Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 220
April 3, 1974
REAWAKENING FROM PRE-INCARNATORY ANESTHESIA
Greetings. Loving blessings are pouring forth for every one of you here. Welcome, my dearest friends. Let us continue with this specific series of lectures. And keep in mind, my friends, that they are a sequence, one leading to the next, on the spiral of your evolutionary process, commensurate with your increasing awareness.
In this lecture, I will again speak about the phenomenon of consciousness, particularly in connection with the evolutionary process and the meaning of individual life.
All knowledge is in you. I have often said this, but it is rarely understood. Before you are born into this life, a process of anesthesia sets in. There is a specific reason for this. You awaken from it, as you come out of infanthood, with a limited consciousness. The awakening is partial and gradual. As you grow physically, mentally, and emotionally, you grope to rediscover your inner knowledge. At first you do this in a limited way, with a focus on material life. You learn to walk, handle objects, you speak; you learn reading, writing, numbers, certain basic laws of outer life, of physical matter that surrounds you and that you will need to handle.
Once basic material knowledge is mastered or reawakened, deeper knowledge is reacquired, provided that the growth process takes place as planned. When a person is in an intensive growing process, this will happen in ever-increasing depth and scope. If the person has stopped the movement of the growth process, his "life train," that interruption will prevent the reacquisition of knowledge he or she possesses in a potential state.
Here you will have to ask inevitably, "Why does anesthesia set in?" Actually, the anesthesia sets in well before the birth process. In your spiritual reality, where the total entity that you are truly belongs, you decide upon a reappearance in this dimension. That is when you are deliberately anesthetized. After all plans for your life on the material plane are thoroughly discussed and assimilated, you lose consciousness. A person who undergoes an operation goes through a similar process. In fact the process of anesthetization is copied from the spirit life, remembered and rediscovered in earthly life. On earth its purpose is to prevent pain during an operation. In the case of the incarnatory process, the reason is different.
Before the spiritual self takes possession of the human body in the birth process, the entity is already in a sleeping state, anesthetized and unaware. At birth, there is an awakening to a slight degree -- slight in relation to its actual state. The limited part of the entity that takes possession of the infant body finds itself awake to physical sensations and functioning, and certain limited perception and awareness; none of these can be properly assessed, interpreted, or assimilated. That comes later. The state of awareness after birth is increased, but is still very limited. Becoming aware and awake is a gradual process.
The first years -- roughly, the first twenty-two to twenty-five years, although this cannot be generalized -- are primarily focused on acquiring outer knowledge. Provided the process is meaningful and organic, the focus should then go to acquiring knowledge that transcends the physical reality: inner, spiritual knowledge. This can take place first on a psychological level. I include psychological knowledge when I speak of spiritual knowledge, for it concerns itself with the laws and processes of the inner self.
Certain highly developed individuals with a capacity for spiritual fulfillment awaken to inner reality often, though not always, earlier, which can coincide with the outer learning. You have children on your path who early in life begin to acquire and comprehend inner knowledge. This can happen because the knowledge is near and deeply anchored into the soul; in previous lifetimes it had become such an integral part of the entity that it is easier to reawaken than in others without such previous development, who must still go through processes of growing, searching, and struggling before the inner knowledge penetrate every particle of the soul. That is, of course, what life is all about. And all of it is necessary: the groping process, the process of trial and error, searching, often being confused and not knowing, dealing with the not knowing in a constructive way, finding the often precarious balance between patience and humility for the grace of knowledge to communicate itself on the one hand, and serious commitment, endeavor, focused will and healthy aggression on the other. This process is the key. When the lessons of these endeavors are absorbed by the soul, the reacquisition of knowledge comes more easily in a future lifetime.
Now I return to the question of why the temporary anesthetizing takes place. Perhaps a part of the answer has already dawned on you. It is not easy to convey these principles, but I shall do the best I can.
I recapitulate briefly: The manifest personality does not know what it knows -- whether the soul has already gone through the process described and thus spiritual knowledge, understanding, and perception are natural even in the limited state of the human embodiment; whether this has not yet taken place; or whether a soul continues within this process life after life. Knowledge, to whatever degree it exists, is blotted out; it is "forgotten." Whatever state of development you may be in, you start off with a clean slate: you start off knowing nothing, whether you are highly developed, or whether the process occurs still on a lower scale. So, at first, the knowledge that is in you is, apparently, not in you. Now, why must that be?
In a recent lecture about the evolutionary process, I discussed how the "mass" of consciousness spreads, filling the void. As it does so, particles of consciousness lose themselves. The essential divine consciousness, in its beauty, wisdom, and benign power, functions in a limited and distorted way. The isolated particles must seek to unite again with the forward-rushing, spreading movement of the divine state of life that inexorably fills the void. In this process the separated particles -- which are individual entities -- must find the way back on their own, by dint of reawakening the divine potentials always present, even in the most separated aspects.
I return to this analogy again and again to help you understand this topic: the part of your soul that is still separated must forge whatever it has known in a more awake state in order for the undeveloped part to find its own way.
Let me try to make this clear. Suppose you were consciously to know, now, all that you deeply know. Then the undeveloped aspects in you would not find, under their own steam, their innate essence. They would be swept along, as it were, by the already knowing, already developed aspects. They would therefore always represent an unreliable element. They would essentially, although not necessarily manifestly, blur the beauty, vitality, creativity, and wisdom of the rest of your being. They would be carried by the surge of the glory of God-consciousness, but they would not be totally infused with it. Purification and evolution mean that every smallest aspect of all that is must be infused with its own essence.
Let us apply this somewhat metaphysical, philosophical, and general explanation to your present state, your everyday life and struggle on your path. You may then not only understand better what I am saying, but will personally benefit from it.
On your path you constantly discover aspects of negativity, irrationality, childishness, selfishness, destructiveness. You know that these aspects flare up, at an early stage of your development, by themselves, without provocation from outside. These aspects are so strong that you activate them, initiating negativity, regardless of what the outer situation is. As your development proceeds, this changes. The negative aspects cease to manifest by themselves. They need outer provocation. You respond with them to the initiating negativity of others around you. However, you do live in the world of matter, in which, under even the best of circumstances, life is not easy. Matter obstructs and frustrates. The very fact of living in this dimension of reality -- which is your production, of course -- is always a challenge. Imagine that you lived under circumstances so sublime, favorable and bliss-producing, that even the worst in you would not find occasion to express itself. Then the worst in you would remain dormant, unexposed, and would not go through its necessary process of purification.
You are often convinced, and partially rightly so, that if others did not do this or that, you would be fine, you would stay in a state of harmony and bliss. The blurred areas in you would, however, continue to smolder, because without their manifestation you would not know of their existence. They need exactly to be triggered off, they need the exposure and provocation. By the same token, if you were consciously to know all you know, with no provocations from outside, the undeveloped aspects would not flare up and would not acquire their own ingrained knowing. They would merely be affected by what the already developed aspects know.
On your path you have experienced that when you successfully work through those blurred areas, you become absolutely safe, no matter what others do or fail to do, no matter how they react. You remain essentially whole, essentially unaffected. I do not mean unaffected in the sense of being remote and without feeling. I mean that the particular negativity in you that you have worked through no longer exists and therefore cannot flare up when others do wrong by you. You may be hurt or angry, but in an entirely different way than when your own unresolved faults and flaws are triggered off by outside circumstances. So you no longer depend on perfection in order not to face your imperfection. The effect of others' destructiveness will not make you lose your bearing or your center if your blurred areas have been clarified, purified, cleansed, and eliminated.
The same principle holds in the relationship between your own inner imperfections and your already purified parts. If you were born knowing all you know, the uncleansed areas would depend on the cleansed ones and not become whole within themselves; if the wise, knowing, enlightened aspects of yourself are asleep, that sleep is necessary to allow the blurred areas to struggle through on their own, with the aid of the knowledge that is essentially in you. Thus out of a lack of knowledge, knowledge is developed. Out of the darkness light develops. Even in the darkest, most ignorant part is the essence of knowledge and light. That essence must express from within itself, not from an aspect outside itself already in possession of wisdom and light. So when the knowledge and light are brought forth from within your own limitations, purification is thorough, reliable and real. Then true independence from one's surroundings is being established and thus, true freedom. Then each particle, each aspect of consciousness has brought forth its own "minuscule Godness," so to speak. And that is the meaning of the anesthesia with which you enter into life. It is your struggle for your essential light that gradually and surely diminishes the anesthesia and awakens you to who you really are.
You also experience on your path that the more courage you muster to face your truth, the more humility and honesty you bring to bear on your whole inner person, the more alert and awake you become. This is an inexorable consequence that cannot fail to manifest. Suddenly, or gradually, you understand and perceive others in a way you never could before. You begin to recognize others' negativities without being personally affected or disturbed by them. You no longer struggle against others' negativity in a blind, resentful way, without seeing clearly, only vaguely perceiving as through a fog. Now you see clearly; you comprehend intuitively the connections that make the transgression no longer a personal annihilation. You also begin to see and perceive others' beauty in a way that doesn't make you jealous but that fills you with awe, wonder, and gratitude. You begin to perceive connections of interactions between yourself and others that eliminate the riddle of life -- and the riddle of living with others -- and that increases your security because you see and know the processes in human interaction. As you go on in that way, dealing with your own impurities and eliminating them, suddenly, or gradually, a new focusing and awareness awaken inside of you. A knowledge flows into you, apparently from out of nowhere. It is not from the brain. It is not from the outer knowledge you have acquired in the first two decades of your life, or later. It has nothing to do with what you have learned. It comes from a different source.
As channels open, a new focusing can set in. You can begin very deliberately to listen into the inner universe, the place from which all wisdom flows into your outer being. It is a gradual process, yet it can be sudden in its manifestation. The process sometimes seems to be interrupted, because it often disappears at the initial stages, so that the experience can appear to have been a dream. The state in which you hear the inner voice must be fought for in a positive, relaxed sense. It must be gained and regained, for it is lost over and over again.
The focusing must be done quite deliberately after a certain stage of development and purification has been reached. The focusing will yield to connections, to listening and "hearing." Now, the state of consciousness in humanity as a whole, because of mass conditioning, makes such focusing virtually impossible. Many of those who are developed enough and could succeed don't even try. Their still unresolved problem may be fear of ridicule and disapproval from the world around them; they lack courage to establish the inner self as the true center of individual life. The whole of humanity is conditioned to focus only on certain phenomena, outside and inside, at the exclusion of other aspects of reality, until only that which is in their focus seems real. A whole world exists around you which you do not see or experience; it seems like a fantasy when you hear it discussed. This limitation of perception is the result of a conditioned reflex in focusing, which, in turn, is the result of anesthesia.
At the beginning of such a path, if you listen into yourself, you probably hear nothing and may become convinced that there is nothing but emptiness. Or, perhaps, you hear occasionally the voice of the childish, demanding, negative self. Then, of course, you are convinced that this is your final reality, which frightens you, and so you avoid facing the negative self even more, until later when, perhaps, you learn to make room to listen deeper and so can contact levels of unimagined inner reality.
Question and challenge your negative voice. Confront it. Identify it without being identified with it. Learn not to allow it to control you, not to act it out -- even as you acknowledge the existence of this voice of selfishness and meanness. Only as this attitude becomes consistent, as confrontation between the lower self and the conscious, reasonable, positive ego-self takes place constantly, will you eventually find your focus on another level of consciousness, which as you will suddenly discover has always been there.
The voice of God has always spoken to you. It continues to speak to you -- always in a new way, always adapted exactly to what you need most at any given moment in your life. It is the voice that you overlooked and kept out of focus so that you were left with the illusion of silence. When I say "you" I mean, of course, humanity as a whole.
It is impossible to refocus on this beautiful voice by skipping over the confrontation with the lower self that also always speaks to you. Your ego has to learn to distinguish between them. The voice of the lower self says, "I want it for me. I do not care about others." That part of you believes in a mutual exclusivity, in a division of interests between you and others, and that it must triumph at the expense of others. That part is not connected to the reality that you can have all without depriving others. That negative voice must be confronted, it must be questioned. Question the voices of meanness and malice, your stake in seeing others as bad, and not wishing to make room to even doubt this. Simultaneously see that you -- or a part of you -- doubt the beauty and trustworthiness of the universe. Question the voice of fear, question its lack of faith, and confront it sincerely. Then the ongoing voice of God will be heard. And you will recognize it. You will rediscover that it has always spoken to you, clearly and beautifully. You simply could not hear it before, because it could not push itself through as long as you deliberately focused away from it.
Focusing is deliberate, both in a positive and in a negative sense. In a positive sense, you had to be born in anesthesia, having forgotten what you know, to purify totally all aspects of the self. Had you always heard the divine voice, purification could not have taken place. You would not have been able to focus on the negative, or deal with it. It would have been quieted down and swept along. In a sense, focusing away from the divine voice is the anesthesia that your self deliberately chooses for the incarnatory process. In the negative sense, deliberate focusing away from the divine voice is due to the power you give to the negative self that rejects any rule but its own. The negative self does not want to know itself. Yet the divine voice leads the negative self to know itself. That is the first step for the negative self to purify itself.
Many of my friends on this path can perhaps begin to take deliberate steps toward distinctly hearing both voices. What is the negative, lower self? It may manifest under a clever disguise. And what is the divine voice? You can learn to deliberately shift your focus, and you can spend time in your meditation practicing this differentiation.
For a long time the main goal in our meditation was what I called impressing. In one of the basic lectures about meditation I spoke about both aspects: impressing, that is, instructing, claiming, conditioning, re-creating; and expressing: that is, listening, hearing, and receiving. The time has come when you can safely focus on expressing. You can learn to listen to the whole, wonderful universe, an ongoing, alive phenomenon. You dwell in this universe and it dwells in you. You can discover it by focusing on it. You can awaken from your dream state, your anesthesia, my friends. You can become truly alive and know the aliveness that is in you.
Are there any questions?
QUESTION: Yes. Most of my life I have been listening to my negativity. The negativity has been conducting me. This negativity is excessive control and contempt. Going from that lower voice, which has been such a large element in my personality, to trying to listen to the other part, let's say the sweet part of myself, the child's voice that was squashed, I am afraid that I will then not deal with the negativity, that I will go overboard and be false.
ANSWER: That is always the danger, the difficulty in the groping. The wishful thinking that the positive voice is the self's only reality must be taken into consideration, and then self-deception will no longer present a danger. It is possible to hear the divine voice in many areas, yet the negative self still exists. The ego's block against recognition of the negative makes it impossible for the divine to come through. If the ego specifically requests wisdom from the divine part of the self to find the best way to deal with unpurified aspects, the divine voice will be heard and its wisdom can be applied to where it is most needed.
On this path you have a number of good tools to prevent you from the danger of overlooking the undesirable aspects of yourself, even as you begin to awaken the wisdom and splendor of your divine reality. You learn again and again that one does not eliminate the other; you learn to deal with apparent contradiction; you learn to keep a record of your disharmonies in your daily review; you learn the power of repeated impressing in meditation that you do want to be aware of every aspect your inner path wants you to be aware of at any given phase. By using these tools you can strengthen your determination to observe the undesirable and get to know the glory of God in you.
Another good tool is to heed your reactions. Assess your feelings. If you are truly in joy and brightness, free of anxiety, in a happy state, then in that particular moment you truly are in touch with your divinity. And your inner path does not invite you, at that particular time, to deal with anything else. Maybe the next day something blurs the picture. Some unhappiness comes to you, doubts, heaviness, anxiety. It is a sign that you are overlooking something. Your life manifestation is a reliable gauge, it shows whether you are living in self-deception or truly following your path according to your plan. Examine your state of fulfillment in your relationships, partnership, work, pleasures, your inner state of joyousness and peace, and your outer state of fulfillment and abundance. These are gauges. Where there is unfulfilled longing, there is something you do not focus on.
The divine voice will not lead you astray. When you lose focus or seem to, notice the ego's intentionality. The divine voice will not tell you beautiful stories about your already purified state or speak in generalities. It will point out with love and firmness exactly where you have to go. But your ego-self must want and ask for this guidance. If you want the truth, open yourself, and humbly ask: "What do I need to see in myself? Where am I still blind? What can you tell me?" The divine voice will instruct you in the most marvelous way. Nothing can strengthen your faith in the truth of God's existence more than this connection with God. Then you create a unification. The teaching you receive from within will be a strengthening and unifying experience. Listening to the beautiful voice will not get you away from the unpurified part; it will bring both parts together, the negative energy transforming itself to become part of the Godself. The manifestation will be exactly a result of your intention. If you want to use the voice of beauty in order not to deal with the ugliness, you will hear only beauty. You will hear what your ego-consciousness is ready to receive. The divine voice cannot manifest in any other way.
QUESTION: I have difficulties in interpreting the messages that I receive and in believing in them. I receive messages, but only later do I realize that I did.
ANSWER: That is the learning process I spoke about. By experience, by trial and error you can learn to understand the laws. There are certain rules. Those who have gone through the process extensively can be helpful, as, for example, the instrument through whom I manifest. However, even that is limited. For every person is different, has different leanings, different weak points of wishful thinking. And you will be tested as to the extent to which you have to question yourself and learn. The most valuable treasure a human being can possess -- the connection with the divine voice -- cannot be handed out ready-made. It must be earned through the groping process. You must learn to question yourself about the extent to which wishful thinking may be coloring the reception. Beware also of the opposite danger: To what extent does fear of wishful thinking color the reception and obstruct the truth that would only be too welcome? If the voice says something so desirable that you do not dare believe it, it may still be true. You must test it out and explore your inner self. Do you sense any desire to cheat, or to avoid? Only deep, inner experience will teach you and give you security. Try again and again. Listen, give it attention, take it seriously. Also, do not be gullible. Realize that tests must come for you to learn what you need to learn.
If you discover the voice only after the fact, that, too, is all right. It is then up to you to rethink the way that you heard it. You can meditate for enlightenment, slowly you will learn the process. If there were hard-and-fast rules, that security would not come. It can come only through the process of groping, learning, making mistakes. Eventually the inner knowing will come. You will have the feeling deep in your center: it will feel right and good and you will know that this is it; you will learn to trust it.
Now, my dearest friends, I bless all of you. Divine love and wisdom are here in abundance. You who work on this path create so much blessing for yourself, so much light. More and more you will awaken from your sleep, so that you will never have to fall asleep again. Rest will not impair the awareness of a joyous, peaceful, exciting, blissful universe in which you lie and which lives in you. You are blessed.
Edited by Judith and John Saly
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