Lecture 102 – Seven Cardinal Sins | Abbreviated Version

P1             The common denominator of any sin is immaturity of the soul, which makes it incapable of relating, communicating, and loving. In the broadest terms, sin is lack of love. The first cardinal sin is PRIDE. I have discussed this in the past.* You all know its origin, reason, effects, and side effects. Briefly: pride is always a compensation for feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. The second cardinal sin is COVETOUSNESS—greed.

Such a conflict is your being afraid—perhaps unconsciously—of the very thing you want most. You may have desires and be unaware of many obstacles to their fulfillment. Finally, you may be even unaware of what you really wish for. Under these circumstances, you may envy others and covet what they have, because you cannot resolve your own problems which keep you from fulfilling yourself. What you covet may be a substitute for your real needs of which you may not be aware.

P2             The third cardinal sin is LUST. It is the childish attitude of “I want to have, to get,” without a true spirit of mutuality. One may be willing to give, provided one receives what one wants, and yet the basic emphasis is placed subtly on the self, rather than on mutuality. The maturity to withstand frustration and to relinquish one’s will is a prerequisite for true mutuality. Where there is a forcing current and a driving need, there is lust.

You may deceive yourself because that which you so strenuously desire may in itself be something constructive. Yet, you are the craving, needy child who wants to be the center of the universe. The raging need, which you may or may not be conscious of, is disconnected from the causes that brought about the original unfulfillment. In other words, an unfulfilled need that remains unrecognized in its primary, original form, produces lust.

When a need is unconscious, a displacement occurs and a substitute need is pursued lustfully. The stronger the urgency, the greater the frustration must be. It does not matter whether this refers to sexual desire, or the lust for power, for money, for being liked, or for a particular thing. If this original need is still childish and destructive, it can mature only by bringing it out into the open.

The fourth cardinal sin is ANGER. What is anger, my friends? Anger is always, in a sense, a lie. The original feeling is often one of hurt. If you owned up to the original feeling, you would not need to be angry. In pride, due to inferiority, you feel humiliated when you are hurt because you give someone else the power to hurt you. Therefore, you substitute anger for the original pain. When you admit that you feel hurt, you do not cut off the bridge to the other person; in anger, you do. Anger which leads away from communication, from bridging gaps between human beings, is a sin.

P3             Of course, there is such a thing as healthy anger, but we are not talking about that. Healthy anger is objective, when justice is at stake. Unhealthy anger poisons your system. It calls forth your defenses and is at the same time a product of them. Healthy anger will never make you tense and guilty and ill at ease. Nor will it compel you to justify yourself.

P4             The fifth cardinal sin is GLUTTONY. The deeper meaning of gluttony has to do with need. A need that is unfulfilled and frustrated for a long period, that is thwarted again and again, will seek outlets. All human beings, no matter how much you may look down on them or may consider them insignificant, have the possibility to contribute in some way to the evolutionary plan.

As they understand the reasons, thus bringing fulfillment closer and closer, they can contribute something to the vast reservoir of cosmic forces, and influence evolution and general spiritual development. The fulfillment and happiness of every human being is a necessity for the entire evolution. However, there are many wrong ways of striving that bring only temporary relief of the inner pressure. One of these is gluttony. As I indicated previously, there are also many other forms of addiction, such as alcoholism.

P5             The sixth cardinal sin is ENVY. Again, I do not have to go deeper into this because I have covered it before. What I said about covetousness also applies to envy.

The seventh cardinal sin is SLOTH. Sloth is the indifference and apathy that I just mentioned. Sloth represents the pseudo-solution of withdrawal from living and loving. Where there is apathy, there is rejection of life. Where there is indifference, there is laziness of the heart that cannot feel and understand others—and cannot, therefore, relate to them.

P6             You see, a law applies here which you so often observe around you: the more you are caught in a vicious circle, the more difficult it is to break out of it. The more you run away from facing up to yourself and continue to resist change, the greater the difficulty becomes. This continues until your outer life becomes so unbearable that the very unhappiness finally makes you want to face it and change.

You know how contagious human behavior is. Thoughts and emotions are also contagious. In other words, outer behavior will influence outer behavior, while thought influences thought, and unconscious feelings influence unconscious feelings.

QUESTION: And why is fear not mentioned? ANSWER: Because fear is not an act. It is an involuntary emotion. It is a result of many other emotions and cannot be eliminated by a direct admonition not to fear. Fear can only be tackled by a process of psychological understanding, and by dissolving the underlying cause.

P7             As you all know by now, faith in God, in a genuine, secure, profound, and sincere way, can only exist if you first have faith in yourself. To the degree that you lack faith in yourself, you cannot have faith in God. Yes, you can superimpose it and deceive yourself about it, out of a need to cling to a loving authority, but it cannot be true faith unless you have gained the maturity of faith in yourself.

P8             What you feel and think emanates from you and is somehow always perceived by others.

—The Pathwork® Guide