Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 169
January 3, 1969
THE MASCULINE AND FEMININE PRINCIPLES IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Greetings, my friends. Blessings and love are extended to you and reach you in your deepest being to the extent you open up to them. Receive and let them come into you.
I would like to talk tonight about some more specific elements of the creative, universal power. I have often said that each human being not only possesses this power but also expresses it. Coming into your own means deliberately, consciously, and purposefully using the creative power which you are in your innermost being and which emanates from you. You constantly create your life circumstances with this power, but you do so unconsciously and unknowingly. What you think and feel, what you believe and conceive of, what you secretly wish and fear, shape and determine creative substance and constitute the motor force of this power.
What a tremendous difference it makes when you deliberately express and create your life or your fate, rather than creating it unknowingly. Unconsciously creating, you go through certain experiences which you ascribe to some obscure fate. Your experiences seem to have little or nothing to do with who you are, what you feel, what you wish, what you believe in right now, or with what you choose to do with your thoughts and feelings. But self-realized individuals know exactly how they create their lives.
An interim state in the final realization of human consciousness is reached when people connect with their unconscious blocks and comprehend the obstructions and the unhappiness in their lives. It is a great moment when one suddenly understands that it was not hostile fate but one's own doing that brought it about, and sees the secret attitude that produced the unwelcome fate. Once cause and effect are connected, one's fate is no longer a blind and malevolent outer power. From that moment on, the individual ceases to be helpless. In truth, human beings have never been helpless against any force or power outside themselves; but they are helpless against their own inner processes until they recognize and change them.
This is the way of the path. As you discover the root of your negative experience within you, you become capable of transforming that experience. In order to create positive fate deliberately, it is essential for you to understand more about the creative force of the universe and how you can personally use it. Now I would like to discuss certain very specific aspects of this creative power.
There are two fundamental principles through which the creative process works: the first is activation; the other is the principle of getting out of the way and letting it happen. These two creative principles exist throughout the entire universe and manifest in everything in your life. They regulate all that happens, desirable or undesirable, important or unimportant, from the smallest, most mundane occurrence up to the creation of a universe. If what is created needs to be constructive, fruitful, joyful, and pleasurable, these principles must interact in a harmonious way: they must complement one another and be in harmony. If what is created is destructive, painful, wasteful, or unhappy, these two principles must also be at work; only in this case they are distorted and misunderstood. Instead of complementing one another, they interfere with one another. Instead of these two aspects making one unitive whole, a dualism makes two mutually exclusive opposites out of them. When both sides of the duality are reconciled, two apparently opposing forces work together toward one goal and complement one another. I have discussed unity versus duality in many other contexts. It pertains to all of creation: wherever an entity is removed from its center and is therefore in ignorance and error, duality comes into existence. The entire earth sphere, namely human consciousness, is in the dualistic state so that all perceivable creative functions are split in the middle. The principles discussed here are also affected by the dualistic state of the human consciousness.
These two fundamental principles of creation, activating and letting be, are universal laws present in everything that has ever been created. They are not mechanical laws such as the law of gravity. All laws, even impersonal, physical ones have come into existence from, through, and by consciousness, and must have been created in the same manner by combining these two fundamental principles. Direct creation, with its own specific laws, is always an expression of consciousness, for everything in creation can only be a result of consciousness. Whether the consciousness stems from an individual brain or personality, or whether the consciousness is the great universal spirit permeating all life, does not matter. The principle is the same.
The conscious attitude expresses whether or not you activate or whether or not you let be. These two principles and their roles deserve much closer scrutiny. To activate means that the conscious entity deliberately claims, sets in motion, moves toward, causes, determines, or purposefully uses these forces by calling them into action and removing all possible obstructions. Effort and endeavor are an integral part of setting the creative forces in motion. This is active doing. We may call this the masculine principle in creation.
The attitude of "letting be" means to be receptive and to wait. It is also a movement, for anything that is alive must be moving. But this kind of movement is very different from the movement of the activating principle. The activating principle moves out toward another state. The spirit of letting be is a movement within itself; it is a pulsating, involuntary movement, while the movement of activation is deliberate and self-determining. Words are insufficient to explain these facts and you will have to listen with your inner ear and use your imagination and your innermost faculties to perceive what I am telling you here.
The consciousness behind the attitude of letting be is one of patient, trustful waiting, of allowing a ripening process come to fruition, of surrendering to a force set in motion: this may be called the feminine principle in creation. As I have said before, the masculine and feminine principles exist in every endeavor and creative act. The self-determining, voluntary act expresses self-confidence and knowledge of one's divine nature. The going with the creative forces, the surrender to them, expresses deep trust in life and in the state of being that does not require one iota more movement than to activate the very powers one trusts in. Everything that functions well in the universe down to the smallest manifestations of mundane life combines these two aspects of life and consciousness. Nothing can be created without both of these principles being at work. No union between the sexes can be fulfilling unless these principles function as they are meant to. Pleasure supreme is possible to the degree these attitudes are healthy and to the extent trust in self and life make both attitudes possible.
Both men and women represent these two principles; only their arrangement, emphasis, degree, proportion and relation to each other are different. However, this does not mean that the healthy, integrated man represents exclusively the activating principle, or that the healthy, integrated woman represents exclusively the principle of letting be. Men and women must express both aspects, but the emphasis differs and the areas in which both creative principles manifest or apply also differ.
Once you begin to think about this and look at life with the slightly altered vision that acknowledges both principles at work, you will see and understand a lot more about creation itself as well as about world events. Whether you create a business, a situation between yourself and another person, your own fate, or a universe, all depends to what extent you understand and harmoniously use the masculine and feminine principles of creation and to what degree you are conscious of both principles and allow them both to unfold out of yourself. These principles are often distorted and thus create confusion and disharmony. When these creative principles are distorted and used in erroneous ways, the result is destruction.
A man cannot dare to be fully a man and activate the creative force in a deliberate and purposeful way when his unconscious is still steeped in hostility, rage, and anger, because the activating principle then threatens to express these destructive impulses. There are many men as well as women in this world who are still so undeveloped that they have no compunction about expressing their destructive impulses. They do not mind activating the masculine principle, even though it brings forth the most violent and negative actions. Only when development proceeds further and the individual no longer wishes to express violence and destruction will he or she become frightened of his or her own active principle and therefore hold it back. This is why you cannot be fully a man or a woman unless you first come to terms with your negative emotions and desires. When you fully face these feelings, they will lose their power. But as long as you are unaware of their existence, they will control you and force you to act upon them without even knowing what you are doing and why. You will then rationalize them or you will turn the destructiveness upon yourself, in your fear to let the active principle out and sow its negative seeds.
Thus, in a transitory state of evolution, people prevent themselves from using the activating principle, because all activation would be based on negativity. This explains why so many people find themselves paralyzed in inactivity and stagnation. Temporarily, people will hold themselves back to prevent their use of the creative principle. Therefore, healthy activation, self-assertion, and autonomy are also temporarily bound and must wait for release until the personality has settled its difficulty with its own destructive nature. People may have to go through a number of appearances on this earth plane in which their activating forces must be dimmed so as to no longer express the distorted form of the creative principle of activation.
You all experience on this path the necessity of contacting hidden cruelty, brutality, sadism, vindictiveness, and malice. As you learn to see, understand, and accept these emotions, you can truly outgrow them. Only then do you become genuinely convinced that there is no need for destructiveness. As long as destructiveness is not squarely faced, this conviction is lacking and your holding back is motivated almost entirely by fear of retribution and consequences. Only when you have the courage and honesty to fully see and accept these damaging emotions and desires, only when you totally comprehend and evaluate them, will you see without a shadow of a doubt that they are superfluous as defenses, nor do they serve any other purpose. As these feelings become superfluous and you need no longer be on guard against your own spontaneous reactions, you will be free enough to activate the greatest power in the universe within yourself. You will no longer fear this power, for it will be free from pollution, perversion, and distortion. You can then claim your birthright. You can then call into being your own creative forces.
It often happens that a person is sufficiently cleansed of the destructive distortions so as to safely use his or her own inner powers, but the old habit pattern of holding back is so firmly rooted that the personality will needlessly forgo the use of the activating principle, not yet aware that it is safe to use this power. The destructiveness that still exists is no longer dangerous because it is now sufficiently conscious. The person is too alert to allow the destructiveness to rule and precipitate negative actions. The individual does not know yet, however, that the power to handle the remaining aggressions also enables him or her to use the greatest forces in the universe within the self. Now becoming godlike, one can use the activating power to create circumstances according to one's own choice.
So we must differentiate between those who rightfully dim their creative activity because they are justifiably afraid of the negative components in it, and those who dim this power simply because they do not know of its positive potential. They are like a man who has been asleep for a very long time, and when he wakes up he has yet to discover the power of all his faculties and the scope of their unfoldment.
The masculine principle is outgoing and leads to action, which has consequences. The action following the driving force or impetus actively builds, affects, causes, and determines. When the personality is fully aware of no longer needing and therefore no longer fearing the destructive forces, it also begins to know that it can create. At this point people discover the powers within them and that their minds can activate them.
The feminine principle of receptivity, of letting the activating forces work their lawful way toward fruition, is distorted when the entity refuses self-responsibility. If self-activation is relinquished and, instead of surrendering to the self-activated inner powers, one surrenders to another person's authority, then the role of the creative feminine principle is perverted. By the same token, a woman who surrenders her autonomy to a mate because she is too fearful and lazy to assume the consequences for her own actions makes a travesty and caricature out of femininity. Her surrender to the mate will never be motivated by love and trust in him; her aim will not be to experience ecstasy by uniting these two creative principles in this particular manifestation. Instead, she surrenders to him out of fear of life, refusing to assume her obligations in life. Such distorted surrender cannot bring anything favorable to either partner. When a woman wants to be a parasite and burden her partner with the brunt of her responsibilities, she is cheating life, but life cannot be cheated. The result is that she must increase her fear of life, as well as her fear of the man who is supposed to be her authority. She must fear her self-determined enslavement. Thus the feminine principle or femininity is often wrongly associated with helplessness, passivity, and inferiority, while the masculine principle or masculinity is often wrongly associated with brute force and superiority.
In reality, a woman cannot truly be a woman unless she is self-determining. In the terms of this lecture, a woman has to be secure in her selfhood by activating the creative principle within herself, for only when she is accountable for her mistakes and willing to accept and learn from then can she be strong and self-responsible. Then she will be unafraid of total surrender, of letting go, of allowing the involuntary forces in herself to guide her.
Conversely, a man cannot be truly a man when he is not free from destructiveness, and when he is not willing to let the activating principle go to work in its own fashion. In other words, he must observe the feminine principle in order to fully activate the masculine one, just as the full woman must activate the masculine principle in order to give herself over to the feminine.
This interaction between man and woman expresses the two sides of the creative power in a very obvious way. Union between the sexes is satisfactory to the degree that the two sides are in harmony within each partner. Only when that condition is fulfilled can harmony be established between them.
As man is justified in fearing the activating forces as long as he is unaware of his destructiveness and therefore cannot control it, so is woman justified in fearing self-surrender as long as she makes herself helpless for whatever distorted motives. If she is not in possession of her inherent powers, surrender must be debilitating and dangerous. Since men and women express both the masculine and feminine principles, they must both cleanse their activating powers of violence and hostility. Both need to learn to ascribe the cause for all that happens to them to the self, rather than blaming outside factors for their suffering.
This is why you find on this path that both men and women come across the identical patterns of false activity. On the one hand they find false aggression, hostility, violence, overactivity, impatience, refusal to wait for the powers to lawfully come to fruition. On the other, they find false receptivity and letting go, meaning denial of self-responsibility, laziness, following the line of least resistance. Trying to find an authority who will take on what is really their responsibility is one such way to evade accountability. Both men and women therefore have to work out the same problems, but they interact on a complementary rather than on an identical level.
No self-realization is possible unless you become full men and women in the deepest possible sense. This is why human problems are always primarily concerned with the relationship between the sexes. No matter what other problems you human beings have, they are at least indirectly connected with your masculinity or your femininity. The expression and handling of the masculine and feminine creative principles permeates your whole personality.
Let us take for example a problem at work. How can your work be successful if the activating principle is lacking or dimmed and if you are not sufficiently outgoing and healthily aggressive, or if you do not activate your own creative powers, but hold them back? What if you let them out, but the activating forces remain hostile and antisocial? In that case you will inevitably get into difficulties with your environment, no matter how accomplished you may be in your profession. If the spirit of love is lacking, you will not want to contribute to life with and through your work. Therefore there can be nothing creative about it and the deeper spiritual powers cannot manifest. If, however, you want to enrich life, you can safely enrich yourself by and through your activity, without falsely feeling guilty about your healthy aggression. The creative activation will do justice to both -- enriching others and the self in every possible way.
And how can what is activated come to fruition if the feminine creative principle is not allowed to function by letting be, by waiting for fruition, by trusting the forces set in motion? Your own intuitive powers reach your consciousness only when this receptive spirit of letting be reigns after the activation. Then you can be guided according to the highest wisdom, that of creative inspiration, necessary for all successful work. It, too, consists of the two aspects: inspiration must be deliberately activated by the mind, and allowed to flow, take its course, and manifest in its own fashion without interference from the mind.
The laws indicated here are applicable to all endeavors. Whether you do menial labor, or work as an artist, a scientist, or whatever else, the law is the same, although the degree to which these principles must function may vary. Simple menial work can be done mechanically and yet relatively efficiently, though it can also be a creative act when it is done in the spirit mentioned here. But artistic, scientific, or spiritual work can never succeed unless it follows these laws of creation.
So your work must fail, as your human relationships and partnerships must fail, when the masculine and feminine principles do not properly interact and complement one another. Needless to say that in all these areas the relationship between the two aspects of creation varies as the emphasis varies at any given time or phase.
If one of these two principles is healthy, the other must also be right. It is impossible that one is healthy and the other distorted. Hence, the man who has a problem in self-activation must, in other ways, be unable to let go and let himself be carried. It would be false to assume that the man who is not sufficiently active and aggressive is so throughout his total personality. He will inevitably discover an area in which he is overactive, over-masculine, precisely where the feminine principle should reign. This distortion is a compensation for underactivity where he should exert his masculine activating force, but does not. Conversely, the man who expresses an exaggerated form of the masculine principle must harbor areas in which he is too passive and expresses the distorted feminine principle. Both these examples are also applicable to women.
Because the manifestation of the masculine and feminine principles in the inner life of the individual is a substantial part of self-realization, your pathwork must be particularly concerned with this topic. True spirituality must make fuller men and women out of you in the best sense, on all levels of your being. Your growth must inevitably harmonize these levels. To what degree and in what way the imbalance exists varies in each case and must be found by self-search.
When you become capable of truly loving, these principles will be perfectly expressed in you. Or, to put it the other way, through the deliberate activation of the creative power to its highest potential because you no longer fear your own destructiveness, and trust the universal powers to finish lawfully what you have deliberately set in motion, you will be unafraid to surrender to a power greater than your willful ego-self, and thus become capable of loving. Whatever you do then in this spirit will be creative and will combine these two aspects of creation. The desire to give to life will never appear as self-impoverishment -- on the contrary. The loving man will activate a sublime power in him and his mate for the purpose of enriching them both. Her trust in him will be warranted, making her self-surrender justified and dignified, and enhancing her individuality. Giving up the determining ego will be for her a desired experience that need not be feared; his activation then becomes lovingly enriching to both. This is quite different from the kind of activating the pseudo-masterful man issues forth. He has an attitude that puts the woman down to aggrandize himself and makes her fear of surrender justified and reasonable. He therefore hinders her fulfillment as a woman.
The surrender of the loving woman heightens the mastery of self-activation in her mate. She will encourage his full selfhood, not competing with or rejecting his activation because it no longer is a threat. Her receptivity should not be confused with paralyzed passivity which is but a distortion of healthy femininity. The pulsating activity of the soul in the receptive state of letting-be, the state of being, self-surrender, is a vibrating force that contributes to her mate's manhood and to his strength.
When the letting go means a deliberate choice of forgoing the active principle because the person recognizes that at a certain point other faculties must take over, an enormous difference is experienced. The activating principle of becoming deliberately causes things to happen; the being principle is self-perpetuating and involuntary. Its effects occur indirectly.
The pathwork itself requires blending of these two aspects. I have discussed this previously using different terminology. I wish to show you right here how it works. No obstruction can be removed, no unhappiness eliminated, unless the personality, be it man or woman, uses the activating power. It is necessary to deliberately turn on this power by claiming your potential and your right to become a happy person. Nor must one shy away from the effort of finding the cause of the unhappiness within oneself. In other words, a person must be moving in the direction to correct the errors within and at the same time deliberately call upon a higher wisdom and power deep within the self to make this endeavor meaningful. The mind issues the will and determines the steps, as well as calling upon a greater wisdom within. All these are truly activities, each in its own fashion. But after these steps, the receptive principle must be at work, because once these forces have been activated, the entity has to let them come to fruition, let them go to work. The person who cannot wait for this to happen, but wants immediate results and attributes them at once to his activation, violates the feminine principle of the particular creation. Thus the creation will not be successful, or succeed only to the degree to which the two creative aspects were able to function. When a seed is sown into the soil, it cannot at once be pulled out as a plant. It must be given time to grow within the earth until the first shoots appear. Agricultural laws demonstrate beautifully the wholeness of these two aspects of creation. The pathwork itself is such a purposeful creative act of using the two principles in equal measure.
Now, my friends, it is very important for all of you to understand, to ponder on, and to meditate with this material. It is bound to help you in the most vital way in your further efforts to find your true nature and thus your happiness as a co-creator in the universe.
Are there any questions?
QUESTION: I have a statement that you can comment on, if you will. Since the vital recognition I had at Thanksgiving, I have felt this release, which I take to be a sort of letting be, and a simultaneous activation. It feels very creative. Things I can't believe are happening in my mind. My intellect has been released which means that my mental faculties which had been numbed to some extent are active again. My learning processes, too, are enhanced. I feel very much in motion and my faculties have been supercharged and expanded.
ANSWER: All this is very true, and more so. There is a tremendous process going on in you. I would like to explain what has taken place in terms of this lecture, for it will help you further. During the time you have been on this path, you have activated forces to an enormous extent. In fact, at the end there was an overintensifying of the activating principle, although I did not use these terms. In this overintensity, the letting be principle was not sufficiently at play -- it must now be cultivated so as to round out not only your progress but your personality itself. In this new phase, you will learn how to let be without indifference, unconcern, or giving up.
This is often misunderstood: the blind escape-line of least resistance is a distortion also, but of the feminine creative principle. The key here is awareness. If you are fully aware of yourself, and activate awareness at all times, you can afford to let the forces come to fruition in their own time and rhythm without danger of stagnation. You will now learn to let fruition take place in you consciously; to tune into these forces and begin to experience and perceive their living reality in you, a reality that builds up new life. This will never mean giving up your efforts; on the contrary. But your efforts will be more relaxed, more meaningful, more harmonious, more rounded. As you deliberately set the activating principle in motion, so will you deliberately let the fruition come about. No rules can determine when to use more of one, and when more of the other. It must be intuitively perceived by activating this intuition, too. For the ego-intellect cannot decide when and how to use both forces harmoniously. It is the greater intelligence within that must be deliberately activated.
Be blessed, my friends, every one of you. May you who are already on this path find new strength and new stimulation from these words, and a new opening of doors to help you where you may have been stuck. May the new friends who are here for the first time be touched by some of the things I have said. Perhaps somewhere an echo is created that will set something in motion within you which may make you want to activate more your search in the direction that leads deep into yourself. After the obstructions are faced, accepted, understood, and eliminated, your highest creative powers can begin to unfold. Be blessed, bring forth more and more the greatness and the beauty that you inherently are--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.