Probable Selves: Past, Present, Future

by Jannet Caywood
May 25, 2014

[Editor: Please see the endnote for current information relevant to this article.]

Most of the time we are focused on our physical existence and we see that existence in terms of linear time: a series of physical events; past, present and future. I have for a long time believed our existence to be much more dynamic and multidimensional.

I’ve recently read the book Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of The Soul by Jane Roberts.1 Since reading this book I’ve come to realize how truly multidimensional the soul is. While listening today some of you will say to yourselves “No, this is too much, I just can’t believe it.” Others of you will intuitively feel a resonance. Either way [after reading this] these ideas will now be part of your probable realities.

We create form (manifest) through our thoughts and emotions—we’ve all heard that “thoughts are things.” But our habit of serial thought and our three-dimensional attitude make it difficult for us to absorb or comprehend that our thoughts are real, they are probable realities. And if they are highly emotional, they can be more real than the thoughts we chose to make into physical events.

At any given moment in our daily lives, we make choices, some trivial, some important: what to eat for breakfast; to scratch our nose; pet the dog; cause harm to another; to reach out to someone in need. To us, life seems a series of actions taken, yet every thought is actualized, every possibility explored. Non-physical acts usually escape our notice and attention.

The Soul is not a finished product. It is always in the process of becoming. It has created for itself infinite acts in which infinite dimensions of fulfillment are possible. Reincarnation is but one facet in the whole picture of probabilities.

So, let’s take an example:

You are sitting reading a book when the telephone rings. A friend wants you to meet her later to take in a movie. You stand considering. In your mind you see yourself: (a) saying “No” and staying home to continue reading; (b) saying “No” and going somewhere else instead; or, (c) saying “Yes” and keeping the engagement. At that point, all these possible actions have a reality. They are capable of being actualized in the physical. Before you make your decision, each of these probable actions are equally valid. You choose one, and by your decision you make one event out of the three physical.

Though you have not chosen to actualize physically the other probable actions, they are as valid as they ever were. They are carried out as effectively as the one you chose to accept. If there was a strong emotional charge behind one of the rejected probable actions, it may have an even greater validity as an act than the one you chose.

When we don’t accept something as a physical event, we may fail to perceive its strength and durability. The unrealized connections that might have occurred, but did not, are worked out in other layers of reality. If you once wanted to be a doctor and are now in another profession, then in some other probable reality, you are a doctor. If you have abilities that you’re not using here, they are being used somewhere else.

Our probable selves are a portion of our identity as a soul. We are out of contact with them because our focus is on physical events and the belief that these events are reality. “Each probable system of reality creates other such systems, and any one act, realized, brings forth an infinite number of unrealized acts that will also find their actualization.” Each probable self has its own probable selves. “All exist simultaneously, each supports and adds to the other. This is true for probable selves, civilizations, Earths, universes and probable gods. But there is only one All That Is. The one All That Is, is aware not only of its own nature and of the nature of all consciousness, but is also aware of its infinite probable selves.”

To the extent that we are open and receptive, we can benefit from the experiences of our probable selves, gaining their knowledge and abilities. This often happens spontaneously, appearing as an inspiration while we are in the dream state, and is an experience not actualized on the part of another self. We tune in and actualize it instead and vice versa. “As an exercise, this can be done while in a waking state by imagining the “road not taken.” Your imagination will have opened the door and given you the freedom to perceive.”

Seth explains that, to “advance” as a consciousness is to become more and more aware of these other materializations of our own identity. The probable selves are to gain awareness of other probable selves, and realize that all are various manifestations of the true identity or soul.

Your thoughts and emotions, therefore, go forth from you not only in all physical directions but in directions that are quite invisible to you, appearing in dimensions that you would not presently understand. Now you are the receiver of other such signals coming from other probabilities that are connected with your own, but you choose which of those probable actions you want to make real or physical in your system, as others also have the freedom of choice in their systems.

According to Seth, there is a natural attraction between ourselves and our probable selves. This connection is electromagnetic and having to do with energy that appears simultaneously to ourselves and our probable selves in other realities and will show-up very strongly in the dream state as psychic connections that are emotional, sympathetic and uniting. In the dream state then, we have considerable communication between various parts of our entire identity or soul. We may have glimpses of probable paths not taken in this physical life but that did occur in another probable reality.

Also, we each have profound connections between ourselves and other individuals with whom we’ve had relationships or have been involved with in making deep decisions. These connections are of a telepathic nature in particular and may be beneath normal consciousness. Any unrealized physical connections with these individuals that may have occurred, but did not, are worked out in other probable realities.

One event can be actualized by more than one probable self and we will resemble some probable selves more than others. We can connect to some extent with the knowledge and abilities of other probable portions of our soul. These connections make for constant “bleed-throughs.” These “bleed-throughs” come quickly into our consciousness and bring a sense of strangeness as if they do not come from ourselves. For example: knowing things we could not have known; unexplained talents and attractions.

Seth tells us:

Where your vision fails, you think reality ceases … you must train yourself to look between events, between objects, within yourself when you do not seem to be doing anything. Watch out for events that appear to make no sense, for they are often clues to larger invisible events.

You can draw upon knowledge that belongs to these other independent selves. You can learn to focus your attention away from physical reality, to learn methods of perception that will enable you to enlarge your concept of reality and greatly expand you own experience.

It is only because you believe that physical existence is the only valid one, that it does not occur to you to look for other realities. Such things as telepathy and clairvoyance can give you hints of other kinds of perception, but you are also involved in quite definite experiences both while you are normally waking and while you are asleep.

Seth also advises this:

It is very poor policy to dwell negatively on unpleasant aspects of the past that you know, because some portions of the probable self may still be involved in that past. The concentration can allow greater bleed-through and adverse identification, because that part will be one background that you have in common with any probable selves who sprang from that particular source.

To dwell on the possibility of illness or disaster is equally poor policy, for you set up negative webs of probabilities that need not occur. You can theoretically alter your own past as you have known it, for time is no more something divorced from you than probabilities are.

The past exists in multitudinous ways. You only experienced one probable past. By changing this past in your mind, now, in your present, you can change not only its nature but its effect, and not only upon yourself but upon others.

Seth says that “Many people have at one time or another changed their present behavior in response to the advice of a ‘future’ probable self, without ever knowing they have done so.”

Pretend that an event that disturbed you is totally wiped out and then replace it with an event that is more beneficial to you. Do this many times, with great vividness and emotional intensity. The event you chose will automatically become a probable event that did in fact happen, though it is not the event you chose to perceive in your probable past. Telepathically, your idea will affect any one involved in the original event, though they may choose to accept or reject your new version.

Because there are “bleed-throughs” and interconnections, it is possible for us to tune into a “future event” while in the dream state. For example, one that is frightening to us, giving us the opportunity to choose to avoid the event and not experience it. Such a dream may be a message from a probable self that did experience the event.

Seth gives us the following analogy of the stream to help us understand probable selves:

The so-called stream of consciousness is simply that—one small stream of thoughts, images and impressions—that is part of a much deeper river of consciousness that represents your own far greater existence and experience. You spend all your time examining this one small stream, so that you become hypnotized by its flow, and entranced by its motion. Simultaneously these other streams of perception and consciousness go by without your notice, yet they are very much a part of you, and they represent quite valid aspects involved in other layers of reality.

You are as actively and vividly concerned in these realities as you are in the one in which your main attention is now focused. Only your focus of attention closes you off from them and from the events in which they are involved. If you think of your stream of consciousness as transparent, then you can learn to look through and beneath it to others that lie in other beds of reality.

Any creative work involves you in a cooperative process in which you learn to dip into these other streams of consciousness and come up with a perception that has far more dimensions than one arising from the one, narrow, usual stream of consciousness that you know.

Some of these streams of consciousness may involve the thoughts of what you would call a reincarnational self, focused in another period of history as you know it.

So, if you believe in what I’ve just told you, you can see our souls or identities have many more aspects than we’ve ever even imagined. We are, each of us, dynamic and multidimensional souls.

Editor’s Note

There have been and continue to be numerous people channeling entities. While some may be the result of an overactive imagination, some are supported by a growing body of scientific evidence.

Is it Seth or imagination?

As to the veracity of the Seth Material, a recent study examining the twenty-one years of the Seth Material, as compared to a large body of Jane Robert’s personal writing, strongly suggests that the material consistently originated from an independent intelligence.2

What does science say?

One of the ways the validity of the Seth material can be judged is by examining current science. In this essay, Seth reference to probable actions and actualized probabilities is consistent with current research on presentiment. This research shows that subjects can respond to information before it is presented, as if they are psychically sensing the growing possibility of the event. Our apparent ability to sense the future is closely linked with this concept.3

Seth speaks of probable selves and how they are part of our soul. This is consistent with the growing realization amongst researchers that our etheric personality (who we really are—one of many probable selves of our soul) is nonphysical whereas the physical body is more an avatar. The etheric self is increasingly seen as part of a collective within one Source called “All That Is” by Seth and known by Spiritualists as Infinite Intelligence.4 (This reference is not “scientific” but does represent some of the sources that seem to support Seth.)

Seth explains that to advance as a consciousness is to become more aware of other materializations of the self. This presupposes that people do not start out with full awareness of their other materializations of self. This concept is supported by current understanding that people unconsciously examine sensed psychic and physical information, and only becomes aware of the results of that examination and not the actual sensed information. In short, most of what people are aware of is filtered by their worldview. If other selves are not an accepted concept—not in the worldview—it will likely be ignored by the unconscious mind. The solution is to learn by some means, possibly mindful living, to become more aware of this unconscious process.5


It is important to test channeled material by seeking supporting concepts which are not derived via channeled material. Time has shown the Seth Material to be very well supported.


  1. Roberts, Jane, Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity Of The Soul, with commentary by Robert F. Butts, Amber-Allen Publ., New World Library; Reprint Edition (1994), ISBN-10: 1878424076.
  2. Cunningham, Paul F. (2012), “The Content-Source Problem in Modern Mediumship Research,” River University,
  3. Parapsychological Association Frequently Asked Question: 5: Presentiment Studies, February 11, 2011,
  4. Butler, Tom, Butler, Lisa (2013), “Hans Bender’s Message at Reno Séances,” Association TransCommunication, published in the Fall 2013 ATransC NewsJournal,
  5. Carpenter, James C., First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, ISBN-13: 978-1442213906, 2012

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