The cross represents our twofold nature. We are at cross-purposes with ourselves.

There is no symbol more ubiquitous for symbolizing Jesus than the cross. In some ways this seems like an odd choice. Since the cross is a reference to how Jesus died, not how he lived. But the fact is, it has withstood thousands of years as such a powerful symbol. Which tells us there is a deeper meaning to consider.

The symbolism of the cross represents our twofold nature. We are at cross-purposes with ourselves. This is the great struggle we must overcome by exploring our innermost conflicts and problems.

All truth teachings observe humanity’s fundamental twofoldedness, which expresses itself in many varieties. There is the desire to be loved and the rejection of love. There is the basic instinct to live and the rejection of it, which refers to more than just physical life. It includes all the aspects that living a vibrant life—of meeting life fully—implies.

There is also the conflict in the human soul between construction and creativity versus destruction and stagnation. All these, and many more, indicate a person’s division within him or herself.

The cross demonstrates this by the two bars, one horizontal and one vertical, indicating two opposing directions. As long as we cannot bring the opposites into harmony, pain and suffering must result. But once this battle is successfully concluded, the real person is resurrected and lives in harmony, peace and joy.

Jesus demonstrated this entire process; he demonstrated victory over the opposites by integration through love and sacrifice. We are doing this, in a healthy and genuine way, whenever we stop living from a self-centered outlook on life. When we realize that we are really and truly a part of a whole.

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

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Adapted in part from The Cross in Keywords: Answers to key questions asked of the Pathwork Guide, on The Guide Speaks (Pathwork Q&As).