The following letter was excerpted from The Nature of Personal Reality, session 646, page 226.
This is the context in which the letter appeared as noted in the book by Jane’s husband, Rob:
“Just yesterday Jane received a letter front a woman who described the onset, a few years ago, of extraordinary feelings of transcendent love for mankind. Her profound emotions still continued, although she had them under control. She had told no one about them, though, and wanted to know if we could ask Seth about their meaning. In addition, she had recently received a medical verdict about the certainty of her death within a year or two.”
This is Seth’s letter to the woman, and serves as an open letter to anyone who finds themselves in a similar position:
No man or woman consciously knows for sure which day will be the last for him or her in this particular life, that each calls the present one. Mortality with its birth and death is the framework in which the soul, for now, is expressed in flesh. Birth and death contain between them the earthly experience that you perceive as happening within a given period of time, through various seasons, and involving unique perceptions within areas of space—encountered with other human beings, all to one extent or another sharing with you events caused by the intersection of the self and time and space.
Birth and death then have their function, intensifying and focusing your attention. Life seems more dear in your terms, corporeal terms, because of the existence of death. It seems, perhaps, easier to have no conscious idea of the year or time that death might occur. Unconsciously of course each man and woman knows, and yet hides the knowledge.
The knowledge is usually hidden for many reasons, but the fact of death, personal death. is never forgotten. It seems obvious, but the full enjoyment of life would be impossible in the framework, now, of earthly reality without the knowledge of death.
You have been given an opportunity to study life and to experience it more fully than you ever have before in this existence. Its intensity and brilliance, its contrasts and similarities, its joys and its sorrows, are here for you to perceive, whose eyes are opened by the fact of the doctor’s pronouncement.
Now I tell you: That intensification, appreciated and understood, and the experience of life and living, accepted unconditionally, can bring you in this lifetime another birth in which the doctor’s pronouncements are meaningless. Spiritually the death sentence given you is another chance at life, if you are freely able to accept life with all of its conditions and to feel its full dimensions, for that alone will rejuvenate your spiritual and physical self.
The experience that you wrote of was significant on several levels, and of course was meant to reassure you ahead of time because of the events you knew would occur. The experience was to inform you emotionally and spiritually of the great meaning of each individual, portray the lovely brilliance that is within each human being, and let you know that the integrity of the self and the soul exists beyond the possibility of annihilation, as you yourself will continue to exist regardless of which path you choose to take—dying within two years, or living physically on for many more. In other words, you will continue to exist and to be fulfilled within that love you sensed.
You felt before, unconsciously, that you were drifting and that life had little meaning. Beneath the surface of events you felt unfulfilled, and felt that you had great courage and abilities with never a chance to use them, and no “heroic” episodes then to rouse you to fuller understanding, and no real impetus to lift you or to bring excitement into your days. Unconsciously, therefore, you chose a situation in which a crisis was precipitated, rousing all the greatest elements of heart and soul, so that they must strain to understand, to perceive, to triumph. And so you shall in whatever way is most important for you, and you will learn more and be more fulfilled than you would have been had those conditions not been initiated.
This does not mean that there were not other ways available that you could have chosen. You chose the set of conditions that you did hecause in past existences you were so terrified of death that you tried to hide its knowledge from yourself, and this time you placed it in the forefront of your attention.
In the entire fabric of your existence, this life is a brilliant, eternally unique and precious portion, but only a portion, from which you emerge with joy and understanding whether you die tomorrow or in years to come. The choice of life and death is always yours.
Life and death are but two faces of your eternal, ever-changing existence, however. Feel and appreciate: the joy of your own being. Many live into their nineties without ever appreciating to that extent the beauty of their being. You have lived before, and will again, and your new life, in your terms, springs out of the old, and is growing in the old and contained within it as the seed is already contained within the flower.
We are all travelers, whatever our position, and as one traveler to another, I salute you.