P1 Let us begin with individual Christians who feel a strong reaction against Jesus Christ. They rebel against their early upbringing and the values their parents stood for. On the one hand, Christ is depicted as embodying love, truth, wisdom, salvation, goodness and service to the Creator and His plan, and on the other as demanding a self-defeating denial of intrinsic human values, energies and expressions. The images may have begun in this life or in previous lives.
P2 The admixture of truth and falsehood about Jesus Christ is impossible for children to disentangle. So there are only two choices. The first alternative is to submit to the totality of what is conveyed. In this case they will grow up accepting the traditional concept of what it is to be a Christian. They will fear their feelings, deny their sexuality, and put reins on their aggression, which they identify with evil. Underneath this restraint, strong impulses exist, but they are very threatening.
Such “submitting Christians” feel themselves to be sinners whenever they register unallowed feelings. They also rebel, of course, but the fear of expressing the rebellion openly is much too threatening. So, the rebellion, too, must be repressed and denied, only to create more guilt, more of a feeling of secretly being sinners. Such people will use any kind of doctrine to reinforce these denials. They will flock to orientations that take the Bible in a very literal and doctrinaire sense. They feel safe only in a rigid, life-denying structure.
The other alternative the child has is to openly and consciously rebel against the strictures that deny its very being. Such children become the “rebelling Christians” we are concerned with on this path. The “rebelling Christians” need reinforcement for their rebellion, for underneath it they carry some doubts about its legitimacy. The truth is that they should indeed deny the prohibition of feelings, positive aggression, sexuality, self-responsibility and autonomy. But they certainly should not deny the truth of Jesus Christ in His love, His power, His presence, and the need to take Him into their own lives.
They (submitting Christians) must question the tradition as handed to them, whereas the rebels need to accept the truth in the tradition. “Submitting Christians” accept their parents’ doctrine unquestioningly also because they cannot bear the thought that their parents may have been mistaken. “Rebelling Christians”, on the other hand, find security in totally rejecting their parents’ values, at least in this particular respect. They grow up with a sense of superiority, considering their denial of Christ as more evolved. Here again confusion exists. In the consciousness of such people there exists a tremendous fear of finding out that perhaps, after all, their parents were right.
P3 On a very primitive, childish level the threat the “rebelling Christian” experiences now, when Jesus Christ is being reintroduced in the Pathwork in a more dynamic way, can be expressed thus: “If my parents were right about the reality of Jesus Christ, then they must have also been right about my sexual feelings being sinful, my surge for individuality, autonomy and selfexpression being sinful. I would never have the right to be angry and to express my energies in an aggressive way, for all aggression must be bad. I would also be guilty and bad for having denied Christ and my parents in the past. This I cannot bear, so I must turn against these ideas.” The mass image of the “Christian rebel” harbors underneath it the possibility of the “Christian submitter,” and vice versa.
P4 About the history and the shadow side of the Jewish people. On the collective level both Jews and Christians have failed the test.
P5 In the consciousness of the Jews, the pagan and the Christian became one and the same. Jews considered both inferior and hostile. The hostility existed, but instead of asking themselves how they contributed to it and taking responsibility for the situation and seeing it as a mutual creation—just as you have learned to do on this path—they abdicated any responsibility and saw themselves as the victims of the pagans, that is, of the Christians, even while continuing to look down on them.
This old history is very relevant for those who are born into families who continue to harbor this attitude in their own souls. They can use existing family influences as a challenge and thus help dissolve the mass image. Or they can choose to further perpetuate it and with it the Jewish karma. When any of you work on any personal problem and find yourself terrified because your friends and helpers confront you, when you defend against even the possibility of that with which you are being confronted, you react according to the same erroneous assumption that being wrong, having lower-self attitudes, having made a mistake, is unforgivable and unacceptable.
Your terror is very simply that. Your belief is that you would no longer be lovable if this or that negativity were indeed true. Only as you gain courage, and therefore humility as well, do you jump into the apparent abyss of opening your mind, and only then can you find out that your assumption was false.
In fact, only when you fully admit your imperfection and human fallibility do you become a full-fledged human being, find your true and realistic value, and find God’s love for you that has always existed, but that you could not feel due to your fallacy. You can become an autonomous person only if you let truth stand above defense, when truth is more important than justifying yourself, or your parents, or your forebears.
P6 When you work on any personal issue where you, after much resistance, finally dedicate your being to wanting to see the truth, you sometimes go indeed through the pain of guilt. But when you do this in a spirit of life rather than death, in a spirit of faith rather than denial, you come to self-acceptance, self-forgiveness. Therefore you experience that God has already forgiven you all along. You then experience the light and the new strength of wholeness.
Feeling the pain of real guilt is never a debilitating process. It is a life process, it is purification, and it leads to oneness with yourself, with others, with God. Can you find within yourself the willingness to adopt the same attitude toward whatever universal issue comes up in your life? What do you have to fear if truth—God—is your major concern? By refusing openness, you express in no uncertain terms that truth is not the major issue for you, but being right is.
No matter how you try to justify your antagonism toward Jesus Christ, you are not in truth when you refuse to pose this question in a sincere and open way and then allow for a period of gestation for the answer to evolve within your own mind and heart. How can you believe yourself to be free and liberated when anything within you is closed up tight? Can the justifying of your ancestors’ infallible rightness on this central question be more important than the truth itself? Observe the feeling of threat in you now, when these words are being addressed to you.
Consider the meaning of this reaction. Can you perhaps take distance from it for a moment, and then consider that the feeling of threat may be a distortion, may be irrational, may contain false assumptions on your part? This questioning in itself is a healing you can administer to yourself. Let us now consider the dynamics of images. A brief recapitulation here is in order.
An image is a false idea, a wrong conclusion formed in childhood with insufficient mental equipment to make a correct assessment. The wrong conclusion, as all untruth, creates negative situations, feelings, and events. Untruth is always painful. The defense against wrong conclusions creates a negative action and reaction pattern which affects others adversely. The misconception is fixed and frozen in the soul substance because it is never questioned or challenged.
The personality reacts blindly in a conditioned reflex, rather than out of truth appropriate to the particular occasion. The negative effect created in others must, perforce, come back to the individual and always appears to confirm the original misconception, which seems to necessitate the defense, which creates negative reactions in others. And so it goes on endlessly.
The soul is not free when any image exists. The image of the “rebelling Christian” is: “If I embrace Christ, I must give up my vitality, my life energy, my sexuality, my body, pleasure, for all these are sinful.” Therefore “rebelling Christians” create a defense that shuts out Christ in order to affirm their sexuality. But shutting out Christ means shutting out an essential part of God’s world of truth, love, beauty and life.
These individuals create a split and live in pain, hidden doubt and guilt. Instead of liberating their forces, they must be defiant about them. And you all know that defiance is nothing but an ill-advised attempt to shut out other voices within. Therefore, instead of becoming stronger, the “rebelling Christians” become weaker.
They may cover up the weakness by a mask of strength, which deceives no one, least of all themselves. They feel like failures and frauds but do not know why. In fact they believe their weakness stems from having been influenced in childhood to accept Jesus Christ and from not having been sufficiently successful in rejecting Him.
P7 If you have the misconception that Christ intended you to deny your vital life-impulses, you will develop attitudes and reactions that, in the end, seem to bear out the original misconception. The Jewish mass image is: “If my parents and forebears were wrong, and my ancestors killed in Jesus not only a good man but a man who manifested God on earth, then they were totally bad people. They can never be forgiven. I cannot face this possibility. I must deny this possibility in order not to be co-responsible with them.”
But did not Christ say, again and again, that God is forgiveness? Is He not always here with His mercy, understanding and love? Is this not one of the great messages He brought? He said, God does not punish mercilessly and unforgivingly, it is never “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Here we have a vicious circle: Believing totally in the old tradition of Judaism, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” makes admitting a sin impossible. The Jewish misconception is that Jesus was a false prophet that He was a fake, that the pagans and Christians are lying, are deluded, are inferior and at the same time they are the victimizers, out to annihilate the Jews.
The more firmly this belief was held, the more hatred and discrimination, separation and enmity grew in the consciousness of many individual Jews, thereby creating a mass image. The defense against this mass image, the fear of its coming true inevitably created more antagonism and actual persecution of Jews. So the misconception created a defense which, in turn, could not help but bear out the apparent truth of the misconception.
As I have said before, you create your own reality, and the more unconscious your belief, the greater its consequence is. There is only one way to do this: by starting to ask very probing questions from all possible angles. This sheds a new light on the picture. It opens doors that were heretofore closed. It loosens up hardened soul substance. The mind must be open to look at the situation and to consider everything that may be relevant to the issue.
P8 The new-age society knows no Judaism, nor Christianity as they are known now. Yet it knows both. It takes the truth from both and expands it, filtering it through the newly evolving and expanding consciousness. “If I am a Jew, I cannot be a Christian. If I am either, I cannot believe in reincarnation. If I believe in monarchy, I cannot see the good in some socialistic and/or communistic ideas. If I am progressive, I cannot be for tradition.”
All these dualities are false choices that separate. When you are one versus the other, you are that one thing with a vengeance, thus you cannot be it in its best sense. The more human beings can remove their own blocks and cleanse their own souls and psychic substance, the more humanity as a whole will become ready.
P10 But how is faith to grow? Only when the will to know God and His will are applied to all issues can God manifest to you and will faith become a realistic experience instead of an empty word. Regarding unity versus separation there are three stages in humankind’s evolution: 1) separation in outright enmity; 2) tolerance; 3) union, unity, oneness. To find the oneness underneath the diversity means peace, love, truth, means growing into a mature humanity.
Applying this concept to the topic of Jesus Christ, I can see that the human race has outgrown the stage of killing each other for being a Jew or for being a Christian. Now when I say this, I mean that when this still happens, the majority considers it a horrible crime, rather than condoning it. Underneath the surface, you need to find those areas where you may wish to annihilate the other for being “different,” thus challenging your insecurity about your spirituality and your religious background. Jesus Christ came to be a bridge, a further stage of love and truth for all humankind, to unify all humankind.
P11 If Jews feel put aside because of Christ, they could try to see that having sent Christ into a Jewish incarnation was God’s great act of love for His Jewish children. If Christians feel that they must deny their energies, their pleasure principle if they embrace Christ, they could try to see that this is merely a wrong interpretation. Wipe out your misunderstandings, challenge your assumptions, consider that truth may be totally different—different in such a way that not only do you lose nothing, but that you gain everything. In other words, you will gain all that you ever feared to lose when you give up your fixed ideas.
—The Pathwork® Guide