P2 Fear of the consequences of total commitment to growth makes it appear more desirable to be a recalcitrant child. Your tensions and confusions, as well as your suffering and fears, are a result of the dualistic state of consciousness in which everything is split in half; in which one half is adjudged as good and desirable, the other as bad and undesirable. This is always an erroneous, illusory way of perceiving and experiencing life.
Only when, through your personal evolution, you transcend the opposites and conciliate them, can you reach the unitive state. In order to approach this state the opposites must be faced and accepted as long as they appear as opposites, so that the inner tension diminishes.
P3 I have attempted to show you that even a pair of opposites like health and sickness does not, in reality, indicate good versus bad. Both can contain both. Each polarity is all good when in its natural, undistorted state. Each polarity is bad when distortion and error set in. Tension is inevitable as long as one is under the illusion that there are always new things to fight against. Soul currents close up toward all the good of life when an entity believes itself in danger.
P4 In truthful perception, both opposites are accepted and function organically, mutually aiding each other. In the illusory perception of mutual exclusiveness, they create a short-circuit. When the distribution is uneven, in a nonorganic, distorted way, eruption may occur. When the distribution is even, balanced—again in a non-organic, distorted way—all power currents become inactivated, short-circuited. What the mind holds true actually happens: the two opposites annul each other. The further result of this state is the numbness, lifelessness and deadness of feelings that we repeatedly discuss in our work together.
The Yes current represents the affirmative principle, the principle that expands, embraces, is open and receptive to life. The No current represents the negating principle. It pulls back, retracts, denies, shrinks into itself. There is a general conviction and assumption that the affirmative principle is good and desirable, while the negating principle is sick, bad, undesirable. To an individual geared only to affirm, any negation would be experienced with pangs of hesitation, doubt, uncertainty and guilt—even if negation is healthy and constructive in a particular situation.
Such an individual feels compelled to always submit, to never say No to any demands, no matter how exploitative. The spinelessness and weakness of many people result from a deep-seated fear of denying anything. This is not real goodness—based on free giving of love, on the generous spirit of wanting to give of oneself. The conciliation of all polarities lies in seeing the good in both opposites.
P6 The more you come to express this honest, healthy and self-responsible way of life, the more you will feel secure in yourself, because security is found in being anchored within yourself. Thus truth brings out the divine kernel, which itself becomes your anchor. False unselfishness makes you lose this center. When genuine love is present, the idea of sacrifice is no longer applicable. When you are anchored not in your own real self but in the approval of others, through which you hope to gain your selfhood, self-respect and happiness, you cannot comprehend the messages of your divine nature.
This error is only the beginning of a cycle of further errors, creating many chain reactions of destructive emotions and attitudes. To name only a few: self-deception about what “being good” is; dependency, which is also interpreted to mean love for and concern with the person one is dependent on; weakness, helplessness, false humility—therefore rage, anger, rebellion.
P7 It lends false humility, thus false pride, to the person who sacrifices. It makes an exploiter out of the person who accepts the sacrifice—always under the guise of righteousness. Those who accept the sacrifice must have a growing guilt. When the polarity of selfishness/unselfishness is reconciled, the self is accepted as the center of existence—not by evaluating yourself as more important than the other, but by knowing your ego is responsible for your life. It is the carrier in this life, the captain who determines which way to go.
However, even right and healthy self-interest almost always interferes with the egotistical self-interests of the other person. This is why following one’s true self-interests is often a great struggle and requires a lot of courage. The world around you fights it and deludes itself into claiming that true self-interest is nothing but egotism and destructive selfishness. This is why you need to be strong enough to withstand the disapproval of the world to follow you own spiritual path.
P8 Healthy self-interest can, however, be against the interest of stagnation and non-growth of yourself and others. Once you view this frankly and unsentimentally, the courage to be yourself will arise in you from such truthful vision.
—The Pathwork® Guide