P1 What is a wholehearted decision for God? It always involves giving up something. It may mean letting go of an opinion, a desire, perhaps a way of life. In the wholehearted declaration that they (people who surrender in daily life) have made for God, His will and its fulfillment is expressed in deed, in word, in intention. How can you be a child of God if worldly considerations matter more while considerations of your purification, your development, and your relationship to God are made secondary? You think praying and pondering a little bit about your mistakes is sufficient; and you go on with your life as though God and His call did not exist.
P2 A part of you wants God, wants to experience yourself as a child of God, wants to develop and purify. Yet with another part you think you know better. You want to come nearer to God on your terms, not His. You think it would be a disadvantage, in some way, for you to surrender yourself completely and wholly to God. Thus do you project your own limitations on the Highest. Do not misunderstand these words to mean that complete passivity is called for on your part.
The act of sacrificing for God and overcoming your self-will is the right kind of activity. Acceptance of life is the divine way; to accept everything life brings, both good and bad—and to retain a positive attitude. The distortion is in the struggle of self-will against accepting anything hard. It is equally against Divine Law to be pessimistic and negative. Your lower nature, abetted by the forces of darkness, likes to believe that to be pessimistic and negative means to accept life’s hardships.
On the other hand, to deny that hardship can exist is a distortion of a healthy and positive attitude. “I expect life to bring me unhappiness as well as happiness. I will not flinch from life’s clouds. I will not fear the darkness. Only by going through adversity courageously will I be able to bear happiness and be able to give happiness.”
P3 Isn’t the seeker who kicks and struggles against unhappiness acting out of pride? Your fear can only leave you if you learn to embrace unhappiness as a necessary medicine, without thinking that you will always remain sick or at all times be in need of this medicine. By defiance, self-pity, wanting to flee life or escape your trouble in one way or another, you prove that emotionally you have not accepted all that life stands for. Any disharmonious feeling you have in connection with the adversities in your personal life will prove to you that within yourself you have not accepted life’s rules, you are rejecting personal responsibility for your hardships, and you are unwilling to take the medicine. Ask yourself: “What do I mean by feeling as I do? Am I struggling against life’s realities?
Does my struggle mean that I reject through pride and self-will the lesson life has to teach me? Am I afraid of all the little hurts and disadvantages? Actually negative attitudes are just another way of kicking and struggling—and refusing life’s lessons. Another distortion of a divine attribute concerns dignity. Dignity is a divine aspect. Its distortion is pride. How often do we notice human beings proud of their pride mistaking pride for dignity, which has no life apart from complete humility. In the measure that self-will, pride, vanity, and egotism are present in the soul, they inevitably bring fear in their wake. Fear and dignity cannot coexist.
P4 Today, humanity has progressed so that what is obviously wicked will not tempt many; only the confusion and misrepresentation of the good will have the effect at which the forces of darkness constantly aim.
P5 Intellectually you may acknowledge that the other person has wonderful qualities, but emotionally you do not really think so, or at least you do not want to find out.
P6 Bad feelings and bad thoughts add to the destructive forces in the universe. If you could even dimly realize how each of these feelings and emotions drain into a big ugly pool and finally are responsible for all the hurts of this world, for crime and injustice and the wickedness of wars! The way must always be, first, to have the courage to say: “These are my feelings; I know they might be wrong, but they are that way.” If you can observe the feelings with detachment and acknowledge them, then you have made the first step toward your own proper purification. The fact is that your courageous recognition and your goodwill changes and lessens their impact. Their impact is strongest when you are unaware of their existence, or when you try to justify them.
—The Pathwork® Guide