P1 And a truthful (and healthy) concept of life means the knowledge, the experience of life as utterly benign. Whenever you stray from truth, you must experience life as a hostile force, as something to defend yourself against. There is direct interaction between your faults and a negative concept of life. The first step toward this transformation is always awareness of the faults.
Once you are aware of your specific faults, the next step is to understand the reason for their existence, and why you cling to them. When you look objectively and deeply you will find that in each instance the fault is supposed to ward off something that you assume will happen to you. In other words, you take a negative assumption for granted.
Once you see this, you are ready to take the third step, which is to question the validity of this assumption. Is your assumption true? What would actually happen if you didn’t have this fault? At the same time, expand your view of the significance of the fault in question and its effect on others, whether it is expressed only in thinking and feeling or also in actual behavior.
P2 The ego faculties must always establish a connection with the real self for the necessary vision and enlightenment. The natural mode of existence is a state of love, but people manage to cover it up and contort it into many unnatural and laborious forms. The only useful definition is that whatever furthers unity, inclusion, expansion, union, and manifests the benign nature of the universe, is love and perpetuates love. Whatever ignores the divine and benign nature of the universe and of life and therefore moves toward exclusion and separateness is the opposite of love.
P3 Perhaps the answer (question why do I fear love) presents itself that you are more vulnerable to hurt when you love. Or you might come across the answer that you indulge in vindictiveness, in striking out at others and at life as a whole. This is, perhaps, a little closer to the point you need to find, which also needs to be fully recognized, accepted, and understood. But it is still not the whole story.
I want to remind you that just as it is impossible to transform from a negative to a positive attitude, concept, or characteristic by the exclusive use of the ego, without help from the real self, so it is with loving. For love is not a quality that resides in the ego. It has functions of will, discrimination, and action, but it does not possess the faculty of love.
Love is a feeling that comes totally from the inner being. Even when you are in total harmony with reality and thus have abiding trust in certain areas of life, resulting in a well-developed ability to love, the impulse rarely arises to examine these areas and compare them with your unhappy life experiences, where the exact opposite holds true.
P4 Open yourself up, tentatively at least; give yourself the chance to experience the benign nature of life, and therefore of humanity, for both are the same. The third member of this triad is the healthy balance between activity and passivity. Many of my friends have encountered in the course of their self-search a strange and inexplicable distaste for activity and an equally strange and inexplicable hankering for non-action. This hankering for passivity means that the person feels passivity to be a desirable state.
It seems to promise the state of peace many unconsciously confuse with the state of being, while the state of activity represents a chore, a difficulty you fear you cannot live up to and therefore wish to avoid. First of all, it is important to understand that this is a distortion arising from duality. The error consists in confusing fragmentary aspects of the unitive state and separating them from their complementary fragments. But in the reality of the highest state of consciousness, the state of being, activity and passivity intermingle.
The principle of active-passive balance must reign in every creative process. Even the crasser manifestations, such as the balance between work and leisure, are regulated by this principle, each of these seeming opposites containing both active and passive elements. Work coming forth from a healthy organism flows effortlessly, while leisure cannot possibly be invigorating and revitalizing if it is static. In distortion and duality, activity appears as movement, passivity as nonmovement. Activity appears to exert strain; passivity promises relief from strain.
P5 Activity is often experienced as undesirable because it requires a goal direction, a sense of responsibility. It requires the selfhood of a mature personality which copes with personal limitations and the difficulties of life in such a way that these limitations gradually eliminate themselves. If you are totally identified with your ego, action must be frightening because the ego is not equipped to undertake purposeful action without being motivated, carried, and guided by the real self. So when people are not in contact with the real self, no matter how much lip service they may pay it, they must fear all the demands activity makes on them.
The passive, static state then seems desirable because it does not make any demands; it does not hold any fearsome expectations or obligations. It is also true that when you identify exclusively with your ego and avoid or neglect the existence of a more universal part in yourself, you are often equally afraid of passivity. For the passive state then implies helplessness. Consequently, on one level, you often find yourself in the position of avoiding activity out of the fear that you may not be capable of fulfilling the requirements for action, while on another level you fear the passive state, too, even healthy passivity.
Wherever you have genuine love currents, they come from your innermost being, whether or not you admit its existence on a conscious level. But when this is impossible because the door is too tightly locked, you cut yourself off from the invigoration of the life stream of love, resulting in increasing feelings of emptiness, helplessness, despair, and isolation. You then try to counteract these feelings with the laborious effort of trying to love with your ego.
These efforts exhaust you, and the more exhausted you are, the more you shrink from activity, which seems an added strain to the exhausted ego. You then flee into passivity, which seems like relief and consequently becomes the desirable state. But passivity never fulfills you; it always leaves you empty, dissatisfied, and increasingly frightened, as all false solutions do. The farther you flee, the more apathetic you become, for, naturally, at this point healthy passivity has converted into its distorted form of apathy.
P6 You see, my friends, you must contact the real self and allow it to act, regardless of how doubtful, resistant or frightened you may be. I often hear my friends say, “Oh yes, if only I could, but I am not yet capable of wanting to contact my real self.” They wait as though something other than their own immediately available conscious self would intervene to propel them. But this can never be. Explore the possibility of finding this nucleus of power, intelligence, feeling, and harmony by giving it every chance. You must commit yourself to this possibility, even if at this moment it is only a possibility.
How else can it become an experienced reality? With this approach you will make contact possible, even if only tentatively to begin with, so your real self will gradually reveal its reality to you. In your illusory vision of time, space, and movement, the life center seems to be located deep within the solar plexus. This is not a complete illusion in the sense that this is actually where it manifests most noticeably, but only because this is where you are most receptive, most vulnerable, and most open. It actually flows through every layer of your organism, through everything that constitutes your total entity, provided, of course, it is both activated and not obstructed by the organism.
P7 Nevertheless, it does not suffice to admit this so generally (I don’t love anything), for that is not quite accurate either. It has to be made specific. After this is done, look at the written statements, then begin to wonder. Tell yourself, “Maybe I am mistaken, maybe it is not that way.” You have to make allowances for the possibility that you may be mistaken.
But resolution can come only when you seriously question your conclusions and admit that things could be different. You must challenge an assumption, once it is put into precise words, such as “I expect life to be this or that way, at least as far as I am concerned.” Then you make room for truth that could never enter into the closed chambers of your dark, dismal misconceptions about life and your own innermost nature.
—The Pathwork® Guide