Author Topic: Positive beliefs and "feeling" may be more effective than prayer  (Read 547 times)

Offline Sena

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My recollection is that Seth does not specifically recommend prayer in the sense of "asking someone" for help. Seth encourages us to develop positive beliefs and associated positive emotions. This is what results in the creation of relaity.

The following is a summary of scientific research which questions the efficacy of conventional prayer:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19370557

"Prayer is amongst the oldest and most widespread interventions used with the intention of alleviating illness and promoting good health. Given the significance of this response to illness for a large proportion of the world's population, there has been considerable interest in recent years in measuring the efficacy of intercessory prayer for the alleviation of ill health in a scientifically rigorous fashion. The question of whether this may contribute towards proving or disproving the existence of God is a philosophical question lying outside the scope of this review of the effects of prayer."

"AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:
These findings are equivocal and, although some of the results of individual studies suggest a positive effect of intercessory prayer,the majority do not and the evidence does not support a recommendation either in favour or against the use of intercessory prayer. We are not convinced that further trials of this intervention should be undertaken and would prefer to see any resources available for such a trial used to investigate other questions in health care."

One of the definitions of prayer given by Seth is "focusing conscious energy in constructive directions.":

"A few days earlier, knowing he had progressed, he ceased doing the psycho-cybernetics exercises however, and these are an excellent and enjoyable way of focusing conscious energy in constructive directions. This is active prayer, with him, and a definite training device. Since little time is involved, twenty minutes, this should be continued." (from "The Early Sessions: Book 9 of The Seth Material" by Jane Roberts, Robert Butts)

From the Kindle edition: http://amzn.eu/1OY83a9

Another Seth quote:

"Prayer once enabled the intelligent man to focus his psychic abilities, because the hard fact, taken for granted by all in Western civilization, was the belief in such a God. The so-called hard fact has changed."
—TES2 Session 81 August 26, 1964
« Last Edit: December 26, 2019, 10:02:26 AM by Sena »

Offline jbseth

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Hi Sena, Hi All,

Sena, thinks for starting this topic on Prayer. It's very interesting from several standpoints.

I plan to respond to this, though it may take me a day or two, to do so.

I plan to touch upon 2 separate issues around this topic.

One having to do with what Seth says about both prayer and the "supraself".

The other having to do with how, using statistics, its possible for a person to demonstrate that the results of an experiment, were in-line with their expectations. Basically, how its possible to "Lie with Statistics".

This will be fun.

-jbseth 

Offline Deb

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Quote from: Sena
My recollection is that Seth does not specifically recommend prayer in the sense of "asking someone" for help.

I agree, that would totally be against the Seth teachings that we make our own reality, bodies and illnesses, etc.

In the past I'd heard there was "proof" that remote prayer did wonders in helping people recover from illnesses, etc. so I'm glad you added that link to and information from the study.

My take on prayer, since finding the Seth materials, is what Seth said in the quotes you provided: a way to focus or direct attention, or as Seth says, energy. A type of self-hypnosis. But if someone is inclined to believe in prayer and a god that will heal them, then I suppose it will. A person who is on the receiving end of prayers of a prayer group could also heal due to their beliefs.

I really like the "focusing conscious energy in constructive directions."

I know someone who is a Born Again and she attributes everything good that happens in her life as coming from Jesus. She's very vocal about that, saying "thank you Lord" or "God is good" and tacks a little bit of a prayer on at the end. And she does seem to be "blessed" as she says, I'm constantly amazed at how things always seem to go her way. Mentally I smile and think how great she is at making a good reality for herself and she doesn't take credit for any of it. She reminds me of the old bumper sticker, "Jesus loves you (but I'm his favorite)."  ;)

Offline Sena

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Quote from: Deb
I know someone who is a Born Again and she attributes everything good that happens in her life as coming from Jesus. She's very vocal about that, saying "thank you Lord" or "God is good" and tacks a little bit of a prayer on at the end. And she does seem to be "blessed" as she says, I'm constantly amazed at how things always seem to go her way.
Deb, I agree with what you wrote about self-hypnosis. I am sure that prayer appears to work most of the time because, as Seth saya, we live in a benign, safe universe. The problem arises when, on the rare occasion, prayer appears to be not working. Somebody who has been relying on an external Power may then lose faith and become depressed.

Offline jbseth

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Hi Sena, Hi All,

In reply 1 above, I mentioned that I would respond to this message from 2 different standpoints, one having to do with what Seth has to say and another having to do with my understanding of statistics. Here’s my response to this topic in regards to my understanding of statistics.


First, let me share with you a little of my work history background. For about 15 years or so, I was a reliability engineer for a very large electronics company. While working for this company, part of my job had to do with many different aspects of reliability engineering, which is heavily involved with statistics.

On occasion, I was asked to review the reliability data from various manufacturers of power supplies, drives and circuit boards. This was done so that we could determine whether we should purchase their products and incorporate them into the PC computers and Servers that we sold.

In performing this job for many years, I learned a lot about how statistical processes and methods can be used and manipulated for various purposes.   

 


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The bias that occurs in any experiment, as a result of a lack of understanding the nature of things like psychic abilities and prayer, is one of the concerns I have about the proof that prayer doesn’t work being discussed in this topic.

Another concern I have is in the potential for bias that is “conveniently” ignored.

An example of what I’m referring to here has to do with how they defined prayer as being successful in the result of the prayer study of this topic. 

For example, let’s say that they defined prayer as being successful, only if the person lived for 5 years after the specific health issue occurred.  Furthermore, let’s also say that, it was “conveniently not mentioned” that all of these patients, were already over 100 years old when their health issues occurred.  Now, using this criteria, I suspect that it would be fairly easy I demonstrate that prayer doesn’t work.

Many of these patients would probably die before the 5 year time period was up, due to their advanced age.  The bias here, that would effect these results, would be a bias that was “conveniently not mentioned”, the already advanced age of these patients.




Having a good understanding of both of these 2 issues (statistical manipulation and statistical bias), and also understanding that some people have their own agendas, I typically don’t automatically accept the claims made by scientists or the medical profession. Especially, if access to the complete and full details of the experiment are not available to be reviewed.

One issue I have with this prayer study is this; what was the specific criteria that was used to determine whether prayer works. It doesn’t appear to me that this criteria was actually specified.



- jbseth

Offline jbseth

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Hi All,

Here's the image (1.jpeg) that I forgot to attach to the previous message.

-jbseth

Offline Sena

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jbseth, thanks for pointing out the limitations of statistical methods. May I ask what your view is on praying to an external Power?

Offline jbseth

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Hi Sena,

I found a couple of interesting quotes from Seth on "prayer" and on what he calls the "Supraself". The prayer quotes as well as some of Seth's comments about All That Is / God, can be found in TES2 Sessions 81 and 82.  The semi-related Seth quotes on the Supraself, can be found in TES7 session 301.

I'm hoping to write some things up about these 2 subjects as well as discuss "prayer" and what is "God" in relation to these 2 Seth quotes. I hope to write this up tomorrow.

I would have written this sooner but the holidays have been having a happy interference with my Seth comments. My wife and I, along with some other family members, went and saw the new Star Wars movie today and it awesome.  :)

"May the Force, be with you.", seems to be a very Sethian phrase to me.  :)


Anyway, here are some ideas, I've been kicking around.

1) Would you call "All That Is" an "External Power"?

2)
Let's say that a man, who is very religious and just happens to believe in the Catholic faith, finds out that the love of his life, his wife, was seriously injured in a traffic accident on the way home from work today. Furthermore, let's say that she has sustained many life threatening injuries and doctors seriously doubt that she's going to make it.

After this man finds out about this, let's also say that he prays powerfully, to the God that he believes in. This man beliefs that the God of his faith does respond to prayers and does intervene on peoples behalf. In this man prayers he prays, tearfully, emotionally and visually to this God for his wife's safe return from this horrible event.

Now, in addition to this, let's also say that somehow, miraculously, this man's wife manages to pull through this ordeal and survives.

Do you think that this man believes that "Prayer" works?

Isn't this type of prayer, really just another way of describing "reality creation"?


-jbseth




Offline Sena

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Quote from: jbseth
Would you call "All That Is" an "External Power"?
jbseth, thanks for your response. My understanding of All That Is is that it is all-inclusive, inclusive of everything under the sun including every human being. So I do not see All That Is as a Power external to me. This is to me the eesence of Seth's teaching.

Quote
Do you think that this man believes that "Prayer" works?

Isn't this type of prayer, really just another way of describing "reality creation"?

Yes, it is a kind of reality creation. That is the kind of prayer I engaged in when I was a practising Roman Catholic, but I am no longer able to pray to an imaginary male Sky God. Praying to Our Father is not meaningful for me.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 07:26:32 AM by Sena »

Offline jbseth

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Hi Sena,

Would you say that those things that are external to you are a part of the power of "All That Is"?

- jbseth

Offline Sena

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Quote from: jbseth
Hi Sena,

Would you say that those things that are external to you are a part of the power of "All That Is"?

- jbseth

jbseth, yes everything is included in All That Is. Please note that I just added a couple of sentences to my previous post.

Offline jbseth

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Hi Sena,

I think that we both believe in basically the same thing here. I too, don't care in the least, about praying to some imaginary, male, sky God.  Instead, I believe that the concept of God is better described by what Seth describes as All That Is.


In just a moment, I'll post my comments about prayer.

- jbseth

Offline jbseth

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Hi Sena, Hi All,

In reply 1 above, I mentioned that I would respond to this message from 2 different standpoints, one having to do with what Seth has to say and another having to do with my understanding of statistics. Here’s my response to this topic in regards to what Seth has to say.


Here initially, I’ll talk to your very first sentence.

My recollection is that Seth does not specifically recommend prayer in the sense of "asking someone" for help.“

In response to your statement above, I would say that it could be argued that the entire process of “reality creation” as Seth describes it, is a form of prayer and is a form of “asking someone for help”.  Actually, I would say that it is a form of “thanking them in advance, for their help,” knowing, through the power of positive belief, that your request, your prayer, will be answered.

Who answers your reality creation prayer request? You do, your inner self, your supraself, your entity, you. The other parts of you that you aren’t necessarily consciously aware of.

Where am I getting this from? Take a look at what Seth has to say about prayer in TES5, Session 213.


TES5, Session 213:
The personality of Christ is an idealization, and a clue to the entity of which each individual personality is composed. And as far as prayer is concerned, though I realize that neither of you pray in those terms, someone does indeed listen. The self who prays listens, and makes necessary adjustments and improvements. For the individual is part of All That Is, and therefore partakes of the abilities of the psychic gestalts of which we have so sketchily spoken.

I interpret this quote to mean that when someone does pray or ask someone (Jesus, Allah, God, Higher Self, Inner Self, Supraself, Entity, etc.) for help, there is a part of you (your inner self, your entity, etc.) who answers and responds to your request.

Does reality creation / prayer work every time we request it? No, and there are various reasons why this doesn’t always work, as given by Seth.



Here are some other things that Seth has to say about prayer that I believe relate to this. This comes from TES2, Session 81:

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Here are some interesting things that Seth recommended that certain people do, that certainly appear to be some form of prayer. These 2 items come from TES9, Session 471 and TES9, Session 493.

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Finally, in TES7, Session 301, Seth talks about our Supraself. In these quotes, Seth tells us that this Supraself “can be called upon”. Calling upon your Supraself for help, sounds quite a bit like prayer to me. 

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- jbseth
 


Offline Deb

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Quote from: jbseth
"May the Force, be with you.", seems to be a very Sethian phrase to me. 

And with your spirit. Lol. Some things get engrained (see video below).

Quote from: jbseth
I would say that it could be argued that the entire process of “reality creation” as Seth describes it, is a form of prayer and is a form of “asking someone for help”.  Actually, I would say that it is a form of “thanking them in advance, for their help,” knowing, through the power of positive belief, that your request, your prayer, will be answered.

My concept or definition of prayer is an asking of someone/something other than myself for an end result, so for me prayer is not a thanking in advance although I'm sure when some people pray they end up adding that to their request, sort of like you do in a business letter. I do tend to get hung up on words and definitions. Is saying a mantra prayer? Affirmations? I guess it comes down to our own personal understanding or interpretations (definitions) of words: "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the—if he—if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing." Clear as mud Bill, thanks.

For one thing, I don't pray. I did when I was little and bought into Catholicism. Technically (and I've never looked at this in a technical way), while I do ask my inner self for help at times, could that request be considered prayer? One definition of prayer is: An earnest hope or wish. But I don't see that as asking someone other than myself for anything, just self-talk, and in my reality fulfillment success has more to do about what I believe is possible. ("The self who prays listens, and makes necessary adjustments and improvements.") For me, it's more like setting an intention and my attempt for better communication between inner and outer ego. As a reverse request, sometimes when I'm painting my left brain is too dominant and that causes problems with my creativity. (I guess I associate right/left brain similarly to inner/outer ego.) I've actually asked my left brain to take a break, step back, and give my right brain some time to create freely.

As Seth said many times, there are no "closed systems" and so I tell myself there is no real separation between my outer ego, my inner ego or entity or ATI. These are just words (not actual boundaries) that Seth had to use in order to communicate concepts to us in our language-based system.

I thought this was cool:

"There are many matters here very difficult to express in words, for you are so afraid for your sense of identity that you resist the idea that the soul, for example, is an open spiritual system, a powerhouse of creativity that shoots out in all directions — and yet this is indeed the case."
—SS Chapter 6: Session 527, May 11, 1970


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When done properly, prayer is a technique of getting into the appropriate trance state to access inner knowledge and guidance, and to create reality.

As almost everybody does it, results are hit and miss, mostly miss.

Offline jbseth

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Quote from: Deb
I guess it comes down to our own personal understanding or interpretations (definitions) of words


I completely agree Deb. It really does depend upon how we, that is, each one of us, decides to define the words like, prayer and reality creation, for ourselves.

-jbseth


Offline Deb

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Quote from: inavalan
When done properly, prayer is a technique of getting into the appropriate trance state to access inner knowledge and guidance, and to create reality.

As almost everybody does it, results are hit and miss, mostly miss.

Spot on! And said in two sentences that took me paragraphs! Thanks for the clarity.

Offline Sena

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Quote from: jbseth
The self who prays listens
jbseth, sorry for the delay in my response. Thanks for this valuable Seth quote which I had not come across before. "The self who prays listens". Christian theologians ought to deeply ponder this statement.

The following is also a quote new to me:

"An awareness of the existence of the supraself is in itself of great benefit. The author of Ruburt’s new book calls this God, and I am simply telling you what it is." (Early sessions, book 7, quoted by jbseth)

I agree.

Seth had this to say about the feminine aspect of the supraself:


"The male aspects of Christ were the ones that Western civilization emphasized. Other portions of his teachings did not follow the main line of Christian thought, and were buried. The church ignored Christ’s physical birth, for example, and made his mother an immaculate virgin, which meant that the consciousness of the species would for a longer time ignore its relationship with nature and its feminine aspects. I am speaking now of mainline Western civilization. God the Father would be recognized and the Earth Goddess forgotten." (from "The "Unknown" Reality, Volume One (A Seth Book)" by Jane Roberts, Robert F. Butts)

From the Kindle edition: http://amzn.eu/d6YfO47
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 10:53:03 AM by Sena »

Offline jbseth

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Quote from: Sena
"The male aspects of Christ were the ones that Western civilization emphasized. Other portions of his teachings did not follow the main line of Christian thought, and were buried. The church ignored Christ’s physical birth, for example, and made his mother an immaculate virgin, which meant that the consciousness of the species would for a longer time ignore its relationship with nature and its feminine aspects. I am speaking now of mainline Western civilization. God the Father would be recognized and the Earth Goddess forgotten." (from "The "Unknown" Reality, Volume One (A Seth Book)" by Jane Roberts, Robert F. Butts)


Hi Sena,

I've always thought that this was a very insightful quote from Seth.


When I was young, I always wondered about this supposed virgin birth of Jesus. Why was that necessary? God made Adam and Eve and neither one of them were the result of any "virgin" birth.

It was only years later, that I began to understand that the Christian Church needed the birth of Jesus to be a "virgin" birth do to religious / political reasons. If Jesus's birth had actually been the result of a union between Joseph and Mary, then he too, would have been born of "original sin". And so, his birth "had" to be a virgin birth, in order to prevent this religious sticky point.  Thus, Jesus's birth had to be a virgin birth, not because this was what actually happened. Instead, it had to be a virgin birth due to religious / political necessity.  At this point, I began to wonder, what other Christian stories were being told due to religious / political necessity, and not because they were actual historical fact.


Later on I discovered that many historians believe this "virgin" birth story came about as a result of a mistake that was made when the Jewish writers translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek. This Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible is called the Septuagint.

In the Book of Isaiah, in the Hebrew Bible, there is a story about a "young woman" who will give birth. In Hebrew, the term actually used here was "young woman", as there was a separate term that could have been used for "virgin". However, when the Hebrew scholars translated the Hebrew Bible into the Greek, the Septuagint, they used the Greek word for "virgin" in this portion of the Book of Isaiah.

The writer of the Gospel of Matthew, having read the Septuagint, then interpreted the story from the Book of Isaiah as predicting the coming of the Messiah. Furthermore, since he read the Septuagint, he also concluded that the birth of the coming Messiah was to be a "virgin" birth. Thus, when he wrote the Gospel of Matthew, he tells us that Jesus's birth was a virgin birth because it was his belief that Jesus was he Messiah.

Thus we get a virgin birth story that was the result of: 1) a screwup in the translation of the Septuagint and 2) a religious necessity due to the belief in the "original sin" nonsense.

As you can probably tell from this, I'm not someone who believes in the Christian faith.


-jbseth


Offline Sena

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Quote from: jbseth
As you can probably tell from this, I'm not someone who believes in the Christian faith.

jbseth, join the non-believer club!!!
Having said that, I admit to having attended a Christmas Eve church service with my family. The crib story is a great one for our grandchildren. It was an old Anglican church out in the country in Norfolk, England, where, you may recall, American airmen were based in WW11.

Offline jbseth

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Hi Sena,

You won't get any flak from me for participating in any of the Christmas activities that occur around the Christmas season. There is a lot of good that takes place during this time of year.

I've attended Christmas eve services and they can be very powerful and moving. 

I personally interpret the Gospel of Matthews nativity story, with the wise men, the star, etc. as being a story that symbolizes, "The Light of God". For me, this represents "The Light of All That Is".


I love the lights, I think that they are beautiful this time of year when it get dark so early in the evening. I have a lighted nativity scene, with a lighted Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, 3 wise men and a star in my yard (see attached photo) and I think its beautiful too.


This may seem odd, coming from a person who says that they aren't a believer in the Christian faith; and I'm not. But I do recognize the positive outpouring that many people participate in, during this time of year and I fully support all of that.

It's very clear to me that much of what I actually believe in, aligns with much of Seth's teachings.

It's also clear to me that a lot of truth can be found and does exist in many religions.


Have a Happy New Year and "May the Force be with you." (Another truth I happen to believe in.)   :)


- jbseth



 


   

Offline jbseth

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Oh, Here's my Nativity scene, I meant to attach in my last message.

Offline Sena

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Quote from: jbseth
Have a Happy New Year and "May the Force be with you." (Another truth I happen to believe in.)   

jbseth, same to you!

Offline jbseth

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Hi Sena,

Speaking of lights, check out the image from Bing that showed up on my laptop this morning.

Was that a coincidence?  :)


- jbseth


Offline Sena

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Quote from: jbseth
Hi Sena,

Speaking of lights, check out the image from Bing that showed up on my laptop this morning.

Was that a coincidence?  :)


- jbseth

jbseth, yes, synchronicity does happen.



Offline LenKop

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Lately, there seems to be quite an open movement towards atheism, and much chagrin and sarcasm placed upon those that offer prayers when events such as massacres or disasters happen.

'prayers don't work', 'send money not prayers', 'still waiting for that prayer to work', etc...

But, ironically, the rationalists never really take a step back and look at the grand picture. From the 7 billion or so people that inhabit the Earth, a majority pray to some kind of benevolent deity, and the older religions have member numbers in their billions. So, if we look at the statistics in a certain light, wouldn't the logical conclusion be that prayer does work, since civilization has been marching on for thousands years and prayer is one constant practice, in various forms, over that time?

Australia has had major fires over this summer. Prayers were said and rain came shortly after. It's still burning but seems to be weakening. Not too many of the atheists were complaining about prayer after that.

Len

Offline Sena

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Quote from: LenKop
From the 7 billion or so people that inhabit the Earth, a majority pray to some kind of benevolent deity,
Lenkop, thanks for your comments. Most benevolent deities (Christian, Islamic etc.) are anthropomorphic; i.e. deities created by humans in the image of a human, usually a male human. One of Seth's most valuable teachings is his view of All That Is.

"When you realize that this is a symbol only then you begin to see more and come closer to an understanding, not further away from an understanding. There is no personal god-individual in Christian terms and yet you do have access to a portion of All That Is, that is highly attuned to you only above all others.

In this respect, you see, there is a personal god, if those are the words you use. There is a portion of All That Is, that is directed and focused upon every individual consciousness. A portion of All That Is resides within and is a part of every consciousness. Every consciousness is therefore cherished and protected individually. There are automatic electromagnetic connections that exist here.

One portion of All That Is, is instantly aware, for example of your most insignificant and significant problems—of yours and yours alone. This portion of overall consciousness is the portion that is individualized within you."

—The Early Sessions Book 7 Session 311 January 11,1967
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 03:37:39 AM by Sena »

 

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