P1 It is insanity to believe that any unhappiness can accrue from something outside of or other than the self. If you ascribe your frustrations, your unfulfillment, or your pains to society you are completely wrong. This does not mean that the ills you see in society do not really exist. They do. But they could not affect you if you were not deeply, and still unconsciously, contributing to those very ills you so much deplore.
P2 You are never an innocent victim, and society itself is but the sum total or product of your and many other people’s constant negative production and creation. Evidently, the first step must be for you to find, determine, acknowledge, accept, and observe your own negative attitudes, destructive feelings, subtle lies, intention to cheat, and life-defeating spiteful resistance to good feelings. All these are examples of negative creating.
The second step is that, deep inside, you question your particular feelings and reactions to this negative production, and your own deliberate and chosen intent. You will then see that you like it, find some sort of pleasure in it, and do not wish to give it up. It is absolutely necessary that you feel this and admit it.
The third step is to painstakingly work through the exact consequences and ramifications of your negative production, without glossing over any detail, any effect, or side-effect. The realization and precise understanding of the harmful effects on you and on others must become very clear. This is not a law from retribution of a vindictive authority up in heaven. It is so because you are all, we are all, they are all, everyone is the one universal self.
P3 You sacrifice joy, peace, self-esteem, inner security, expansion and growth, pleasure on all levels of your being, and a meaningful and fearless existence. You will come to see that guiltless living can only exist when negative creating is given up. Still another aspect of step three is to reach for the understanding that the pleasure you derive from being destructive in your feelings and attitudes is not what has to be given up. Exact working through of cause and effect, and seeing results and connections, is what makes wanting to give up negativity possible. It is not sufficient to be aware of being deliberately destructive. It must be admitted that you do not want to give this up.
Doing so, you will become experientially connected with the cause of your negative creation and the effect it has on you. You may see that the cause is your destructiveness and admit it, but you do not yet see the connection with all you deplore in your life. Thus, step two is of the most incisive importance. It means knowing your power, your selfhood. For to the degree you see the negative form of the creative process in you, to that degree you gain an inkling of what you can do to produce beautiful life experiences. You will taste the freedom of being creator of your chosen life.
P4 These coverups (masks) are actually infinitely more insidious and damaging than the actual destructiveness itself. For once you face the naked destructiveness, you confront a truth in yourself, which gives you an honest choice of your future direction. In order to hide from others—and primarily from yourself—you produce something that appears to be the opposite of what you wish to be hidden. The role becomes like second nature, but it has nothing to do with you. It is of specific importance that you disillusion yourself concerning the image you project into the world and of whose genuineness you try arduously to convince yourself.
The artificiality of this role you indulge in must be unmasked. It always appears to you to be good in some way, even if only by pretending you are a victim. But you must analyze it exactly and comprehend it in detail to see that it is none of what you pretend it is. It is never good. You are never that innocent, nor are others that villainous. But, on the other hand, nor are you so hopelessly bad and unacceptable as you meanwhile believe you really are underneath this role. If you hide and your role is that of being persecuted by the hate and unjust accusations of others, in this pretense lies the hate itself.
The front or the role is never innately different from what it covers. It is a hating attitude to pretend being a victim of the hate of others. I suggest that you take some time now to identify the various roles you have chosen. Name these roles in simple sentences that describe what they are meant to convey. See if you can detect how the role which is supposed to be quite angelic is as destructive as what is concealed behind it. You will strengthen your will.
This will lead you to the fourth step, which is the actual process of recreating soul substance. By your meditation, by prayer, by formulating deliberate thoughts of truth about this entire matter and impressing them onto your destructive psychic material, recreation begins and continues as you become more adept. First you need to discover again and again your will to be hating, unforgiving, punishing, resentful, and hurt. You will become aware of your attempt to exaggerate and drag out old injuries, to quite deliberately punish others for what your parents did to you or what you think they did to you, and of your refusal to see their failures as anything but a deliberate act of hate against you. Your feelings of being injured first appear as quite real and it requires deeper probing to discover that they are not real at all. They are cultivated habits. So are the roles you play.
Another part of step four is to ask a concise question of your innermost being: “What approach can I use to live my life without a pretense? How does it feel to bring forth better ways of responding to life’s experiences?” When you re-create, formulate your sentences very concisely. State that what you do does not work, why it does not work, and that you wish to operate in a different way. Purification is also unthinkable without receiving active help. It is too difficult to do alone. No matter how much you now believe that others or life’s caprices deprive you of what you desire, it is actually you who do this.
P6 You have to consider and test the possibility of positive creating. But the moment you realize that the positive creation is already there within you only covered up, and that it can unfold and reveal itself the moment you allow this to happen, abandoning negativity becomes a relief from a heavy burden that has pulled you down all your life—and in many lives before this one. While you hate, distrust, take a dim view of things, or prevent a favorable outcome by expecting the worst, the ability already exists in you to love, trust, and know that life is good and can be trusted.
Most human beings find themselves still in the first basic phase of negativity. This phase is initiating negativity. The second phase is responsive negativity. In the first phase you automatically react to situations with the destructive pattern you have adopted after some traumatic experiences in early life. You maintain negative responses which at one time in your childhood you could not avoid producing, and which were then, under those circumstances, even life-preserving. But when the same responses are repeated in situations later, when there is no longer cause to use them, then such responses are not only “neurotic”; they are also initiating negativity, quite regardless of whether the other people involved act like your parents or not.
The second phase deals with the negativity that is merely responsive. When individuals have freed themselves from initiating negativity and are clear in this respect, their reactions are positive whenever others do not react negatively toward them. But the negativity still flares up reactively, as a result of their responding to the negativity of others. But this is still not the purified state. It is not the state of truth. To respond in that way to the negativity of others is still an action based on illusion. There is a better way to respond.
Even though the other person may indeed unload a great deal of unjustified hostility on you, it is an illusion to fear it and set up your negative defenses. You can depend on yourself much more adequately without withdrawing, without becoming in any way defensive, without becoming destructive with your own feelings. Therefore this responsive negativity must also be straightened out, but this can be done only after the initiating negativity has been wiped out. Whenever the slightest thing goes against your grain, whenever you experience any degree of frustration, you tend to bring in your original reactions of negativity.
—The Pathwork® Guide