P1 They have trouble in their relationships, in their work. They cannot cope with life and seek all sorts of solutions but rarely discover the real cause and therefore the real cure. A deeply permeating guilt gnaws at their soul. This is a different kind of guilt than the more specific, often unjustified guilts that smolder closer to the surface of the psyche.
These little and unjustified guilts substitute for the real guilt of withdrawal, unlovingness, and isolation. In other words, these little guilts are supposed to atone for violating the great cosmic inner forces, breaking the flow, as it were. This very deep-rooted guilt prevents you from claiming your freedom, asserting yourself, feeling that you deserve to be happy.
P2 We have often talked about the harm of defenses; the harm of a self-righteous or moralizing attitude with yourself and with others; the harm of perfectionism, the rigid standards that you comply with, often to the letter but seldom in the spirit. When you finally see—not theoretically and intellectually, but actually—your selfish withdrawal from loving, regardless of how well you keep it concealed, often by superperfectionism and “right” actions, then and only then can you come to terms with yourself. Then you can make restitution.
You must expiate this inner guilt, which is much deeper than all the little ones which are often so unjustified and function only to conceal the real ones. The value of an action, thought, or attitude can be determined only by finding out if it is motivated by love or by separateness, selfishness, fear, or pride.
P3 Evaluating someone else’s action calls for intuitive faculties. These faculties can be sufficiently developed only if you learn to be truthful with yourself and admit that your very proper and correct behavior is often not dictated by love at all. Your awareness is geared to right actions, but not to selfish ones. You still ignore the latter, just as you ignored the selfish motives behind your unselfish acts. The guilt then may make you overly submissive, and lead you to give in to the unjustified demands of others. You can cultivate the deep desire to change and find ways and means to do so inwardly and outwardly. You will give up your little fears and misgivings, your imagined shame and vulnerability, for the sake of loving.
And now I would like to cover another topic: obligations. You resent the obligations, responsibilities, and duties that life imposes upon you. Your fight for physical and psychological survival necessitates alertness, power to make decisions, willingness to make mistakes and learn from them. You must expose yourself, and act in the face of risk. When you do not say yes to life in loving and relating, as well as in obligations, you are pushed and dragged through life against your will. If you do not willingly say yes to life in all its aspects, but allow yourself to be pushed by it, you cannot experience the dignity, the grandeur, and the beauty of it. You may acknowledge accountability for your own misery in theory, but when it comes to practical living, you wish to absolve yourself from it.
Subsequently, everything in your life becomes a tedious task. In an advanced stage even the daily routines of living, such as eating, getting up, cleansing yourself, doing little chores, may become too much. When everything is an ordeal, something in you rebels. I would like to again point out that deep within there is something that has not said yes to the fight, to the challenge in a good sense, not in a hostile one, that life puts to us. Find this little voice, bring it out into the open, and then accept its meaning.
You will find that this voice belongs to a greedy child that wants to receive everything but give nothing. When you discover this rejection (of life), allow it to come out just as irrationally and unreasonably as it exists. Do not be ashamed of it. Pronounce it to yourself, write it down, open up unrestrainedly to your helper and reveal all the comfortable illusory ideals you harbor. Maybe this voice will state that it just likes to vegetate and do nothing; that it does not wish to overcome, to make efforts, to cope with people and their demands; to decide whether or not these demands are justified or not.
It does not want to deal with obstructions, frustrations, criticism. It will tell you that you wish just to float. I venture to say there are as many reasons as individuals, but there are always certain common denominators. There is fear of exposure to failure and inadequacy, in other words pride. There is desire for greater perfection than you have.
—The Pathwork® Guide