P1 And I am referring to more than the discovery of an emotion, the acknowledgement of a momentary hostility; I mean an overall, pervasive, essential, lingering destructiveness that has been dormant all along and merely covered up. Human beings are geared to think of a destructive force as something opposed to a constructive force. Even those of you who theoretically know quite well that there is no such division tend to think, “Here are my negative feelings. I wish I could have positive feelings instead.” Or you believe that after the negative emotions are dissipated, a new set of feelings will follow. Actually, there is only one power.
P2 When young children encounter conditions in the outer environment that prohibit the natural flow of the life force, the extent of the damage depends upon how free they are from inner blockages. If inner blockages exist and lie dormant because they have not been eliminated in previous existences, the outer negative conditions will create a severe blockage, freezing the floating energy current and petrifying it into a hardened psychic mass.
When no previous blockages exist, the outer negative conditions will create only a temporary disturbance in the flow of the life force. The child’s immature ego faculties make adequate dealing with the negative condition impossible. An outer negative condition can therefore never be totally responsible for the condensation of energy and for the paralysis of the life stream. It can only be the final activating factor, bringing the dormant negative inner condition to the fore. The place in the soul where outer negative conditions activate the dormant inner negative condition is the very point at which the positive life force turns into a destructive non-life force.
Feelings turn from love to fear and hostility, from trust to distrust, and so on. Finally, the negative power becomes so unbearable that the feelings connected with it are numbed altogether. Each life manifestation you experience that is unpleasant, problematic, or anxiety-producing is the result of a repetition of the original event in this life, when the positive pleasure force was blocked, hindered, or prohibited and has therefore turned into unpleasure.
Now, it cannot be stated accurately that in this unpleasure, pleasure is totally absent. The difficulty of ridding yourself of destructiveness is, of course, also due to other reasons which you have already verified: the desire to punish or to use the forcing current that says, “If I am sufficiently unhappy, that will show the world how wrong it is not to give me what I want.” But these reasons do not constitute the deepest difficulty in dissolving negativity. It is necessary to sense intuitively, and then to feel very specifically, that in your negativity, paradoxically, both pleasure and unpleasure are simultaneously present.
When you have understood that the painful aspects, meaning the negative expression, can be abandoned, while the pleasurable aspect grows stronger, negativity can transform itself. Instead of feeling guilty about this pleasure and consequently repressing it, you will be in a position to allow the destructive current to unfold, express itself, and reconvert itself. This (wide spread guilt) in turn is responsible for numbing all feelings. And this (making paralyzed feelings fluid again) can only happen when you begin, as the first step in this particular phase of your development, to ascertain the pleasurable aspect in your destructiveness.
Since the pleasure current in the life force primarily manifests itself in your life as sexuality, destructive, blocked energy contains blocked sexual energy. It follows that outer problems must be symbolic or representative of how sexual energy was first blocked by outer conditions. Therefore, every difficult situation in life represents a sexual fixation in the innermost psyche that you fear and run away from. Then (after feeling the pleasure) and only then will you truly comprehend the painful outer situation which, offhand, may have nothing to do with your emotional life or with any sexual problems.
When you find the parallel between the outer problem and the pleasure current in your sexuality, you will be able to make the frozen energy fluid again. Your inability to feel the pleasure in the unpleasure is the result of your fighting against yourself and not liking yourself for this particular distortion. You must allow yourself to see it, to let it unfold within you, to live it through within yourself—and then you will see the dichotomy between pleasure and unpleasure. Another area where you human beings find yourselves extremely blocked, hindered, and impatient with your own evolution or development, concerns envy.
P5 What causes envy is again the dualistic concept, in which life is understood in terms of either/or. “Either I have or the other has” is the nature of all envy. The universe is infinite in its abundance, and really knowing this makes envy impossible. What the other person has is not taken away from you. It not only creates envy, but also guilt; it paralyzes the relaxed powerful flow of reaching toward the good that can be yours. It produces guilt for wanting what others have and at the same time envying them. This distorted perception of life conditions is also responsible for the endemic competitive attitude that afflicts humanity.
Comparison between two people is totally unrealistic; it measures what cannot be measured. Once you comprehend the uniting principle, that good is never divisible, a number of problems are eliminated. You will not be envious and therefore you will not feel guilty. You will not be faced with the apparent necessity of renouncing something in favor of someone else, because you will know deeply that what is yours is yours and what is the other person’s is his or hers. That very fact will make the selfishness and dishonesty existing in the childish nature, where the tendency to cheat life always prevails, impossible. You will not have to try to get away with anything, nor will you have to see yourself as special when you compare yourself with others.
Why, then, is it believed that not needing to be special means giving up individuality or even accepting mediocrity? The answer is that when the need to be special contains a desire to triumph over others, it marks an attitude of being against others. It implies that self-enhancement can only exist at the expense of others. But when you realize that your own specialness can be unlocked without measuring yourself against others, you will have no problem whatsoever.
P6 When you are ignorant of the fact that you have within you the possibilities for self-fulfillment, the only way you can conceive of expressing yourself is by measuring and comparing yourself with others. When you feel envy, or a need to impress others or be better than they are, try to feel the constructive power behind the need. For this need is only a distortion of the inborn urge to realize the best in you.
P7 QUESTION: The way I experience fear of pleasure is by experiencing a fear of losing myself in pleasure. Is that what you meant? ANSWER: Yes, this is precisely what I meant. This can be explained when you think about it in terms of trust. When you, consciously or unconsciously, deeply sense the hidden little mechanisms by which you avoid being straightforward with life itself, when your response to life is negative in any form and consequently your sense of integrity is impaired, you cannot trust yourself. Nor can you trust yourself when you run away from the nucleus of your negative pleasure principle, as explained in this lecture. It has to be accepted, understood, and inwardly lived through in full self-acceptance before you can trust yourself to be unguarded. Full self-acceptance must be established before trust can exist.
P8 You may become angry because whatever angers you in the other person may exist in a slightly different form in yourself and you cannot accept that. In short, the question must be asked, “What is it in me that has produced this situation? How am I a co-producer of this situation? In what way do I contribute to it?” The second thing is that you often cannot find the answer because you look for the cause in a limited or moralizing way.
Therefore, I suggest the following meditation that reaches deep into the self: “I do want to see where I possibly violate some spiritual law, where I am wrong in the usual sense of the word, but I would also like to know where I am weak and confused and therefore where negative emotions come into existence. Where is it that I am perhaps ot aware of my true values, and because of this lack of awareness, I fight in the wrong way? I would like to see these elements and straighten them out. I want to see all sides.”
—The Pathwork® Guide