Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 15
October 25, 1957
INFLUENCE BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD AND THE MATERIAL WORLD
Greetings in the name of the Lord. I bring you blessings and love, my friends. I greet all my old friends, as well as those who have found their way here for the first time. I also greet my good friends who are not present tonight, and those far away. All who read my words should know they are not forgotten. You are all welcome, and even though this kind of communication may be new and unusual for some of you, I beg you to open your minds. Many things are possible of which you human beings have no knowledge at this time. Humanity will see many more things in the coming decades.
Tonight I wish to speak about the influence between the spiritual and material worlds. Much has been said about the influence of the world of spirit on the world of matter, but not as much about the influence the other way around. For both affect each other.
First I will discuss the influence of spirit on your earthly sphere. There are spiritual spheres throughout the universe: on the planets, within the different stellar systems, and even in the spaces in-between. Even within your earth-sphere you have all kinds of spiritual spheres, from the lowest to the highest. Since distance in the world of spirit is not measured by your geographical measurements, it is possible for many spheres to exist on the same geographical or material spot and to overlap. For example, one human person can live on earth, be in this room, and also be connected to a particular spiritual sphere, while another person in the same room can be connected to another sphere of quite a different level. I realize, my friends, this is extremely difficult for you to imagine, because distance for you is a question of space. Yet in absolute reality it is not so. A person is in contact with a sphere that corresponds to his or her general, overall spiritual development. Since no one on earth is harmoniously developed -- if you were, you would not have to live here -- you may at one time be in contact with a particular spiritual sphere, and when your mood changes, the currents coming out of your soul, your subconscious, and conscious mind, will connect you with quite a different sphere.
In my last lecture I explained to you about the higher self, lower self, and the mask self. Every human being has the first two, and perhaps ninety per cent of humanity also has to some degree the third, the mask self. For those of you here for the first time, it might be advantageous to read my last lecture, so that this lecture can be more fully understood. Wherever the higher self has been restored to its original state by shedding the surrounding layers constituting the lower self, it reaches out and automatically connects with the highest and most radiant spheres, even though you still live on earth, and even though, measured by distance, these very radiant spheres are hundreds of thousands of miles away. And wherever the lower self is still stronger and does not permit the higher self to shine through, connection is made with the forces of darkness, according to each person's attitude and development. In other words, one person's lower self may be lower than another's. Since each sphere is richly populated by spirits fitting into that particular sphere, you are all constantly in touch with spirits of varying spiritual development, as well as with the forces and currents generating from our particular sphere.
Some people make evil spirits responsible when their lower self takes over, meaning that they are not to blame. This is not so. Certainly, evil spirits can and do influence you, but only if and when you permit it by your laxity in pursuing your spiritual development and through your inclination to take the line of least resistance. You think that merely because your faults are not as bad as those of certain people of very low development -- a criminal, for example -- they do not matter so much. Even if your faults are only minor ones, not outright crimes or recognized sins, you are responsible. The higher your develop met, the more it is your responsibility and duty to perfect yourself. The more you are free of very wicked or evil trends, the higher your development evidently is. Therefore you possess more enlightenment and more strength and thus more can be expected of you. A so-called minor fault may count just as heavily for you as a crime would for a person of little or no spiritual enlightenment. Therefore, do not compare your faults and deviations from spiritual law with another's. Your comparison may be all wrong, because you cannot possibly judge where you stand compared to others. I am saying this because peel often make allowances for themselves either by saying or thinking, "I am not the only one who does that; other people are doing worse," or by putting the blame on evil spirits whose influence on them, they like to believe, is merely coincidental. By the same token, if higher entities from the world of God can guide, help, and influence you, it can be so only because your inner attitude has called them forth.
Wherever a human being is, a number of spirit beings of various stages of development are also close by. In every sphere there are specialists of all kinds. I have said this before and repeat it here because its significance is not yet fully understood. The world of spirit, in all its gradations, is much more specialized than your earthly sphere. This applies to the divine order and to the world of darkness as well as all the variations in-between. Each one of you attracts those specialists whose particular qualities, good or bad, you possess. For like attracts like inevitably, magnetically. When a human being grows up, he or she is surrounded by guardian spirits who belong to the order and organization of divine worlds, and they can come close to their protege only if he or she asks for divine truth and will, and tries to strive higher. Otherwise they have to stand back and watch from a distance. They will interfere only to protect according to past merits, following exact spiritual laws about which they are very careful and which they do not ever break, because these laws are perfection, love, wisdom and justice. This very same person is also surrounded by a number of other spirits not incorporated into the divine order. Some may belong to the world of darkness. If this person is not a criminal or a really sinful soul, very evil spirits will keep away, for they could not accomplish their specialty with such a person.
However, even the specialists of the so-called minor or everyday human faults belong to the world of darkness. They also operate according to their own laws, and accomplish just as much for their purposes as, let us say, a spirit of murder who influences a human being. If your fault is selfishness, there will be a selfishness specialist attached to you. If your fault is that you are inclined to furious outbursts, you will have a specialist around you of a type who will wait for you to permit it to take over, influence you and thus live through you. This gives it a great deal of satisfaction, not only because it thus fulfills its task, but also because it can indulge in its particular weakness. On the other hand, you may be completely void of envy, so you do not have a specialist of envy attached to you. But another person, not inferior to you in his or her overall development, may have this envy specialist around because of this fault.
So you must bear in mind that it is your own faults that pull the particular specialists close to you in the first place, and that they constantly wait for an opportunity to live through you. Thus you collude with them, and can get rid of them only through your personal endeavor to overcome your faults. But before you can do this, you first have to recognize all your faults, of which you are often unaware simply because you do not want to be burdened with such unflattering knowledge. Few people really want to know their faults. Most people admit that they have some faults, but to admit faults in a superficial way and to become fully aware of them are two different things.
So, for your own protection, each one of you should face himself or herself in utter honesty. You can be sure that whatever your particular faults are, you will carry with you and around you the corresponding spirit specialists who are waiting for an opportunity to inspire you to give in to your particular faults. And since it does not take a lot of pressure to succumb, and it is the easy and comfortable way, very often you follow these inspirations. The stronger the fault is within you and the less aware you are of its full significance, the closer this specialist will be to you! Thus it is at the same time both correct and incorrect for people who know about the existence of the beyond and the spirit-creatures to say that an evil spirit influenced them. When they say this, and mean by it that they are taking full responsibility for their own input, it is correct; but when they say it because they want to absolve themselves of personal responsibility and guilt, it is incorrect.
Between these low creatures and the higher entities of the world of God there are many spirits who are very similar to yourselves in their attitudes. They may be deceased people who mean well and are not particularly bad, but who do not yet belong to the divine order and are thus blind in many respects. They often seek to influence human beings because it helps them in some way, or simply because they have nothing better to do. They can learn from you if you take the spiritual path of self-development. However, if you are not stronger than they are, they will influence you, sometimes not harmfully, but, even though they may mean well, they do not inspire you to the best of your spiritual advantage because they are blind. Sometimes their guidance may be to your material advantage, which may or may not interfere with your spiritual progress, and sometimes their influence may be harmless, or appear harmless, but is ultimately to your disadvantage. When and to what degree this can happen is again no coincidence: their influence is inevitably called forth by your own inner attitudes.
If you meditate about this, about yourself, your life and your desires, you can find out what spirits are around you. Those of you who walk on the path of perfection, which is the only real protection you have, will not be bothered or influenced by spirits who do not fulfill the will of God in all respects. There are other means of protection, but they have only a temporary effect. If you are in disharmony -- for instance when you feel a quarrel brewing with your fellow-creatures -- and have the presence of mind to bring yourself to pray, to reach out for God within you, or to ask for spiritual guidance, this will surely help, and I recommend it strongly. But it will help only in this particular instance, because you do not always have such presence of mind. Sometimes you will be tired and will let yourself go, and then you become prey to these influences which, as we said, can have an effect on you only because of what is already within you. Therefore, the only definite and permanent cure and protection for you is to tear out the bad growths at their roots. This happens on the path of perfection and self-development, the path of happiness. If you are willing to take this path, you will be guided and helped. But first this will and decision must be clearly formulated within you; then it will be recognized. At that point your divine guidance can automatically and immediately get close to you and can, among other things, guide you to the proper human help which you also need in order to take this path. You will be guided to the place and the person best suited to your temperament and character.
This is how the different spiritual spheres with their respective creatures influence humans. Human beings are not helpless prey to these influences, but determine them. And by rejecting any influence that does not come from the divine world, a person not only takes hold of his or her own life but also weakens the forces of darkness, for the less they have to work with in the material world, the more power they must eventually lose.
Humans have another kind of influence on the world of spirit. I will try to give you a picture of this, though it can be only a very limited one. You know that, as I have said many times, your thoughts and feelings are spiritual creations. They create forms of all kinds in the spiritual world. If your life is in accordance with your destiny, and you fulfill the maximum you are able to according to your development -- which is very rarely the case -- you create forms that will build harmonious spheres, structures, and landscapes in the spirit world. This may sound incredible to some of you. However, my dear ones, I assure you it is true! The day will come for all of you when you will see this truth. As a matter of fact, when you see it, you will know what you have known all along in spirit. This knoll edge was only temporarily blurred from your consciousness while you were incarnated. People who give in to the lower self create forms that correspond to the quality, strength, and type of their lower self. This does not exclude their simultaneously creating harmonious and beautiful forms to the degree that their higher self is allowed to function.
Let us imagine that all humanity, meaning each individual, would follow the line of least resistance and give in to the lower self, and nurse it instead of fighting it. What would happen from our point of view? The overlapping spheres I have described would change in appearance. Humankind would strengthen and enlarge the disharmonious spheres, which would completely overcast the harmonious spheres of light, truth, love, and happiness, and push them into the background, so that they could affect humans less and less. As a result, only the influence of the disharmonious forces would have an effect. Humanity would thus constantly furnish material to the world of darkness, and its influence in turn would be that much greater on you. On the other hand, let us again imagine that all humankind -- each individual person -- would walk the path of perfection. Though this path would be different for each individual, because what may be necessary for one person may be much too difficult for another, yet, if all children of God, on whatever level of development, would try their best, the spheres of darkness and disharmony, evil and envy, hatred and prejudice, war and greed would be cast off and gradually dissolve. Divine creation, however, can never dissolve; it can only be pushed into the background so that it cannot affect the material world as long as the negative attitude remains in control there. Disharmony, with all its facets, can and must ultimately be destroyed and dissolved. So you can see very well not only how the spirit world affects you, but also how you affect it. A continuous cycle, whether vicious or benign, is set in motion between the two. This will never change as long as a material world exists; it must be this way.
For instance, if a group of human beings, perhaps only a very small group, comes together in the sincere and honest desire to serve God and His great plan, do you know what form we see in the spirit world? We see a very beautiful temple being built in the world of spirit. This group to which I manifest myself here is building such a temple, stone by stone. It is not completely erected, the roof is still missing, and it is not yet furnished, but the construction is well under way. Do not think that I speak symbolically; I am speaking the truth. This temple already exists in our corresponding spiritual sphere. You, my friends, who belong to this group, should know that while your bodies are resting, or sleeping as you say, your spirits are often guided to this site, and each one of you rejoices because you can see where you have furnished a stone. Each one of you who really tries, honestly and sincerely, and works on this path, furnishes many stones; not only the medium, but all of you do this who walk this path with my help.
And now, before I turn to your questions, I want to mention something that touches a more psychological aspect of the human being. Again, it would be necessary for the new friends to review what I have said before, in order to grasp what I am going to say now.
People often indulge in what is called daydreaming. No one thinks that there is anything wrong with that. You believe that it is not a harmful pastime, since you do not harm anyone with it. But it is harmful to yourselves. I will try to explain why. When very young people daydream, it is one thing; when they mature, they will get over it. If people continue to daydream as adults, however, it is another thing. It means that in some way such people have not matured; if they had, they would live in reality, not in fantasy. Daydreaming is very harmful because when you are doing it, you are escaping reality. If your life is very difficult, you escape from your actual life and its problems by conjuring up pictures of how you would like it to be. This means that you cannot solve your real problems since you are not willing to look at them and go to their roots.
As you know, there is no thought without substance and form. Daydreams create their forms, too, and these thought forms stand in the way of any fulfillment you might be able to bring about. It is very tempting to escape in this seemingly harmless way, but my advice is not to let yourselves be tempted, because these thought forms prevent your true fulfillment. In addition, you waste time. All the time you invest in this pastime could and should be utilized for true meditation, self-recognition, and development. Daydreaming can be compared, in a way, to taking drugs. Taking a drug once will not harm your body or spirit. But once you start, there is a danger that you will become addicted. There are many people addicted to daydreaming; they use up their energy to build these thought forms. In this way, they withdraw from the reality of life and from the reality they could create if they would not indulge in these particular thought forms.
Are there any questions in connection with this, my friends?
QUESTION: How would that apply to advertising?
ANSWER: This does not exactly fit into the subject of day-dreaming; however, what you mean is also harmful, but in a different way. Here again, all depends on the individual. If an individual takes what he learns from advertising as reality, then what might happen is that this may encourage his mask-self, which is not quite the same thing. The world of daydreaming I was speaking about, although it can also be influenced by advertising, is something that existed long before advertising. In other words, advertising is not actually the cause of it, but it may encourage it.
QUESTION: Where is the line of demarcation between the artist's concept and daydreaming?
ANSWER: This is a very good question. I would put it this way: When the artist puts daydreams into actual creations then they cease to be daydreams. When the artist plays with these thoughts of fantasy for the purpose of creating, of fulfilling, of giving something to other people and not in order to drug himself so as not to face an unpleasant reality, then he or she is on the right path and is not going over the borderline. And again, like in all these things, only each individual alone can determine where the borderline lies. Only by very severe self-testing can this be accomplished.
QUESTION: You said that it was difficult for spirits to focus their sight on physical bodies unless there was good reason for it. I wonder how it is possible for you or others to read?
ANSWER: It is possible because the thought contained in the written word is a form. Every thought is form, whether it is written, spoken, designed, or played in music; it does not make any difference. We see the thought forms.
QUESTION: In other words, you do not see the writing but you see the meaning behind the writing?
ANSWER: Yes, that is right. We can see the writing too, as we can see the human body. But again, only if there is a particular purpose; otherwise we see the form.
QUESTION: In the writing, do you see the color, the emanation of the thought-form, regardless of the type of person?
ANSWER: No, not regardless, because the color, the vibration, the frequency -- everything I mentioned previously -- is determined also by the characteristics of that person, his or her mood and general attitude. All that is taken into consideration and makes up a whole.
QUESTION: So something written by one person is very different from the same thing written by another person?
ANSWER: Yes, quite different.
QUESTION: May I ask in this connection: Is this in any way similar to certain psychometric readings by people who believe that they can determine the aura from a piece of art or some object?
ANSWER: Yes, that is right.
QUESTION: Speaking of daydreams and fantasies, I wrote a play about a former incarnation in Egypt and I wonder if I myself was in Egypt in a former incarnation?
ANSWER: At this opportunity, may I give a short explanation to all my new friends here? Spirits belonging to the order of the divine plan cannot and will not give this kind of information unless it serves a very good purpose, unless it is important for self-development. If and when this information should become necessary for you, you will receive knowledge of it, either through me or through another spirit, or through enlightenment that will come directly to you. But as long as this is merely an interesting speculation, we do not give such information, because if we were to handle this so lightly, there would be no purpose for the memory to be taken away from one life to the next. I know, there are many spirits coming through mediums who are very liberal with this kind of information. But they are not spirits of ours. It is easy to say, it satisfies human curiosity, and it can never be proven. A spirit could easily say to you "yes" or "no," and you would not know. You would be satisfied. But we do not do it that way. When such knowledge comes, it must have real meaning. It must be a key to your present life. Sometimes enlightenment is given on the subject of past lives. The country is rarely important, but other circumstances are important. Whenever truth pervades you about a previous incarnation -- and this goes for all of you -- you must have a feeling of victory, or liberation. It is as if a key were put into a keyhole and a door were opened, and all of a sudden you understand many, many things in your present life, such as difficulties, hardships, and tests. If that feeling does not accompany such information, do not trust it.
QUESTION: When, in the opinion of the spirit world, is a person initiated?
ANSWER: Well, since I am repeatedly asked this question, I will try to answer it briefly; however, before I do that, I want to say this: The danger with human beings is that they use very glibly and quickly certain key words and labels. This is harmful. It would sometimes be better if you did not even know about these words. From our viewpoint, initiation takes place when a person has really, wholeheartedly, not only in thought and theory but in practice, given his or her life to God; when no other considerations matter at all; when God is always put first. This does not mean that you should become fanatics or go into a cloister. On the contrary, God does not like fanaticism. What is meant by complete surrender to God is that material comfort, the desires of the ego, become secondary to considerations pertaining to God and his great plan, and the fulfillment of this life according to God's will. When this is recognized and a certain stage reached where this is consciously put into practice, then we might say that your word "initiation" could be applied.
QUESTION: The medium wanted to ask a question: Apart from biological reasons and the civil law, what are the spiritual laws in connection with marriage between brothers and sisters?
ANSWER: When people are incarnated in the same family or in the same environment, there are always karmic reasons; reasons connected to fulfilling a task. Now, brothers and sisters are often incarnated because love should be learned between these souls, but love in a certain way only. In other cases people should find themselves as husbands and wives, because when passion or sex plays a role, it becomes possible to learn to love where hatred existed before. It is easier this way. Between brothers and sisters this element is removed, because at this stage of their karmic relationship, it may be that love should be learned without the help of eros. Exactly this may just be their task. This is why, from the spiritual point of view, marriage is prohibited between souls who are incarnated as brothers and sisters.
QUESTION: Could you explain to me how the fulfillment of one's own will ties in with "Thy will be done"?
ANSWER: There is no problem here, my dear. When a person on the path wants something, he or she should first of all ask God, "Is it Thy will, Father? I will be open to receive Thy answer." And if you are open, if you do not keep your mind set in a certain way, if you are ready to accept God's answer to be quite the contrary of what you desire, then you will receive it. That is the only right thing to do. Where is the problem?
QUESTION: Because if I get an answer from God that is contrary to my wish, then how does it tie in with the teachings of "stake your claim"?
ANSWER: But your claim should not be what is against the will of God. And I teach you first of all to learn at all times and in all things how to be open to the will of God. You can only learn to put your own will aside. If you put the will of God first, if you do not love yourself more than you love God, when you have learned that, you will always be able to receive the answer. And when you have received it, then you can, as you say, stake your claim.
QUESTION: Why is there an urge in man to search for spiritual life?
ANSWER: Because the higher self or the divine spark is in everyone, and it urges you in exactly this one direction. The lower the development, the more layers of the lower self cover the higher self, the more this urge is covered up and eventually becomes nonexistent. But when a certain development is reached, the wish of the higher self pushes you. And again some voices of your lower self try to keep you away from it. That is the fight you have to wage within yourselves, each one of you. The higher your development, the unhappier you must become if you do not follow the voice of your higher self, or, for that matter, the voices of divine spirits inspiring you.
These higher spirits can only be around you because your higher self has freed itself sufficiently, at least to some degree. If you do not heed these voices, if you let other considerations, whatever they may be, stand in your way, you must become unhappy. You will feel frustrated, you will have no peace of mind. If you choose to follow this voice, if you have decided to take this path and remain on it no matter what, happiness must be yours. But it is always the divine spark, the higher self that urges you on, and you will not find peace before you have found what you set out to find. He who knocks will enter; he who searches will find.
QUESTION: In trying to separate the higher self from the lower self in order to really know ourselves, it sometimes happens that part of the higher self becomes mixed up with the lower self and vice versa. Is there any clue that might help us to understand this, to draw a distinction between the two?
ANSWER: Yes, there is, but I will not have the time to answer this now. As a matter of fact, I will give a whole lecture on this subject, which will complement previous ones about the psychological makeup of the human soul. It would also be very important for your psychologists, analysts, and psychiatrists to understand this. In my last lecture I spoke about the higher self, the lower self, and the mask self; and perhaps in the next lecture I will discuss how the currents of the higher self come forth, penetrate the lower self and in some spots come through clean and undiluted, and in other spots may be altered and put into wrong channels by the lower self through certain faults that you have.
QUESTION: Is there a relationship between dreams that you have when you sleep and daydreams?
ANSWER: There might be in a certain sense. Daydreams may also shed light on certain psychological factors present within the individual.
This question gives me a good opportunity to suggest to all of you working with me personally to write down your daydreams in your notebooks. Bring them to your personal sessions, or write about them in your monthly reports, if you are away. Because, as you very rightly said, there is a connection. The dreams show your subconscious desires in a slightly different way, but shed light also on other aspects of your inner makeup. Thus it can be very useful for your progress to consider the character of your daydreams. Please, all of you, add this to the various tasks of homework I have given you.
QUESTION: Is the next lecture going to be in English?
ANSWER: Yes, they will all be in English now.
QUESTION: I have a question about distances and geographical measurements. Is the spirit world in which you are and live also extending into the very distant stars, like the Milky Way?
ANSWER: Yes, into everything -- the whole universe.
QUESTION: You can travel with ease, in other words, into any space in the universe?
ANSWER: Space is no obstacle.
QUESTION: But the distance in some way must be there?
ANSWER: The distance is there only from the human point of view. I know this is impossible for you to imagine.
QUESTION: So two million light years don't have any meaning as measurement to you?
ANSWER: That's correct. Along the same line, if I am here now, but want to be in Switzerland, I am there in the same minute. And in the next minute, or half-minute, or fraction of a minute -- although we do not have these measurements -- I would be back. For me, if there is no spiritual distance, there is no distance. And yet, to go from here to the door may be an unsurpassable distance for a spirit.
QUESTION: Because of the density of the medium?
ANSWER: The spiritual attitude is the distance.
QUESTION: In other words, for you to be on Ras Algeth or any of the great stars is the same as traveling from here to a place which to us is a short distance?
ANSWER: It makes no difference. There is no time and space measurement in the spirit world compared to what you have here. The measurement we have is purely individual, spiritual, and psychological. Now, do not think that when I say "psychological," this is merely an idea; it is a fact. A spirit who has reached a certain development has the whole universe at its disposal up to the sphere it has reached. It cannot get higher until it reaches the respective development.
QUESTION: In other words, a lower developed spirit can't do it?
ANSWER: Any spirit has available only what is within the realm of his development, or below. There he is free.
QUESTION: Would you say it is like reading a book that takes us back many millions of years just as the thought of the spirit who is wherever he thinks he wants to be?
ANSWER: Yes, yes. But it is not only an idea, it is actually so.
QUESTION: But the human mind cannot conceive it?
ANSWER: It is almost impossible for you to conceive it unless you sense it, you feel it in meditation. But then you will find you cannot express your knowledge to others.
With that, my friends, I will return into my world. I leave you with God's blessings. May you be in peace. God is with you.
Edited by Judith and John Saly
For information to find and participate in Pathwork activities world wide, please write:
The Pathworkâ Foundation
PO Box 6010
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6010, USA
Call: 1-800-PATHWORK, or
The following notices are for your guidance in the use of the Pathwork® name and this lecture material.
Pathwork® is a registered service mark owned by The Pathwork Foundation, and may not be used without the express written permission of the Foundation. The Foundation may, in its sole discretion, authorize use of the Pathwork® mark by other organizations or persons, such as affiliate organizations and chapters.
The copyright of the Pathwork Guide material is the sole property of The Pathwork Foundation. This lecture may be reproduced, in compliance with the Foundation Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Policy, but the text may not be altered or abbreviated in any way, nor may the copyright, trademark, service mark, or any other notices be removed. Recipients may be charged the cost of reproduction and distribution only.
Any person or organization using The Pathwork Foundation service mark or copyrighted material is deemed to have agreed to comply with the Foundation Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Policy. To obtain information or a copy of this policy, please contact the Foundation.