P1 The universe is so constituted that each individual creature is capable of being in a constant state of bliss. Bliss is not just a theoretical possibility: it is humanity’s natural state of being. It is the natural law. People believe that if only this or that were different then nothing would stand in the way of their happiness. But total happiness is possible immediately as you are now. Arriving at the blissful state one consciously or unconsciously seeks depends directly on one’s self-esteem, the ability to like oneself.
When self-liking is missing, the psyche is inhibited from experiencing its natural state. This in turn alienates you from universal forces and sets up a barrier preventing you from becoming part of the cosmic forces, which are bliss. I have pointed out before that a fine inner mechanism regulates the psychic processes, so that justified reasons for self-dislike, when not consciously recognized and come to terms with, create false guilts and exaggerated standards of perfection.
P2 Self-realization and liberation are determined by the individual’s free decision to adopt natural, universal laws and standards, taking full responsibility for this decision upon oneself. This means being true to the natural laws that work in life and in the individual—as distinct from allegiance to handed-down values, superimposed standards or cultural mores. Sometimes the natural and unnatural laws are so similar that they seem identical. Yet it makes a world of difference whether one abides by standards of conscience in the free spirit of self-choice or acts in blind obedience.
The words may sound the same, but the flavor of the psychic processes, their inner climate and attitude, is totally different. As long as one thinks fear is the obstacle to self-responsible inner conduct, the fear will not vanish. But when one begins to see that personal integrity is affected by the refusal to seek answers independently, an innate decency and desire to be truthful often provide the incentive that had been lacking. Blindly taking limitations and laws for granted is always a matter of cowardice. Lack of courage induces an individual to rote repetition of handed-down moral codes. People may accept handed-down laws because they are afraid of the consequences of questioning them, of conflict with other people’s opinions.
P3 Many times the real reason for self-dislike is, at least partly, the cowardice to sell out the truth for the convenience of being approved of by others. When people begin to crystallize the questions they are to ask, to probe deeper and come into real awareness, then action is not what matters most. What is of primary importance is knowing. Knowing the natural law of evolution, even when you are not yet able to live by it, establishes freedom and truthfulness as the inner climate of the psyche. For you must respect and like yourself to the degree you no longer gloss over and take for granted those apparently unquestionable “self-understood” aspects of life.
The second aspect I want to discuss is transcending the now. It does not matter what your mood of the moment may be. If you feel alienated from your self, if you feel disconnected, anxious, depressed, hopeless or bored, there is in this very moment, through this mood, your nucleus, your now. If you face this now, experience this mood, whatever it is, and transcend it, you will not have to wait for a distant future, for a different state of being, for a state of perfection. You are in the life force and life substance of your immediate now. You are in bliss, in a moving stream of evolutionary growth. On a deep and subtle level that is usually covered up you cannot help but like yourself.
P4 Both being true to the natural laws and transcending your now are essential for being in the live center of your real self, where all good exists in immeasurable power, forever and ever. Any one of you would be surprised to see a list of all the things you still take for granted. You blindly accept as inevitable many laws and precepts that are by no means natural. Examine yourself from this point of view. The need to be like others is not the opposite of the need to be special and better than others. They are two sides of the same coin in the world of duality. You are compelled to prove your specialness and to set yourself up in a place of pride.
The cowardice that feeds conformity is the same as the pride that feeds superiority. Both can be shed only when one has the courage to question apparent inevitabilities and the humility not to have to be better. That is the freedom that opens the gate to the real self. With courage and humility it is easy to question what one feels, where one is, why one reacts in the way one does and why the reaction exists in the first place, instead of leaving all this in the confusion of a vague, foggy climate. Each moment can therefore be owned up to only when courage and humility exist.
The courage to question the handed-down codes, the courage to look at every and any truth within the self, and the humility not to have to be special and perhaps, if necessary, for the sake of truth, to dispense with approval by others. When the present is fully acknowledged, pride and cowardice will drop away without effort. Cowardice, in its compliance and conformity, self-negation and denial of truth, opportunism and betrayal of cosmic reality, results from pride. To let go of the need for others’ approval requires humility. The courage one needs can be attained only when humility exists. You will not betray your real self, you will not violate it when you let go of the need for admiration, the need to be singled out in some way.
P5 But no one can help another to be in the now, which presupposes the absolute and primary desire, “I want to look at the truth in myself.” “What is it now that I do not want to look at?” When an individual raises this question, answers will come forth in exact proportion to the sincerity and strength of the wish. Each moment contains indescribable wealth, my friends.The same particle (atom) has power to affect human life in positive ways equal to its destructiveness. Your attitude determines the direction this power takes.
P6 It is exactly the same with the now of each moment. Each fraction of time, of existence, possesses a power that surpasses the power of the atom. The infinitesimal fraction of life can be utilized when you examine the nucleus of power in its negative manifestations and see that this same energy can be used positively. The truth is that each now is charged with immeasurable life force, an energy that can be released when the obstructions to the now are removed. Focus your attention on it and you will discover inconceivable riches and powers. Already the first inklings will astound you.
You do not have to wait for tomorrow. You do not even have to wait for a different state of existence. The desired tomorrow, or the desired different state of existence, will come as a result of meeting this moment in truth. A person who refuses to face what seems most difficult is not in a truthful state. There are always areas one resists looking at that offer opportunities for self-deception. It is essential to say to oneself again and again: “I want to look at everything, even the areas where I am most resistant.”
Then, and only then, can all the difficulties, all the apparently insurmountable obstructions dissolve so that things fall naturally and effortlessly into place and a meaningful life establishes itself. The universal stream of life brings harmony where disharmony existed, meaning where waste existed, fulfillment where frustration existed, pleasure supreme where pain and deprivation existed. But the courage and humility to be in total truth about the self must be cultivated and summoned—daily.
P7 “I am not afraid to look at whatever it is, even if it is something I do not want to see. I request the divine wisdom and power within me to help me to see what I most need to see, so that I can change as I need to change.” Make this your daily prayer. (answer) Your conflict seems to be: “Should I stay the way I am and become lonelier and more separated, or shall I take action and perhaps perish?”
—The Pathwork® Guide