Roberts (1929-1984) was an American author, poet and psychic.
She is best known as a trance medium who "channelled" an "entity"
named Seth. The publication of the Seth texts established her
as one of the preeminent figures in the world of paranormal phenomena.
She was also an author of short stories, novels, children's literature,
and metaphysical texts unrelated to Seth, including The Afterdeath
Journal of an American Philosopher, The Education of Oversoul
Seven and Adventures in Consciousness. In late 1963, Jane Roberts
and her husband, Robert Butts, experimented with a Ouija board
as part of Roberts' research for a book on ESP.
According to Roberts and Butts, on December 2, 1963 they began
to receive coherent messages from a personality who eventually
identified himself as Seth. Within weeks, Roberts began to hear
the messages in her head and to dictate them, and the use of the
Ouija board was eventually abandoned. For 21 years until Roberts'
death in 1984 (with a one-year hiatus due to her final illness)
Roberts held regular sessions in which she went into a trance
and channelled messages from Seth. Butts served as stenographer,
taking the messages down in homemade shorthand, although some
sessions were recorded. These messages from Seth, consisting mostly
of monologues on a wide variety of topics, are collectively known
as the "Seth Material". The Material through 1969 was published
in summary form in The Seth Material, which was written by Jane
Roberts with substantial excerpts from Seth.
Beginning with the 511th session in January, 1970, Seth began
to dictate his own books through Roberts. This series of "Seth
books" eventually totalled nine volumes, although the last two
books appear to be incomplete due to Roberts' illness. The list
of titles includes Seth Speaks; The Nature of Personal Reality;
The Nature of the Psyche, Its Human Expression; The Individual
and the Nature of Mass Events; The Unknown Reality; and Dreams,
Evolution and Value Fulfillment. Robert Butts contributed notes
and comments to all the Seth books, and thus he was a co-author
on all of them..