Voice: In Voice you wax philosophical. How did you get into all this New Age/metaphysical philosophy?
F. P.: New Age. My thoughts on the philosophy are similar to my thoughts on the writing of its fiction. It’s a term I’ve come to not like—and only because of all the negative connotation associated with it—otherwise, I have nothing against the term nor the “movement.” “New Age” has been around a long time. The concepts have been so associated with floozy philosophies and daisy power that I think it’s hurt the label. And since humans like to label things, I think we might need a new label—or a reeducation. But I like to think that my work can help change perceptions. Get people to be [more] introspective. Expand their awareness by considering other possibilities for why things might be. Give consideration to what might be happening in the background of our lives. Get them to not-so-easily dismiss the little “weird occurrences” that happen to our lives, for they are many! I’m not setting myself up as some guru or saying I know everything…I’m just trying to show other possibilities about why things might be.
I got into my Weltanschauung (world view), kind of interestingly. As I mentioned, I’ve always been interested in the strange and weird…the paranormal. As a youngster I had gotten these weird mailers for “occult” and supernatural books and I’d send away for them. Then one day—I had to be around 14 or so—I got a particular flyer for a book called Seth Speaks, by Jane Roberts. It totally blew my mind! It kicked ass with respect to human thought and why we were all here, and anything else you wanted to ask. It—and all of Jane’s successive books that I bought—was simply and utterly amazing. If any of this was true, man, the world changes we could effect! It was staggering! The information came from Jane Roberts, as she channeled an “energy personality essence” who called itself “Seth.” All major religious change started from some kind of inspiration, and I maintain that “channeling”—while I am highly, highly suspect of anyone who outwardly claims this, highly, highly suspicious—is no different than anyone else’s inspiration: John the Baptist or John Smith, you pick the “john,” the leader. And I’m not saying just because you’re inspired you’re right. I’m just talking pure mechanics, here. Followers and writers just call it “inspiration”—or madness. Who’s to say that inspiration isn’t channeling? That our ideas, though coming from us, our personality vessels, might not also come from something or someone deeper within? Not just God, but other “personalities” within us…nonphysical energies behind and a part of who we are? Might they not come from “world views” like has been written about in The World View of Paul Cézanne, and The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher? And if this was true (which I feel it is)…isn’t it exactly how it might work? Just think outside the box for a second. Now, whether or not you should hang your hat on any of this inspiration is another story…but, again, I’m just talking about the involved mechanics…not the content of the inspiration. Inspiration can be misinterpreted. But, then again, all interpretation is highly individual…and is interpreted by individuals as it will and must be. But that still doesn’t make it “right” for others.
So I read this Seth material and was stunned by every word of it. Amazed. Even downright scared at times. I remember one day, as a kid, going to my mother and talking to her about this. I told her how scary some of it sounded, and asked her how could it be real? I don’t recall much of the conversation, but I do remember my mom being very supportive and understanding, and somehow putting me to ease. Must be a mother thing.
Voice: It is.
F. P.: So, as I grew up, I continued reading absolutely any book Jane and Seth (Jane’s husband, Rob Butts, transcribed all these books as Jane related them aloud) put out. I also studied religion—I was actually raised Roman Catholic—and philosophy. I did this both on my own and while studying in college. I was actually one class short of a philosophy minor. I decided to see if these concepts really worked. See how much of life’s questions they could answer—and I don’t mean like those simple “it’s the Devil’s work” wave-of-the-hand snippets. I needed more…and what “more” was I wouldn’t know until confronted with it. Well, what I found—and I’d actually gotten back into the traditional religious side of things for a spell—was that whether I was “religious” or wasn’t I would get what I wanted…so how could one faction be wrong and the other right? Well, these mind-bending philosophies from Jane’s books explained everything to me—or a helluva lot more than anything else out there I’d ever read before or since—including traditional eastern philosophy. Seth’s work is like a Venn Diagram: I can place absolutely every other philosophical thought or concept or issue into the answers and explanations I got from Seth/Jane’s books, but not the other way around. I used my life experience to prove these concepts and didn’t just blindly accept what I had read. I simply found that “Seth/Jane’s concepts” worked in everyday life. Whether or not she channeled the information or “made it up”—it didn’t matter to me, it all worked, and made sense to me, even if they didn’t appear to work.
F. P.: Most of the concepts are based on us controlling and creating our own lives—not everything that is, but our physical lives. That we are the energy behind the rocks and trees and pollution, you name it. God, or as I prefer All That Is, is the energy behind us. Within us. Allowing us our lives and value fulfillment. Giving us unconditional love and support. In a nutshell. There’s a little more to it, but that’s why there’re so many books on the subject. So, when things don’t work, the philosophy explains why it doesn’t work, and there could be any of a number of reasons. For example: say you have a fear of intimacy—and most of our seeming failures, by the way, seem to be related to some kind of fear—you seem to get close to a person, but always end up breaking up…or never finding that one “perfect” person. Well, the quick and dirty explanation could be that you—not the world, not the people you’re dating and meeting—but you are the one pushing people away. You are bringing into your life situations that consciously or unconsciously reinforce your system of beliefs that (maybe) you are unworthy. Your fears are keeping you from finding who you want…not that there’s no one out there for you. The people that are coming into your life are there for their reasons as well, but this doesn’t negate that you brought your version of them into your life to begin with. You attracted them. So, the theory goes, by changing your beliefs, which is not always an easy thing to do (but should be), I’m saying you’ll change your life. We all interact with each other for our own physical and nonphysical reasons, but our own circles of influence are brought on by us…individually and en masse…not by any “external” forces or causes. We bring everything into our own lives, good and bad. Any further explanation here, gets book length, and that’s why there are so many books! The books get very detailed.
In any event, I try to incorporate aspects of all this philosophy into all I write. Sometimes it’s more obvious than others. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s sexy, as with Voice.
Voice: Well, thank you for some insight to your philosophy and how it ties into your work!
F. P.: You’re most welcome!
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