P1 The “path” does not mean that you walk down a road that is already there for you. When you first decide to walk it, there is no path yet, you have to make it. You are actually a “pathfinder” in an unexplored jungle, seeking the way through wild shrubbery and growth, setting down one foot after another in a slow but steady process. In this jungle you constantly create soul forms with your thoughts, feelings, and actions. In the average human soul there is such a jungle. It is not at all bad or criminal. It is merely confusion, error, lack of self-knowledge, deviation from divine law: it is ignorance that creates a wilderness through which you have to find your way, with God as your final goal.
Your inner stubbornness and prejudices create conflicts in your soul, as well as in your outer life. These may be seen as rocks and stones, high mountains which you have to dissolve. You have to make your way through your various faults, which appear in your soul as unruly shrubbery and often as poisonous growth, instead of turning away from them as you did before you decided to go on this path. And there are rivers to cross, wild waters to manage and rechannel. These are your uncontrolled emotions—uncontrolled only because you do not understand their origin and real meaning. There are precipices to jump, my friends—your fears of life as it actually presents itself, your fears of pain and disappointment. The jungle I speak of is not merely an analogy. These forms exist in actual fact. They exist in subtle matter.
P2 All your faults, errors, ignorances, and their complexities create one big vicious circle in your soul. This circle consists of individual faults which affect and interact with one another and cause a chain reaction. To break this vicious circle, you have to understand thoroughly the individual faults that constitute your vicious circle. By now you know that all faults come from pride, self-will, and fear. Only self-discipline and perseverance will get you to the point when you finally can see the whole picture of the vicious circle, how one defect is caused by another in a chain reaction. An infinite variety of good and bad currents influence one another.
P3 God’s grace, God’s help, and God’s light exist all over the universe. In the first place, prayer is the best exercise for learning concentration. Without the ability to concentrate you cannot achieve anything in life.
P4 You learn to concentrate when you pray, for instance, for your loved ones. First, you engage in the mental process of thinking of them; then to that mental process you bring your feelings and the depths of your soul, your deepest wishes for God’s grace. The same procedure should be practiced in praying for your enemies. Here the mental process may not be so difficult, but uniting your feelings with your good will may be a lengthier task.
Pray for individuals you know, as well as for humanity and all spirits in the universe as a whole. Pray for peace, the spreading of truth and the fulfillment of the Plan of Salvation. Pray for all the blind creatures who are still in darkness. Pray for the purification process of more and more individuals. Concentrate on the thought forms of everything you have learned: the necessity for self-unfoldment through self-recognition; the overcoming of the Lower Self; the rechanneling of wrong currents, and the attainment of love, brotherhood, humility, and the union and development of all beings.
The simple fact that you decide to devote a certain period of every day to prayer, making a disciplined effort to concentrate on others and expressing unselfish desires, already creates a definite change in the organism of your subtle bodies, as well as eventually in your physical body.
P5 Oh, I know there are many people, particularly nowadays, who force themselves to think positive thoughts. But that is not what I mean. Prayer must come from the heart, from the innermost recesses of the mind. If emotional currents do not follow suit in harmony with the positive thoughts, then there is a self-deception that may bring greater repercussions than if you stated clearly and simply where you stand in your own mind.
It is vital that you learn to focus your attention on yourself—not selfishly, but constructively. Your attention should be focused as well on your problems from a spiritual point of view, if you want to advance on your path. You can, if you prefer, call it meditation. It is the same. Through meditation you take the trouble to clarify and to present your problems concisely to God and to yourself. Another important element of prayer is that anyone who approaches God in prayer will automatically have a more humble attitude. People who feel their ego to be the center of the world tend to judge everything from a subjective point of view. Such people—many of whom also display goodwill toward selfdevelopment—have an inner image which makes them feel that they are the highest, most important creatures in the universe.
P6 The person who has already made prayer a daily discipline must be careful of an opposite extreme—the extreme of routine. Thus different problems will come to the surface at different times. Be watchful and adjust your prayer accordingly, to keep it forever new and alive. To adjust your prayer to the phases of your development, you need to be watchful and recognize how the daily events in your life and your reactions to them relate to your inner vicious circle. Ask God each day what you have to learn. Ask for His help. This will gradually impress your unconscious mind so that a good imprint can form within yourself.
The process amounts to instructing your unconscious. The spreading of truth among humankind. Praying for unhappy souls and human beings generally. Praying for loved ones—which is easy. Your prayers should also be for those whom you do not like. The more you dislike them, the more you should pray for them. Then try to observe your feelings when you wish them happiness.
Do not deceive yourself. Say to yourself, “A part of me wants this; another part of me is still struggling against good wishes for certain people.” In this way, you will not be living a lie. Try it and ask God to help you to feel wholeheartedly within yourself love for everyone, at least while you pray. The self-will, pride, and fear inherent in every human being will give way to humility, love, and the willingness to have God’s will done in all respects.
P8 Pray that you may find out specifically what your fears are. And once this prayer has been answered, pray that you can overcome your fears by being able to accept what you fear, provided it is God’s will for you and it is good for your development and spiritual growth. Pray for the ability to embrace pain as well as happiness. Pray that you do not love your ego so much that you shirk the healing agent of occasional pain. Pray for the courage to take pain in the right manner. Then, in the ultimate sense, pain must be one with happiness. When you reach a certain point on your road to God, you will not know the difference between pain and pleasure. Pain will be happiness and happiness will be pain in a blissful sense. All is one in the end.
—The Pathwork® Guide