Power can be used for either good or for evil. It’s our choice.


According to the Pathwork Guide, if only a small percentage of the people on Earth—like 10% of the world population, and perhaps not even that many—started doing their inner spiritual work, wars would no longer exist. For the more we finish the wars that are waging within nearly every human soul, we more we will all tilt in the direction of goodness. Because the outpouring of light—the creation of positive energetic forms—would be that dramatic.

Keep in mind that by being in a human body, we’re already standing at a crossroads, so to speak. Which is exactly the point of this world of matter. It came into existence through influences—longings, really—from both light and dark spheres. And that positions us, more or less, in the middle of things. Meaning, we get to choose: Which are we going to let influence us the most, the higher spheres or the lower spheres?

By choosing where and how we want to align ourselves—by exercising our free will—we have the chance to develop much faster. For example, the Guide goes on to say that a person who is consciously doing their personal work of spiritual development can accomplish in one lifetime what might otherwise take twenty.

Why friction is our best friend

We can likely all agree that we live in a world filled with people at very different levels of development. This causes friction, because all these different levels of development create misunderstandings. The friction, then, hands us our work, which is to sort through our difficulties and resolve them. Instead, due to our blindness, we often stay locked in conflict.

Friction is the key to developing faster.

Yet this friction is exactly the key to developing faster. Because conflicts are what bring our own weaknesses to the surface. For unbeknownst to us, hidden in our psyche—in the unconscious part of our mind—there are conflicting trends. One part wants to go this way, and the other that way. Worse yet, we’re not even aware this is going on!

All this makes being human quite difficult. So then why couldn’t all this have been avoided? Why can’t we just live with people who hail from the same spiritual spheres as us? Well, once upon a time, we did. To understand why we left a place of peace and harmony only to arrive into this difficult dimension, we’ll need to understand the bigger story of creation.

What it takes to create

Behind all of life there is a great living force that many refer to as God. (Please fill in any word for God that you like). This force contains both an active principle and a receptive principle. When we see life, or God, wearing his active face, we see God creating. People living in the West are most familiar with seeing this active, masculine side of God. Examples of God’s creations include an infinite number of divine spiritual laws, as well as an infinite number of spiritual beings.

When we see God’s receptive face, we witness the slow evolution of life. In her feminine form, God allows an organic building process. This is the flow of life, and it’s the side of God people more often see in the East. In order for this universe—with all of its laws and other beings—to come into existence, both the active and the receptive forces must be involved.

The divine substance of this living force is a radiant fluid, and each creature contains some of this divine stream. This is what it means to say we are each made in the image of God: We each contain some divine essence, but to a lesser degree than God.

Following the urge for union

When we eventually reach the highest degree of development possible, the male and female aspects of divinity will once again reunite and combine into one. For at that point, there will be no more disunity or division. The reason we have men and women as separate entities on Earth is a result of the splitting that happened during the Fall. In short, each spirit being was split into two halves, one mostly masculine and the other mostly feminine.

No matter how we learn it, if we learn to love, we come a step closer to God.

Our innate urge to find the right partner springs from this longing to reunite with our other part, the half we are now separate from. Sometimes, we’ll go through incarnations when we’ll be able to join with our true double, or counterpart. And embedded in the happiness that such a reunion entails, therein lies a duty for us to fulfill something.

We’ll also have to go through other incarnations without our counterpart. And in that lies fulfillment of a different sort. But that doesn’t mean we need to lead a life of celibacy. There will be others with whom we can create a meaningful life, be happy, and fulfill other duties, possibly even paying off some karma. No matter how we learn it, if we learn to love, we come a step closer to God. And that’s a path that always leads to our own freedom and fulfillment.

Yet the question remains: Why did God create all these beings? After all, God must have realized that misery could result from this.

Why did God create spiritual beings?

The creation of spiritual beings stems from the reality that God is love. Simply put, love must share, for that is the nature of love. Further, each being has been created with free will. And yes, with this free will we have the ability to bring misery into existence. The hope was that we’d have the wisdom to not abuse our power, and therefore to always continue living within the boundaries of divine law.

If we did that, we would know eternal bliss. If not, well, that’s why we’re all here.

Love must share, for that is the nature of love.

The beings who were part of the Fall—that’s us—took the opportunity to understand even better the amazing perfection of divine laws. For that’s what we’ll come to realize once we’ve all gone through this valley of death. In the end, we’ll be even more godlike than before. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

For now, we must endure a temporary misery that we’ve brought onto ourselves through our own wrong decisions. But take heart, for this self-inflicted misery is nothing compared with the eternal happiness waiting for us, once we get all the way back home.

What takes away our harmony?

Long before our material world came into being, there were many, many worlds: worlds of total happiness and harmony, of infinite beauty and possibilities. In those worlds, our creative divine aspects could continue to unfold. In those worlds, our divine substance was not covered over with a foreign layer of un-godlike matter.

These dark, foreign layers are what rob us of our unity.

These dark, foreign layers are what rob us of our unity—with ourselves, with others and with God—and it’s our task here in this world to free ourselves from them. We might call these dark layers our Lower Self, with the divine substance or divine spark at our core being our Higher Self.

To be clear, this light that rests at the core of each human being is godlike, but that does not make us God. That said, only this divine substance, once purified and free of darkness, is able to unite with God. If our desire is to become part of the Oneness—to once again be at one with God—we must become like God. For no substance that is not like God can unite with God.

Exercising our power to choose

To be given the same aspects as God means we had to be given free will. And having free choice means we have the possibility to go against divine law. When we steer clear of that, freely and correctly choosing not to abuse our power, we win the jackpot: love, wisdom, courage, serenity, and other fine qualities such as these.

Misery gives us incentive to come back into alignment with divine law.

If we choose to go another route, then we will become caught in a web of spiritual laws. These laws, which God had the good sense to create before making each of us, provide for the possibility of returning to God if and when we misuse our God-given powers of choice. They work in cycles, which always have to close. Ultimately, everything that turns away from God and divine law will return.

For the farther away we are from God, the more misery we experience. But it’s this misery itself that gives us the incentive we need to come back into alignment with divine law. If we look, we can see this law at work in our lives, in everything from the big situations to even the smallest incidents.

Here, the idea might arise that God really should not have given everyone free will. Because then the Fall could not have happened. Or, at a minimum, God should have stepped in when things started going downhill. But such a view is ridiculously shortsighted. For happiness only exists when we are in union. And to be in union—eventually with everyone, including God—we all must be cut from the same cloth. In other words, our free will must always remain intact.

The origin of our dark layers

How, then, did these foreign layers come into existence, covering up our original inner light?

Well, for a long, long time we all lived in a state of bliss, although such worlds are forgotten and unimaginable to us now. And we were invited to freely choose to stay there and live within divine law, or to go against it. Eventually, one particular spirit fell to the temptation to act against divine law.

Note, not only is acting against divine law the same as acting against God, it’s also acting against our own best interest. And to this day, that’s exactly what our Lower Self does: it acts against our own best interest.

How did this fall into temptation come about? Imagine, if you will, that you possess an incredible power. And you know that if you use this power the wrong way, it might not go well for you. As long as you don’t exercise this power the wrong way, all is well. And still you become remarkably curious about what would happen if you did use it the wrong way. Over time, it becomes more and more tempting to try this out. The stronger the temptation becomes, the less you can come up with reasons to not try it out.

Our Lower Self acts against our own best interest.

You don’t even plan to keep using this dangerous power. But you feel you must try it out, at least a little bit. Just to find out what would happen. Sure, you see your friends trying it, and then getting swept away by it. Yes, you understand that this is really not a good idea. But your better judgment dissolves under the growing weight of how tempted you are. And then, once you try it, it’s not possible to resist being swept away by it yourself.

Falling is just like that.

Here’s an example that might hit more close to home. Let’s say we’re tempted to try something that’s addictive. We don’t plan on succumbing entirely to it, for we know, as everyone does, it could ruin our lives in every respect. And yet we think we can try it, just once, and see what it’s like. But slowly, after some time, we find that we can’t escape any more. We’re caught, and now it’s really hard to go back.

The long, slow slide into darkness

Once that first spirit gave into temptation, something new was set into motion, and it couldn’t be changed any more. The spirit understood that this would be the case. But after falling, he no longer wished to remember that he once knew this. And in truth, it’s no different for any of us now.

The end result? A gradual change.

In fact, that long, slow slide toward the dark side—sinking from harmony into disharmony—happened just as gradually as our long, slow journey of personal healing must occur. Whether we’re going forward or backward—evolving or de-evolving—it can never happen suddenly. All the principles that held true long ago during the Fall, when everything opposed divine law, are exactly the same today.

When that one spirit fell first, he generated a power that ran in the opposite direction from divine law. It was still the same power, just used in a different way. By using this power, that spirit could then start to influence others. And little by little, that’s exactly what he did.

Whether we’re going forward or backward, it can never happen suddenly.

To be fair, not all spirits fell for his charm. And hence a division was created between those who fell and those who stayed true to God. For those who fell, the “fall of the angels” was now underway. And in this process, each divine aspect became twisted into its opposite nature.

So, harmony turned into disharmony, and beauty changed to ugliness. Wisdom rolled over into blindness and love became fear, hatred and egotism. Union became separation. The more the pull of temptation went on, the further wholeness split, until evil had come fully into existence.

Living in like-minded spheres

Here on Earth, which is a material world, we think of thoughts and feelings as having no form. They’re abstract. But in other worlds—what we might call spiritual worlds—everything in our psyche has form. There, spirits automatically create the spheres they live in as a byproduct of their state of mind. So then only spirits with the same level of development can share a world. This might make living together easier in some ways, but it slows down an individual’s development.

In-between worlds offer varying degrees of harmony and disharmony.

Imagine living in a world where your thoughts and feelings, opinions and goals, all come together to create your world. If you are highly developed, you’ll be surrounded by beauty and light. Fallen spirits, however, will live in a world that’s dark and ugly.

In an effort to help fallen spirits graduate from dark spheres to light ones, a great plan was put into operation. Through this plan, many in-between worlds came into existence, which offer varying degrees of harmony and disharmony. Fallen spirits would find themselves living in these spheres, according to their state of development, as they worked their way back to the light.

Our material world is one of these in-between worlds.

There are other worlds that are more disharmonious than Earth. Many know of them as Hell. They reflect the state of mind of the fallen beings living there. In fact, they came into existence as a direct result of those beings. But Hell isn’t just a one single sphere. Just as there are many spheres in the divine world, or so-called Heaven, Hell also has more than one address.

After all, when the Fall happened, not all who participated in it sank to the same level. The degree of disharmony and evil we brought onto ourselves varied by individual. As such, different spheres came into being in the world of darkness. And always, they corresponded to the fallen being’s state of mind.

So no one has ever been sent to Hell. Rather, we arrived there because it was a match for our own state of mind.

Why we live in a state of disharmony

Remember, every divine aspect had turned into its opposite during the Fall. And if we now find ourselves living in some level of disharmony, then we have not yet reached complete purification of our soiled soul. What this means is that some characteristics of the Fall must still be going on inside us, at least to some degree.

No fault could ever come into existence all by itself.

We can uncover them by searching within to find our faults. As we do this, we also want to find the original divine aspect. What is the God-given essence that wants to once again shine through us? For no fault could ever come into existence all by itself; all faults are a distortion of something that was, once upon a time, a divine gift. If we look, we can always find the divine aspect in all our faults.

Once we are able to recognize this, it will be much easier to purify our faults. At the same time, we won’t become so hopeless about finding ourselves which, starting out, means finding our faults. This perspective can help us lose any sense of inferiority we are feeling about ourselves.

But in order to find these hidden gems, we must first take a good hard look at our faults. We must face ourselves as we are right now.

Who creates?

It’s not quite right to say that God created heaven and earth. More correctly, God created the divine spiritual laws that govern the universe. And God is involved in the creation of all spiritual beings. God also created various forces and powers that are distributed in such a way that every living spirit can use these powers by exercising their free choice.

Earth came into existence gradually.

Remember, we are each created in the image of God. So not only do we have free will, we also have the ability to create. One expression of our creative power is all these various worlds or spheres coming into existence.

This sphere we live in, our planet called Earth, came into existence gradually. And it doesn’t matter whether we say that God created this world, or that it was created by the longings of both fallen and pure spirits. For it’s really one and the same thing. The bottom line is that God continually creates through each one of us, and God also creates through spiritual laws.

We, however, cannot create anything without using the power that God has created and given to us. And that power can be used for either good or for evil. It’s our choice.

We can add light or create more conflict

Using the life force, or creative power, that’s at our disposal, we can direct it into whatever channel we wish. This means we have the ability to create harmonious worlds of beauty, or ugly worlds filled with conflict and pain. In fact, we’re creating worlds all the time. Every day, every hour, we’re building the world we live in.

As long as we do not fight our Lower Selves, we will remain enslaved to our own inner darkness.

Yes indeed, this material world we live in is still being created.

Earth is an expression of our state of mind, and in this regard we’re all the same: we are all part good and part bad, part lightness and part darkness. But as long as we do not fight to transform our Lower Selves—with our faults, our immature reactions, our stubborn rebelliousness and the like—we will remain enslaved to our own inner darkness. And the outer expression of this conflicted state is, among other things, war.

Yet once we reach the stage when we learn to control ourselves—when we become aware of what’s happening in our psyche, or state of mind, and stop acting out our inner conflicts—then wars between people will stop. For it’s our own dark layers that roll up to create wars on Earth.

To realize this, is to become enlightened. And that involves waking up to who we really are.

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

“It is only through the long road of self-knowledge and self-recognition that the answers will gradually make a whole, the answers that you yourself have to find.” – Pathwork® Guide Lecture #24 Questions & Answers

A spiritual hymn by a Brazilian healer and teacher known as Godmother Baixinha:


Why did God make war
If we are all brothers and sisters?
We must pray
That God forgives everyone
Who says they are with God
But really are fooling themselves

Adapted from Pathwork Guide Lecture #20: God: The Creation, and Pathwork Lecture #23: Questions and Answers.

See 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.