Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 200
April 21, 1972
THE COSMIC FEELING
Greetings! Blessings and help are given to you. Love and strength are pouring forth. The divine kernel is in every one of you. The aim of living is to realize this, to know who you really are, to remember. Once you know your true self, which is divine heritage, you will no longer fear or suffer. The pathwork in which I guide you helps, by its various approaches, to eliminate the obstacles to finding out who you are.
These are mere words for most human beings; only after you have overcome certain obstacles can you occasionally experience your true identity. In tonight's lecture I should like to discuss one of the experiences you may have when you begin to glimpse your true identity. I want to prepare you to understand the meaning of this experience so that you do not reject its magnificence by trying to fit it into the mold of the usual human experience -- that would destroy it and make its reoccurrence more difficult. The purpose of this lecture is also to help you attain your true identity sooner and to eliminate the purely mental obstacles.
I wish to discuss a very specific feeling, a feeling that is rarely recognized because it transcends the usual human being's experience of feelings. Within the spectrum of human emotion there is none higher and closer to divine reality than love. The feeling I wish to discuss is beyond love. Since it is a generally very rare human experience, except to the few people who reach full self-realization, it has no name.
I have spoken about many manifestations that accompany self-realization. I have spoken about how the channel opens to receive increasing wisdom and intelligence of such magnitude that all problems can be resolved. The solutions come forth in an all-inclusive way. No loose ends remain. I have discussed how you find within yourself a new creative power that can supply you with any fulfillment, any self-expression, any joy you wish. They are all close at hand, ready to be realized. I have discussed the beauty of the universe that you automatically discover: a universe in which all is well and nothing needs to be feared, in which you will find a sense of wholeness and of eternal life, the power of healing and emotional fulfillment on the deepest possible level. But I have never discussed one particular feeling, though it is implicit in everything else I said -- for in your true being all is one: your experiences are no longer separated and fragmented, just as you are no longer an entity separate from God. As your outer, hitherto split-off little intellect will become one with the greater intelligence that dwells within, so will all experiences be one and merely have different facets.
In your present state of development, you can think one thing, feel another, will something else, and even act in yet another way. This terrible fragmentation is the most painful and confusing state imaginable. Its cure lies wholly in your innermost self where you will find the eternal presence of God.
The feeling I am describing might be called, for lack of a better name, the cosmic feeling. This cosmic feeling is not merely a theoretical understanding, or a feeling about the cosmos or creation. It is a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual experience. It encompasses the entire person. I shall try to describe this experience as best I can within the limitations of human language. Then I shall explain the prerequisites for attaining this cosmic feeling, the four keys which make it possible.
The cosmic feeling is an experience in which feeling and thinking are no longer split. It is feeling and thinking in one. This is hard to imagine when one has never had such an experience. But some of you have occasionally experienced the oneness of feeling and thinking. It is an experience of bliss, of the comprehension of life and its mysteries; of all-encompassing love; of the knowledge that all is well and there is nothing to fear. The total absence of fear is something that is very hard for the average person to imagine, partly because you are so unaware of your fears and partly because you are so used to living with them that it does not occur to you that life could be otherwise. When you know that there is no death, no real suffering other than the temporary manifestation of your errors, illusions, and intentional negativities -- which could end whenever you so desire -- and no real passing of time since time, too, is a production of illusion, then you cannot fear. Fearless love and joy is a feeling-experience that transcends your little, personal self. It includes everything -- and you feel the oneness of all in the universe.
Your failure to distinguish between what is real and what is false creates apparently endless confusion and pain. While you believe in illusions, you usually reverse the true order of the universe: you think that what is real is nonexistent. But knowing what is real and what is illusion is part of the experience of the cosmic feeling. This experience lends an immense security, a knowledge of being truly safe, which in turn releases much energy that is felt as bliss in every part of your being. Relaxation and excitement, peace and pleasure you then experience as interconnected aspects, rather than mutually exclusive opposites as you do ordinarily. This oneness contains every particle of you -- body, soul, spirit.
Needless to say that in this state no worry or anxiety can possibly exist. Nor is there a tight pulling within drive you and make you restless. Restlessness is an expression of the inner urge to seek the path of truth toward full self-realization, but before you have found it, the drive can be painful and can temporarily make you search in the wrong direction, leading you even further away from what your innermost self seeks. The pull may be subtle or strongly noticeable. It has its function, but it uses energy that will later be available for the blissful knowing-feeling of the presence of God within. The immediacy of this incredibly powerful presence is at first shocking. The good feeling is shocking. It is as if an electric shock went through you. Therefore, the ego must grow sufficiently strong and healthy to bear the high vibrations when the inner presence of God emanates into the outer person. This presence is then experienced as your eternal reality and state -- your true identity. The moment you find yourself in this state, you will know in a most profound way that you have always known what you now rediscover, that you have always been what you now experience yourself to be -- that none of this is really new. You had only temporarily cut yourself off from this state of feeling and knowing, of experiencing life as it really is. The experience becomes possible the moment you can bear the immediacy of your divine kernel's presence, its consciousness, its energy, its sparkling reality, its all-permeating wisdom, its all-inclusive love, its creative power that is yours to use as you see fit.
This description is, of course, extremely limited, for the words cannot convey the experience. To gain an inkling of the reality of these words, pray, in this very moment, to be able to perceive a taste of it. Open your inner faculties, my friends. Observe in yourself how much you fear this experience even while you long for it, and how you consequently close yourself to it. Then, at least, you will know that something does wait for you; you will not fall into the trap of an ego trick and sit in doubting judgment, flattering yourself that the doubting attitude is intelligent because it is not gullible. To distinguish between what is real and what is fakery or escape or illusion, you must be open and evaluate with your feelings and intuitive faculties, as well as with your discriminating mind. If fear governs you, the discriminating mind is being used and perverted. If the feelings are open in honesty, the discriminating mind will be the servant it is supposed to be, not the master. If you cannot honestly admit that you are still too afraid of this feeling, that is all right. You can calmly go to work on the obstacles, without self-deluding tactics that remove you further from the real goal that will be reached one day in time and space.
Now I shall discuss the four keys or prerequisites for becoming strong enough to bear the power that you are, and the wisdom embedded in you, and the love hidden inside you, ready to flow out. Everyone of you, without exception -- every living thing in the universe, organic or inorganic -- is permeated with this power and intelligence; all that varies is the degree to which the power and the intelligence become manifest.
The four keys are aspects of the pathwork. But they must also be seen in the context of the cosmic feeling. They are the following:
1. True understanding of cause and effect in your life. Understanding cause and effect in your life is essential for self-realization, for the realization of your divine identity. It is essential merely for good health, for being centered within and reasonably integrated, for meaningful functioning and satisfying experiences. The moment you can see the level in you where your concepts, intentions, and attitudes create your life circumstances, you have your key to create a different and more desirable life. But when you are disconnected from the creating power in you, when you create unconsciously, you are powerless, that is, ignorant of your own power, and you get involved in a chain reaction of error and distortion. You are then in a state where you constantly make others -- people, circumstances, life as a whole -- responsible for your misery. This brings further chain reactions. This inner state -- whether you are conscious of it or not -- makes you blame, accuse, and feel victimized. In turn you feel justified to hate, resent, and take revenge.
Another byproduct of your disconnection is your growing feeling of helplessness and powerlessness: dependency on others, with its inevitable resentments arising from unfulfilled expectations; fear and the consequent defenses that cut you off further from the source of life in you. And all the while you go on willfully ignoring how you create this miserable state yourself, because it suits you better to blame others and to wait for a salvation that will never come. It can only come when you realize your beautiful birthright to create. Just as you create negatively, so can you create positively. Just as you create willfully from the little ego, following the dictates of vanity, greed, laziness, and dishonesty, so can you create by letting God express in you and create honestly and beautifully.
While you are involved in the subtle inner game of disassociating yourself from the causes you set in motion by this or that attitude and will direction, it is impossible to use your creative powers to produce a life of meaning and fulfillment. So you wait -- in vain -- for some other power to take over. This makes your life miserable and hopeless. You then busily deny your sense of hopelessness and futility, and thus you go on ignoring that there is indeed a way out, but in exactly the opposite direction from the one you have chosen.
You are fortunate that the progress of your pathwork has brought many of you in contact with the level of your negative creation. You begin to see more clearly which attitudes, expressions, and intentionalities have produced manifestations in your life that you deplore and have complained about while passively waiting for some miracle to happen from outside -- or in the face of which you have given up and adjusted to unnecessary deprivation and frustration. There is still much work to be done by each of you in searching out your negative self-creation. There are still many areas of your lives you gloss over and fail to give the scrutiny so essential for this discovery.
Uncover your vague sense of futility which makes you fear that your life is slipping through your fingers without your having realized its essence, its beauty, the creative joyousness that is here for you to enjoy. Missing out on it makes you very unhappy. For anyone who is involved in the pathwork, this state is less acute; but there are always some who come to this work with only a minor part of themselves and have no real intention to open up all the way. In that case, the despair remains. It is therefore foolish to indulge your resistances in the pathwork and to act as if not overcoming them would not really matter -- as if your resistances were based on some valid reasons peculiarly suited to your "individuality," or whatever other explanations you may concoct. Do not delude yourself that you can attain results without challenging your resistances. Understand that you can never connect with your creative level, you can never be truly secure, unless you are aware of cause and effect.
Once again, my friends, begin by asking yourselves: in what respect are you unhappy and unfulfilled? And then proceed, with the aid of your helper, to investigate your hidden attitude toward the specific unhappiness. I do not mean the conscious intent, I truly mean the hidden negative intentionality to get more than you are willing to give. All of this must be explored.
At first this is painful. You cling to the illusion that you are an innocent victim. But what unhappiness you buy with this illusion! And once you overcome your dishonesty, you will fully see and understand the negative creation you have produced and how your mental attitudes and hidden feelings have created the present conditions. These attitudes are all the more powerful when they are hidden and unrecognized.
I advise you not to let overwhelming guilt dissuade you from this course. Recognize it as yet another ego trick. By such devastating guilt you prevent yourself from lifting yourself up, from going through the one and only act that can truly remedy the situation, and from recognizing your beauty through the very exposure of your ugliness. Neither aggrandize the guilt, so that it keeps you cowering in repression and misery, nor belittle it. Allow yourself to feel the pain of your guilt, so that you fully see its whole impact, what you do to others and yourself, and how so. This awareness will motivate you to change your negative creating into a positive one.
When you can truly connect with your creative level, you will find such relief; you will find the world opening up. It will dawn on you that if you can create unconsciously, inadvertently, and erroneously such tangible events and states of mind, you can also create consciously, deliberately, and intentionally the circumstances and the state of mind that you desire.
For example, if you now feel that you cannot bear happiness and pleasure -- if the current is too strong and disquieting -- you can create this capacity in yourself by stating the desire and intent, by being willing to give up your dishonesty and negative intentionality, and by wanting to give honestly the best that is in you. How else can you find the endless wealth that is in you? By holding back your inner giving, your openness, and your commitment to life you increase your sense of inner poverty, your belief that you are empty and have nothing to give. The one who feels empty gives nothing. You can feel rich and full only when you wish to give. The moment you do this you create positively, and you will gradually see your creations grow. They may sometimes take a few years to fully manifest, sometimes less. They are never completed. Positive creations can be endlessly enlarged. By truly seeing the cause and effect of your negative creation and its manifestations, you become a creator. You realize your birthright of divinity.
Understanding cause and effect in your life is an incredibly important prerequisite for becoming whole, for being in reality, for true self-responsibility, for opening up a channel to your divinity. This divinity is nothing supernatural or mystical, my friends. It is nothing that comes miraculously or magically from far away. Your divinity is your power to create by your thinking, by expanding your vision, by impressing your intents into yourself, and by requesting the power of God within you to unite with your consciousness.
2. Learning the ability to feel all your feelings and to handle the feeling experience. It requires a bit of growing and groping before the personality can accept all feelings, experiencing and handling them constructively. I have said much about how to do this, so now I will discuss this topic only as it relates to the cosmic feeling.
If humankind goes through the depths of unhappy, painful feelings, it is because it has created them and can only grow beyond them by going through them. Many of you have already experienced the truth that by fully accepting and feeling your pain, you become commensurately capable of sustaining pleasure. By humbly and honestly admitting your hate and expressing it constructively, that is, assuming responsibility for it, your capacity to love grows commensurately. By willingly experiencing your fear, you grow fearless and secure. This is so because the apparently opposite feelings are one and the same energy current, appearing in different frequencies and degrees of condensation. The vibration changes as you discover the oneness of the opposites. The more you avoid a feeling, the less can you experience its other side.
The cosmic feeling is of the highest frequency of energy. If any feeling within the ordinary human spectrum is still apparently unmanageable, cosmic feeling is much too strong to bear. As long as you shy away from a feeling, it remains a wall, it remains your enemy, and you must remain frightened of your own feelings. By that dynamic you create the twice-removed alienation process that is so disconcerting and painful: fear of your fear; pain about your pain; hate for your hate. Your inner split widens until you start groping your way back.
There is no feeling in existence, no matter what it is, that cannot be fully experienced and dealt with in a constructive, beautiful way. If you air out your most negative feelings -- hate, cruelty, anger, and rage, and their byproducts of envy, jealousy, greed, dishonesty, and so on -- their clean and honest expression is beautiful. It is beautiful because you no longer pretend; you risk being truthful and thus become beautiful as you expose the ugliness. This cannot ever be harmful if you do not then use this stage of your self-work to stay stuck -- you know that anything can be misused and put into the service of the life-negating ego tricks. If you have the courage and trust in the universe to truly expose a negative part of your consciousness -- without pride because you overcame the shame -- and if you ask for inner guidance to help you in this endeavor, you will experience the powerful energy contained in the previously hidden feelings. This energy is absolutely essential for creating your life, for expanding your life and consciousness, for feeling joy and pleasure. Tiredness, listlessness, lack of energy can be explained by many outer factors, but in the last analysis they are always a product of running away from feeling and thus of repressing your vital energy.
There is no pain that, if you meet it constructively and without false ideas and projections, will not prove to be a tunnel through which you go comparatively quickly, releasing beautiful energy, love, and power. There is no hate so ugly, or negative intentionality so awful, that expressing it honestly -- rather than acting it out against others -- will not yield powerful energy and add to the beauty of your love and your environment. No hate, no pain, no fear is ever permanent, but love, pleasure, security, peace, and bliss are permanent conditions. Hate, pain, fear are but frozen energy, distorted consciousness. Every time you feel reluctant to go into a pain or into your rage, it is only dishonesty that makes you reluctant -- the wish to appear different from the way you really are. When you overcome your imagined need to pretend, when you can be who you are, there is no feeling that cannot be a source of creative energy. Being honest includes challenging your conscious or unconscious assumption that if you go into pain, you will become lost in it and perish.
By exposing what you fear to expose, you learn to deal with it. Many of you already see that releasing the stagnant, sick energy of hidden, distorted feelings transforms it into a powerful agent for joy and creativity.
The whole spectrum of feelings must be thoroughly experienced: as I said, only when you allow and deal with negative feelings can you accept and sustain good feelings. By the same token, only when you can accept and sustain ordinary good feelings can your ability to sustain the cosmic feeling grow. It is important to understand this evolutionary process of your feeling nature; it will explain why you are so often incapable of holding on to good feelings. You see yourself contract again, right after you have opened up and experienced pleasure, love, the goodness of life. You know that this principle exists, but you still do not use it enough for the gauge that it is; it points to unrecognized, unaccepted, unexpressed negative feelings. And if occasionally a glimmer of the cosmic feeling comes and quickly slips away, it is a sign that your love capacity is not as developed as it can and will be. The strongest human love experience is only a lukewarm, mild shadow of the cosmic feeling that encompasses everything.
3. Developing positive intentionality. You must develop positive intentionality not superficially, not just to comply with some rules, but from the core of your real being, where you want truth and love for their own sakes rather than for what you wish to gain. It must exist on that deep level where you keep discovering the dishonesty and negative intentions toward life, which are the true causes of your unhappiness. The moment you can risk looking at your negative intentions and begin to really work with them on this deep level, your positive intentionality will express itself strongly. Then there will be love -- love for the universe, love for yourself, love for others, love for creation. Your love lacks totality to the degree that negative intentionality festers in your psyche. And you cannot have cosmic feeling unless you have love.
The commitment to make a fair exchange with life must be made over and over day in and day out, searching for deeper hidden recesses where negative intentionality may still exist and then reversing it in a deliberate, creative act of expressing positive intentionality.
How can you gauge where hidden negative intentionality exists? You can gauge it easily by simply asking, "Where am I still unhappy? Where am I anxious? Where do I have problems with myself, with life, with others?" No matter how easy it may be to ascribe the cause to others -- which may also be true -- there is nevertheless something in you that you do not see. Your own unhappiness is your gauge, and you can use it every day. Nothing could be more reliable. In your daily review each night, ask yourself, "Is my life as fulfilled, as joyful, as rich and meaningful as I long for it to be?" Then you have your answer, and you can explore yourself further by asking, "What do I contribute to this situation? How do I create it?" Of course you cannot do this alone, but you have a helper.
Even if your life is fulfilled and happy, and you see it become increasingly richer -- and the continued pathwork will bring about such a change without fail -- you can still ask yourself, "Which are the areas in my life where I still do not feel the joy that I know otherwise to exist?" Your clue to look inside, into your heart of hearts. What do you really intend in this innermost place toward a certain aspect of your life? It is really very simple to do this, my friends, and once you focus in this way, you will see it as simple as a diagram you can draw with the simplest stroke. It is truly no mystery.
4. Connecting with your divine nucleus. The other three approaches are surely prerequisites to this. The fourth approach cannot truly be used successfully unless the other three have been put into practice. The fourth key is meditational. Listen into yourself, become calm and receptive, quiet the busy, loud mind. Start with the premise that there is a deep nucleus of knowing, feeling, power, and presence within you. Focus on it lightly, without the feeling that "I must experience it now." Calmly wait. Learn to become inwardly relaxed. See your own inner rushing, driving, grasping. Observe it, until you can stop it. It may at first be a pain, but take the opportunity to feel the pain without resistance. Learn the great art of tuning in. Ask your innermost Godself for help in this. Persevere. Give your attention and your goodwill to the practice. One day the channel will open. Contemplate the possibility that there are faculties within you that you have not yet experienced.
There is an inner ear with which you will eventually hear; an inner eye with which you will see; an inner power with which you will perceive. These faculties are not yet in use, but they can be awakened. As you put to rest your thoughts and your doubts, which are a trick of the ego, and as you increase your capacity to see through the ego's tricks and be attentive to your inner movements, again and again asking for inner guidance, you will awaken and develop a new inner faculty. It may appear in different realms for different people. With one, the inner ear will suddenly open and you will hear God in you. You will know it is not imagination -- nothing could be more real. With another, the inner eye will begin to see -- perhaps symbolic forms or pictures. It may see on an inner level, where seeing is knowing. It may see the light of truth and of love. That seeing will become understanding, for understanding must always follow to integrate the experience with the conscious ego personality. Still another may discover an ability to express the inner knowing in thoughts: "It" thinks in you, instructs you, or perhaps writes through you. There are many different ways in which new knowing, new seeing, new hearing, new experiencing come from the divine kernel within. The integration of this new faculty into the personality is the expansion I talked about in the last lecture.
Everyone can be helped by this lecture to understand where he or she is on the path, regardless of whether each person can actually put everything to use at this point. That may come only later.
To close, I would like to say once again that the power, the strength, the love, and the help invested in this group venture are so wonderful. The power grows steadily through your progress and liberation and the faith you gain through what you experience and see around you. You can gain so much by letting your heart feel the power at these gatherings. Do not allow the ego tricks to cut you off from your heart and feelings. If you recognize your own doubting, negating ego in the tricks it produces, and if you then doubt your doubts, you can open your hearts, my friends. You will then know I say the truth.
As I withdraw from this instrument, try again to use the powerful energy here. There are so many different ways to use it. Perhaps there are people here who do not love each other, who have had friction or misunderstandings with one another. Maybe they can use this powerful energy to come into the middle of the circle and honestly confront each other. Another way may be for one person who wants help to have the whole group give its energy to find the necessary clue in him or her. Ask in the meditation that follows, with which you generate more of this beautiful energy, for inspiration. Use the energy to move you where God in you directs you. Surrender to the divine power and guidance. Ask God in you whether you should come forward, and how. If you truly surrender to God's will and guidance, wonderful things will happen. Allow them to happen. Enrich yourself and do not shy away from the risk and from the momentary resistance. Do not cut yourself off from it. Be blessed, my dear ones!
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.