P1 Each little victory may give you an occasional glimpse of the great freedom and indescribable happiness of being a part of this eternal current. Humanity is separated from this current by obstructions in the psyche, such as selfishness, egocentricity, fearfulness and cowardice. Every time even a particle of these obstructions is eliminated, if only by some momentary recognition, people experience freedom, renewal and meaningfulness in their lives in greater measure.
The ultimate reason for living is to make your life meaningful, but without being merged into this current this cannot happen. If you wish to find meaning in your life, cultivate the thought: “I wish to serve not only my own shortsighted immediate goal but to bring others meaning, help and happiness as well.” The inner person often cultivates such a desire without being consciously aware of it. Then things begin to happen. Conversely, the inner person may resist leaving the wall of separateness, even if there is some outer goodwill. Then nothing happens. Life continues to be meaningless. Real living is then constantly postponed.
P2 One kind of wishful dream comes from thoughts that arise from drives. These drives are connected with your idealized self-image, your self-glorification, your feelings of inadequacy and your lack of self-confidence. There isn’t a human being who does not, even consciously at times, indulge in fantasies. In them, you see yourself in situations in which you prove to those who have slighted you how superior or great you are. In such daydreams you are admired instead of slighted and you experience satisfaction, revenge and gratified pride. Thus you enjoy living in a way that exactly opposes your deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.
You “correct” your undesirable reality with fantasy. If you resist finding the truth about yourself, that you have made errors and cling to misconceptions, you cannot come to terms with yourself. Nor can you come to terms with others or with life as a whole. Most people, however, enjoy the symptoms—the daydreams—and do not wish to recognize them for what they are. It is better to create a little distance from this activity by observing the particular pattern of your daydreams. Make a note of them. Realize their general goal. This will offer you invaluable material about the root of your problems. Your psyche will give it up to the degree that you learn to love life in reality.
P3 The second category of wishful daydreaming is emotional and comes from needs instead of drives. Your repressed, unrecognized needs may create an even stronger force, just because they are repressed. This force then must have an outlet. If healthy need fulfillment is hindered through your pseudosolutions, unrealistic fears and erroneous images, which paralyze your constructive energy and resourcefulness, then an imaginary outlet is necessary. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual fulfillment is then possible only in fantasy.
Finally you will come to believe that actual fulfillment is impossible because you cannot direct people and circumstances as you choose. They want complete control of circumstances, which they can have only in fantasy. This also works in reverse, so that when they try to be flexible and resilient in meeting outer circumstances that do not entirely accord with their preconceived ideas, they will feel less capable of experiencing fulfillment.
P4 Reality is infinitely more satisfying than the daydreams, but one needs courage and flexibility; one has to give up the need to control everything, throw away the blueprints, and live spontaneously. The different emotional quality of your fantasies and the kind of satisfaction you derive from them may indeed indicate the direction of your growth. Determining this is very beneficial. Moreover, daydreaming of this kind encourages awareness of repressed needs.
Observe, evaluate, weigh and determine—without strain, compulsion or pressure—calmly and quietly. Make daydreams the useful symptom they are meant to be by learning about yourself, your real needs, your drives, your pseudo-fulfillment in fantasies and about their purpose.
QUESTION: I have many daydreams. When I stop, my fears become active. When my fears recede, I start daydreaming again. Why is that? ANSWER: Because, my friend, both have the same common denominator, the same root. They are both an expression of your self-alienation. You know perfectly well from your recent findings that your conscious fears are not your real fears. They are displaced fears. They are the fears you want to have rather than the basic fear you do not wish to face: the fear of being yourself. You experience either substitute fears or substitute fulfillments.
—The Pathwork® Guide