Lecture 204 – What is the Path? | Abbreviated Version

P1             Furthermore, take into consideration that every human personality has a depth of which he or she may as yet be unaware. At this depth, everybody possesses the means to transcend the narrow confines of his or her own personality, and receive access to other realms and to entities endowed with a wider and deeper knowing. The second and most important phase (of the Path) consists of learning how to activate the greater consciousness dwelling within every human soul.

P2             Though using valid methods to force-fully reach this goal, many spiritual disciplines do not pay sufficient attention to those areas of the ego self which are steeped in negativity and destructiveness. Any success thus achieved is always short-lived and really an illusion, even though some of the experiences may be genuine enough. Since human beings shy away from accepting and dealing with certain parts of themselves, they often seek refuge in paths which promise that one can avoid facing these problematic inner areas.

It comes from and leads to further illusions. One illusion is that anything that exists in you can be avoided. Another illusion is the belief that what is in you needs to be feared and denied. No matter how destructive it is, any inner aspect of you can be transformed. Understanding and deep enlightenment will come as you go deeper into your own depths and experience your inner wealth and connectedness with the universe.

P3             Every human being senses an inner longing that goes deeper than the longings for emotional and creative fulfillment, although these are, of course, part of the deeper and more essential desire. It is true that you must accept your present state. It is true that life, as it manifests, cannot be perfect. Yet this fact is not what truly makes you unhappy, rather it is your demand that life should be perfect and be handed to you in its perfection.

You will inevitably discover that there is a part of you which denies pain and frustration; a place where you are angry and spiteful because there is no loving authority present who will eliminate these undesirable experiences for you. The desire is false when your personality wishes love and fulfillment, perfection and happiness, or pleasure and creative expansion without paying the price of strictest self-confrontation. If you feel sorry for yourself because of your unfulfilled life, and if you in any way blame others for your present state, no matter how wrong those others may be, whether your parents, your peers, your associates, or life as a whole, then you do not assume responsibility.

P4             The longing is realistic when you start from the premise that the clue to fulfillment must lie in you; when you wish to find the attitudes in you that prevent you from experiencing life in a fulfilled and meaningful way. If a life situation is painful and you defend with rage, complaints, and other defenses against cleanly experiencing this pain, you are not in truth about your present state.

Do not abandon the longing that comes from the sense that your life could be much more, that you could live without painful tortured confusions and function on a level of inner resilience, contentment, and security. It is a state of experiencing and expressing deep feelings and blissful pleasure, where you are capable of meeting life without fear because you no longer fear yourself. You will, therefore, find life, even its problems, a joyful challenge.

Pleasure exists on all levels: spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental. However, spiritual pleasure, separated from the levels of everyday functioning, is an illusion, because true spiritual bliss encompasses the total personality. The personality must therefore learn to endure a state of bliss. This it cannot do unless it learns to endure whatever is locked inside the psyche now: pain, meanness, malice, hate, suffering, guilt, fear, terror. All these must be transcended.

P5             This state (spiritual bliss) already exists as a dormant potential within you. It is not something that can be given to you by others, nor is it something that you can acquire through learning or effort. It unfolds organically as a byproduct of your going through the dark spots within you. Negative and positive are not two aspects of energy and consciousness: they are one and the same.

Whatever particles of energy and consciousness in your self have turned negative must be reconverted into their original positive way of being. This cannot be accomplished without fully taking responsibility for the negativity in you. How can you gauge whether or not this untruthfulness on a deeper level exists in you? It is really extremely simple. There is an infallible key which, if you choose to use it, will give you faultless answers.

This key is: how do you feel about yourself and about your life? How meaningful, fulfilled, and rich is your life? Do you feel secure with others? Do you feel comfortable about your most intimate self in the presence of others? How much joy are you capable of feeling, giving, and receiving? Are you plagued with resentments, anxiety, and tension, or with loneliness and a sense of isolation? Do you need a lot of overactivity in order to alleviate anxiety? This path cannot skip the step of making you first feel your anxiety and then feel whatever the anxiety hides.

In the healthy life of every human being there must be exchange, intimacy, communication, sharing, mutual love, mutual pleasure, and the giving as well as the receiving of warmth and openness. Also, every human being needs in healthy proportion recognition of what he or she does. But there is an enormous difference between wanting this recognition in a healthy way and depending on outside recognition to such an extent that you are unable to do without it at all times.

P7             For many it is easier to sacrifice something and chastise themselves than to face and deal with their dark aspects. The guilt for the latter is constantly atoned for by self-deprivations which are supposedly doorways to heaven. No amount of forsaking will wipe out the guilt for avoiding purification of the soul. Whether feelings are loving or hateful, angry or benign, fearful or peaceful, their energy must create according to their nature.

Feelings in themselves are not terrible or unbearable. However, your beliefs and attitudes can make them so. To experience fear in itself is not devastating: once experienced, the fear instantly becomes a tunnel through which you travel, not letting go of the feeling of fear until it carries you to a deeper level of reality. The fear is a denial of other feelings. When the original feeling is being accepted and experienced, the knot dissolves. Fear of your feelings makes you cut them off. Thus you cut yourself off from life.

P8             Another reason is that no matter how destructive, cruel, and bad it may be, every aspect of energy and consciousness is in its original essence both beautiful and positive. Energy and consciousness can become creative again in a positive way only when the light of cognizance and positive intentionality are brought to bear on them. That essence (spiritual) is constantly self-renewing; it is constantly conciliating apparently insoluble conflicts. It is your divine centre. You are thus an expression of all that exists—the allconsciousness.

P9             Today humankind’s greatest hindrance is egotistical pride. People have accomplished much with the powers of the ego. They needed to develop these powers so as to no longer be irresponsible, helpless children. But these powers must now be exercised from within by one’s spiritual centre and not be ascribed to the ego. Questions arise such as: “What will others say? Will they think me naive, stupid, or unscientific?” It is everyone’s task today to overcome this pride and this dependency on the opinions of others.

—The Pathwork® Guide

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