Lecture 104 – Intellect and Will as Tools or Hindrance | Abbreviated Version

P1             Meaning is alive, it is forever a fresh, spontaneous experience, and you have to guard yourself against losing it. Therefore it is sometimes advisable to use an expression that challenges you to try to reexperience the meaning behind the word. Whenever you cannot recapture the inner meaning and the living experience of an expression, be aware of it. Awareness counts so much. Forgetting the living meaning of a word is a good example of what happens between the real self and the superficial layers of your personality.

Memory is the will to recapture what was once experienced. When the recapturing is done simply by the will, the meaning becomes lifeless. The experience has become a repetitive pattern, and your real self no longer functions. It is a direct manifestation, not of thought and will, but of a spontaneous, creative experience that comes into being unbidden, when least expected. This is very important to remember and to never keep out of sight.

P2             The answer is that by using your mind and will in order to understand the confusion and error of your mind and your misdirected will and motivations, you indirectly bring about the birth of the real self. The most primitive stage of development is a state of being without awareness. Animal life, plant life, mineral life are in a state of being without awareness, without self-consciousness. From mineral life to primitive man, a slow ascendancy in awareness, intellect, and will can be noticed. The more this development proceeded, the less did the state of unconscious being exist, and the more it changed into a state of becoming.

The next stage is a state of becoming, in awareness. Here the human being is striving, using intellect and will, to survive in the material world. These faculties are needed to cope with the world of matter. Thought and outer will are of matter and are to be used to overcome matter; they cannot be used to get into a state of being, which is not of matter. If thought and will overproduce and thereby create an obstruction to the state of being, then thought and will must be used to deal with their own production, and never with the state of being—the real you.

The highest stage of development is the state of being, in awareness. In the first half of this cycle, it is important to cultivate and develop intellect, memory, discrimination, and willpower. Without these qualities, as I said, matter could not be mastered. Without will and intelligence they could not discriminate and refrain from acting in ways harmful to others and to themselves.

P3             When they attempt to reach the higher form of being by using the tools of intellect, thought process, or willpower, they construct what we call images of themselves as they should be, and images of life according to their limited past experiences. In your striving to be something more or better, or to attain something more or better, you no longer accept who you are and what you feel. The harmonious state of being can come about only by accepting your state as it happens to be now, even though it is still disharmonious.

Such acceptance allows you to go about trying to understand yourself and thereby grow out of this state. Thought and will are temporary tools to give directive to your outer actions and intent. They can and should be used for your physical life, for outer actions, for deciding to know the truth about yourself. But they cannot be used for spirituality.

P4             Superimpositions occur because mind and will take them on. One cannot say that mind, intellect, and will cause suffering and misery, but using them when they should not be used does have that effect. Your mind is responsible for all the images, wrong conclusions, petrifications, generalizations, and all that is crippling in you. So you have to use the mind, the same instrument, to remove these conditions. Therefore, any exercise of cutting out the mind by cutting out thoughts, emotions, or attitudes that are not to your liking is artificial and can never bring genuine liberation.

The only way to dissolve the undesirable is to understand it, to know it, and to own up to it. The real self is much more intelligent, much more certain, and much more reliable. It is always constructive. You never even have to make a choice. As you accept the reality of your actual state now, the real self can manifest. But when your impressionable mind has made an image out of an experience, has petrified this onetime experience into a general rule and law, then your present and future ability to experience the new is limited by its tie to the past experience.

This (becoming aware and understanding yourself) can be done only if you are truly willing to face yourself in absolute candor, and dispense with any hankering after what you should be, as opposed to what you are. I repeat: this cannot be done if you moralize with yourself. Constant self-moralizing, which often happens in subtle, devious, hidden ways, keeps you from understanding that which causes misery in your life. You all hold on to these tools because you feel unsafe without them. You do not trust yourself to be without rules, laws, concepts, and ideals from outside.

P6             Answer to question: If you feel that what you do needs justification, you must condemn, or judge, or moralize. There can really be no justifying without moralizing.

P7             If someone wants something, and is not living up to outside standards and preconceived ideas, there will be no need for self-justification and condemnation if immediate success is not forthcoming. Let us suppose that someone wants to write, but cannot. The mere wish will not cause self-condemnation. If, however, society proclaimed that everyone who does not write commits a crime or is inferior, then, in addition to the simple wish to write, this person would begin to condemn himself—and therefore start justifying, warding off the brunt of the self-condemnation. Finding excuses and explanations would be a cover-up for the self-condemnation.

Now, separate these two aspects. Become aware of your dependency on public opinion. So much unhappiness is caused by the compulsive need to live up to what you think exists. If you did not know of these outer standards, you would not be unhappy. Unhappiness often comes from comparison, and therefore is not genuine. As long as shame and pride induce moralizing and justifying, you cannot grow out of the problem, because you cannot understand it. 

If the mind wants to build a spiritual state, hiding the actual emotions, it is destructive. If the mind builds on what it finds out about its own distortions, it will be constructive. Emotions of which you are aware, even if negative, cannot build anything destructive. But unconscious negative emotions are bound to build destructive results. You need the mind to form the intent to remove what it has built up negatively.

P8             Both thought and emotions can be of the mind. But if you look at confusion without compulsion, without haste, without moralizing, without denial, then you can hope for the understanding that is necessary to grow out of it. By letting an undesirable aspect be, letting it float on the surface, you can observe it and learn to understand it. This is the only way, my friends.

P9             If you intend again and again to look at, yourself in truth, this is not discipline. It is an intention which you follow through.

—The Pathwork® Guide