P2 You will come to see how often you discourage the best in you, not only due to wrong motivations, but also because it is, or seems to be, discouraged by your environment. One of the most common diseases of humanity is a tendency to generalize and standardize, which has more far-reaching effects than you realize. By freeing yourself of your deviations with all their negative motives, you will be able to bring the suppressed positive tendencies to the surface and view them in the proper light, just as you have learned to do with the suppressed negative traits.
P3 When you are born into life, you carry within yourself your individual life plan.
P4 If you are governed by your emotions, conscious or unconscious, you lose control over your self and over your life. If you become master over your thoughts, you become master over your mind, and so you have mastery of your life. By mastery, I certainly do not mean a discipline that suppresses anything, negative or positive, in you. Thought control can be mastered without rigidity and suppression. Many current movements teach thought-control by suppression.
As I have often said, this is not necessary and is actually very damaging. Your emotions must be allowed to come to the fore so that you can observe and evaluate them. The first step, as always, is the recognition of what is amiss. Recognize your uncontrolled thoughts, their power over you, their significance, as well as their lack of significance. Foreground thought is voluntary, background thought is involuntary. If you want to think something—whether constructive or unconstructive—as long as you follow it through, it is foreground thought.
Background thought comes unbidden; it is disorganized and mainly unconstructive. You will also notice that background thought material consists mainly of the following:
(1) Symptoms of disturbed emotions and inner conflicts that never express the conflict itself. They might bring the nucleus of the conflict to the fore, if the symptoms are analyzed and properly understood. In order to do that, the vague, unvolitional background thoughts have to be made into foreground thoughts.
(2) You reexperience events, conversations, or impressions in snatches and fragments. If these do not belong in the first category, they are completely without significance. Your mind has registered certain impressions and it repeats them automatically like the rolling of wheels.
(3) Wishful thinking. There are a few subdivisions in this category. You may reexperience a conversation, going over how it might have been, how it should have been, what you should have said instead of what you did say, or you build a daydream of what you wish to happen in the future, which is vague, unrealistic, elusive and unconnected to your real desires, and doesn’t take account of the obstacles within your soul. Such thoughts are entirely wasteful, if they are not made into foreground thoughts and evaluated.
P5 First learn to evaluate the content of the vague background thoughts, and if you find that they are insignificant, learn to discard them. You have no idea how much mental and emotional—and eventually physical—strength they consume. Unvolitional background thoughts make you the governed instead of the governor.
P6 The best form of relaxation is attained when the mind is given a chance to be quite calm. Background thought material makes this impossible. It disperses the mind in many directions and therefore exhausts it without your knowing it.
(1) Continuation of finding and dissolving your images, wrong conclusions, and deviations.
(2) Finding your suppressed creative forces, directions, and activities and unfolding your nature as it was meant to function in your own particular way.
(3) Understanding of, and gradually learning to control the thought process. Sit down comfortably. Do not lie down. Become very calm. Relax completely, without trying to exert any force, strain, or pressure. Begin to follow the abdominal movements of your breath when you breathe very quietly: up and down, up and down. Or, if you prefer, imagine a point between your eyes—whichever is easier for you.
Be prepared for your mind soon to be disturbed by unvolitional background thoughts. Expect them, observe them quietly. If they are not of pressing importance for you now—indicating a disturbance in your psyche—discard them quietly, without getting impatient with yourself. You will notice them only after a while. Whenever you do, try to recollect what your thoughts made you think of. Say to yourself: “I was thinking of this or that,” whatever it may have been.
This in itself is a means to become more aware of yourself. You may then either go on with your concentration and defer to analyze the thought materials until after, or you may do so right away, if you feel the urge, and resume the concentration exercise another time. If at one time or another you find it impossible to concentrate in this manner because your thoughts always come back to something particular, that is a sign that this something ought to be investigated, that it contains a seed of one of your conflicts.
If such is the case, you will not be able to become calm until you have found some clarification. You will derive further benefits, such as a general power of discrimination; increased inner and outer vitality; better memory; clearer and stronger thoughts; and, last but not least, the increased ability to make your inner will function.
P9 In many instances, what one wants is not what one really wants but what one thinks one wants.
—The Pathwork® Guide