P1 Self-realization means to bring out into reality all dormant potentials. It means to integrate the ego with as yet involuntary processes. The ego consists of the outer reasoning faculty and the will faculty. The involuntary processes comprise feelings, intuition and, what is more, certain manifestations which operate according to the most meaningful and lawful foundations of life. You fear the spontaneity of your feelings. You may ignore this fact because you believe something is a feeling when you merely register a sensation or a reaction to your surroundings.
P2 When people are involved in the vicious circle, it is because they base certain assumptions about life and their relationship to it on false ideas. These false ideas are often unconscious and form the images we have talked about. The misconceptions, deeply lodged in the soul substance, compel people to act upon these premises.
This power (soul substance) is so highly charged that anything can be molded with it. It is the creative force itself. But it is neutral in the sense that it can only be used, or flow, in the direction which the mind, with its concepts, sets. Thus the power operates automatically.
P3 You ignore that these forces (involuntary) are only dangerous or negative because they work according to your own ideas. You ignore that once the ideas are challenged and found to be untrue, the same self-operative power can be trusted. Instead, your solution is to never trust any involuntary processes and to guard yourself against them by strict vigilance, using your ego-faculties.
Gradually they (people) begin to dissolve the images through recognition and through installing truthful ideas into the soul substance. How can you begin to trust the involuntary processes? Productive, creative involuntary processes cannot become operative as long as you do not encourage them, as long as you do not wish them and give yourself to them.
P4 My friends, the only way the involuntary processes can be trusted is by realizing that they are self-regulating. It would not occur to anyone to want to regulate their blood stream, nervous system, heart beat, the functioning of their liver, or any other inner organ. The organs do their work perfectly by themselves. You would waste your willpower, your energy, to exert a pressure that would eventually affect the good functioning of your body negatively. This is the background of all physical illness.
Which organs are affected depends on their innate resistance to illness, on their inherent health. People are born with some organs that are more resistant to abuse. Other organs are much more delicate and begin to give out as soon as the slightest thing goes wrong. When you realize that you do not have to exert any willpower, any pressure with your outer ego faculties, in order to have your biological functions work in their own perfect way, you will then see that the same process applies to other levels.
Self-regulation exists in nature in every possible respect. You do have to use your ego so as to nurture and cultivate healthful habits regarding food, sleep, exercise, in order to maintain the involuntary, self-regulating functions. If the ego does not interfere, self-regulation occurs effortlessly and naturally. Its task is to choose healthful habits regarding the activity of the mind, so as to set the proper direction. Your mind can nurture brooding thoughts which encourage destructive emotions.
Or your mind can choose honesty with the self; it can choose to disclose all previous self-deceptions. It can cast off all the illusions nurtured about the self. It can determine to accept oneself where and how one is now and give up the idealized version of the self one tries to enforce. These are healthful habits, necessary for the involuntary processes to be affected indirectly and to work in a reliable way.
P5 When the ego no longer dominates the involuntary processes, intuition will give a new security and help to cope with life. Thoughts will come from the deepest resources of the solar plexus, rather than the volitional, artificial thought processes people use when overemphasizing the intellect. The latter feelings (constructive) have the self-regulating wisdom built into their very existence, just as the destructive emotions and assumptions become self-regulating in the automatic reflexes they force upon you.
Once you allow the negative material fully into your consciousness, you must soon see the power of constructive material in you. The fear may exist that the good feelings may be directed to someone who is not worthy of them, who does not reciprocate in kind, who will reject and hurt and take advantage.
P6 If the choice of the love object is inadequate, it is precisely a result of immaturity, illusion, lack of awareness of self, hence of others. It is a temporary phase of growth. The difficult experience should never be taken as proof that feelings are not trustworthy. It only proves the existence of conflicting wishes. It results from ignoring the fact that feelings, intuition, spontaneous thoughts and inspiration, creative processes, undergo their law of growth as does any other part of the human organism.
By the same token as with discipline, letting go becomes destructive when it is used to evade the truth, when it is a result of self-indulgence, of indulging in a destructive line of least resistance, maintaining unhealthy attitudes. Then, letting go leads away from the self and truly becomes as dangerous as the wrong kind of discipline.
P7 The cohesive factor that makes all danger impossible, that removes all threats, that combines the apparent opposites of discipline and letting go is the ever-renewed will to be truthful with the self. By humility I mean that you know you do not know all the answers. Do not always assume, do not say so readily, “It is this or it is that.” It is not—and even if it is, there is more to it than you now know.
P8 When you really want to give your best total self to everything you do, you have nothing to fear of the involuntary processes. For then you will convince yourself of the deeply meaningful lawfulness of their self-regulating nature that just takes care of itself. You will see that there is a lawfulness involved here that does not make you an innocent victim, that does not make you helpless to construct your life well.
—The Pathwork® Guide