Lecture 56 – Capacity to Wish – Healthy and Unhealthy Motives in Desire | Abbreviated Version

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P1             Unhealthy and tense desires are always linked with fear. In certain teachings you hear much about a state of desirelessness, but on the plane where most of you are it is an impossibility. One rule is that whenever you desire something for the sake of itself, the desire is healthy. But when you desire something as a means to an end, it may be unhealthy.

If this is the case, your desire automatically becomes tense. It becomes a need, and therefore fear must follow in its wake. If you desire financial security for the sake of enjoying that state, there is nothing unhealthy about it, even though many of you may think this is a selfish desire. We will discuss this separately a little later. But if you desire financial security for the sake of impressing others, or to alleviate an inherent feeling of inferiority, then it is unhealthy: then it becomes a need for something other than what financial security is in itself. And the hidden motive always causes the fear that you might not get what you need.

P2             You may say, “Why, I know many people who certainly desire money for very unsavory purposes and yet they are successful. It may be that such a person has less of a conscience. The farther your development has progressed, the stronger your conscience becomes, and it registers wrong motives very accurately. Thus the conscience puts prohibitive currents in the way of fulfillment. With a person of lesser development, this intervention of the conscience may be absent.

Or the person may be constituted so that the self-punishing and self-destructive forces, put in motion by wrong motives, affect not so much the financial, but another area of the person’s life. Destructive currents either prohibit the fulfillment of the particular conscious wish itself, or they may affect negatively another area of fulfillment, the desire for which may or may not be conscious. But deep within yourself you know there is something wrong with your wish and therefore you say to yourself—though not in conscious thought—”I do not deserve that which I wish.”

You often believe something is selfish that in reality has nothing to do with selfishness. But when, in your petty vanity, you place disproportionate importance on your own person, you haven’t an inkling that you are egocentric or selfish. When I say harm, I do not mean it in the obvious sense. I mean, that, for instance, the desire to impress others is also harmful. What happens when you set out to impress others? You might trigger off envy—and you may enjoy this envy.

P3             Then the goal is not desired for its own sake, but serves something else—namely your need to impress others, to make yourself “bigger” and “better,” enviable in the eyes of others. Self-destructive and self-punishing forces, brought forth by the psyche the moment a wrong motive is registered, may affect another wish fulfillment you cherish. It may even concern a fulfillment of a wish you are not conscious of. It just never occurs to you to desire a different state of affairs in a constructive and positive way—which includes seeking and understanding the inner block and the prohibition you set up. You will then find quite often that what you consciously desire you do not desire completely, without doubt and restriction, without misgivings and compromises. A part in you wants the fulfillment, but another part does not.

There is, for instance, the further reason that whatever you desire requires a price. Unconsciously you may not be completely ready to pay the price—the true price, not the outer one. You are unaware that unconsciously you do not find the fulfillment worth having if you cannot have it without paying the particular price it requires. Until you become certain that this cannot be, you postpone the wish-fulfillment by setting up blocks.

P4             You will give yourself time to grow into the necessary state of development, where to pay the price will not be something difficult or seemingly disadvantageous. By finding and facing them (unhealthy motives) squarely, you will automatically eliminate a certain degree of self-destructiveness. Feeling undeserving and disinclined to pay the price are the two basic factors that stand in the way. All other obstacles—directly or indirectly—stem from these two.

(Re: inferiority feelings) If you only knew why, you could adjust to it if it is something in you that you cannot change. Accepting it, you would cease to have the gnawing feeling of inferiority. Or, if it can be altered, you could go about changing it. The real reasons for your inferiority feelings are the little deviations that result from your trying to deceive yourself.

P5             You can be quite certain, my friends, that the only reason for inferiority feelings is self deception about your motives: why you want or do certain things. Begin to see clearly your motives, your desires, and what you want them to do for you. Do this with clear vision and with all the honesty you can muster.

P6             Although you will have to say to yourself, “Yes, these motives or attitudes are wrong,” in further honesty you will know that you are as yet incapable of feeling differently. After you have made a recognition of importance, beware of the attitude of believing that you can immediately change your emotions simply because now you can see and evaluate them clearly. Have the further honesty and wisdom to realize that growth occurs slowly. Use and cherish the recognition and wait for your emotions to mature. Grows occurs through self-observation from different angles. You will find the answers by observing your everyday reactions and emotions in the most mundane matters.

Question about a new movement which offers a shortcut: There is no shortcut. I would say that this path is a shortcut. It is the shortest “cut” there is!

—The Pathwork® Guide

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