Essay 12 How inner obstacles let in dark forces

We moved the summer I turned seven, going from the tiny town of Barron, Wisconsin to the small city of Rice Lake. I had just finished second grade and didn’t yet know I would attend third grade in a whole new world. After living close to no one my age, we would now be surrounded by over a dozen neighborhood kids.

Instead of playing with my brothers in the field behind our house, there would now be kick ball games most summer nights. Whereas in Barron, we rode the school bus, we would now just walk the two blocks to school, since Jefferson Elementary, Hilltop Middle School and Rice Lake High School were all just around the corner.

A lot of changes were unfolding that summer, and many were for the good. But here’s the thing that hit me the hardest: I was the last to know about the move. When I did find out—whether hours, days or weeks after my two brothers were told, I don’t know—I was crushed. This sense of not being included—of feeling left out—and of not being spoken to would echo throughout much of my life.

Setting the stage for struggle

It turns out, being seven is an important age in the life of a child. Because although we don’t yet understand how the world works, we are old enough to start projecting into the future. As a result, we begin to draw wrong conclusions about life: “So this is how life is,” we think. “And this is how it’s always going to be.”

Dark forces wait around for us to act out our faults. Then they come to life through us. This is how we let them in.

In my case, I secretly concluded, “I am always left out.” After all, I always felt like everyone else had gotten the directions, but I was left in the dark. Armed with such unspoken statements, we now feel a bit more prepared to face life. “Now,” we think, “I see how this world works.”

Armed with unspoken statements, we feel a bit more prepared to face life.

It will take most people an entire lifetime to realize that such conclusions formed early in life are based on misunderstandings. If they get it at all. Indeed, many will go to their graves believing their hidden wrong conclusions were right.

In fact, by the time we become adults, we’re no longer aware we even formed such conclusions based on our childhood experiences. Nonetheless, they have by now become so woven into the fabric of our being that our attitudes and behaviors reflect these beliefs. And then the world responds in a way that makes our wrong conclusions seem true.

Our faults create connection points

Since we can no longer see our mistaken beliefs, it’s easy to assume they must be harmless, right? No, they’re not. For they form hidden obstacles in our system—tight knots made up of wrong conclusions and the painful feelings associated with them—that today are the root cause of all our daily disharmonies. Because they are at the root of our faults.

Our faults keep us living in disharmony.

And what’s wrong with having a few faults, you ask? After all, everybody has them! Or perhaps we think that since our faults aren’t as bad as someone else’s, they don’t matter so much. But we are still responsible for each one, even the minor ones. And the higher our level of development, the greater is our duty and responsibility to keep cleaning up our side of the street. For the greater our light, the bigger the shadow we cast with our remaining inner obstacles.

Too often we make allowances for ourselves, saying, “I’m not the only one doing this,” or “Surely others are doing worse.” Or we say, “the devil made me do it,” as though it’s just a coincidence that dark forces were influencing us. No, we’re the ones who open that door by ignoring our own hidden inner obstacles.

How we connect with spiritual spheres

According to the Pathwork Guide, the universe is filled spiritual spheres that are invisible to us. They exist on the planets in our solar system, and also in different stellar systems. On Earth alone, we harbor all kinds of overlapping spiritual spheres of different vibrational frequencies, spanning from the lowest levels to the highest.

This means that as a human being, we can be in a room on Earth, and at the same time connect to a particular distant spiritual sphere. Meanwhile, another person in the same room might connect to a different spiritual sphere that’s at an entirely different level.

As our moods shift, we emit certain currents from our soul.

The spiritual sphere we’re in contact with will be the one that corresponds with our overall spiritual development. And since none of us are completely harmonious in our development—if that were the case, we wouldn’t have to live here—the spiritual spheres we connect with will vary over time.

For as our moods shift, we emit certain currents from our soul. These come from both our conscious mind and the parts of ourselves we’re unaware of. And depending on the makeup of these currents, they can link us with quite different spheres.

We’re always making connections

We know from other Pathwork teachings that every human being is comprised of both a Higher Self, which is our original divine spark, and a Lower Self, namely our faults and destructiveness, rebelliousness and resistance. In the areas where we have restored our Higher Self to its fully functioning capacity, our inner light shines through.

The Lower Self of one person may be lower than another’s.

When this is the case, we must have already done the necessary work of shedding the Lower-Self layers that surround us. Then our Higher Self will reach out and automatically connect with the most radiant spiritual spheres. This can—and must—happen while we’re living here on Earth.

But wherever our Lower Self is stronger, it doesn’t let the Higher Self shine through. When this is the case, we connect with the spheres and forces of darkness that correspond to our own attitudes and our own level of development. For, to be sure, the Lower Self of one person may be lower than another’s.

Our faults create connection points

We may think that since our faults aren’t as bad as someone else’s, they don’t matter so much. But we are still responsible for each one, even the minor ones. And the higher our level of development, the greater is our duty and responsibility to keep cleaning up our side of the street.

Too often we make allowances for ourselves, saying, “I’m not the only one doing this,” or “Surely others are doing worse.” Or we say, “the devil made me do it,” as though it’s just a coincidence that dark forces were influencing us. No, we’re the ones who open that door by ignoring our own hidden inner obstacles.

Spiritual specialists influence us

Each spiritual sphere is richly populated by spirits that are a match for that sphere. Earth, for example, is a sphere that’s a match for beings who are some parts light and some parts dark. Due to our varying levels of development, wherever there are people, beings surround us who link to widely varying spiritual spheres. And in these various spheres there are all kinds of specialists. This applies to well-ordered, light-filled spheres as equally as it applies to the chaotic dark spheres.

Each of us then attracts the specialists that are a match for the particular qualities we possess, whether they are good qualities or bad. For inevitably, like attracts like. Birds of a feather, as they say, flock together.

As we grow up, guardian spirits who belong to the divine order of light surround us. And if we strive higher and try to align with divine truth, they can come close to us. If not, they must stand back and keep an eye on us from a distance. They can then only step in to protect us based on the past merits we have accumulated.

At the same time, a number of other spirits also surround us who are not part of the divine order. Some of these may belong to the world of darkness. If we are not a particularly sinful soul, then very evil spirits will not come near us. After all, they wouldn’t be able to succeed in their specialty with such a person, so why bother?

Minor faults have major impact

That said, even the specialists of everyday human faults—those so-called minor faults—belong to the dark spheres. So if we are, let’s say, selfish, we will have a selfishness specialist attached to us. Or if we’re inclined to make furious outbursts, we’ll have a specialist nearby just waiting for us to let it take over and effectively live through us.

Even the specialists of everyday human faults belong to the dark spheres.

When such a specialist succeeds, it feels a great deal of satisfaction. For not only did it fulfill its task, it got to indulge its own particular weakness. If we do not have a particular fault, such as envy, then we won’t have an envy specialist attached to us. Meanwhile, a person standing next to us—who may even be further along than us in their overall development—may have an envy specialist close by because they still have this fault.

Keep in mind, it is our own faults that are pulling particular specialists close to us in the first place. All the specialists do is wait around for us to act out our faults. Then they come to life through us. This is how we collude with them and contribute to the darkness.

Being aware of our faults is the first step

How can we rid ourselves of these dark spirits? By working to overcome our faults.

The first step is to recognize what our faults are. For too often we are unaware of them simply because we don’t want to have the burden of knowing such unflattering information. Few folks indeed want to know what their own faults are. Most will admit that they probably have some faults, but only do so in a superficial way. Becoming fully aware of our particular faults, however, is an entirely different matter.

We must learn to face ourselves in utter honesty.

If we wish to protect ourselves from dark spiritual specialists, we must learn to face ourselves in utter honesty. After all, if we are nursing a certain fault, possibly even turning it into a pet we praise and joke about, we are also carrying the corresponding spirit specialist with us. And that spirit is just waiting for a chance to encourage us to give in to our fault.

Granted, it often doesn’t take much effort on their part, as aligning with our faults is the easiest and most comfortable way to go. The Lower Self, remember, follows the path of least resistance.

We must find the root

Any time we are in disharmony, such as when we feel a storm brewing with someone, we can have the presence of mind to remember to pray. When we do this, we are reaching out for God, who is already within us—after all, our Higher Self is a divine ray of God’s light—and asking for spiritual guidance. This, of course, only works when we have the presence of mind to remember to do it.

In reality, we don’t always have such presence of mind. Sometimes we’re tired and we once again become prey for dark influences. The only true and lasting protection, then, is to tear out the bad growth at its roots. That’s the approach we’re taking when we search to find the root of our faults.

Our attitudes chart our course

Let’s imagine for a moment that all of humanity—every single person on Earth—decides to follow the path of least resistance. We all opt to give in to our Lower Self, nursing our faults instead of fighting them. What would happen, from a spiritual point of view?

All our overlapping spheres would change in appearance, because we would make the disharmonious spheres bigger and stronger. These would then dwarf the harmonious spheres of love and light, of truth and happiness, pushing them into the background. In short, humanity would constantly feed the world of darkness, and in turn, it would have an ever-increasing influence over us.

Disharmony can and must eventually be dissolved.

Now let’s imagine that all of humanity—each and every person—starts to walk a path of self-purification. Although such a path would be different for every individual, if we were to each try our best, we would cast off and dissolve the spheres of hatred and prejudice, war and greed, evil and envy, darkness and disharmony.

The good news is that divine creations of light cannot be dissolved. They can only be pushed into the background. But as long as negative attitudes remain in control here, God’s spirit world of light can’t positively affect the material world. They can’t help us. Disharmony, on the other hand, with all its unpleasant facets, can eventually be destroyed and must ultimately be dissolved.

Seven signs we need to search within

When our young self was hurt, we took steps to defend ourselves. This is understandable. These steps included formulating conclusions about how life works—with the intention of keeping ourselves safe going forward—and stopping the flow of feelings. Then we adopted a strategy for getting the love we wanted, using either aggression, submission or withdrawal.

But navigating life using such false solutions causes part of us to remain stuck at that young age. So today, we are still harboring these wrong conclusions and resisting the unpleasant feelings attached with them, unnecessarily defending ourselves against ghosts from our childhood.

Here’s a list of seven self-sabotaging behaviors* that point out where we’re not living in alignment with our deeper self, or Higher Self. These are the ways we behave when we hold untruthful ideas in our system along with old unprocessed pain. And each of them will attract more disharmony to us.

Seven self-sabotaging behaviors

  • Won’t ask for help
  • Can’t accept praise
  • Isolate when hurt
  • Always say “yes” to everything
  • Put our own needs on hold
  • Procrastinate on important tasks
  • Try to be perfect

Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to turn around and search for their roots, inside. For these behaviors are blinking lights telling us we’re not fully living in truth. And when we’re not able to be fully authentic, we’re also not fully living in the present. Because part of us remains stuck in childhood hurts from the past.

It’s time to heal ourselves by uncovering the true cause of our disharmonies. For our inner obstacles won’t remove themselves. And this world needs more light.

–The Guide’s wisdom in Jill Loree’s words

Adapted in part from Pathwork Guide Lecture #15: Influence Between the Spiritual World and the Material World

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