Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 27
April 11, 1958
ESCAPE POSSIBLE ALSO ON THE PATH
Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I bring blessings for all of you, my friends.
Since the majority of human beings have in some basic way a wrong attitude -- psychologically or spiritually speaking -- one of the first things that happens when you start on this path is that a change must take place in your life. Moreover, it often happens that you are not even aware of this basically wrong attitude. Yet, due to your otherwise sincere desire to go on the path of self-development, self-recognition or purification, or whatever other name you chose to give it, guidance starts in, partly from guardian spirits and partly emanating from your own higher self that wishes to draw your attention to this wrong attitude. This holds true not only for those people who are very new to the Pathwork. As a matter of fact, we can often observe human beings who are sincerely desirous to walk on this path, who are open in many respects, who are genuine truth-seekers, and yet they are blind in one or two respects to their own inner makeup. This applies even to people who have discovered many truths and who are advanced in some ways, yet there is one blind spot in them, a stubborn resistance to facing their outer and inner dilemmas.
Oh yes, the outer conflicts are always noticed, but you all know the outer conflict is only a reflection of the inner one. Yet people so often have the wrong attitude; in a very subtle way they think if they are trying to advance in a certain way, the outer conflict will eventually cease and they somehow expect conditions to change according to their own ideas, the preconceived ideas they have formed because of this wrong basic attitude. So you overlook the simple fact that first your ideas have to change before the vexing conditions have a chance to change too. Thus you find yourself at a certain crucial point on this path in a vicious circle: you wait for a change in your conditions, while the conditions wait for you to change your ideas.
I want to draw your attention to this, my friends. This applies not only to those friends who are truly beginning this path now, but also even more strongly to those who have been on this path for quite some time and who have been sincere in their endeavors. You see, my friends, you have to try hard not to evade the issue any more, and yet this is what you are constantly doing. Sit down quietly, my friends, and consider calmly what your worries, your conflicts are. These may be numerous. In one case, it may be a problem of human relationship; in other cases something else. But whatever the problem is, be aware that this problem is in direct connection with an inner wrong attitude of yours and pray for recognition, for guidance, for enlightenment in this respect. If you search in this direction at all and if you are really open to find your particular answer and to see the connection of your outer problem with the inner one, guidance can be given; or rather, the recognition will come to you, for often the guidance is there but you refuse to see it! You refuse to see the signs, the many pointed signs, that are constantly given you. And you go on turning away from this particular issue. You search in another way; you make excuses for yourself; and you try to tell yourself that your outer problem has other connections.
Now, my friends, to be on this path in itself is no guarantee of escape. You all know that anything can be an escape. This is true certainly of religion and even of this path! For instance, if you take the words that are given here and interpret them in a wrong way, in a way that suits your own self-deception, then the path is used as an escape. If you are blind to that part of the teachings that could open your eyes, but there is something in you that struggles against hearing the truth, and so you busily do not hear that which could be useful for you, while you continue to be very much impressed by things that may be true and beautiful but are less important for your particular case, then these teachings are an escape. Do not believe that simply by being on this path, simply by following some of my advice, simply by reading these lectures, or simply by meditating and praying every day you have a guarantee that you can face yourself, or that you do not escape what is yet unsolved in you. This may surprise you, my friends, but it is important to understand. Everything you do is always accompanied by the question of how you do it. The fact that you are doing such and such is not yet sufficient and will never guarantee that it will lead you out of your own darkness. So it depends entirely on how you go about doing this Pathwork and what you are willing to face.
Now, my friends, I want to say this: That which you so often avoid facing is not necessarily something that is deeply covered in your subconscious. Oh no. It very often is right in front of your nose. It is so obvious; it is so simple that you do not want to see it. You often look for answers too far away. You strive for things that may be much harder to find, but what is right in front of you, you continue to disregard.
It is true that many people who are spiritually not very advanced as yet seem to get away with so much. But once you have attained a certain level in spiritual development, even though you do escape from some of your inner conflicts, you must face stronger repercussions if you continue stubbornly in your avoidance. So you may not be able to get away as others do. And this may be a very good direction for you because this must, in a way, be a confirmation for you where you stand and that there is something wrong with the way you work spiritually that you have not seen. But if you keep this possibility in sight, as you struggle with yourself and overcome your resistance by recognizing it and praying for help, then the recognition will come. It must come! And all the outer signs that point to the solution will suddenly begin to make such clear sense to you; the answer will become so logical and will make a complete picture. And that sense of a wrong attitude which you had expected to change somehow, according to your own ideas from the outside, will then actually for the first time begin to change from the inside because you have made an inner change and therefore you will act differently in an outer situation as a result of your inner change. Once you have discovered this, you will see that your free will is very powerful and yet your free will alone, without the help of God and the guidance He gives you provided you choose the proper attitude, is nothing. That realization will come to you, but you have to allow it by making a change in yourself.
How to begin may be the question for some of you, my dear friends. Here I say to you: it is not as difficult as it may seem. Try to formulate your ideas and begin with your own problem in the simplest of terms. Simplify it; do not make it so complicated. Whatever outer problem is there, try to connect it with your various faults. At first sight, this may seem impossible and entirely unconnected. But I assure you it is not. It never is. Usually it is not just one fault that is responsible, because one fault is always connected with another. There is a whole nucleus: they all interact. If you can connect these various shortcomings with your problem, half the battle is won.
If you do not as yet clearly realize the connection, if you perhaps sense or feel something, but cannot quite make the connection, pray sincerely and openly for this realization. The answer is then very near, my friends. Whoever is really open and truly desirous to find an answer, disregarding all resistance, must receive it, no matter what, without exception. So try to do that, my dear ones. Every one of you has something with which you are not quite satisfied in your life: perhaps a desire that is unfulfilled, or some problem big or small. Take your faults and weigh them; deliberate on them. What could be directly or indirectly responsible? Then go a step further. You all know that each fault is a violation of some spiritual law. You may, perhaps, present a fault to me in a lecture session; ask me, and I will show you which spiritual law is broken by this fault. And this will then give you the proper meditation how to handle the fault. And so you can make further connections if you start meditating on the violation of the spiritual law by this fault of yours that is responsible for your immediate problem.
I can promise you results if you go about it in this way. Then this path will not be another form of escape. It will be reality, as it should be, and will bring you to the most important thing that this earth-life stands for, namely, facing yourself. Try to remember this; do not go over my words superficially. Reread them carefully; ask yourself whether you are willing to do it. This may be something new to you. You may have tried other things in other ways, but try it in this way now.
And then, my friends, try to observe from a little distance and with a little detachment your own reaction when you do this. That should be a very interesting phenomenon to you, for it should furnish you with some clue about the conflicting currents in your own soul. There is one part of you that truly desires to advance and to sacrifice the comfort of self-deception. But there is also another part of you that struggles violently against it. If you can bring yourself to view these conflicting parts of yourself like an emotionally uninvolved bystander, for the moment at least, then you will know what is going on in you and how much these resisting parts of yours are responsible for your trials and tribulations in life. That is very important. When you go about following through what I have just advised you, do not take for granted that, because of your outer good will and sometimes superficial good intentions, these resisting parts of yours are something to belittle. In fact they have to be reckoned with as a powerful opponent. You have to face that part of yourself too, not merely the fault itself. You have to realize there is a side in you that does not want what the other side in you wishes. To recognize this discrepancy is the most important factor of all. So far you have always rationalized the conflicting or fighting part. You were so affected by this negative side in you that the good or positive side in you that wants the right and wise thing was overpowered. You rationalized this defeat with all sorts of other explanations. And then, my friends, even the most intelligent of you, even the wise ones, became very blind and very unintelligent in this one respect because of evasion. Evasion is blindness, and blindness is the contrary of light or enlightenment.
There are three major parts of the self to be dealt with on this path of purification: the conscious mind, the unconscious, and the subconscious. The two latter are not at all the same. The unconscious is that which could be conscious if you would choose to look in the proper direction. You are simply unaware of it because your inner gaze is pointed to another direction. But the moment you change the direction of your view, it becomes conscious. It is very much there and very much on the surface. You have to make this distinction very clearly.
When you begin on this path, as I have explained to you many times, you first deal with the conscious; and I have given you various tasks and advice on how to go about it and how to formulate simply, in a concise and organized manner, that which is already conscious. But before you delve into the subconscious, you have to meet the unconscious first. What I have so far explained to you in this lecture is the unconscious, and I have shown you here how to deal with it. Only after you have eliminated some of these problems will we consider how to go into the subconscious layers that are important for you to become aware of.
There may be many images that have formed during your early years and which affect your life now. Some of these images you bring with you from previous incarnations, of course, but, due to their existence in your soul, incidents have occurred in your life that brought them to the surface. In the right kind of spiritual progress, everything that pertains to your growth will be brought into awareness at the proper time and in the proper manner. The borderline between these three divisions -- conscious, unconscious, and subconscious -- cannot always be clearly defined, but, generally, you should keep this division in mind, so I am giving you this task, my friends. Those of you who have followed through with my advice concerning the first conscious layer, try now to look at the unconscious, that part which you are unaware of but which is right in front of your nose. Take your immediate hardships or problems and handle them in the way I have shown you.
Now I will mention three main faults in the human character. These three main faults, from which stem directly or indirectly all your various individual shortcomings, are self-will, pride, and fear. This is very important, my friends, for you to realize. You may not think fear a fault, but I am telling you that it is; if you would have a faultless person, he would be unafraid. You all know that the opposite of fear is love. But this knowledge in itself will not be sufficient for you to understand why fear is a fault. First you should understand that these three main faults are connected with one another. It would hardly be possible for you to have one or two of these faults without the third. But what may be possible is that out of the three one or two may be unconscious, while the third is quite strongly apparent, even to yourself. Thus, it is very important to write your daily review and to check your reactions to all you have felt during the day in response to often seemingly unimportant incidents. If you try to formulate concisely an unpleasant inner reaction of yours, you will always come to the conclusion that most of the time there is an element of fear involved in it -- fear that perhaps other people do not do what you wish or do not react according to your liking. In other words, if there is a strong self-will, the fear is there automatically that this self-will will not be gratified, or that your pride may be hurt. If you had no pride, you would not have to fear that it could be hurt. If you had no self-will, you would not have to fear that it would not be gratified. So you can see the connection. These subtle, smoldering fears are infinitely more frequent and also more harmful than the obvious and pronounced fears.
If you begin to check your various impressions of the day and your reactions, you can see where the element of fear comes in and whether it is connected with self-will and pride and to what extent. So begin to observe these inner reactions of yours and analyze them in these terms without trying to change yourself immediately, because feelings cannot be changed by a mere act of will, but they will change if you learn first to observe them. Get a little distance to yourself and see the underground workings of your reactions and the behavior of your various soul currents. Merely by doing this consistently for some time, eventually these strong reactions and inner desires and pressures will become weaker. They will not cease right away, but they will become weaker and occur less frequently. Eventually, if you continue to do this in connection with adequate and pertinent prayer, they will change and leave you a liberated person.
There are two other points I want to make at this time that are not entirely connected with the foregoing. Many of my friends here seriously desire to fulfill a task in God's vineyard. But have you ever asked yourself whether you are truly ready for it? When I ask, are you ready, I do not mean that you have to have a great deal of knowledge, because this intellectual knowledge will be given to you in one way or another so far as it will be necessary. But in other ways, are you really willing to sacrifice when sacrifice is necessary? Ask yourself why you want to do it. Oh yes, there is a part of you that is very sincere, that wants this out of pure reasons or motives. However, try to discover the other part that mingles in, the part that may not be as ready to pay the necessary price and therefore merely wants ego gratification. This part wants to fulfill a task mainly to receive recognition and appreciation, or perhaps to cut a heroic figure. No, my friends. First you have to work in very small ways before you are worthy to fulfill such tasks. You must not expect that God's world is lenient in this respect. It may be lenient in many other ways, but here the responsibility is too great. If you fulfill a task, you must realize that it no longer concerns you alone. There are other people involved, and if you disappoint them in any way, it will count very much against you. You have to figure that you will work for many years without any recognition; you must really learn to sacrifice. Not only must you give up your comfort and some of your time, but also other things, my friends. These are not outer things, for that would be so much easier. These are inner things. They comprise most often what is most difficult for you: giving up your pride, your fear, your self-will, your egotism, or a particular resentment or resistance to a person.
To fulfill a task demands a great severity with the self and by the self. It means that you have to count, not on recognition from any human side for a long time, but on people who at best take your help for granted, and at worst are against you. For a long time you have to take into account that nobody but God and yourself will know what you are doing. If you are still willing to continue under these circumstances, you will be tested for it. And if we recognize that you are ready, we may try you out, but it may only be a try -- for many are called but few are chosen.
Here is another bit of advice, my friends, on an outer detail. When you sit here or at any time when you meditate, I would advise you to be entirely relaxed, and also not to sit with your legs or arms crossed. Hold your hands with the palms upward, for in a good meditation, whether it is a trance session or simply a meditation, strong forces are present. You are most receptive in the palms of your hands, and these forces can better penetrate into you through them. There may be physical healing forces present, or some spiritual force that you need, and perhaps a force that will help you to overcome some of your psychological problems. Whatever it is, it is important for you. However, if you keep your limbs crossed, you cut off this current. This is why I advise you to do it. To sit this way all the time may seem like a hardship at first, but if you learn to be entirely relaxed, you will be able to sit like this for hours and will not feel it. You will almost feel your hands lifted; you will not even have to support them in your lap any more. They will lift by their own accord, as though an outer power were at work. You will not feel any weight in them. If you can succeed in this, without too much forced concentration, you should be entirely relaxed and should feel a very beneficial effect. And now, my dear ones, I am ready for your questions.
QUESTION: May I ask a question from the Bible? What is the true spiritual meaning of the statement, "To those who have, more will be given, and to those who have not, what they have will be taken away?" Does this refer to faith, or what does it refer to?
ANSWER: It refers to all spiritual qualities. Take love, for instance. To those who have love, more love will be given, because it is the nature of all pure spiritual qualities to regenerate the same quality from themselves. If you have love, so much more comes to you, and you can give it to many. But if you have very little of it, and this little is diluted by impure currents, you will lose the little you have. It wastes away. The same applies to all other divine aspects, not only to faith or love. So you must break the vicious circle. Everything goes in cycles, as I always say, both negative and positive. The negative cycles work as long as you are in the state of mind in which you break the respective spiritual law. Then the negative currents in you are so much stronger that you lose the little positive quality you have. But if you break this negative circle and set up a positive one, then the positive quality becomes inexhaustible. The more you give then, the more will come out of you.
QUESTION: It means putting yourself into the great cycle of love?
QUESTION: I read in the papers about the Pope objecting to delve into the subconscious, that it can be harmful.
ANSWER: Well, it can be harmful if it is done by people who do not understand how to handle it. Certainly. A lot of harm has been done, also by qualified doctors. I have mentioned that too. If the subconscious is taken apart without the realization of the existence of spiritual law and certain spiritual facts and truths, a person can have a breakdown. It is as though you took a machine apart and you do not know how to put it together again. It can be the most useful, the most wonderful thing, but it can also be a very dangerous thing, as it is true with so many other things. Take, for instance, mediumship: it can be the most precious jewel, and it can be very harmful. It is the same here. It just depends on how it is done.
QUESTION: It seems that so many people have a different interpretation of the word "love." Can you give us an interpretation? What qualities does a person have to have in order to give it and receive it?
ANSWER: I think I can answer this best in a very short sentence: real love must be entirely free of ego, pride, vanity, and self-will. That is the answer. So you will realize that there are few human beings indeed who are capable of divine love. Does that answer your question?
QUESTIONER: Yes, thank you.
QUESTION: I would like to know about a departed friend of mine. I keep thinking about him and I wondered if there was any meaning in this. Why do I keep thinking of him?
ANSWER: I will need a little time. Just a moment. You keep thinking of him because he is very often near you. Very near you. He wants help and you can help him, not only by praying for him, but also by teaching him certain things. Think about him, his life, his views, and compare this with the spiritual knowledge you are gaining now, and see where this knowledge may be missing in him. Because of that, he may be in a certain need. And since there is a bond between you -- and he trusts you -- you are the one who could help him. You could do this by teaching him in thought. But first think what lack of spiritual knowledge may be a hindrance for him now, then you will be able to teach him. Perhaps one day, all of a sudden, a thought will be in you in the form of a question. So you may be inspired by him and thus have a sort of a conversation with him. That will be very useful.
QUESTION: I don't quite understand how I can help him, though.
ANSWER: As I said, if you think about his views, you will undoubtedly realize that he had some wrong ideas about spiritual truth. This lack is a hindrance to him now. This is what you can teach him by having a conversation with him in thought.
QUESTIONER: Do I have to keep thinking of him?
ANSWER: You do not have to do that constantly. It is sufficient for you to figure out where his lack of spiritual truth must be a hindrance to him now. You have known him, after all, and you have known some of his opinions, his attitudes, that may indicate his spiritual foundation. That will give you a clue where he has his difficulties. And then take every day five minutes, whenever you want to, talk to him about these things, just as though he were in the flesh. You do not have to do it in a loud voice. Explain certain things that you are learning that he may not believe as yet. That will help him because he trusts you and he is more likely to accept something from you than from certain other people he has access to, also in the spiritual world.
Well, my friends, this is enough for this evening. And so I am leaving you with the Lord's blessings for each one of you. May He give you the strength and the courage and the light to face yourself, to be open, so as to redirect your life and put it into the proper channel, so that you can grow in harmony. Never feel lonely or alone, because God is here and everywhere. And He loves each one of you very much. Go in joy and in peace. Be in God!
Edited by Judith and John Saly
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