P1 This (identifying only with ego-self) often causes unbearable tension and anxiety. Life issues a call; it makes a demand on every living individual. How do you respond to it? Do you respond with your total being? Or do you respond half-heartedly? Or do you resist responding at all and make yourself deaf to it? Do you truly wish to understand the call of life? What does it require of you?
P2 Moralistic self-defeating attitudes often induce you to reject whatever may lead you to your destiny and self-fulfillment just because it brings joy, since you have the mistaken idea that self-realization must automatically mean deprivation and self-sacrifice. Truth, love, and beauty are universal aspects of the real life stream. Those who believe that imbibing general truth and collecting more truthful beliefs can accomplish the goal delude themselves. They do so because they do not want to look at the truth of who they are at the moment; they prefer an idealized notion of themselves.
The actual—not theoretical—activation of the real self with its vibrating life, limitless abundance, infinite possibilities for good, and its supreme wisdom and joy happens to the exact degree that you dare take a look at the temporary truth of yourself. This means feeling what you feel; having the courage to transform yourself into a better human being for no other reason than a desire to contribute to life, rather than to make an impression and grasp for approval. One of those barriers is shame of what you are now. This shame makes you set up a wall of secrecy that makes you lonely. In the deep recesses of your mind you fear that you are different from others, that you are worse, and the shame of your difference cannot be exposed.
P3 Such loneliness can be relieved only when you overcome the pride hidden by your shame. True emancipation from the ego’s outer rules requires neither conformity nor rebellion. Only ask whether you are motivated by love and truth and have totally committed yourself to a course of honesty and integrity in this particular issue, regardless of public opinion. This morality (superficial) is based on the fear of disapproval. People may fight it because in their minds goodness is equated with deprivation. In fact, you seek more and more means to reinforce your ego-identification: more outer ways, outer activities, outer beliefs, and outer escapes.
P4 As long as you fail to orient yourself completely toward activating the inner center of your real self, you cannot know real safety, peace, and well-being. Nor can you use the storehouse of potential within yourself, or experience your freedom to use the unlimited resources of the universe for your benefit. Not being able to do any of this, not being able to be what you can be, is an endless pain that you need to allow yourself to experience consciously in order to have the incentive to do something about it. What is your aim? Do you commit yourself completely? Then visualize the specific symptoms you wish to remove. What can you envisage afterwards? Can you envisage that more is possible? What is this more? How would your life be with this more? Or do you commit yourself totally to finding who you really are, what is possible for you?
P5 Although you really want to claim your goal, you still feel it is impossible. This wall must never, under any circumstances, be disregarded or glossed over. You must never use pressure from your will to overcome the “no” of this wall. Instead, you have to interpret the meaning of the wall. Translate it into clear words. Whether you doubt that you can have your goal or feel guilty about getting it, or have a sense of not deserving it, or are afraid of life’s demands when you do have it, these still do not add up to the final answer.
The reservation within yourself must be linked with a character defect you have not really faced, nor do you wish to, because you do not want to abandon it. Judging, moralizing, and perfectionism occur when values are based on outer standards. Such behavior aims to please or impress others. Moralizing always tends to show to others how right, good, or superior one is. When you moralize, you always need to prove something. To whatever extent moralizing exists, it exists only for the sake of appearances, and not because the individual is really concerned with a moral issue as such.
P6 In this desire (to transform) you express your love for the universe because you wish to contribute to life by your very being. Such resolution lightens the heart, even if one may not be capable of the transformation right away, because there are still missing links which have to be understood. When the distortion you discover cuts deeply into your soul and makes you hopeless about yourself or despair about your ability to transform the defect, know that on a deeper level of your being you do not wish to give up this very trend. Then go ahead and find out why not.
Try to perform this inner movement by letting yourself stream forth in complete affirmation instead of the old negation. So when you find yourself stuck in your desire to reach unlimited good and creative power within yourself, find a key not only to where you are negative in expressing your desire, but also where you are connected with a persisting negativity. For a long time we had to be primarily concerned with uncovering your defects and illusions, your negativity or destructiveness, which you deny and negate. This was very important. Now a second major phase of the work can be envisaged: the phase in which you practice extending yourself into the universe.
P7 As you know, this dualistic world is characterized by the following conflict: “If I am unselfish, I must suffer. I do not want to suffer. But if I am selfish, I will be rejected, despised, not loved, left alone. And that is suffering too.” In this struggle you go back and forth, seeking a solution. The more you believe in the inevitable “truth” of these two alternatives, the more you are bound to experience life according to them.
You do not dare to be unselfish; you cannot wholly want to be unselfish since it means giving up what you believe is personal fulfillment and happiness. You cannot reconcile fulfillment and unselfishness, so you remain undecided; You fear the impulses of the larger, wiser self, but cannot want wholeheartedly to commit yourself to it as long as you believe that some disadvantage will result from your decision.
P8 The innermost self is aware of the incongruity of reaching for the best while refusing to give the best. The very existence of a belief in punishment and reward covers up the deep despair that unselfishness brings deprivation, so one is forced to hold back the total desire to love and to give. You will find that it is equally possible to give of yourself wholeheartedly, to love, to be unselfish, to be humble, to relinquish the egocentricity of the frightened child, to allow others to be free no matter what this means for you, and yet not be a loser.
(1) What is your aim in life? What is your aim on this path? How far do you wish to go? Do you want to remove only a few symptoms? Or do you wish total self-realization, the activation of an inner center in which all good, salvation from anxiety, insecurity, and confusion exist? If so, are you willing to pay the price of perseverance, of total commitment? The total commitment brings out your total possibilities. The unlimited potentials of your innermost being enable you to realize unlimited good. (2) Find the exact point where your positive wishes are blocked, and then question what particular character defect does not permit you to abandon a self-destructive, self-denying attitude?
P9 State clearly that you wish to find it. The insistence upon holding onto something that violates your integrity and your decency holds back the best you have to offer and the best you can be. This impairs your self-respect. It may not be a crass outer manifestation; it may be a hidden little deviation that does not seem to harm anyone, but it always does, whether or not you are aware of it. “Where have I held back? Where have I lost the clarity of the aim? And where have I disconnected the aim from where I am at this moment because I do not want to expose myself?”
—The Pathwork® Guide