[The following is an excerpt from The World View of Paul Cézanne by Jane Roberts. — Gabriel Hartley]
(This Introduction was dictated along with other material by Seth in sessions 780, 781, 784, and 790, for June 22 and 28, July 19, 1976, and January 3, 1977.)
Anyone will tell you that Cézanne is dead, that his paintings were executed on canvas, and so his art escaped the dissolution of his flesh. Almost anyone will tell you that Paul Cézanne’s thoughts died with his body, that his brilliant mind was dependent upon the mechanics of his brain, and that with the brain’s crumbling, Paul Cézanne’s thoughts and dreams disintegrated. Almost anyone will tell you that nothing remains of Paul Cézanne except those paintings, flung from the great creative genius of a once-living man.
An artist does paint himself into his paintings, yet he is the source out of which those paintings emerge, even as Paul Cézanne himself, the living man, was a creation formed by an inner, say, multidimensional artist. The artist can never express all of himself in a painting, and a psychological entity can never express its full reality in one life.
Almost anyone will tell you that you can see Paul Cézanne’s ideas about the world by viewing those paintings that are still realities in the physical universe, though Paul Cézanne himself is not.
The thoughts of each person, however, are impressed upon a medium far more permanent than canvas—indestructible, a medium that will not age or warp, more dependable than the finest linen. In that greater gallery of psychic attainment each person is given a place to exhibit his or her “picture of the world.” There are no entry fees or judges. Symbolically, however, in that infinite gallery there exists a unique, individual view of the world as seen through the eyes of each person ever graced to follow the paths of physical experience.
Each picture is on display and available to anyone who understands how to enter this inner gallery of the mind. If there were a sign outside it would read, “The Gallery of the World’s Mind.” It contains therein the private opinions of the world as it was, or is, or will be encountered by each one of the human beings who experience its reality.
Here there are inner galleries upon galleries—soldier, priest, seamstress, butler, poet, harlot, kings, queens—all of these are given equal berth, and each individual view of the world is presented as the actual living account of one person’s encounter with physical reality.
Each thought in the mind of a man or a woman is like a living brushstroke, made on a multidimensional canvas.
In usual terms, a life consists of conscious events which ride upon numberless unconscious thoughts and activities. If it were possible for a gifted artist to paint a life portrait of any given individual, then in usual terms, this would consist of some gigantic painting depicting all. of the physical events in which that person was involved. There would be scenes of birthdays, weddings, Saturday afternoons, Tuesday mornings, innumerable still lifes with breakfast tables long forgotten. The subject would be shown surrounded by friends in youth and old age, and by numerous anonymous faces of persons perceived but unknown.
If this rather bizarre and certainly considerable endeavor was accomplished, however, the life portrait would hardly be complete, for the artist—however gifted in usual terms—would not be able to see the subject’s thoughts. Nor would he be familiar with the exact shape of the dreams, aspirations, plans, and unexecuted accomplishments with which the subject would also have been intimately involved.
For that matter, the subject might have forgotten many dreams or plans that were once important, and certainly he or she could not keep track of the unconscious activity that goes on in the mind all of the time.
In our “Gallery” of world views, however, we have the entire picture, so to speak. Following our analogy, comparing each thought to a living brushstroke, then each person is in the process of forming a vibrant creation, giving shape and form to the unique impression of the world as he or she experiences it. Each thought, or each brushstroke, however, is also endowed with creativity. It interacts with all the other elements of this multidimensional structure.
The painting itself is indestructible. It is not static, however, as an ordinary painting is. Now obviously in objective terms there is no place, in space or out of it, in which such an unofficial living art gallery can be found. In the most important of ways, however, our analogy is true, for each person creates an indelible, individual, and masterful multidimensional picture of the world, seen from one viewpoint and no other.
Also, thoughts are volatile, indestructible. They do interact with other thoughts, form patterns. In a way, they are like electromagnetic species, only alive at other ranges of activity. As each person lives his or her own life, aware, say, of only the painting’s foreground, each thought and feeling is projected out and onto this greater multidimensional canvas of the psyche. This painting or world view, again, is itself alive, though its terms of reality are different than yours.
Each world view is so extensive that no one can see [XIV] its entirety at a glance, and no one can perceive it with out being changed also. In this case, the painting knows it is being viewed and it reacts, as physical paintings in your terms generally do not. Going back to our analogy, this gallery is open all of the time. You could conceivably stroll through it, however, surrounded by masterpieces but seeing nothing. These paintings, then, or world views, spring “into visibility” only under certain conditions. They are perceptive, these “paintings,” alert. They recognize in our passersby those who are of like mind or intent. They are aware of dreams or thoughts that complement their own existence.
Again, anyone will tell you that Paul Cézanne is dead, and that his thoughts about his art and about the world vanished with him, except for those he physically executed. Paul Cézanne’s world view, composed of his thoughts and feelings, still exists, however. He saw the world through his art. In a manner of speaking, that world view has been impressed upon Jane Roberts’ mind. This does not involve a passive reception, but a lively interaction at levels most difficult to describe.
Certain elements of Cézanne’s world view were attracted to the “canvas” of the Roberts mind because of elements it found there. In the same way, certain purposes, abilities, and intents of the Roberts mind searched out particular kinds of information from the Cézanne world view and ignored other data. The Cézanne world view, then, could quite legitimately be put together in millions of ways; according to the different kinds of classifications and organizations sought or requested.
You live surrounded by a physical environment. The past seems built into it, so that you read your planet’s history through the ages of its rock layers, say. You also live, however, in an inner psychological environment that you do not perceive so readily.
Speaking now in terms of time, your planet’s psychological history can also be “read,” but through [XV] techniques that are mental or psychic rather than physical. Thoughts are far more vital and active than, say, fossils, for while fossils change with time, thoughts do not. The physical landscape, in the terms in which we are speaking for your convenience, exists by merit of the many layers of “past” physical activity beneath. When you try to examine fossils that may be embedded in rock, however, you can examine them only in your own physical time—hence organisms once alive have turned into the dead fossils of your perception.
The planet’s psychic or psychological environment is not layered in that same fashion. Time does not affect it. Thoughts do not tum into psychological fossils, then, for “uncovered” from what seems to be the past, they are as alive as ever.
They retain their responsiveness as well. Thoughts, then, in your terms, are electromagnetic properties. While you think thoughts, you do not own them. They do not stay like tamed animals within the cage of your skull, for example. They are automatically released, and have their own vitality. This forms the planetary psychological environment, which is open to all and provides a bank of psychic nutriment from which each may draw, even as each of you benefits from the physical environment.
You have learned how to mine the earth. You have learned how to farm it, wedding your conscious knowledge to nature’s design, but you have not learned how to harvest thoughts, nor even begun to understand the nature of the psychological environment in which you also have your being.
In certain terms it is true to say that the universe not only thrives upon information, but is composed of self informing entities of whatever nature. Your sense equipment and your methods of using it are responsible for the kinds and amount of information that you perceive. You cannot possibly hold all the information flowing through the universe. For one thing, there are infi[XVI]nite ways to organize such information, and each way forms about it a universal reality of its own. You are equipped, however, to receive and understand far more information than you do.
The woman through whom I speak is learning to harvest thoughts in a kind of agriculture of the mind. To do this, you must learn to change to some extent, and only momentarily, the organizational stance that is your own characteristic one. To this extent you reach out, searching for and attracting other information than that which you would normally, yourself, perceive.
Usually you organize your perceptions in what can be said to be a highly limited fashion, searching from experience only that information with which you are yourself primarily concerned. Your thoughts attract others like themselves, and you gradually have a picture of reality that mirrors your own interests and purposes quite faithfully. As you become more interested in others, perhaps you broaden your experience, and have a more comprehensive picture of reality. You might travel, for example, but you broaden your personal scope.
To broaden your psychological scope, however, is something else, and this involves a kind of psychic or psychological travel, so that you can move from your own picture of reality at least to some degree, and visit a psychological picture of the world that is not your own.
The World View of Paul Cézanne is the result of such a psychic and psychological mobility. Cézanne’s thoughts are as alive as ever, in your terms; his psychological picture of the world as brilliant and vivid as ever. It exists as surely in the psychological environment as his pictures do in physical reality.
If you wanted to view an original painting or sketch by Cézanne, you might have to travel to another state or country to see one. You would accept this as quite natural. You would look at such paintings with your own eyes, whether you had good vision or poor, and [XVII] interpret them with your own mind. The person standing next to you, viewing the same painting, might quite as legitimately have different opinions of it than yours, even though the same picture was involved.
In the case of this manuscript, The World View of Paul Cézanne, the Roberts mind momentarily and purposefully gave up its own characteristic view of reality and traveled psychologically into the realm of Paul Cézanne’s.
There is no time barrier at such levels. In your terms, it is as if the Roberts mind simply switched to an elevated superhighway that is not visible usually from a lower one. Such a venture can in certain terms be called psychological archaeology, but only if you understand that present, past and future exist at once in these other areas of psychic and psychological activity.
Now it is not possible to completely divest yourself of your own world view, and to do so would not serve any purposes. When an archaeologist picks up a fossil in his hand it does not wiggle. When Roberts uses her mind like a net there is, however, an interaction for the Cézanne thoughts, still active, “wiggle,” and fall into the top of our figurative net, slipping and sliding, some falling down to mingle with Roberts’ own thoughts, which have momentarily been put to sleep at the bottom of the net.
I simply want to emphasize the fact that thoughts are living, not passive. They are not collected, like rocks. They are more like butterflies. Roberts momentarily then left the framework of her own psychological reality, and used Cézanne rather than Roberts as the organizing impetus, so that the contents of the mind were rearranged and Cézanne’s picture of the world was transposed over Roberts’ own.
Again, thoughts are electromagnetic. The Roberts’ view of reality and the Cézanne view to some extent merged through thoughts’ attracting properties. The Cézanne view was momentarily imprinted, or stamped, [XVIII] or stained, or cast upon the Roberts mind, but in an active interplay, so that, for example, the Cézanne world view was also altered.
The world view of Paul Cézanne was altered only, however, in the same way that you might say a painting is changed by a perceiver’s interpretation of it. In this case the Roberts mind was not relying upon physical visualization, but upon a larger range of inner sense, upon which the Cézanne world view was allowed to play. At no point in his lifetime did Paul Cézanne become aware of his own world view, see it clearly and concisely, for it did not exist in its entirety in ways that he could consciously comprehend.
It was composed of his thoughts and emotions, but it also existed by virtue of the larger overall attitudes and conceptions upon which his conscious life rested. It is not that the conscious mind is unaware of such unconscious activity out of some native blindness. It is simply that any individual uses precise consciousness to “paint in” events in the foreground of reality, concentrating upon detail, while the background is taken for granted.
Paul Cézanne’s reality continues. In a manner of speaking, you can say that he outgrew the canvas of his own earthly experience. Portions of his world view exist in his paintings, physically manifest, expressed in terms of the art to which he devoted his life. The living of a life is in itself, however, an art form of far greater proportion. This manuscript should enhance that multidimensional but uniquely earthly existence, the art of earth living, in which each of the readers of this book is involved.