Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 95
January 5, 1962
SELF-ALIENATION AND THE WAY BACK TO THE REAL SELF
Greetings, my dearest, dearest friends. God bless every single one of you. Blessed is your valiant struggle to find yourself.
At this time -- for you the beginning of a new year, though for us the fragmentation of being you call time does not exist -- I should like to give an overall understanding of your current work. I will use an approach that is adapted to your new insights.
Let us first understand the human struggle as such. The very state of being human is a problem because you find yourself in an in-between state. You have awakened from a lower state, a plant or animal form where you were in a state of being and in harmony, but without awareness. You have not yet reached a state of being in harmony with awareness. This in-between state is the human struggle, a struggle not only for those who are on any kind of path of attempting to find the self, but for every single human being, regardless of their state of development, their character or their endeavors. The only difference between those who work actively toward finding themselves and those who do not is that the former bring this very struggle into awareness, while the latter are unaware of it. Your fight is to find the state of being while in awareness. With awareness, you can reach a proper combination of activity and passivity, action and inaction. You are often confused about this.
The human struggle attempts to overcome the obstructions that come from unawareness. Unawareness means unreality, untruth. Untruth produces suffering. This might also be expressed as the struggle between spirit and matter. Matter is a result of unawareness, unreality, untruth. Humanity has attempted mastery over matter in many ways, but in the final analysis it must always mean mastery over untruth -- in you, personally. Only when you become aware of your own untruth, not general untruth, can you finally overcome it.
Only as you discover your own unreality -- wrong conclusions, pseudo-solutions, evasions -- will you reach the core of your being. Slowly but surely you will begin to act and react from your core, rather than from the erroneous and distorted superimpositions. Only when you act and react from the core of your very individuality will you reach and affect the core of others, regardless of whether or not they themselves work on such a path. This follows the law of affinity -- the attraction of similar and repulsion of dissimilar substances.
Again and again you search in vain for the real you, the core of your being. You are confused because you take the superimpositions to be the real you, simply because you have become so used to them. You may have discovered their destructiveness, their artificiality, but you are as yet still unable to dispense with them. You have not yet gained the sense, awareness, and experience of the real you. You ask yourself, "Who am I? Where is my real self?"
I attempt to guide you to the core of your nature from various angles, through various approaches. I can help you, but you have to do the work of recognizing, of facing, of changing. In short, it is your struggle. If you want to become happy, to lead a fruitful, rich life, you have to be whole, undivided. And this can be only if you are your real self. It is logical and reasonable that the struggle and the effort have to be yours, if you wish to realize yourself.
The state of self-alienation -- that of not being one's real self -- is so predominant that its symptoms are not conspicuous. You miss noticing them because they are so general that you assume them to be "normal."
Let us again look at self-alienation, what it means and how it manifests, and how it can be recognized. One way of spotting self-alienation is by determining in what areas of life you feel helpless, trapped in situations outside your control. Wherever such a state of helplessness exists, there must be an underlying problem, an unresolved conflict. To carry this a step further, you may see such an unresolved conflict as the result of self-alienation, or see self-alienation as the result of an unresolved problem. Any way you wish to formulate it, helplessness, powerlessness, paralysis of your faculties are the results of self-alienation. This is intimately connected with unresolved problems that are based on error.
It is very easy to misinterpret these words, particularly for a person who has chosen the pseudo-solution of power. Not to be helpless does not mean that you always win, that you never suffer frustrations, unfulfillments, that things always go according to ideal plans. On the contrary, if you adopt the pseudo-solution of power, you are more dependent than most on others and on life. You have to win! Your immediate aim has to be fulfilled. If not, you feel weakened and humiliated. Since such fulfillment of every wish, such constant winning, cannot possibly depend on you alone, you are dependent. You invest your own inherent strength in others whom you consciously or unconsciously pressure to do your bidding. You put your strength, resourcefulness and reason outside yourself, and direct them at others rather than using them for yourself. This is self-alienating. It leads you to be as helpless as the outright submissive, compliant and weak person.
By saying that being your real self will make you master of your life, I mean something other than a power-driven compulsion always to win and never to do without whatever you wish. When your real self masters your life, your forces work constructively and productively, due to a minimum of inner problems. They are not paralyzed by inner mismanagement. The richness of your spirit, of your human individuality, will unfold with all its strength. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, you will use your strength to find the inner and outer solution, for there is always a good solution. All you have to do is see it.
When your experience of self, of others and of life is not distorted but in accord with reality, you will express all the benign forces -- reason, love, understanding, insight, strength, resourcefulness, resiliency, flexibility, adaptability, self-assertion, creativity -- that your real self is endowed with. You will express yourself adequately and be understood because your real self is free. You will be in a position to discriminate -- to make choices and decisions -- because fear and anxiety are gone. In making a proper and mature choice you can distinguish between that which is real, valid, constructive and that which is not. With such clarity, you will find a way out of any difficulty, and the difficulty itself will have become a stepping stone.
You can reach this stage only when non-fulfillment does not annihilate you. Why does it have this effect on you? Because your experience of self and of others is so distorted that you feel any frustration as personal rejection and as proof of your inadequacy. You can relinquish this attitude only through fully understanding that your worth, value and lovability are not dependent on either fulfillment or non-fulfillment. Non-fulfillment may be the result of your strength being inhibited. That strength is your real self, but the inhibition has nothing to do with your real being. Your real being is simply inactivated by your distorted perception of reality, of certain factors in your life.
The self-estranged person experiences frustration as much more painful than the unfulfillment of the wish or goal itself. In other words, the pain of not having what you want is much less than the additional factor of seeming to receive proof of your worthlessness, inadequacy and unlovability -- your being nothing. Of course, this is unconscious. In fact, you go to great pains not to be aware of this conclusion. You cover it up with the very opposite trends, thoughts, feelings and attitudes. Yet there is a part of you in which you perceive things in just such a painful way. This accounts for the often disproportionate pain of a failure, a rejection, or lack of success in a particular field. You may rationalize it by blaming a truly stringent actual situation. Nevertheless, underneath you will connect your worth with the outer situation. Only after becoming aware of this process and of your faulty reasoning can you be in a position first to perceive reality and thus find your real self in this respect and second, to no longer be alienated from your real self. Only then will you also alter the outer situation.
As you go through this process and gain insight into your distorted sense of reality, your sense of reality itself will improve automatically. The result of this will inevitably be that you ascribe less power to outside circumstances than you did before. You will feel less helpless as you become able to mobilize your inherent strength and other faculties that lead to a rich life. The immobilization of these faculties resulted from self-estrangement which, in turn, was connected with and resulted from your distorted experience of life and self, your inability to relinquish, and your illusion of being crushed, annihilated and worth nothing if certain wishes are not fulfilled according to schedule, so to speak.
Your fear of failure is not so acute because of the failure itself, but because it implies that you have failed because you are inferior. Your fear of responsibility is not so great because of laziness, but because failure to fulfill implies your inferiority. Fear of frustration of pleasure is not so acute because you cannot live without it, but because it implies inferiority. Once you see and experience that this is a distortion, you will eventually grow out of it. As you do so, your ability to perceive and experience such factors as success, responsibility and pleasure in their reality will increase, and you will have access to your real self. You will no longer have to live with a cover of pretense that alienates you from the core of your individuality. You will realize in you that which had heretofore been only a potential. This can happen only when you cease living on the periphery and return to the center of your being.
As long as you live on the periphery, you put your power outside of yourself. You may invest some authority with such powers, whether it is an individual or an institution. You may simply project your own inherent powers onto life and fate and "unalterable circumstances." Then you helplessly await fate's favor, and if it fails to come, you blame the world's injustice and arbitrariness rather than your own error. You are looking in the wrong direction. It does not occur to you to look where you might find many solutions. You prefer to remain helpless, thrusting your own powers, forces and faculties to the periphery. Thus you are never able to solve anything.
Self-estrangement exists also in the form of projecting your own faculties and powers onto aspects of the self. Now, you may think that this cannot be because if it is the self, it is not estrangement from the self. Yet it is estrangement from yourself to project faculties, authority, dependency and strength upon isolated fragments of your personality instead of upon its entirety. If you expect a good rich life, if you expect the solution of your problems and difficulties to come out of only one or just a few of your assets rather than from a harmonious combination of the whole, you become rigid in such over-emphasis. You thereby neglect other faculties and are thus alienated from the self, in that you leave an integral part of your entire self out of commission.
This holds true even more when you use your various pseudo-solutions. If you now reread the lectures dealing with that topic and with the idealized self-image, you will understand what this means in terms of self-alienation. You focus your concentration on something unreal and unreasonable, something foreign to the real self whose nature is reality and reason. Moreover, the pseudo-solutions and the idealized self are selfish and loveless in their very nature, and as such are foreign to the real self, whose intrinsic nature is love. The pseudo-solutions and the idealized self-image are pretenses. The real self is intrinsically genuine.
Most of you, in the course of this work, have become aware that in some situations you do not function as you do in other areas where you are free from such problems. You are inhibited. You cannot express yourself. You cannot communicate and relate either to others or to yourself. You are confused and anxious. Your faculties are paralyzed. This is not because you really are that way and cannot help it. It is because your real self does not function in these situations. You are alienated from your real self due to your unreality, your pretense, your insistence on remaining at the periphery and seeking a "solution" from there.
People who are not alienated from themselves experience the richness of their individuality. They experience their own power. They trust in themselves because they can relinquish and be free from compulsion and anxiety. They relate to themselves, are in touch with the core of their beings, and thus can relate to others. All this happens without overestimating themselves. They do not have to be in glory and perfection, and because of that they utilize the infinite richness of their being. This could be expressed by saying: "I am strong. My possibilities are manifold, and if outer difficulties come to me, I can overcome them, first by facing them fully, then by my willingness to cope with them truthfully, not superficially, nor for the sake of appearance. I do not have to be great. I do not have to be glorious or special. I am a simple human being, like many others, but as such I am endowed with great powers that I have as yet not realized. These powers cannot express and unfold because of my unreality, my distorted view. They are in me, but can only become manifest when my perception of reality becomes more truthful." This is how people who are not alienated from themselves will experience themselves. They are equipped to deal with all situations life brings. They will also experience themselves in a realistic relationship to the world at large and to other individuals.
Alienated people experience themselves as either too small or too big, fluctuating between these two distortions. Other people will either make them feel worthless and dependent, or will inflate their egos. This is so subtle that you cannot be aware of it right away. Intellectually, you know better and are utterly unconscious that, emotionally, you experience the effect others have on you in that way. It takes a bit of self-accounting and observation in this respect to become aware of what goes on in you all the time.
Once you function from out of your real self, you will not experience yourself as less or more than others. You may observe their shortcomings, but this has nothing to do with feeling superior to them. You may observe in others qualities that you lack, but this has nothing to do with feeling inferior. The more you feel worthless and as nothing in some hidden crevice of your personality, the more you will tend to overinflate your ego. The less impaired your real ego is, the less you will need to inflate it. And your relationship to others depends on how you perceive them and how you regard yourself in relationship to them.
In the fluctuation of being either more or less than you really are, you are alienated from yourself. You do not experience yourself in your real situation. How then can you experience others in their reality? You experience certain facets of them which you may overemphasize in proportion to how these facets seem to lessen or heighten your own personality. In other words, somebody who appears powerful, strong and invulnerable, whose acceptance you may particularly desire, takes on an aura of awe for you that is out of proportion to reality. You are tense and anxious with such a person and perceive them in a very distorted way.
Your intellectual evaluation may be pretty accurate, yet your emotional experience is colored by your fears and desires in connection with this person -- even if you have no other aim than using the other to elevate yourself, to pull yourself out of the inferiority which engulfs you. In short, when you are alienated from yourself, you do not experience others in their reality; they affect you according to your own problems. You cannot possibly communicate in this condition, yet communication is often essential for eliminating an outer problem. In a crass way, you may experience others as potential enemies or slaves -- as you yourself are alternately one or the other.
How can you enjoy life and rejoice in its richness if your perception is so beclouded? Only by being yourself are you capable of happiness. This you can now easily see. Becoming aware of these conditions, of this limited outlook and experience -- which is the prerequisite for changing your ability to experience yourself and others in reality -- requires a great deal of self-observation on your part, on a new level of your emotions. It also requires a certain amount of progress on this path before you can proceed organically to this stage. Entering this realm comes about gradually, as a consequence of previous progress. It happens so subtly that, at first, you may not even realize that you have actually entered into such a phase.
But let me assure you, my friends, the moment you experience yourself in your unreality -- once you truly see how you do not relate to yourself and to others, how you are alienated from yourself in these particular respects -- you take a greater step toward reality than if you tried to force yourself into it before you were ready. Here again, as always, you first have to fully experience the distortion before you can come out of it. The very fact that you are aware of your unreality is an important step out of it. You cannot come in touch with your real self before you fully experience how you are as yet not in touch with it.
Use the various indicators of your self-alienation that I have given you to experience it. Take any of your current problems and look at it from the point of view of how you truly feel yourself victimized, a prey to circumstances. Then observe how you feel frustrated when expressing your wants and your ideas to others. See how uncertain and confused you are about the issues and what it is you really want. Consider where you can change things and where you cannot. Have you really explored all the possibilities at your disposal? Are you entirely open to new ideas, new solutions? Is your inner will active and able to receive new inspiration in order to change an old ill brought on by your own course of action, or do you insist on having the solution handed to you? Such dependency will show not only your self-alienation, but also your will to remain that way. Furthermore, observe your emotional reactions to others and how they affect you. Do they make you small or big? Do you experience people as many-faceted complex beings with their own vulnerabilities, their own struggles, or are they for you -- emotionally -- just more or less, better or worse, more or less powerful than you?
When you feel dissatisfied with your life, ask yourself if this is not due to your feeling that you have not realized all your potentials. If the answer is yes, then you are estranged from yourself. Otherwise, you would never feel dissatisfied with your life, regardless of temporary storms. You have the power to change this, step by step, through the pathwork process.
The word "self-finding," which we use constantly, will now take on a new meaning for you. In the true sense of the word, it means the finding of the real self. No such self-finding can occur unless you actively change something in you. Basically this path can be divided into two major phases. The first phase is recognizing and becoming aware of the roots of your problems, your errors, your unreality -- understanding them in their full scope and depth, their significance and their causes, effects, links, and connections. The second phase is change. The change can happen in various ways. It can be very gradual and automatic, so that you are not even aware of when it occurs. It happens through the mere insight into and understanding of your unreality and distortions. The fuller your understanding, the more you automatically change. Such change is based on the laws of evolution and organic growth.
But there is also another type of change that applies to certain facets of personality problems. This type requires a new and different way of action and reaction after you have gained a sufficient amount of insight and understanding. Such change is less gradual. It consists of a new and very decisive way of acting, whether outwardly or inwardly. It requires your determination to no longer follow the old pattern of behavior. It requires your will to institute a new pattern. However, you should never do this as long as you are not fully convinced of its value for yourself and for others, as long as the decision is not fully yours but based on outside authority. But once you have reached this point of conviction, you must use a certain self-discipline.
This, too, is subtle and can easily lead to misinterpretation. If you force discipline, without independent decision and full conviction, the motives are unhealthy and will not yield constructive results. The motives may be wanting to obey and appease others and come from your idealized self-image. The result will be anxiety and new destructive patterns.
Nevertheless, there comes a point when repeated self-discipline and determination are necessary because otherwise you cannot uproot old ingrained habits, in spite of your free will and your understanding. Whether or not you are ready for this more drastic change, only you yourself can know. As long as your emotions still doubt the validity and advantage of the new way, you are not ready. As long as great anxiety exists in you when trying to dispense with the old way, you are not ready for a forceful relinquishing and a drastic change. In this case, you must continue bringing further hidden errors to light. Asking "Why do I feel that way?" will always yield results, if you fully want to find the answer. As long as the goodness of the right course fills you with anxiety, you are still under the impression, in this respect at least, that goodness is to your disadvantage. Of course, in reality this is not so. But first you have to get to the point of applying the outer knowledge that goodness means productive living to your specific inner problem.
No real growth and happiness can exist unless a change in the personality takes place. I can read some of your thoughts. Do not say change does not exist. It is so wrong. The universe, and everything in it, changes constantly, is constantly in flux. Even your body is not the same as it was several years ago. Everything changes, even in physical matter, though you may not be aware of it. When you are always together with a living, growing being, you do not see the growth taking place. You notice it only retrospectively. But the very essence of life is change. If there is no change, there is no life. If you remain static, you are in a predicament. You are unhappy. You are not alive. To a large degree, the human struggle exists because a part of you grows organically and healthily according to the laws of nature, while another part remains static.
You often ask the question why some people, who obviously are still in a low state of development, live in a certain harmony, while much more highly developed people are struggling, disharmonious, unhappy. The reason, my friends, is that the former develop steadily, according to their potentiality. Their life is on an even keel. There is no discrepancy. More highly developed people often do not realize their potential, they do not fulfill their inherent possibilities. Because they are further up on the scale, they could do much more. Yet they overemphasize parts of their being which are already developed, which do not need development at this point, while a neglected area of their being remains static. There is no change because they do not will it so. They concentrate on what they enjoy because it is already free, while what requires work lies barren. It is not only the discrepancy as such that causes the disharmony, but the fact that they have the ability to accomplish more. They could bring to life what lies dead and static.
This factor is an essential part of the human struggle. If you find growth and change pleasurable because of past development that has already freed you of shackles in one area, you are in constant flux. At the same time your resistance to change and growth where the hard work of facing and initiating change still has to take place causes you to remain frozen and rigid in another part of your personality. This lopsidedness is more painful to endure than if the entire personality were still asleep, so to speak. Once you have reached certain stages, you cannot possibly go back and make yourself artificially "asleep." You have to follow the rhythm of nature and the cosmos. The only solution to reach harmony again is by fuller and fuller awareness of reality, growth, change, on all levels of your being.
So do not say change is impossible. It is the only thing that is possible, I might say. Change is the only organic, natural process of creation, and therefore it is also within you. If you work properly on this path, you constantly thaw out the substance in your soul that was heretofore frozen. You put it into motion and thus enable it to grow, so that eventually a real and noticeable change occurs.
Let me say one more thing about the real self, a further hint as to how to find it. I want to show you a certain rhythm of development in a specific phase which is appropriate at this time, because many of you, my friends, either are already in this phase or are about to approach it.
We recently discussed your needs. To begin with, you are not even aware of any particular needs. Of course, in theory you know that everyone has needs, physical and otherwise, but you do not feel any specific emotional needs. This unawareness does not apply only to a person who just begins such a path. Even after you have already progressed considerably in other ways, you may still be unaware of what you need. Becoming aware of your needs even superficially requires focused attention, considerable self-honesty, and much digging on your part. Now, my friends, if you have to remove outer layers of awareness in order to find false needs before you find the real ones, isn't this another substantial proof of your self-alienation? If you were related to your real self, if you were in contact with its reality, you would be in absolute awareness of your real needs, whether or not they are fulfilled.
As you thus proceed, you become aware of your real needs. The real needs can also be subdivided. First, you will become aware of the need to receive, be it love, understanding, closeness to others or creative fulfillment. You strive for all this through an act of receiving. In your emotional awareness it seems to you that you need someone or something that makes it possible for you to fulfill these needs by something, however subtle, that is given to you. All the needs I just cited can be real or false; you know that.
And then you will become aware of the need to give. You may need to give what you need to receive, but the emphasis in your emotions changes. The need to give love, rather than to receive it, enters more into your consciousness. The need to relate to and to understand others, rather than being understood by them, becomes clearer. In this respect too, you may find no outlet. You are dependent on finding the subject and as long as you do not, your needs remain unfulfilled. The only difference between now and before is that now you are acutely aware of the needs and the unfulfillment, while before you were befogged and hazy, experiencing the unfulfillment in an indirect way. The stringent awareness of unfulfillment may, in fact, have entirely different roots than the unfulfillment of the real needs, for the latter will never create anxiety and urgency. Only real needs shifted into false ones have that power. Thus being aware of your real needs, long before you can possibly fulfill them and while you consciously experience unfulfillment, is bound to bring relief, harmony and peace, because you have entered a further stage of reality and truth.
You run away from awareness of your real needs not only because facing unfulfillment is painful, but more so because unfulfillment means proof of your inferiority. Once you have reached the strength, courage, humility, determination, and the reality to face your real needs -- to receive and to give -- and to stand the temporary frustration, you have reached a much greater area of your real self than you may think. For this is your real self. Your problem of unfulfillment in itself recedes into the background in comparison with the strength you gain by finding your home. The stranger -- your alienated self -- finds home within the reality of the core of your being.
To reach this point you have to travel many byroads and detours, and once you have reached it, you will have to go through a period of emptiness, of awareness of your unfulfilled need and longing. But as you look at the unfulfillment and bear it, not in false humility and weakness, but in the strength of being able to endure it as long as is required in consequence of the patterns you set in motion whose effects have not yet worn off -- you will not suffer the agonies you suffered before such awareness. The unfulfillment will not weaken you. On the contrary, through gaining deeper, fuller insight and thus coming closer to reality, you will slowly begin to cause different effects. The old negative effects do not dissolve immediately after you find the cause that produced them. It will take some time before new, constructive, positive causes can go into force and produce comparable effects. This does not happen overnight.
After a certain period of conscious unfulfillment of real needs -- as opposed to previous unconscious unfulfillment of real needs and conscious unfulfillment of false needs -- while you search and learn and gain further hold of the reality of yourself, a period of partial fulfillment will occur. There will be setbacks and occasional disappointments in which you have the opportunity to observe your inner relapse into the old patterns which might have occurred without your knowing it. Thus, these outer relapses and disappointments are a necessary period of strengthening the new way of life, so to speak. They integrate it, make it part of you until it becomes your "first nature," as in essence, it truly is.
At this point, you have discovered the way home. You have made some tentative steps toward it -- and therefore occasionally reaped its fruits -- but you are still not firmly planted in this new ground. You still fluctuate and move away from it, tempted by your old habits. In this alternation between fulfillment and unfulfillment, you have the opportunity to gain a firm hold on your home ground, if you wish to utilize this time in such a way. Thus you pave the way to set up an entirely new pattern, a new cause, in health, reality and productivity. However, the effects will not manifest until the cause has ripened, so to speak.
QUESTION: In disciplining yourself when you reach the point when you want to change a pattern because you have made certain recognitions, a battle begins. You may do it, but you don't feel good about it. Although you know you are unhappy in the old way and you want to change, yet in doing the right act you don't feel good either. Now, I heard you say that in this stage you are not ready, but when are you going to discipline yourself?
ANSWER: In this stage, the discipline should take the form of finding why you cannot feel right about it. What stands in the way of your understanding? There must be something in you that is not yet convinced, that still doubts that this is good or advantageous or safe or whatever. There must be a part in you that still clings to the old destructive way, in spite of your seeing it also as destructive. Bring that to the surface, and then you can eliminate the error in this respect. Therefore, do not force yourself, or discipline yourself in your actions toward others, but rather use discipline in finding out more about yourself.
QUESTION: When you suffer grief, when you are separated from someone and you know this must be and you accept it, you still suffer deep pain, even more so when you are aware of your own feelings and you are aware of the depth of love you have -- this is healthy, is it not? Doesn't it take time to heal?
ANSWER: I cannot answer the question by saying it is either healthy or unhealthy. It depends entirely on how it is felt. It may be something utterly healthy. But it may also contain certain unhealthy currents. This is very hard to determine in a general answer. It is completely individual. My advice is, in order to determine whether or not it is healthy, that the person ask where there may be feelings of helplessness, weakness, self-pity, of being subjected to the misery of life. If you feel impoverished, if your personality feels impoverished by such a separation, then there must be an unhealthy grief, perhaps in addition to healthy grief. But if the loss is felt as painful without a feeling of self-impoverishment, then it is purely healthy.
QUESTION: If a human being finds two conflicting currents within, if one recognizes the falsity of one current and then the second current kicks in, where does the discipline come in?
ANSWER: As I said before, the use of the word "discipline" might lead to misunderstanding. It may lead to repression, suppression, to a forceful, superimposed action that cannot be helpful to genuine growth. Your concentration and determination should go rather in the direction of further understanding of why this current exists. The outer answer may be quite obvious, and yet there must also be an inner answer having very little to do with the outer one. This current may be some sort of pseudo-protection. It may fulfill a certain false need. Find this meaning, and you will know how to go on from there. The first answer you may find deep within may still not be the final answer. It may still contain a further "why." The stage you describe indicates that you have not finished the phase of search in this area and therefore change, with its necessary discipline, is premature. Look only for further awareness here. Change may already have occurred in another area, but not in this respect. I repeat, such search constantly creates change in your emotional, mental, spiritual and even physical being because you face yourself in utter candor. But this is the first type of change I discussed, and not the second which requires a more direct form of discipline. In the first stage discipline also must exist, but with emphasis on further self-facing, on giving account of what you really feel and why.
QUESTION: I see. So, as long as two conflicting currents exist, there is still a need to go deeper?
ANSWER: Oh, yes. [Thank you.]
QUESTION: I hesitate to ask any questions owing to the recent stir my questions brought. It seems that they are not considered exactly intelligent. Before I ask my questions, I would like to ask you frankly if you more highly developed souls are employing a reason I am not capable of, because unless we are talking on a common ground, I'm afraid we have no means of communication with one another.
ANSWER: My dear friend, in the first place, I do not think anyone can say, when someone does not understand something, that this indicates a lack of intelligence. The most intelligent people are blocked where they have problems. The intelligence that exists otherwise does not function here. That happens to every single person -- to some more obviously than to others -- but nevertheless to everyone. There is no human being entirely free of this. I have never yet seen a human being in whom there is not somewhere a tightness, a prejudice, a closeness, a fear of relinquishing a preconceived idea. This, of course, is due to the defense mechanism that chooses a particular view as necessary and safe, but this is only an explanation. It does not do away with the fact as such. People who are blocked will misunderstand, misinterpret, be anxious and conflicted about the issue or hear the very opposite of what is said. Only the degree differs, and anyone who judges may possibly have the same condition to a lesser or less noticeable degree perhaps concerning a different topic. So you are in very good company. You may perhaps put your questions in a more belligerent way, but I do not mind this and I encourage you to ask these questions, as long as you are sincere and in good faith, regardless of what some of our human friends may say. It is necessary. It is good for you. And it is good for everyone.
As to different kinds of reason, there is only one reason. There are not several kinds. Again it is only a question of degree. The difference is that human beings, still in the human struggle, have their reason impaired. Their intelligence may not be impaired, but their reason is. Reason comes from the real self, so to the degree of their self-alienation, to that degree reason does not function. The real self is pure reason and pure love. You might also call it wisdom. One is not thinkable without the other. There cannot be reason, or wisdom, without love, and vice versa.
So we all have the same organs to communicate with. If one being has developed more than the other, due to struggles already overcome, it does not mean that communication is impossible. Communication depends to a very large extent on the willingness of the persons involved. If the willingness to understand and to make oneself understood is present, half of the battle is over. I do not think that any of you ever found me difficult to communicate with.
I would then suggest that you ask your questions the next time. If all of you have sufficient questions, we might again put in a period for questions and answers.
My dearest friends, all of you, be blessed in spirit, in soul, in body. May these words help you to continue your self-realization actively, to bring out all the wondrous strength, reason, love, creativity, resourcefulness, joy, capacity for happiness that exists in you already. You do not have to grab for these things outside. They lie as a treasure within you. Free them from error, evasion, the fear of facing the truth about yourself. Desist from living superficially in the sense of satisfying the world rather than your own standards. Do not live for appearance's sake in any area of your life. Live in truth and reality. Face every issue in its entirety. Look at it with objective eyes. Do not hasten over it, and you will find the way home to your real self.
Be blessed. Rejoice in all that is waiting to be liberated in you. You have nothing but joy to look forward to. Soon you may reach the point where the human struggle will be a source of joy and each step onward will mean further realization of growth and happiness. Be in peace, be in God!
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.