The individual then became very indignant and told me in a rather stern tone that she was seventy-six years old and she knew what was real and what was not. I didn’t know whether such understanding comes when one reaches seventy-four, or seventy-five, or at the stroke of midnight the day one reaches their seventy-sixth birthday, but I kept such thoughts to myself. It was obvious there was no point in discussing this further so I exited as gracefully as possible while muttering under my breath. At one point in the conference someone stood up and proclaimed that Jane’s health problems stemmed from the fact that Seth bombarded Jane with too much information and that she wanted to stop the sessions as a result. I don’t recall ever reading such a statement, but it was an extreme example of something that was becoming very clear to me: Everyone, every person on this planet was going to view reality in their own individual way, and if I was going to get upset at that fact, then I might as well go live alone in the forest. The trees and the ﬂowers were not going to express ideas that might be different from mine, so that way I would never have any of my buttons pushed, nor be led to reexamine my own ideas about what I believed, or question myself as to how secure I felt in the beliefs that I did hold. One of the workshops that I attended on Saturday was conducted by Ritchie Dvorak. Ritchie was the one (no, not “the one” in the Matrix sense of the phrase!) but the person who officially invited me to the conference and whose house I stayed at during my stay in Germany. On the surface his workshop had little to do with the issues I have outlined above. About twenty people sat in a room and the first thing Ritchie did was to lead us in a visualization where we were supposed to be standing on a neutral platform and looking down at a scene below us. After the visualization ended we all spoke about what we saw and then the fun really began. There was a canvas about fifteen feet long and four feet high stretched across the wall. Near it there was a table filled with all kinds of paints and colored chalks. Each of us was to paint the scene we remembered from our visualization a few minutes earlier. We were also told that it was important that we didn’t worry about whether we were a good artist or a bad artist, and there was no right or wrong way to do this. I was relieved to hear that for stick figures stretch me to the limit of my artistic abilities. So we all got busy and I was having a ball with trying to paint this house I saw during my visualization. I picked a corner of the canvas to use as my spot and was on my knees happily drawing, unconcerned that my hands were gathering almost as much color as that being put on the canvas. I literally felt like a child; found myself in touch with the feeling children have when they are exploring reality. Children quite naturally interact with the world, and test their abilities while doing so, but without the added and unnecessary worry of whether what they produce will be right, or wrong, or true, or false. More importantly, they do not concern themselves with how their creations compare with the creations of others. We save such a mindset for when we become adults, often abandoning the natural wisdom that the child so easily maintains.
All of a sudden, click, click, click, the light bulb goes on and I understand something. I have a right to paint my picture of reality in my little corner of the universe in whatever way I want. And so does everyone else! That doesn’t mean I have to adopt the pictures that others draw, nor give up my own picture in any way, but to seek to defend my picture as right and theirs as wrong, or mine as true and theirs as false, was to create a friction and discordance between myself and others that just didn’t have to be there. The beauty of the picture that resulted did not come about because we all saw reality in the same way, but came about precisely because we all didn’t see reality in the same way. It was the differences that added the necessary depth and richness to the picture to bring out its inherent beauty. As I sat on the plane going back to the states I thought back to the seventy-six year old lady who looked me straight in the eye and told me that she knew that this other Seth was the real thing and how dare I doubt what she was telling me. In hindsight I would have responded differently, less abrupt, and yet still honestly expressed my opinion. Because in hindsight I realized I missed something very important in the exchange that took place between us. I missed another look in her eye. A look that spoke of a woman who at seventy-six years old still had the grit and the perseverance to keep searching for answers. I missed the courage of an individual to keep digging for new answers when for many others, regardless of age, it was just simpler to accept the ready-made answers society handed us like recipes on the back of some cereal box. I missed the humanity that unites us all and is far more important than arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or whether Seth is speaking through others or retired in Florida sipping Piña Coladas by the ocean. I missed an opportunity to connect with a lady who probably could have shared some very interesting stories about her life; stories I will now never know. Back in the United States, I continued to think about my experiences at the Seth conference in Pforzheim, and on deeper levels than I had felt before I knew that all of us were truly united in ways that had nothing to do with whether we speak with a German accent, an American accent, or whatever accent might accompany our speech. We may come from different countries, and grow up in different cultures, but where we truly come from has nothing to do with geography or language or any outer accoutrements or characteristics. There is an inner canvas that we all share from which we paint our imperfect pictures of reality that in their own way are actually quite perfect. There is a symmetry that transcends all differences and I was reminded of this during Ritchie Dvorak’s workshop. Jane Roberts once said if you begin to see people merely as beliefs, instead of as individuals who hold beliefs, then you have really lost something valuable in your interactions with others. I had lost something valuable, and while I had to go a long way to recover it, the trip was well worth it!
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