

Healthy up until the time of death? How would medical science explain that? Logically, that would mean that health is the cause of their death. To die without having been sick first is not a healthy thing for the medical industry. They lose a potentially good customer. Naturally, any industry who watches its customers disappear without buying its products would increase their advertising campaign to convince its customers of the errors of their ways. No special note has to made to remind any American consumer of the huge increase in the advertising campaigns of doctors, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry since 1960.

[page 75] The idea of prevention is always based upon fear — for you do not want to prevent something that is joyful. Often, therefore, preventative medicine causes what it hopes to avoid. Not only does the idea [of prevention] continually promote the entire system of fear, but specific steps taken to prevent a disease in a body not already stricken, again, often set up reactions that bring about side effects that would occur if the disease had in fact been suffered.

When I read the above passage I was reminded of a good friend from the 8th grade who at age 45 or so went to a nearby hospital on the advice of his doctor for a stress test to determine if the doctors could prevent his having a heart attack. While on the treadmill, hooked up to the monitoring devices, with competent medical staff on hand, in a fully equipped modern hospital, he died — from a heart attack.

After spending time studying presuppositions [Appendix B of The Structure of Magic contains 31 "Syntactical Environments for Identifying Natural Language Presuppositions in English."], I began to learn how to turn a presupposition upside down when I found one that was potentially harmful to me. If you begin such a study, I must warn, "Beware of impending joy!" The next passage is filled with life-enhancing presuppositions that I heartily recommend to you:

[page 74] One of man's strongest attributes is religious feeling . . . . "Life is a gift (and not a curse). I am a unique, worthy creature in the natural world, which everywhere surrounds me, gives me sustenance, and reminds me of the greater source from which I myself and the world both emerge. My body is delightfully suited to its environment, and comes to me, again, from that unknown source which shows itself through all the events of the physical world."
       That feeling gives the organism the optimism, the joy, and the ever-abundant energy to grow. It encourages curiosity and creativity, and places the individual in a spiritual world and a natural one at once.

In the quoted portion of the above passage, I find a sentiment that echoes a portion of one of the fundamental prayers of the Christian world, the Lord's Prayer. "Gives me sustenance" meshes with "Give us this day our daily bread". Forgiving others gives us the ever-abundant energy to grow. "Lead us not into temptation" encourages a healthy curiosity. "Deliver us from evil" places one's "I" — what makes us an individual — into a spiritual and natural world of free-flowing creativity from now on.

In spite of evidence that the medical science has caused as many new diseases as it has cured, can't we point to the many cases where medical science has saved lives?

[page 75, 76] When it saves lives, it does so because of the intuitive healing understanding of the physician, or because the patient is so impressed by the great efforts taken in his behalf, and therefore is convinced secondhandedly of his own worth.

On page 105, I scribbled in the margins this note, "Sickness is a defense from the truth. CiM." This was a quote or an idea from A Course in Miracles which I was studying at the time and which I reviewed just recently. Read the next passage which is talking about epidemics and the reasons for them.

[page 104, 105] Many people are simply lonely, or overworked. Some are rebelling against commonly held ideas of competition. Flu epidemics become social excuses for much needed rest, therefore, and serve as face-saving devices so that the individuals can hide from themselves their inner difficulties. In a way, such epidemics provide their own kind of fellowship — giving common meeting grounds for those of disparate circumstances. The [epidemics] serve as accepted states of illness, in which people are given an excuse for the rest or quiet self-examination they desperately need but do not feel entitled to otherwise.

Flu is one disease that people know when they have it and they are very likely to talk about it. One can readily understand that young working people will get the flu as a way of obtaining much needed rest while elderly people will get the flu as a way of obtaining fellowship. But there are many diseases that people have, but they don't know they have, for the very good reason that their naturally healthy body has made the necessary corrections without any doctor being involved to monitor or report the presence of the temporary illness.

[page 105] The majority of my readers have come down with one or another disease usually considered very dangerous, and without ever knowing it, because the body healed itself normally and naturally. The disease was not labelled. It was not given recognition as a condition. Worries or fears were not aroused, yet the disease came and vanished.

My mother died in on a Friday night in 2002, and I remember that week very well. On Monday I felt an urge, a slight feeling, to call her, but she was not sick or anything and I didn't call her because I could think of no reason to do so. On the next day, the feeling arose in me again and for the same reason, I didn't call. On Wednesday when the feeling arose, I had a new reason not to call her, I would be seeing her the next day. I saw her on Thursday and again on Friday and spent time with her each day. That Friday night while we were on a trip away from home, she fell and died on a gurney as the EMTs were preparing to carry to the hospital for examination to determine if she had any injuries. I was asleep when a brother called to tell me what had happened. They had revived her on the gurney and she was in the hospital and unconscious. She never revived. What was that feeling that I had the whole week, a slight feeling, so slight that it did not rise to the level of prompting me to take action? If not for my having read this book some twenty years earlier, I might have completely ignored and forgotten about that slight feeling.

[page 151] You have been taught that your feelings must necessarily be tied to specific physical happenings. You may be sad because a relative has died, for example or because you have lost a job, or because you have been rebuffed by a lover, or for any number of other accepted reasons. You are told that your feelings must be in response to events that are happening, or have happened. Often, of course, your feelings "happen ahead of time," because those feelings are the initial realities from which events flow.
       A relative might be ready to die, though no exterior sign has been given. The relative's feelings might well be mixed, containing portions of relief and sadness, which you might then perceive — the primary event are subjective.

That same Friday morning I picked up Dad to take him to the Entergy stockholder annual meeting with me. I checked with Mom to make sure that she was feeling okay. She assured me that she was. When I returned with Dad, she was still doing fine. After her death later that night, I learned that she had spent that day on the phone talking to her sisters. She called each one long distance, a resource she rarely used due to the expense involved, and talked to each of one them, Clara, Clarise, Azelda, Merlin, and Mazel, for a long period of time. It is difficult to explain her actions on this day unless you accept that some part of her knew it was going to be her last chance to talk to her sisters. In some way she had precognitive knowledge of her impending death.

[page 237, 238] Impulses, therefore, provide impetus toward motion, coaxing the physical body and the mental person toward the utilization of physical and mental power.
      They help the individual impress the world — that is, to act upon it and within it effectively. Impulses also open up choices that may not have been consciously available before. I have often said that the c-e-l-l-s (spelled) precognate, and that at that level the body is aware of vast information, information not consciously known or apprehended. The universe and everything within it is composed of "information," but this information is aware-ized energy; and again in ways most difficult to explain, information containing — I am sorry: information concerning the entire universe is always latent within each and any part of it.

The cells are precognitive and contain in-formation of the entire universe. This is a powerful thought and next to the message in the passage above, I scribbled the words, "the Holy-gram!" A hologram being a recording in which the whole of the image is contained in every part of the hologram. One might say that we are cells in the body of God.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly what is essential is invisible to the eye." Do you remember ever hearing that quotation? It's from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and is called the Fox's Secret because the little Prince was told this secret by the Fox in the story. My second wife had a poster with this quotation on it in our house in Foxborough for four years and I saw it several times a day over that time. About the time I discovered "what was essential" I also learned of the authorship of the quote. It was in Saint-Exupéry's wonderful book, Citadelle [its French title] or Wisdom of the Sands [its English title] that I learned what he hinted at as being essential was in fact "the meaning of things." Notice how this theme plays out in the next quote:

[page 256] . . . animals have values, and if the quality of their lives disintegrates beyond a certain point, the species dwindles. We are not speaking of survival of the fittest, but the survival of life with meaning (intently). Life is meaning for animals. The two are indistinguishable.

Now notice how craftily this theme is applied to human aberrations to allow us to understand madness, schizophrenia, and other tendencies of collective human culture:

[page 259] The paranoid and the schizophrenic are trying to find meaning in a world they have been taught is meaningless, and their tendencies appear in lesser form throughout society.

Who taught schizophrenics that the world was meaningless? Mostly their parents and other caregivers who placed them into binds and double binds whose only escape was to prove by one's behavior that the world was meaningless. Unless these souls are helped to discover meaning in their world again, they will not live very long.

[page 259] I am saying that if man does not find meaning in life he will not live, bread or no. He will not have energy to seek bread, nor trust his impulse to do so.

After twenty five years, I cannot recall if this book led to my formulating EAT-O-TWIST or whether it gave me confidence and confirmation in the insight it contains. To answer the question implied by the title of this book, "Do individuals influence mass events in the world?" I would have to say only EAT-O-TWIST! Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To. What we see is what we get. What we expect happens. If you want the world to change, change the habitual way you think about the world, change your expectations, change your suppositions about what's going to happen, in other words, get yourself a new set of wants and suppose that the world is going to provide them to you.

[page 294] Your thoughts and beliefs and desires form the events that you view on television. If you want to change your world, you must first change your thoughts, expectations, and beliefs. If every reader of this book changed his or her attitudes, even though not one law was rewritten, tomorrow would have changed for the better. The new laws would follow. Any new law always follows the change in belief. It is not the other way around.

And of all the thoughts, expectations, beliefs, or suppositions, this one is the most powerful in changing the world — hold this thought — repeat this petition each day earnestly: "Not my will, but Thy Will be done."


Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne


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