There are three basic faults that interfere with perfection and which apply to each and every one of us. These are self-will, pride and fear. Ever since the Fall, which is discussed at length in Holy Moly: The Story of Duality, Darkness and a Daring Rescue, these three distorted attributes have been building steam. And they are the fundamental blockers of our essential light.

Our pride doesn't matter half as much as our overly self-important little ego would have us believe.
Our pride doesn’t matter half as much as our overly self-important little ego would have us believe.

When we follow this path of purification, our main purpose is to unburden ourselves of all that obstructs our light. So we have two missions. One is to sense what our basic light is. The other is to realize how these three buzzkills of self-will, pride and fear collude to cover it up. Our work is to dismantle them, brick by brick, and take them down once and for all. To do that, we must gain an understanding of our own dark walls. For that’s what stands between us and our basic light.

Before we dive into this ever-present troika of faults, let’s turn our gaze for a moment toward the light. In the grand scheme of things there are a number of spiritual spheres. They start at the top with the highest: “The Ineffable” or House of God, as the Spirit World knows it. Just below that is another sphere called “The Highest Lightworld.”

The Highest Lightworld is a vast reservoir made up of an infinite number of light forces, or qualities of light. These qualities represent every divine aspect—every virtue or good quality we can imagine—that exists in all of creation. Here’s a handful of lovely qualities to consider: courage, serenity, love, trust, faith, reliability, clarity, creativity, hope, compassion, honesty and harmony. There’s also prudence, discipline, diligence, justice, wisdom, fortitude, humor, joy, humility, kindness, patience and generosity. You get the gist.

Each of these qualities of light is personified by a spirit or angel. This is similar to the twelve active and twelve passive forces that are each personified by an angelic being. The emanations of the forces of light, when condensed into a spiritual form of extremely fine texture, creates these beings. Each, in turn, emanates their respective quality of light.

If we put all these forces of light together into one giant pool of light, all would be one; united, they make up one harmonious whole. Yet each force of light has its own unique color as well as scent, tone and other identifiers. The range and complexity of this extends far beyond what our human minds can grasp. But we can get a general sense by considering the various colors of light we see coming from a prism. They all blend together to form a single white light.

So these individualized forces of light emanate out from the Highest Lightworld where they are concentrated. They then spread in a contiguous array into lower spheres of less and less strength. In this Middle Lightworld, these qualities of light gather again into spheres. And although they are similarly concentrated and condensed, they are slightly coarser in texture. Still, they are extremely fine compared to what we’re used to here on planet Earth. From here, these emanations of light stream out yet again, flowing into all the other worlds God has created.

It is here in this Middle Lightworld that the spirit beings referred to as the Pistis Sophia reside. The Spirit World also refers to them as “The Orders”. There is an Order for each quality of light. And each of these Orders is headed by an individual spirit whose mission is to serve the Plan of Salvation. Holy Moly discusses the Plan of Salvation in greater detail. Another designation for these Orders is “Choirs,” each with its own special markings, robes, and so on.

Every human being is essentially a spirit being who belongs to one of these Orders, or Choirs. If we have reached a certain degree of development, we may be able to sit in deep meditation and sense the primary ground quality of our being. This doesn’t mean we don’t also have other virtues. And it goes without saying, plenty of vices too. But there is one fundamental quality that is the core element of who we are. This basic outstanding quality that we posses will strengthen all our other divine qualities, and never weaken or exclude them.

If we understand the teachings about Creation and the Fall, as explained in Holy Moly, we can understand that every being ever created is, in truth, perfect in one particular way. And if the Fall had never happened, we would have gone about our business of complementing perfection with our own inherent, unique perfectness, as we made our way to becoming truly godlike.

But here’s something we must realize. That until we can actually reach such a state, our ability to be godlike can only be partial. The present order of business is to crunch our way through the Plan of Salvation. We must fulfill this part of our task before further expansion in the direction of perfection can continue.

So back to those Orders, each of which is perfect in one way. This means that each one of us are in fact and indeed fallen angels. And we have kept a kernel of perfection—our original nature—basically intact in our core essence. Although the Lower Self now covers it with layer upon layer of imperfections. This path of purification, then, is all about ridding ourselves of the faults of self-will, pride and fear. For they are like weeds that cover up our ground of perfection.

We must come to see how these particular distortions comprise the downright unlikable Lower Self and routinely color our life experiences. And at some point, we must also discover the special Higher Self quality that lies buried beneath them. For if we don’t know of our gifts, we can’t fully realize our own potential.

Bones: A Building-Block Collection of 19 Fundamental Spiritual Teachings

Offhand, it may not be easy to see how self-will, pride and fear interconnect. Why is it true that one might have a bigger mouth, yet it’s never possible to only just have two, given their Three Musketeers way of always showing up in triplicate? Why is one considered unthinkable without the others?

If we want to walk this spiritual path of purification, it’s essential that we sort these three out within ourselves. We must see the role that each of them plays. And we must not buy, for one minute, the notion that this trio applies to “everyone but me.” Some may have more and some may have less, but this topic is important for everyone, so listen up.

Let’s start by sorting out some semantics between self-will and free will. Because they’re not the same. A key differentiator is that we can use free will for bad or for good purposes. So although we can press our free will into service for perpetuating evil, it’s also a necessary ingredient for self-development. We simply can’t fulfill God’s will without applying our free will to accepting it and choosing it. On the list of great gifts, free will tops the charts. God has endowed us with free will, and without it, we have no chance of becoming more godlike. So then, free will: big thumbs up.

Compare and contrast this, if you will, with self-will, which is the will of the little self—the little ego. Self-will wants what it wants, when it wants it. It will strive to have its way, regardless of who or what it has to mow over to get it. It doesn’t even care if it brings hardship and imprisonment upon the self in the process. When we’re caught up in self-will, we’re too blind to see the harm we cause.

Self-will, then, is both blind and immature, and it works in opposition to spiritual law as much as in violation of human laws. And it really doesn’t care. Self-will is only looking out for Number One and only seeks what seems most advantageous ‘for me, me, me.’

For the average person, we’re not out committing crimes and exhibiting crass antisocial behaviors, because basically we know better. Regardless of our religious moorings, we abide by a sense of ethics that resists letting the Lower Self run roughshod over our lives. Plus, we’re afraid they will catch us. So we don’t want to wrangle with our surroundings.

But if we look at the more subtle emotional currents of our self-will, we’ll see that, yes indeedy, this really does apply to us too. On the slippery slope of our unpurified bits, we do in fact want things that go against the grain of spiritual law. This may not be at all conscious for us, and it’s in that very gap between what we consciously claim to want and what we unconsciously really desire that we are most apt to run aground in our development.

This, friends, is why it is vitally important we learn to muster the courage to figure out what we’re actually feeling, finding clear and concise words to express what all the parts of us desire. ‘What’s coming from my little ego and is therefore a self-centered demand from my self-will that doesn’t match the rest of my nature, which is just as real?’

Bones: A Building-Block Collection of 19 Fundamental Spiritual Teachings

How then does our self-will connect with fear? Well, if we’re sheltering a truckload of self-will—often extra-powerful because it is lurking in our unconscious—we’re going to live in perpetual fear that we won’t get our way. So our willful desire to always be gratified makes us always afraid. For deep down, we know it’s not possible to have our every wish.

Heck, for the most part, we even know that our wishes are unreasonable, if not downright impossible. For one thing, there’s karma, so we ourselves have clipped our own wings through our actions in former lives. And unless we discover how we hinder our own stride and learn to walk straight in the world, we’ll keep tripping over our own two feet.

Here’s the thing—we have these inner currents inside that run in different directions. Our self-will gets all jacked up on wanting whatever is wrong, impossible or contradictory in some way to what’s truly best for all concerned. Meanwhile, deeper in our being, our Higher Self knows very well that such wishes are unfulfillable. And that’s what scares us.

From our ego’s point of view, we fear we’ll never get our way. The problem isn’t that this is true; the problem is our warped perspective that this is necessary. This is something to sit with in meditation, opening ourselves to insight into how this pervades our soul and our present life situations.

We must search within for the source of our unfulfillable wishes. Then we will be able to connect the way fear surges automatically along with the desires of our self-will. Seeing this will raise us up a rung on the ladder of self-knowledge. To get there, we’ll need to have the guts to go searching for our own distortions. Therein lies the chance for liberation from our personally hand-forged inner chains.

Bones: A Building-Block Collection of 19 Fundamental Spiritual Teachings

Now let’s turn to pride. First, let’s be clear about what we mean by pride. We’re snagged on pride when our ego thinks we’re more important than other people, so we want advantages for ourself. In short, we are vain, thinking only of ourselves. If we feel another’s humiliation counts for less than our own, we have too much pride. And who among us hasn’t thrown someone else under the bus to save our own hide?

Who genuinely reacts the same to another’s humiliation as to their own? If we’re honest, we can admit that humiliation feels far more painful when it happens to us than it does when we see it happen to someone else. We might feel sorry for their situation, but the hurt will feel completely different, no matter what we might tell ourselves to the contrary.

It’s important to be honest here in considering this, for our honesty alone can do us a world of good—far more than any puny self-deception. For we can’t change our feelings by forcing them or telling ourselves a story about how we should be feeling. No, they adjust indirectly through the authentic, gradual work of realistic self-appraisal.

The way forward is not to manufacture feelings of hurt vanity over someone else’s suffering. Rather, we need to not take ourselves so seriously. Our pride doesn’t matter half as much as our overly self-important little ego would have us believe. Becoming more detached from this precious vanity of ours will help us have the proper sense of proportion when comparing our experiences with those of others.

Slowly but surely, we’ll move toward having the same reactions for others misfortunes as to our own. This is what is meant by loving our brothers and sisters as we love ourselves. Doing anything other than this is a violation of the spiritual law of justice, not to mention a slap in the face of the law of brotherhood.

For while we may act in a just manner, our inner reactions are often decidedly not just. That may be enough for some people, but perhaps it’s not for us—we who endeavor to tread this narrow path. We are aware that our impure thoughts and feelings won’t permit our inner light to emanate—justice won’t permeate our being and our lightforce won’t shine freely if our feelings aren’t in lock-and-step with divine laws.

So this would make our feelings unjust, our setting ourselves above our brothers and our sisters. And now, once again, we become afraid. Because when we put ourselves on a pedestal, thinking we are so dang important, we fear the people around us won’t grant us what we want: to be kowtowed to. Only when we’re ready to stand on equal footing with others will we be free of fear.

It’s not hard to see then how self-will and fear go hand-in-hand. It’s equally simple to see how pride and self-will are birds of a feather. Every day, we each have plenty of opportunities to observe these three working in cahoots exactly as shown. Mostly, we let them slip by. An unpleasant feeling surfaces and we dive on it, rushing to put it aside.

We’re super-quick to blame the faults and imperfections of others, making them responsible for our own inner disharmony. But maybe one day, we’ll realize there isn’t anyone else to blame. We do all this to ourselves and then cover it up with quick explanations. It’s just a bad mood or due to the weather.

Let’s be real. Whenever we’re bothered, we can direct our flashlight of truth towards these three culprits. For as long as we’re ensnared in self-will, pride and fear, we can never be happy. It’s not possible. We can pitch a fit and do whatever we want on the outside, but inside, this is the source of all ills. In knowing this, we hold a treasure: we have the key to fixing all our problems.

Bones: A Building-Block Collection of 19 Fundamental Spiritual Teachings

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Read Original Pathwork® Lecture: #30 Self-Will, Pride and Fear