Thursday, August 24, 2006

Jane Roberts, Enlightenment, and Wisdom From a Splinter

by Ellen R. Gilbert In the early morning of January 25, 2006 I awoke from a deep, incisive dream. I lay quietly for a while, trying to solidify and even magnify what I could from it. Like many deep dreams, it was mostly feeling-tones, snatches of sentences, some visuals, and especially some vague recall of having an informational conversation with another part of myself.

One thing I did understand immediately was that it related back to the previous Sunday night’s International teleconference session with Kris and the subject of achieving enlightenment through compassion, but it also had something to do with Jane Roberts and her struggles with her physical symptoms. I could “hear” snatches of conversation in my head about these things, and a distinct concern from my own Essence, Kwaa’Ji, that I must try to sort or filter some of this dream period into my waking consciousness. In other words, it seemed important on several levels.

As I lay there unmoving, trying to recapture as much of the dream as I could, a segment of Paul Helfrich’s summation of the International session that he posted on the Dream-Art Science forum came to mind (“Dinner & A Dead Guy Reprise/Aspects Theory” topic):

“Kris briefly mentioned Ruburt (Jane Roberts) as someone who was enlightened (I only later wondered how that could be in the context of earlier comments several years ago that Jane’s sinful self was the ‘psychological cancer’ that caused her death. Perhaps enlightenment is only permanent, stable access to Source, since the body must be eventually disengaged from in some fashion. But why such a painful, dramatic choice at the peak of her career? If THAT’s an example of enlightenment, then most of our assumptions about the state are way off base.)”

Questioning Assumptions About What enlightenment Is

The same thoughts Paul states here had caused me to pause and reconsider how we understand enlightenment. Now I was laying in the dark with the distinct impression that I’d just been offered some really powerful and even detailed understandings, but it was up to me to piece it back together from the breadcrumbs of impressions, words, and visuals that I found myself now carefully and meticulously gathering up as I walked back through the dark forest of that dream.

Something about Jane Roberts’s physical struggles was key. I felt intuitively that Kris was correct – that Jane had achieved a state of enlightenment, but that perhaps we are mistaken when we believe that enlightenment must encompass a TOTAL understanding in all areas of our lives.

If enlightenment is an awakening, unfolding PROCESS, then many of us are – to a greater or lesser extent, in different areas of our lives – enlightened, while still being very much “in the dark” in other areas. In Jane’s case, she brought the light of her understanding, her life’s work, to many people, changing the lives of many of us in countless ways. I don’t exaggerate when I say that the Seth material literally helped SAVE my own life.

Jane became enlightened and enlightened many of us in the process, i.e. by (dictionary definitions) 1) shedding light, illuminating, 2) freeing from ignorance and misinformation, 3) sparking a movement marked by questioning of traditional doctrines and values.

In the area of her physical struggles, however, enlightenment did not come, and there were many reasons why, and I think Kris is taking us all into the next understanding of this with his present work in this area, with his assertion that compassion leads to enlightenment.

During the day following my deep dream, Jane Roberts’s physical difficulties and her inability to overcome them stayed on my mind. Like Paul had stated, to become so enlightened in so many ways – Jane soared to great mental and metaphysical heights – only to become literally imprisoned in the increasingly rigid shell of her body.

“There’s something more here, I know it,” I kept muttering to myself, “and of course it has to do with my own personal struggles and issues, else why would it have come to me and caused me to awaken with these vivid but fragmentary impressions in the middle of the night? What do Jane’s particular issues have to do with my own?”

Kris’ “Triple A” method of Acknowledging, Addressing to, and Accepting our beliefs and ourselves, along with his current sessions on achieving enlightenment THROUGH compassion, was a river that threaded its way continually through my musings as I went about my day. What was the connection?

When I had finished with my crossing guard duties for the day, I returned home and, seeing the emptied trash barrel, I took it and rolled it around to its place behind the house. As I pulled closed the rickety wooden gate, I picked up a splinter in my finger. Inside the house, I rummaged around for a pair of tweezers to pull it out, but the tweezers couldn’t quite grasp it, so I went to my sewing box and got out a needle.

Still pondering my dream and Jane and Triple A, I started picking and peeling apart the top layers of my skin to enable me to get a grip on the splinter and pull it out. When I had teased away enough skin to be able to grasp it, I grabbed it with the tweezers, only to discover that the little sliver of wood had broken in pieces all along its length.

Damn. Gotta peel away more layers, and pick and prod some more to get at each tiny bit of wood. There must have been about five or six tiny little bits of the splinter to dig out, each one of course, more deeply embedded under more layers of skin, and becoming more painful as I poked and tore at the skin to reach each one.

By the time I got to that last tiny shard, my finger was sore and it was getting difficult to even see that last tiny bit, as the skin was so ravaged at this point. I almost said “fuck it,” tired of the tediousness and pain of it all, LOL, but it’s that part that sticks in so deeply that touches the nerve so insistently that really needs to be excised, if you want to be free of the pain....

Self-Acceptance is a Many-layered Path

Okay, I’m no dummy. I know I’m creating this scenario for a very distinct reason! After the hours of pondering over my dream, here within this humble little splinter demonstration were some big insights into how the Triple ‘A’ method works. Kris has continually said, ever since he first introduced it, that as you AAA, you reveal deeper and deeper issues that you again AAA, until you get to the root of it all.

In my last session with Kris I went over what I had uncovered concerning one of my own traumatic issues, and Kris offered that I had come quite close to attaining closure on it, but that the very understanding that closure was within reach had given me a whole new set of concerns and responsibilities to have to face up to.

Looking at it through the analogy of the splinter, in other words, there was still a piece of splinter buried in my psyche, and I was so close to it, but it was becoming more and more tender every time I turned my attention to it, that I was tempted to just leave it where it was, let scar tissue cover it over. I knew I couldn’t do that, however, and Kris told me that indeed, this was not the end of the process, that I had to uncover the rest by myself, for my own best interests and personal fulfillment.

What Does This Have To Do With Jane Roberts And Enlightenment?

It’s undeniable, at least to my way of thinking, that Jane had reached a degree of enlightenment in a number of areas, as I stated earlier, but she could not bring to light that most deeply buried psychological splinter that penetrated her very soul, the issue that was really and truly at the root of her physical difficulties: her traumatic childhood relationship with her abusive mother, who was herself a completely bedridden rheumatoid arthritic.

This last splinter bit was revealed only in the final month of her life, when she was literally at the end of her rope, as detailed in her final book, ironically titled The Way Toward Health. Enlightenment, I believe, entails bringing to light those areas of the psyche that are dark, hidden, repressed, buried – those areas that hold attachment to shame, guilt, fear, horror and disgust. In the final pages of that book, Jane finally gets down to the nitty gritty.

People often express wonder, confusion, and even anger that Jane couldn’t heal herself, that after all, she had Seth for pity’s sake! This is where Kris’ words to me ring clear as a bell:

KRIS: “There are many occasions when – though we might perceive situations – it is in YOUR best interests to simply be, or have mentioned to you, that this is not the end of the process. The rest you have to uncover by yourself. The validity of self-discovery is far more fulfilling than to simply have situations and answers spoon-fed to you.”

It’s not that Seth didn’t have the answers for Jane, it was that Jane had to bring them to light herself. Seth DID offer lots of advice, nudges, pointed out psychological areas to examine, certain issues to address, etc., maybe even his own version of the AAA or Elias’s NIRAA (Noticing, Identifying and Recognizing, Addressing to, and Accepting beliefs) method (I’m thinking here of his advice to Jane to address her so-called “sinful self” which was a definite step into utilization of those methods).

As I was pondering these things in my mind while removing the final piece of the splinter that was in my finger, and squeezed out the blood that now started to flow in order to wash out any toxins, I got the last insight into Jane’s situation:

The bottom line is that Jane had to dig out the deep, dark secrets and purge them herself and she....just....didn’t....get to them in time. It was only in her final month in the hospital, when she was nearly incapacitated that she touched on them and it resulted in feelings of extreme panic and strong emotional outpourings. This finally gave Seth the opportunity to address this core issue. On August 2, 1984 from The Way Toward Health:

(‘I don’t know if I’ll have a session today or not,’ Jane said [to Rob], ‘but keep your paper and pen handy.’ And then she immediately began the session. Her words were loaded with emotion...)

SETH: “I bid you a sympathetic, yet hopeful good afternoon. Let Ruburt [Jane] remind himself that his birth was not responsible for his mother’s incapacity. He did not ROB HER of her own life by being born.

(In no time at all Jane’s Seth voice had moved closer and closer to tears.)

“He has no reason to feel guilty, or to punish himself for his mother’s situation. He did not MURDER her in any way by his birth. He is, therefore, no murderer or destroyer, or contemptible. He is not his mother’s murderer, then, in any fashion, nor responsible for the breakup of his parents’ marriage.

“He has no such crime, or crimes, to repent of, or to punish himself for. He is not therefore an unnatural daughter of the earth.

(The tears were streaming down Jane’s face as she came out of the session, and their flow increased as she cried more and more. She’d delivered her words in almost a grand sepulchral manner by the break. She sobbed, her face wet, her mouth contorted.

(‘IS THAT WHAT THIS HAS BEEN ALL ABOUT?’ I asked, meaning the years of the symptoms.)

I remember feeling totally aghast at reading Rob’s last words here. Well DUH!!! I wanted to say! How could you NOT have known?!? How could you not have seen what was at root, knowing Jane’s difficult childhood.... how dare you be so ignorant?

We All Bury Our Trauma And Hide Our Scars

But of course, Rob’s ignorance was innocent, unintentional, and perfectly understandable. Jane had masterfully buried the main issue for so many years. We all do it. We hide our scars, we bury our trauma so well – even from ourselves – how can even those nearest and dearest to us be expected to see and understand? Rob worked diligently for years with Jane and with Seth, trying to understand what was at the core of her physical symptoms.

Rob showed plenty of compassion and love for Jane. She had to show the same for herself in order to excise that last piercing shard in her heart. So she did, but the outflow of blood and toxins was overwhelming. Though she probably could have recovered, as Seth insisted she could, she chose to disengage.

Behind the highest clouds man has ever seen there are mountains and hidden coves from which all true proclamations come. Their sentences are silent yet they contain a word that releases and fills secret contracts between the gods and man, uttered long ago uttered without a word or a whisper and speaking for me alone with a magic note and a secret message and a sweet response known to me alone.

~ Jane Roberts

This poem, possibly – probably – the last poem Jane Roberts ever wrote, was dictated to Rob from her hospital bed. I particularly like its message in the light of the deep dream I had which began this essay because my dream also held “secret message and a sweet response known to me alone.”

I think maybe that word that “releases and fills secret contracts between gods and man,” may very well be compassion, as Kris has been asserting. Compassion for “Other” was a source of Jane’s particular enlightenment. Seth spoke of it here:

“The sessions, like life itself, have been and are a gift, rising from the immense, never-ending creativity of existence. Alone, they carry within themselves the splendor of unknown knowledge, and they arise from the deep founts of Ruburt’s [Jane’s] life, containing within themselves the neighborhood and world in which he grew, the power and vitality of the people he knew, the resourcefulness and energy that composed reality.

“Hidden within the sessions there is the splendid vitality of Father Trenton, his (Jane’s) mother, his neighbors and teachers – but beyond that the sessions connect and unite the annals of existence as he has experienced them, so that in speaking with my voice, and for me (voice quavering), he expresses the blessed vitality and acknowledgments of the universe, as even through the sessions the sweet universe acknowledges his own presence and being.

“And the two of you together also live within one life that expresses multitudinous voices, and sheds its own mercy, gladness, and joy, out into the world at large, enriching it, renewing the springtimes, and never truly ending.

“To one extent or another, Ruburt [Jane] then speaks in the sessions for all peoples, for the united psyches that overflow with thoughts and feelings that are registered by the wind, giving voice to the private, intimate, yet connected lives of men and women throughout the centuries – so that many people, listening to or reading the sessions, hear their own inner voices also, and feel the contours of their own natures, and universal nature as well.”

Compassion And Enlightenment

Compassion and love for the world was the driving force behind Jane’s work and her particular stage and/or state of enlightenment. Had she been able to show that same compassion for her own self earlier in her life, who knows what the implications of that would have been? Considering her genius, her talent, and her love as they were...I can only imagine!

This is where the force of Kris’ words begin to sink in, why the voice of my Essence in my dream kept drawing me back insistently to why it is crucial, of utmost necessity, to offer that same compassion to SELF, something that is the complete opposite to what most of us have been taught from birth – we believe in our inherent guilt, our shame, our unworthiness; that darkest, most deeply embedded, most secret shard that poisons us at our core, that holds us back from our personal enlightenment.

That, despite the cruelty of Jane’s early life, she was able to express so much love and goodness is a testament to the inherent goodness of the human spirit.

KRIS: “You seek to get in touch with your own stages of enlightenment. That is why compassion is important, because you cannot offer yourself such allowances but through being compassionate with your nature, with your creaturehood, because it implies and involves an understanding that even your fleshy being, your lovely cellular constructions are in need of a great deal of T.L.C.

“And that you may if you so desire, start recognizing that it is not by berating and belittling and discounting of your own human nature that you are going to attain any kind of remembrance of Essence and connection with Source, because Essence and Source SPEAK through your blood, your bones, your eyes. You are Expressions of Essence! Carefully study the implications of those words and remember your roots! Remember where you come from!

“And that is why you seek this type of knowledge, of understanding, because there is a deep original loving nature to who you are.”

There are Mondays stuck into corners where children threw them ages ago, so I gathered them up and washed them out and hung them up to dry.

The time winds quickly dry them out so they flap in the new morning sun, cosmic laundry.

~ Jane Roberts

A New Species Of Enlightenment

Finally, in the January 22, 2006 session, Kris offered a tantalizing possibility that changes are in the wind of our collective psyche, that we are at a point perhaps, of gathering up that cosmic laundry, re-washing it and drying it out in the sunlight of a new understanding:

KRIS: “NOW there is a different filter possible, one that did not necessarily manifest itself until this last century and that is a remembrance in a different sector of human experience without necessarily being covered under the guise of religious revelation, though this still occurs. But there is a new species of enlightenment and remembrance and it can deal with Source without immediately trapping this remembrance in the straitjacket of religious indoctrination and brainwashing. That does make a significant difference to the experiences now available to your species. Does that make sense?”

High in the secret mountains where the proclamations of nature come, I sense a new note full and free as a whole new world in some ancient sweet recipe.

The ingredients are glittering and golden and bright and filled with expectancy, and that note swirls curled inside nature’s world with the promise a salute, a new book to emerge up in the mountains where the earth’s proclamations are made.

And there is a wind, a rush and a power and a voice, a voice that says nothing at all yet forms new alphabets of life that glitter and buzz and swarm and shoot into fragments, jigsaws of light, sweet bombs of mystery that go shooting off like seeds of flame, with a fury and a power and a secret known to me alone.

~ Jane Roberts.

Jane’s Story Is The Story Of Enlightenment

Enlightenment is a complex thing, not to be put in a simple little box, or to say, “this day I have achieved total enlightenment.” It truly appears to be a process, an unfolding, and an awakening that you can’t measure out.

“Here Jane was enlightened, here she was not so enlightened,” feels wrong to say. The moment she had the guts to put her work into the world, to examine it, question it, process it, share it, discuss it, love it, hate it, argue with it, she became enlightened. Each piece of her personal traumas she dredged out of her being and examined in the light, was a process of personal enlightenment.

That she DID uncover those core beliefs, enlightened herself in that area at the very end of her life and then died is in itself a triumph of the highest order. The fact that she died then is not of importance. She lives, an enlightened being in that sense.

When you put together all of Rob’s notes, the years of struggles to understand Jane’s illness and why it manifested, and how to apply Seth’s teachings to it, you come to a very enlightening revelation:

Jane’s life story becomes the allegory, the single most important story, played out in mythological terms, in HEROIC terms, of all of the words that Seth ever delivered in any of his books. Jane’s personal story – Herstory – is the instrument of the music of Seth’s words.

Beautiful musings and about a subject (Jane's physical struggles) that has always intrigued me as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
My pleasure. Just so you know, there is a Seth/Jane Roberts movie in the works at
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