Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 222
May 29, 1974
TRANSFORMATION OF THE LOWER SELF
Blessings, greetings, love and help are pouring forth in a wonderful golden stream that permeates your inner being and that your outer personality can connect with if you so choose. My dearest friends, in this last official lecture of your working season, I will once again give a resume of what you have accomplished. Of course this can be done only in an overall, general way, but I will try to consolidate your progress concisely. This past year has been very meaningful for all of you.
In an earlier summary I told you that after having recognized and dealt with deeper levels of your lower self, you would be able to establish more contact with your higher self, and that some of your lower-self aspects would be transformed. This marks a decisive new phase on your path, since previously it was grueling hard work to get through your defenses to really see and accept your lower self in a realistic and constructive spirit. Years went by before the first steps of the transforming work could begin. Last year was the first step in this new phase. It has just begun, but will continue to a much greater extent as you continue on your path.
You may imagine what this means in terms of ever increasing joy, love, peace, security, strength, creativity, deep friendships and unity. Even these first steps of transforming work have already changed your relationships, your experiences, your community, your sense of well-being and meaningfulness in life. You are often startled by this change. It sometimes seems miraculous, yet it is merely a beginning and so much more is yet to come.
The increasing inward and outward abundance you experience as a result of your pathwork gives your life a much more specific focus and increases your awareness of your incarnatory task. The abundance also manifests in your relationships with each other in the community you have begun to establish. You can see a visible change. Where before there was often so much dissension, disconnection, misunderstanding and negativity among you, more and more you experience understanding, warmth, acceptance, love, and true friendship. You have learned to a considerable degree to deal with the dissensions that are sometimes inevitable. You have recognized that dissension with others is merely a reflection of dissension within yourself. You now can put into practice what I have taught you all these years: As you unify yourself, you unify your relationships with others. As you recognize the best and the worst in you in proper proportions, you recognize the best and worst in others with equal realism.
The progress is obvious. What were previously words, teaching a way of living that could become reality if you followed the path, and what was a beautiful-sounding theory or philosophy for you, has now become a reality. The theory has indeed been put to the test, and the result is visible.
In the recent past you have experienced a great deal together. You have learned to open yourselves to one another. You have lost a considerable amount of shame and resistance to baring yourselves to one another. And thus the loneliness you all suffered from has begun to disappear, sometimes by giant steps. You now know that your loneliness can never be relieved by another person's love as long as you stay in hiding and separation and keep up your pretenses. Many of you have laboriously stripped off this separation and these pretenses to quite an extent, and to that extent you find yourselves in warm communion with others, no longer lonely. So you truly begin to share. You have shared sorrow and you have shared joy. You have shared your doubts about yourselves and your lives. You have shared your pain about yourselves and each other. You have shared your burdens of guilt, and you have begun to share the pleasures of love and truth. For there could be no greater pleasure than sharing love and truth as a result of the other sharing. You have tested the exhilaration of such rich living. You can indeed create paradise on earth if you do not shy away from the labor of purification work. But soon the work itself becomes the exhilaration and the joy; it ceases to be painful and difficult. You also find this out as you progress.
That is the work you must continue. You have made a wonderful beginning in this transforming work, but much more is to come. And as more transforming work takes place, you will, individually and as a community, create more real, deeper, more beautiful relationships; more sharing; more creative experiences; more meaningful self-fulfillment. Your spiritual self will manifest more and more and make you experience its eternal reality. You will become the nucleus of a new culture, as I have occasionally hinted at. You are pioneers. Other groups of pioneers are springing up in various corners of the earth, each in their own way.
As you overcome your resistances and learn not to give in to the line of least resistance, your joys and your deep awareness of the meaningfulness of your life and your task will increase. I have said such words often, but they were more of an announcement of what could be. Now it is different. For many of you these words are a living reality that you experience right now in your life, day by day. And this reality can become deeper and stronger if you so choose.
This lecture will give you a plan and another means for proceeding further with your transformation. New understanding on a deeper level is required for this transforming work, which will become easier once you understand what I shall now try to convey to you.
Those of you who have gone into the depths and have bared aspects of your lower self, have brought your negative intentionality out in the open where you could expose it, express it, and see it for what it was, have learned the positive side of this process; namely, that it frees you. You can acknowledge these negative aspects without becoming downcast and without believing that they are the true you. Quite the contrary, when you do this you experience the truth I have always given you: When those negative intentions are secret even from your conscious mind, you also secretly believe that you are all bad. This manifests in self-destructive patterns you do not understand, and you cannot trace them to their origins unless and until you have the courage and honesty to first bare the negative intentionality very specifically. Then, lo and behold, something unexpected begins to happen. You accept and respect yourself more and know that these patterns are only a minor part of your total self. You can identify aspects of the lower self without totally identifying with them.
On the negative side, you have found out that in these lower-self aspects resides a senseless stubbornness that still controls you to a degree, in an almost incomprehensible way. In your clear-thinking mind you know perfectly well that it does not make sense to hold on to a negative intention. You have experienced in other areas of your life the bliss and the safety of letting go and letting God. You also begin to make the connections conscious and see what price you pay for persisting in the negativity. Yet you do not wish to abandon it. You are puzzled by your own attitude -- and here you are stuck.
Why do you persist in a life-denying attitude? That attitude in you says no to giving in to the meaning of life, to beauty, love, truth, expansion, joy and peace. It refuses to surrender to God. This attitude always applies to a specific area where the lower self does not wish to budge. It is therefore not enough to make your goodwill known to your consciousness in a general way. It must be specific.
Wherever this mysterious stubbornness prevails, you are still controlled by your lower self. But at least you know it now, and that is an important step. You do need help here, my friends, precisely at this point, where quite a few of you have arrived. If you bother to deal with this attitude rather than gloss over it, rationalize it away, or make yourself oblivious to its existence, you come to an important point. You see, but fail to understand, this truly senseless behavior of a part of yourself, and you even see that you have chosen not to do battle with it. You have just given in and become victimized by your own lower self.
But this need not be so. When you can begin to question this, then you have already made another substantial step in the right direction. For example, ask yourself questions like: "Why do I refuse to surrender to God and give up my lower self for what I know to be happiness, abundance, and bliss? Why do I settle for the puny satisfaction of my spite, my destructiveness and my selfishness, or whatever trait is in me that obstructs my true happiness? What in me makes me so destructive? How much do I really pay for allowing this to happen? Isn't there a way to change this inner course? Knowing the beauty of life, why do I still deny it? Why can I not affirm life and God and the flow of creativity?" These questions will lead to specific answers and clarifications. They must be asked and taken seriously. They puzzle all those who arrive at this juncture.
This lecture deals with these questions. I have often mentioned, my friends, that there is a countermovement in you. One movement embraces life and longs for the divine. But the countermovement denies all that. It wants to remain in darkness, in spite of the obvious pain that this inflicts. It insists on living life on its own terms, even though its terms are life-denying and destructive for the self and others. This countermovement has its history in the creation of the ever-outflowing substance of life, penetrating the infinite void and thus bringing eternity and light into the nonlife and darkness until the void no longer exists. Eventually the time will come -- to use this limited term -- when there will be only light and life.
Substances of consciousness and energy -- the two inseparable aspects of the eternal life spark -- get lost, separated from their source, as it were. The substance spreads into the void and, in the outward-spreading movement, temporarily separates itself from the whole. In that state of separation it will find, through its own inner life spark, all its inherent godliness. It has to battle its way through the darkness and distortion that are byproducts of the separation. So these aspects of consciousness and energy, now individual entities, temporarily turn sour. They invert themselves; they turn into anti-matter, anti-consciousness, anti-energy. This is why there must be struggle to reawaken divine matter, divine consciousness, divine energy.
From all the beauty, creativity and goodness, this inversion creates ugliness, destruction and evil. There have been many names for this countermovement throughout history. Those names can become obstacles in dealing with evil, for they have often been misused, creating further distortions. They were used to dominate, to judge, to punish, to put down, to instill fear of life and God, to make a primitive charade out of the wonders and miracles of ongoing creation. People therefore turn a deaf ear to terms such as "good" and "evil," "God" and "the devil," "heaven" and "hell." Yet these expressions merely describe symbolically a state of consciousness that is very difficult to convey to a consciousness still immersed in a three-dimensional world.
We from our spirit world constantly seek ways to convey to you certain facets of reality without eliciting inappropriate reactions that would thus limit your understanding. An unavoidable limitation exists however. Your vocabulary is limited, so you must fulfill your own part in the mutual venture of learning. As I grope to find the words best suited to a specific topic, you must try not to allow prejudices and word associations to create a wall that would prevent you from taking in what I give you; for I am giving you a potent tool for your further development. Do not close off to a truth I am privileged to help you perceive, even if you occasionally hear a word that evokes a negative reaction in you.
Evil exists in degrees. Many varieties of distribution and intensity of divine and evil manifestations exist. Consciousness and energy manifest separately in entities, in personalities, in living beings divine or evil. The strength with which the former can penetrate the ego structure and manifest depends on the degree the latter has been transformed through evolutionary development.
In some spheres of reality the contrasts are infinitely greater than those that you inhabit in your state of development. In the most highly developed spheres and states of consciousness, the degree of goodness, brilliance of spirit or mind, of beauty, wisdom, and love is totally beyond your imagination. By the same token, there are spheres of temporary reality and states of consciousness in which ugliness, brutality, cruelty, numbness, limitation of mind -- including shrewdness, as opposed to wisdom -- hatred, and smallness of spirit are likewise beyond your imagination. These separated beings -- you might call them sub-humans -- exist in a world of such darkness that indeed there seems no way out, until, as a result of long suffering and groping, the mind turns around and starts thinking and expressing itself in a new and different way. This is the key, a key that seems too simple to those in a state of evil and suffering who insist that turning around is very complicated or impossible to accomplish.
Consciousness and energy always create substance, matter and form according to their own nature. The consciousness and energy in these evil states are so condensed and thickened that they are more material than the matter you know, so that in your present state of development, the higher and the lower states of consciousness and energy are equally imperceptible.
In the lowest state of development, evil is so strongly concentrated on the surface that it is completely unaware of the divine nucleus. For these subhuman beings there actually does not seem to be an inherent divine nucleus. Only through eons of development does the nucleus finally become apparent, but only very dimly at first.
Human development is an in-between state. Beings in various degrees of development incarnate and fulfill themselves in other states. These degrees of development may seem to fluctuate considerably from your point of view, especially if you pick representatives from either extreme of the scale. Nevertheless, neither the highest nor the lowest degrees exist in the human state. You do not know the full extent of good and evil because your inner field of vision does not reach these levels.
The foregoing may seem to indicate that creation is split dualistically, something I always deny in my teachings. As I will prove to you on a very practical level, the split does not really exist in essence. But on a level of temporary manifestation it does exist and must be recognized and dealt with for what it is.
There is hardly any human being whose lower self could approach the intensity of the evil that exists in the lower spheres. And the now-manifest higher self could not by any means approach the intensity and beauty of the true, divine, eternal existence. I would also like to add here that manifest evil is not necessarily indicative of an overall lack of development. It is often quite the contrary. Active, virulent evil often indicates that the potential to develop one's divine aspects has been willfully neglected, so that the potent energy currents of the consciousness invert themselves and manifest in an equally potent negative way. The spiritually immature and young appear in the human sphere quite often as having innocuous, ineffectual, primitive minds, with the herd mentality that does not think independently. This is why a severely disturbed human being who exhibits some evil traits, but who already has a developed conscience and therefore does not act out evil deeds, turns relatively quickly into a spirit of light and of power for the good, once the mind has truly been affected.
The distortion that marks separation from the divine essence is only temporary. It cannot last. It is part of the process of filling the void, and, sooner or later through the ages, the distorted, inverted, separate piece of consciousness and energy, the separate personality, must be "filed down," purified through experiences of living and increasing perception until its essence is rediscovered. And that is the process of evolutionary development.
These things have been said, sometimes in oversimplified terms, by various religions. But do not forget, my friends, that religions, when they first appear, are channels that in some way communicate divine truth to humanity. They are later often distorted. They may be flattened out because the mind becomes lazy, preferring handed-down rules and generalizations that may or may not apply to one's inner state. Even the truth of a spiritual law becomes a superficial statement when it is not independently found through the process of self-search and self-confrontation, but lazily accepted on the surface in order to avoid the labor and risks involved in personal growth. This is why religions lose their power of truth after a while, even though they often start as channels of truth. All this must and will be avoided here as long as you stay dynamically involved in your pathwork, in your search, and in your process of personal growth.
The reason I tell you this now, my dearest friends, is to make it clearer to you what your life means in these terms. You, as your higher self, have taken on a task and have brought with it, into your embodiment, an aspect of that anti-God matter with its inverted consciousness and energy. You have brought it with you into this incarnation, where it is possible for you to get to know it, to deal with it, and to influence it rather than be influenced by it.
This aspect has its own separate will and thinking processes, as you often find out to your bafflement and dismay. That is the point where you often get confused and stuck. Your consciousness or personality must make many choices in this world, including which of the two wills to follow. You can choose to allow the will of the lower self to control your whole person. Or you can choose to align your conscious mind and will with the higher self, without pushing out of awareness the will and voice of the lower self. You also need to think about what it means when you follow the lower self without questioning it, when you are still tempted to rationalize it and do nothing to challenge its will.
Now, in none of you does the lower self approach anywhere near the intensely destructive levels I discussed earlier. But the lower self is always destructive; otherwise, it would not be a lower self. It may be destructive in wanting to be malicious or ungiving. It is destructive by persisting in its limited view that what is selfish is good for the self. It is destructive simply in refusing total self-surrender to the divine consciousness and divine will within you, at every turn of your way. You forget; you do not trust in this surrender, even if you have already experienced the blissfulness of it. But your forgetting is not really forgetting. It is a deliberate intent of that other will and consciousness that you carry within you. Your outer mind always has the choice to allow it to rule you. But you can also take the reins and be aware of that outer will: Confront it; counter it. Do not allow it to destroy your life and waste valuable life substance and creative expression. It does not have to make you miss out on the blissfulness of eternal life that increasingly filters into your life now.
This point is most crucial for your further intensified transformation work. You do not cast out any devils. That is a misunderstanding of certain religious orientations. When the devils are cast out, you do not perform the task of transforming. You may succeed in casting out devils, but the devils live on -- maybe not attached to you, but they live on.
Your lower self can be transformed and you have seen this happen, my friends. It is happening increasingly. This lecture is geared to give you still better means to achieve this transformation, tools that you could not have used before you came to this specific awareness. The awareness could be expressed like this: "Here I see myself wanting to be destructive. I see the pain it causes me, the senselessness of it. I know that it need not be that way, yet I want to go on being destructive. I do not want to give up my pride, my self-will or my fear and put them into the service of God."
That is what is so puzzling. In fact, it is so puzzling to many of you that you soon push it aside again and act as if it were not there. Then you take this in-between, half-aware state for granted.
I shall now try to explain as exactly as possible with the tools at my disposal what happens when consciousness and energy are being transformed. That, too, will give you light, incentive and greater motivation to put all of your conscious being into the service of the divine consciousness that dwells deep within you.
I have told you before that there is a positive, divine aspect behind each specific negative manifestation. You have asked me what positive aspects the specific negativities are distortions of and what the original divine aspects or attributes are. It is a good idea to continue this exploration in meditation whenever you face a lower-self aspect. You have forgotten to pursue this approach, so you often dwell longer than necessary on the purely negative manifestation. When you begin to see these areas of your lower self, it is very important for your conscious mind to ask, "What was this trait in its original, beautiful version, before it was inverted, distorted, and made negative?" In that way you do not cut out the trait, but rather transform it; you do not allow those aspects to rule you, nor do you cast them out and separate yourself from them. Instead you truly fulfill the task of transforming consciousness -- for which you have come to this earth.
Let us say that your stubbornness resists dealing with this aspect of self-work; it resists surrender to the divine kernel. Could this stubbornness not be retained and transformed into a positive manifestation of your godself? If you do not have to cast it out, you will not be so resistant because you may use this transformed stubbornness in a new and different way.
If you find yourself being selfish and you believe you must cast out the selfishness, it will be impossible for you even to want to approach the threshold where you seem to be stuck. But if you know that there is a healthy selfishness that you have every right to pursue and that does not exclude loving and being generous, then your resistance will wane and the devil in you will turn into an angel in this particular area.
Most of you, my friends, have forgotten this very important tool that I have given you and you have not consciously used it. Your conscious application of it will make you even more ready for the universal abundance available to you as a result of your transformation work. Begin to apply it now more consistently and in a more focused way.
You now know quite clearly that your inability to tolerate the ever-increasing pleasure in your life, to the point where you often still feel compelled to destroy it, is due precisely to this problem. This is why you cannot find your way to transforming negativity. Once you begin to solve this problem, you will experience the glory of this work. What was once negative, destructive, and even outright evil, will turn positive, constructive, and good. What was once a dualistic conflict will become a unification. For example, instead of seeing unselfishness versus selfishness, you will truly see that healthy selfishness is good at certain times and that there are times to be unselfish, too. It is very important to apply this approach specifically to all areas you deal with. This way consciousness is transformed while remaining an intrinsically unique, divine manifestation.
Consciousness does not change its essence; it changes only its expression. In experiencing and knowing this, your resistance will therefore lessen, since you will not fear that you will lose something that is intrinsically you. And you will experience the aspect of yourself that can decide the course of your attitudes and can redirect your consciousness as the more valid you. At the same time, the other part that you are about to transform will become more and more like an appendage that you have brought with you as part of your task of self-fulfillment. Consequently, as you do the transforming work, unification occurs.
In the process of feeling increasingly unified and conflict-free, you will fully discover the intense pain of the conflict you have labored under for so long. Often you will see the complete picture only when the ill will is about to disappear. What was once a conflicting "other," even though it was incarnated in your own soul substance, becomes one with the divine in you.
The energy must likewise change. Energy that emanates from the lower self is very slow moving. It is often halting, condensed and heavy. Energy can be perceived with all the senses, but on a level the conscious mind is usually not aware of. Lower-self energy is extremely unpleasant.
As far as the visual sense is concerned, some of you can perceive energy emanations to a slight degree. People have sometimes perceived the differences in energy emanations -- in color, in brightness, in their pleasing hues. The difference is quite obvious: The lower-self energy emanation is dull or crass; it gives off distinctly unpleasant colors; higher self emanations, in their color and brilliance, convey peace, harmony, joy and bliss. Perception of color on the level of spiritual reality is not separate from one's attitudes; it is always connected with them and thus expresses them.
Energy also has an auditory expression, but human beings do not hear it. If the entity is highly developed, the sounds of an emanating consciousness are extremely beautiful and harmonious. The sounds of a lower self are disharmonious, ugly and displeasing to the inner ear.
The same goes for all the other senses. The fragrance of purified consciousness is incredibly delightful, such as you cannot imagine. The odor of impure consciousness is unpleasant; it can be a stench.
On the level of touch, energy is felt by other energy bodies. The energy of the higher self is felt as soft, nurturing, vitalizing; you bathe in the energy emanation of purified consciousness. But the touch perception of inverted negative consciousness is painful in every possible way. It can be cutting or scratching or itching or pinching -- many different kinds of pain can be experienced according to the specific attitude expressed by the energy emanation.
There are many other senses that you do not know of and that I can therefore not discuss. This will give you some idea however, of how a personality's inherent attitudes express themselves in energy through every sense. In your dualistic sphere of consciousness, what you see, hear, smell, or touch seems most of the time quite disconnected from the extremely personal and specific attitudes and energy emanations. Everything is chopped up into separate categories and manifests in a disjointed way. This is often confusing for the personality. It gets tired of these separations and therefore strives sooner or later for a more unified state of consciousness, where what is perceived is not separated from the essence, even if it temporarily manifests in negativity.
So you see, my friends, when you experience a beautiful, highly elevated, joyous state, you must know that your energy system -- whether your conscious mind knows it or not -- perceives all these energy emanations on all the sense levels I mentioned. But when you are unhappy, heavy or depressed, your own energy system unites with the similar energy system of others -- whether they are expressed in the body or not. Your energy body is influenced by the sights, sounds, odors, touching, and many other sense perceptions of others. There is a cross-fertilization. Your negative state influences others in a similar state and vice versa, each feeding the other. Your energy body's experiences are not clear to the outer mind; the outer mind merely registers displeasure, anxiety, heaviness.
When you transform negative consciousness, you also transform negative energy. Your life will be of an ever increasing and extending beauty. It will be, and already is, like a blossom that unfolds in ever greater splendor. As you overcome each hurdle of the lower self, as you commit yourself forever more strongly to the divine will in you, so this blossom will unfold into never-ending fruition. So you never need to fear an end, for there is no end.
Be blessed, my dearest ones, be in peace.
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.