Begin this series here.
Seth states that he does not approve of the term "ghost" for himself. Nor does he like the term "spirit." However, if that term implies a personality without a body, then he would agree that the description fits him. He also states that he addresses an unseen audience, and therefore asks that he be granted the same privilege.
In this chapter he goes into the nature of who we are. He suggests that the readers believe themselves to be physical creatures - bound by physical bodies. And if one believes themselves to be dependent on this image of oneself then they will always feel in danger of extinction because no body, however beautiful and healthy, stays the same in old age. He wants to assure us that this in not the case, and that we are no more physical than he is, moreover, he has "donned and discarded" more bodies than he cared to tell. He is older than we are, at least in terms of how we view age. He is an "energy personality essence, no longer focused in physical matter," and therefore has access to some truths that most of us have forgotten.
Consciousness creates form - not the other way around. In fact he states that it is due to the distractions of daily life that we are not aware that there is a portion of our being who knows that it is a very powerful entity. We have lived other existences and that knowledge resides within us even though we are not consciously aware of it. We cannot trust our physical senses to give us a true picture of reality. It is in our dreams that we are the most wise, creative, and knowledgeable.
We create the world that we know by being given the most awesome gift of all - the ability to project our thoughts outward into physical form, creating our reality. It is en masse that this gift creates all of the "gifts and glories" of our earthly experience and until we realize that we are the creators of our existence we will not accept responsibility.
It is through consciousness that we can perceive the various dimensions of reality - including the three dimensional world we live in. He states that we are not a bag of bones and flesh that came into existence by some fiery accident, but are aware at a deeply unconscious level of each minute cell that compose our bodies. It is this unconscious portion of our selves that is far more knowledgeable than our conscious television watching selves. And it is this portion of our self that our physical existence depends. He calls this unconscious part of our selves the "inner ego." It correlates and directs information and is perceived through inner channels. It carries the memory of all other lifetimes and is the portion of our identity that is clairvoyant and telepathic, warning us of disasters before they occur. This communication takes place long before we hear anything.
He places the subconscious as a meeting place between the outer and inner egos. The self that we know is but one fragment of our entire identity which is more akin to the layers of an onion, with each fragment of the personality starting from within and working outward. Our personality is a gestalt of ever-changing perception, and each of us has hidden potentials.
He also states that there is consciousness even within non-animate objects. He uses the example of a nail. The atoms and molecules within the nail posses their own kind of consciousness, as do the pages of the book, and all other manner of rock, mineral, animal, including air. Everything that exists has a consciousness of it's own kind. In fact we stand within a "constant vital commotion, a gestalt of aware energy" which is composed of conscious cells that are aware of their own identity, cooperating willingly to form the corporeal structure of our bodies. There is no such thing as dead matter. Every object was formed by consciousness and rejoices in it's own way in sensation and creativity.
He ends the chapter by trying to explain how he is able to communicate in our reality, which is through a psychological warp in our space and time, relative to Jane Roberts.
Next Up: Seth's environment, work and activities.