If we do this work of self-transformation, our many life stories will begin to have better endings.

What does it mean to find yourself? What does it mean to find God? Turns out, this is the best Buy-One-Get-One deal ever. For according to the Pathwork Guide, these are basically the same thing. In other words, if we look within and manage to find ourselves—and therefore start to understand the story of our lives—we will have successfully figured out how to find God.

The reason we need to look within and “find ourselves” is that along the way, we’ve lost our connection to our own inner divine nature. This is our inner light, which the Pathwork Guide calls our Higher Self. In order to rediscover and reconnect with our Higher Self, we’ll need to clear away whatever inner obstacles are blocking our inner light.

These temporary inner obstacles—which are the cause of so many unhappy endings in life—make up our own inner darkness. They are part of what the Guide calls our Lower Self. And they create nothing but conflict and disharmony in life. For they are always built on hidden untruths.

The only way we can find and transform these Lower Self aspects is by looking within. If we do this—if we do the hard work of transforming our dark Lower Self aspects back to their original bright, shiny Higher Self condition—our many life stories will begin to have better and better endings.

You know, it wasn’t always this way. We haven’t always had these layers of darkness. There was a time—long before the creation of this time-bound universe—when we were all free-flowing beings of light. And we were all living together in freedom and peace, in truth and connection, in joy and contentment.

So, what happened?

The story of creation

First, we have to back up a long, long way to tell this story, which begins by talking about God and creation. And second, know that any explanation like this must, by necessity, be a story. For we wouldn’t have the ability to understand it otherwise.

There is a body of spiritual teachings given by a Swiss woman named Beatrice Brunner, in which a spiritual being named Lene often spoke. Regarding the being we call God, Lene said: “I am unable to give you any orientation, because you human beings lack the concepts to understand it. Even spirit beings in the world beyond have difficulties in comprehending and understanding the person of God.”

The Pathwork Guide says we are closer to understanding God when we acknowledge we really don’t understand God. Perhaps we can go with the Guide’s description of God as being “life and life force.” It’s a bit vague, but then also broad enough to capture the essence of the one who enlivens and governs all things.

For now, let’s consider there was a time when God was the only thing in existence. And that God’s existence far exceeded—as it still does—the limits of our comprehension.

God lived in a spectacular ethereal world, and enjoyed a wonderful house framed by nature. There were mountains and streams, animals and minerals. Truly, God had it all—God was it all—and everything served God. Plus, God had the ability to develop it more.

The story of the firstborn

At some point, after an eternity of being alone, a desire arose in God to unfold further. In short, God had a desire to create a likeness—an image, if you will—of God’s own self. Someone God could talk to and love. And so it was that a being we know by the name of Christ came into existence. God could do this because within God, every substance and every quality already existed.

The being of Christ, then, was God’s only direct creation. God created Christ with every divine quality and attribute complete in total perfection. And for a really long time—like another entire eternity—it was just God and Christ living together in happiness and peace.

Although it’s hard for us to imagine it, God does have a form. And the being that God first created has basically the same form, the same figure. Believe it or not, since both of them have form, both also wore clothes.

And so it was that the being created by God, Christ, was also clothed from God’s own garments. Those garments were—and still are—made of the highest spiritual material that can possibly exist. It shines pure light and radiates a splendid variety of brilliant colors. A human could not look upon these robes without going blind. They are that full of life.

It was God’s wish to only create one being in God’s own image. And therefore it was God’s will to call only one being God’s own. As a result, Christ’s love became completely united with God, and God meant everything to Christ. Yet this would not be the end of the story of God’s creation.

For God also wished for creation to continue, saying to Christ, “You shall have siblings! And these siblings will all come forth from you.” So just as Christ had come into being out of God, so too would all these brothers and sisters come forth from Christ.

Keep in mind, God and Christ were together talking about all this for an infinitely long time (with time, of course, being a decidedly human concept). For eons and eons, the two spoke together about how creation would further unfold, and how it would expand.

As God and Christ exchanged ideas, God kept encouraging Christ by saying, “You will be able to do everything. I will give you might and power. And everything that comes into being shall come through you. You will do this in my place.” After all, God had given Christ a healthy share of God’s precious knowledge.

The story of the Light-bearer

And so it was that over vast intervals of time, various princely brothers and sisters—commonly called archangels—came into existence. The first being to come from Christ was given a name that means “light-bearer,” or “bringer of light.” For this being would inherit the most incredible radiance, glory and creative power from Christ.

As such, for a very long time—yes, another eternity—there were essentially three beings living together in an ethereal natural world. At that time, there was also a plant kingdom and an animal kingdom, although both to a somewhat limited extent.

Many, many more lifeforms would later be designed and formed by Christ. And then each would be given life by God. For God continued to always be the one who would bestow the breath of life. God is who makes life possible, by giving all of creation God’s light.

Vast periods of time passed while God, Christ and the Light-bearer lived together in perfect peace under one roof, so to speak. God’s house was large, and when Christ came along, it was expanded so that Christ could have his own quarters. Later, the Light-bearer came into being and new spaces were created.

It’s just like here, with our families. We have a home, and then when children arrive they remain with us in our home. Until one day the time comes for more independence, and then it’s time for the children to leave. Of course, all this talk of time is really quite misleading. Because for God, a thousand years feel like a day.

The story of becoming lost

Eventually, more brothers and sisters came as well. And God blessed all of this, with everything unfolding according to a great divine order. In this way, spiritual nature would keep on unfolding and expanding, with more and more angels being created. Later, the many couples that came into being through Christ were sent out to create heavenly nations.

Keep in mind that each being Christ created was perfect in at least one divine attribute, or divine ray of light. So the Plan of Creation was—and still is—that all of creation would keep growing and expanding. Each created being, then, would keep moving toward greater and greater perfection by developing all divine attributes within themselves.

Imagine the joy that Christ experienced through his first creation. Consider how great the love would have been. Not to mention all the other brothers and sisters that came into being, which gave the possibility of an endless unfolding. And all this was happening in accordance with God’s will.

There was life, life, life and nothing but more amazing life.

Until one day, the Light-bearer decided he wanted to become the leader of it all. Despite all he had been given and despite all of his amazingness, Christ glowed even greater in perfection. Over time, the Light-bearer grew jealous of Christ, his brother and maker, and wanted to be King.

Which is why the Light-bearer set upon a mission to replace Christ—the one and only child of God—with himself.

The story of darkness

Once again, we must think of things in terms of time. And so for an incredibly long time, the Light-bearer went to work convincing many other created beings—called angels in that realm—to support him in his bid to become their King. If we are here, having a human experience, then at some time in the past we saw his point and agreed with him, at least to some extent.

Apparently, the Light-bearer was ridiculously charismatic. So it was not easy to resist his charms. But by offering our support to the Light-bearer, we not only turned our back on Christ, the born King, we also turned against the will of God. For we knew what God’s will was—that Christ was made to be King—and we chose to go another way.

Eventually, it was this reality—that we willingly went against the will of God—that led to our inclusion in the Fall. And where did we fall to? We fell into darkness. This, friends, is how we have come to have darkness within our own beings.

The reality of God’s will

Ok, so where are we going with this? Let’s bring things back around to the topic of how finding God is roughly equivalent to looking within and finding ourselves. Because as we can now understand, God is the source of all life. And God is also the source of our inner light.

But then each of us went through the Fall, during which our inner light became covered over with layers of darkness. And now, any time we choose to align with our inner darkness instead of our inner light, we fall a little more. For by doing so, we continue to choose to go against the will of God.

This notion that we need to learn to align our will with God’s will puts a lot of people off. Like, really off. Why is that?

For one thing, we think we know better than God what’s best for us. But now let’s reflect on where we have all come from—dwelling in a place of eternal harmony, dazzling light shows, and really awesome wardrobes—to the land we’re living in now. Do we really know what’s best?

It seems that perhaps that strategy of seeing and doing things God’s way—which leads to deep contentment, inner fulfillment and enduring love—might not be so bad.

The reality of spiritual laws

To align with God’s will means we align with God’s spiritual laws. For God and God’s law are really the same thing. The spiritual laws we are talking about are the laws of justice that were set into place 2000 years ago. And they work to guide us in making better choices. They do this by making the consequences of our choices that go against God’s will unpleasant, if not downright painful.

In other words, if we align with God’s spiritual laws, we will eventually come to bliss. If we go against them—and we have free will to do so—we will create more struggle for ourselves. Eventually—according to these laws—it will be our own pain and suffering that will motivate us to course-correct and try things another way: God’s way.

The place we get snagged is that many of us—most of us?—have a confused understanding about God. This is caused, in part, by what the Pathwork Guide calls our God Image. What happens is that we take our negative reaction toward one or both of our parents—our greatest authority as a child—and hang it on God.

After all, most of us learn growing up that God is the ultimate authority. Then we overlay our struggle with our parents onto God, conflating and confusing the two. When this is the case—when we have a difficult human reaction that we unknowingly cast onto God—we tend to see God as some kind of vengeful disciplinarian. And so we rebel.

As a result, we don’t trust God. Because how can we? Especially when we think so little and so wrongly of God. This is a serious problem. For we are never going to come around to adopting God’s laws as long as we think God’s way is the wrong way.

So our work must be to look within and sort ourselves out. We must find out where we are not in truth. And we must discover for ourselves what the truth really is. Both about ourselves and about God.

The reality of free will

There’s another piece of this How did we get here? puzzle to factor in. And that’s free will. Recall that when that very first being was created, God made Christ in God’s own image. Well, a key thing to know about God is that God has free will. To make a being in God’s image then, and to go on creating all other beings from that being, means everybody gets free will.

Long story short, without free will, we wouldn’t be compatible with God. Which is why God will never ask us to do anything against our own will. Further, without free will, we wouldn’t be able to live in Christ’s Kingdom. Remember, that’s where we were all living before the Fall. And that’s where we’re trying to get back to.

During the Fall, all divine qualities became twisted into their opposites. Regarding free will, this became distorted into domination. Namely, we were cast into darkness and were now under the complete rule of the Prince of Darkness, the former Light-bearer. So the primary reason for Christ’s mission in incarnating as Jesus was to restore our free will. (You can read more about it in….you guessed it, Holy Moly.)

It is now our work—through the use of our own free will—to fully restore our inner light. We do this by uncovering our hidden darkness, which is typically hidden from our own awareness but not so hard for others to see. That’s why we need the help of others to go through the painstaking process of transforming our Lower Self aspects back into their original Higher Self form.

This is the only way to return home. We must go inside. For as Jesus taught us, that’s where heaven is.

To align our will with God’s will means we are ultimately to become incredibly happy. But God does not force us to live such a joyful existence. Case in point, if we want to keep using our will another way, we can keep coming here and living on Earth instead.

Earth, if you think about it, is not a punishment. It’s an opportunity to change and grow. By the time we arrive here, we have worked our way up from whatever level of darkness we landed in after the Fall. Because note, not everyone fell to the same depth.

Once we start coming to Earth, we have already gained some access to our inner light, or Higher Self. At the same time, if we’re here—unless we are a saint—we also have some Lower Self aspects to work on. We have some inner housecleaning to do.

The reality of our reactions

A good way to see where our work is, is to look at our inner reactions during our interactions with others. The Pathwork Guide calls these our emotional reactions. What sets us off?

One thing that can trigger our resistance is the mere mention of words like “God” and “Christ”. Because humans—through our inevitable human nature—have introduced so many wrong associations with these names.

For this writing, I actually thought about changing “God” to “Creator”. But then that could be misleading. For isn’t Christ also an amazing creator? For that matter, aren’t we all?

The answer to this last question is critical to our understanding of the story of our life. Because yes—yes, yes, yes!—we are all amazing creators. After all, we are all made in the image of God. And so we must all, by our very nature, have the ability to create.

If the life stories we are creating for ourselves are not pleasant ones, we must find the inner darkness—the Lower Self aspects—hiding in our own psyche. This is why, if we want to craft a different life story, we must become willing to look within.

And how about “Christ”? Where do we even start? I thought about changing the name “Christ” to “Robin,” a name used in English for both men and women, as well as for a lovely bird living in nature. For it is clear that Christ must have been endowed with both active and receptive principles in order to create everything. Because both aspects are always needed in every creation. And Christ is also a genius when it comes to creating nature.

In the end, some things are better left alone.

Oh, and the Light-bearer. Many people know of this being by various other names, including Lucifer, Satan, and the Prince of Darkness. These are all true and correct names for us to know him by. But what’s also important for us know about him—to truly and deeply understand—is this: Just like the rest of us, under all his layers of distortion and therefore darkness, the Light-bearer’s potential for restoring his magnificence remains.

The reality of returning home

Fortunately for all of us, Christ’s mission in coming to Earth was successful; it totally restored our free will. This is true for every human who ever lived and ever will live, regardless of whether we’ve heard of Jesus or believe in Christ. It was such an incredibly big deal! (You can read more about it, of course, in Holy Moly.)

It opened the doors to heaven so that if we do our personal healing work—if we make ourselves once again compatible with God’s Spirit World—then we can get back to it. But this is not a one-and-done deal. We can’t just say we believe and we’re home.

For it’s simply not possible to become compatible with God and God’s Spirit World without doing deep soul cleansing work. Further, it’s not possible to align ourselves with something we aren’t able to trust.

And here’s where everything comes back home to looking within and finding ourselves. Because until we clear away our inner darkness—our inner Lower Self obstacles—we are not trustworthy people. After all, our lives are being built on untruths. And as long as we cannot trust ourselves, we will not trust God.

In reality, God and our highest good are one. For God and our inner light are the same. To be clear, we are not God, but we are all of God. And no one wants more goodness for us than God does. What God really wants is for us to learn to stand on our own two feet.

And Christ? Christ has never stopped loving each one of us. Just as a parent still loves a misbehaving child. What’s more, Christ—with the help of the beings not part of the Fall—has never stopped guiding us in our return home. In fact, working together with God, Christ orchestrated the creation of this world we live in, to make our return possible.

Consider, too, that the Story of the Prodigal Son tells the story of a passage Christ had to go through. For Christ had to come to accept that one day Christ’s beloved brother, the Light-bearer, would return as well. And like all the rest of us, the Light-bearer—after learning to realign his will with God’s will—is going to be welcomed home with great joy.

The story of our life

Ultimately, the story of our life is always up to us. Which way do we want to align? Which way are we going to turn? When will we learn? Who can we trust? Where should we take action? How should we act? What do we need to accept?

For our life, as we experience it, is nothing more and nothing less than an out-picturing of what’s going on inside ourselves. Said another way, the story of our life always reflects the state of our psyche. And our blindness to seeing how we’re creating our own life story is just a reflection of our unwillingness to look within and make the inner connections.

Every conflict we face with our brothers and sisters points to our inner work. Every disharmony signals an inner untruth. All bad attitudes are blinking arrows. Each day is a chance to choose another way.

Look at the story of your life. And then turn and look within.

–Jill Loree

Adapted, in part, from a lecture by spirit-teacher Lene, received in German through the medium Beatrice Brunner during the meditation week in Waldhaus Flims, Switzerland, September 19, 1982: The Spiritual World, Issue 3, May/June 2022 (in English)

Appendix A: Five ways to learn about the Fall and the Plan of Salvation

All essays in Get a Better Boat are available as podcasts.