P1 In the great plan, also called the Plan of Salvation, the earth sphere is meant to change gradually into a more spiritual abode of unity, harmony and light. It can only come about through a transformation of consciousness in the earth’s inhabitants. As the earth transforms, those individual consciousnesses who cannot and will not follow this process of growth and development will create a new abode, with conditions similar to those that still prevail in this earth sphere.
Humanity’s greatest imprisonment is the duality in which the human mind is entangled. The mass mind then builds an environment and creates conditions that express this bent of consciousness. It is necessary to accept the world as you find it and deal with it on its own terms. For even after your own consciousness begins to change and transcend this reality, the creation of the mass mind still remains intact. In that transitional state, the individual lives in both realities. Few of you have begun even occasionally to experience its reality: the absolute knowledge that there is only good, that there is eternal life, peace, joy, excitement, meaning, that there is nothing to fear, that there is no more pain.
This state of ultimate reality also contains the knowledge that you create your world, your conditions, your environment. Those who indulge in it (non-acceptance of the conditions of the dualistic world) delude themselves that they can avoid the developmental stages that sometimes must include temporary suffering. Example: you are convinced that other people are doing you a great wrong, that you have no recourse to change these conditions unless the others change their attitude toward you. Everything you can observe bears out this conviction.
This law that manipulates your vision according to your conviction, is an ensnarlment of the mind that is very hard to overcome. Only as a result of much goodwill on your part to open your mind, to let go—at least temporarily—of your conviction, will you begin to recognize new aspects that you could never see before. Perhaps you will see how you actively contributed to the situation.
You may recognize, on even deeper levels, a definite intentionality to create a negative situation. Underneath the duality of good versus bad you will find one day an ultimate, unchangeable level of truth in which all is good in a new, different, more alive and very dynamic way.
P3 Many levels of reality are valid about one and the same situation, condition, circumstance. Your world view is based on a very incomplete vision in which your limited perception filters what goes into your consciousness. Yet another reality awaits to be recognized underneath the level of opposites. It is the soul’s greatest longing to find the deeper level of truth.
The change of consciousness happens entirely due to an intensely personal purification process that, to begin with, always deals with the most mundane matters of your practical life, with your attitudes toward them and your surroundings. To skip them and consider them irrelevant only leads to further separation. Perhaps we should begin by pointing out how painful and fearful duality really is. You cannot even perceive the pain and the fear. You do not know anything else.
P4 To change existing conditions, one must feel them as so undesirable that the effort is well worth taking. You always fear the undesirable and strain away from it toward the desirable. You would hardly be human if you would not deeply desire happiness, life, health. But there is a state of mind in which the straining relaxes, in which the undesirable can be dealt with in an almost similar spirit and attitude as the desirable.
Perhaps the first step toward this particular state is to pay attention to the byproducts in your feelings, thoughts and attitudes as you experience either a desirable or an undesirable state. If the desirable occurs, you are most likely to feel faith in the Lord, to experience His reality and connect with the Christ within. It is infinitely more difficult to maintain the same faith, the same knowing, when the undesirable experiences occur.
Just begin to observe your moods. When do doubts come up? What brings on the doubts? Are they not always in some way connected with whether or not the desirable goal is attained? The Christed person does not experience these fluctuations. This kind of detachment from pleasure or pain is strongly fostered by Eastern religions, as well as by the Western mystics. These disciplines negate worldly fulfillment and consider it an antithesis to the goal of spiritual self-realization.
It is perfectly possible to rejoice in worldly fulfillments as expressions of inner states, while no longer straining toward one state and away from another. This latter attitude can exist only when you deeply know that ultimately there is the reality of God, of life eternal and of fulfillment and well-being in every possible way. The way to go about it at first is to stand back and truly observe your reactions to pain and pleasure, to life and death. These reactions contain a great deal of material that you need to see clearly but that you generally ignore.
In your fear of death and of pain, and in your movement to strain away from them, there is usually a great deal of anger, bitterness and resentment. They form a more general, diffuse, but nevertheless quite distinct state of mind. These feelings of bitterness and anger become so absorbed into the system that they themselves turn into the pain you strain away from. It is, once again, not so much the angry feelings themselves as their suppression and repression that cause the strain. You need to make these reactions very clear and conscious.
P6 An ordinary person may fear that it is a symptom of insanity to rile against what life is known to be. How can you “reasonably” resent the existence of death? How can you even be angry that you fall occasionally ill and suffer pain? Yet there exists a rage toward life and creation in all human souls before realization of the unitive, deathless, painless state has been attained. The feeling is: How can life—God—be so cruel as to impose at the end of one’s existence an inevitable event that is unfathomable, that is totally unknown, that is deeply threatening because it may be the end of one’s being?
No matter how certain individuals who have come to embrace atheism claim to have accepted the idea that they will no longer exist once they die, in this very “acceptance” lies the ultimate rage. Atheism itself is a manifestation of extreme bitterness against a creation that seems so utterly senseless and arbitrary that no recourse exists. Such false acceptance is always either an angry, bitter resignation or despair about life and its pains.
At the same time, accepting eternal life can also come from identical reasons of fear. So you need to go through your inner fear and your previously unconscious anger, bitterness or rage at life for imposing death and pain on you. As you become aware of these feelings and accept their apparent unreasonableness and childishness, you will then be able to make new connections. Denied fear creates more fear. Denied longing and desire create anxiety.
Both the fear and the desire will become a driving force, in a most positive sense, to find your longing, to find that in your longing exists a kernel of true knowing about the reality of fulfillment. You know that leaving the body brings a better life. You may rejoice in bringing parts of the greater, real life into this limited dualistic plane and in thus spiritualizing the matter you temporarily inhabit.
P7 If one suspects pain to be the ultimate reality, there must be a lot of anger connected with experiencing it. If you defend against pain, a tightening occurs that prevents healing. Healing requires a deep relaxation of the entire human system in order to connect with the ever-present divine healing currents. This kind of equanimity does not express a disregard for earthly pleasure and life in the body, but it no longer fears their absence.
This (“reverse-unity”) is the fact that every so often you believe you fear one end of the spectrum and strive for and desire the opposite end of it. Life is feared as much as death, pleasure as much as pain, success as much as failure. Out of this “reverse unity” a real unity can grow, when you comprehend the nature of the fear at both ends. The strain automatically relaxes and you are then confronted with the issue of faith.
P8 When you can maintain this vision even while in pain, when you can know that God does it right even while you face the Great Unknown, your mind will be stilled. The tense movement away from one and toward another “goal” will cease and the underlying unity of all life will be experienced. Continue your struggle and cease all struggle. Grope for where struggle must continue and where it must cease.
—The Pathwork® Guide