Found in the Peter Haining Archive ( though how it got there is anybody’s guess) is a letter addressed to Alec McClelland, author of The Lost World of the Agharti from someone called John Hanning-Lee.
Bearing no year date ( but it must be dated after 1982, when The Lost World of Agharti appeared ) it urges McClelland to read Seth Speaks by the American psychic and author Jane Roberts (1929 – 84), who from 1964 received spirit messages from a male being called ‘ Seth’, whose pronouncements were later made the subject of a number of published works by Roberts collectively known as the ‘Seth material’. In his letter Hanning –Lee particularly focuses on the chapter in Seth Speaks devoted to the lost underground civilisation that predated Atlantis. Hanning-Lee describes the inhabitants and their civilisation thus:
‘They had blown up their own civilisation prior to that and the underground existence that followed was, of course, a reincarnational one. They excavated whole cities, by that I mean they excavated extensively so that their cities and communicating passages were entirely beneath the surface. The means of doing this was by means of sound vibrations where certain low notes sounded with power can cause a tunnel to form where there was solid earth. I suppose an analogy would be if you were to manipulate iron filings so that a path was formed through a mass of them placed on a sheet of paper and the paper tapped lightly. These ‘ caves ‘ they formed were, then, far more extensive than the ordinary idea of the word ‘cave’ and ran for miles, Their knowledge of the plates of the Earth’s crust and the science of earthquakes was almost certainly far superior to ours.
You may wonder what use or interest it might be to yourself when all this was pre-Atlantis. The answer lies in the true nature of time. It is, apparently, not linear like we normally suppose with the centuries following on, one after another. Seth goes into this time idea in great detail, but the gyst of it is that it is somehow simultaneous and each civilisation exists in its own ‘ now ‘ moment, so that this ancient civilisation is not ancient at all, but is occurring now and, moreover, in and around us. The connecting links whereby a person from our civilisation can be aware of theirs are through one’s mind! Evidently, you have been unknowingly tuning into their ideas and thoughts and, apparently, you are not alone in this. I have not, but many do. So you are far from crazy in supposing that people live down in the Earth, but they do so in and around us within our own atoms. Even our sober and dignified Royal Society as long ago as 1958 in a presidential address spoke of the almost certainty that whole civilisations could exist in and around us. According to Seth this is indeed true and the only difference in his explanation is that their atoms are the same ones as ours, only in a different spin and the only way you can contact these people, as I say, is through the mind; through one’s own mind. It’s a staggering thought…’
The Seth material strongly influenced New Age thinkers, such as Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay and Richard Bach. In 1988 the physicist Michael Talbot found that Seth ‘ eloquently and lucidly articulated a reality I had arrived at only after great effort and an extensive study of both paranormal phenomena and quantum physics’. Indeed, when Hanning–Lee refers to Seth’s belief that the atoms of the hidden civilisation ‘in and around us are the same ones as ours, only in a different spin ‘he could be alluding to one of the precepts of quantum mechanics. [R.M.Healey]