Lecture 109 – Spiritual and Emotional Health through Restitution of Real Guilt | Abbreviated Version

P2             Accepting and forgiving means to recognize and then stop the tendency to moralize with oneself, to understand the harm of perfectionism. I emphasize how dangerous perfectionism, self-condemnation, moralizing, and false guilt feelings are. You see, my dearest friends, to the degree that perfectionism and self-condemnation exist, to that degree you cannot accept your Lower Self. For in that perfectionism, as I said many times before, you will drive yourself into a false perfection that is superimposed and therefore destructive.

Some people may be very near the phase in which they become organically ready to face their real guilt, while others may still be struggling to recognize their false guilt. They are still hindered by self-condemnation, by weaknesses and the paralysis of their faculties, by false impressions and concepts, and even by the opposite of self-condemnation, namely, self-justification. They are caught in their accusations of others, or in a kind of weakness that allows others to exploit and take advantage of them. Self-exploration and facing lesser “evils” make the psyche strong enough to face very unflattering truths.

Such strength can be cultivated by the right kind of meditation and thought process, and the proper observation of your reaction whenever you come close to this phase. When you observe your oversensitivity and see how easily hurt you are, and how you give in to the temptation to pamper yourself by the very strong reaction of hurt you produce, then you have an indication of how you, too, shy away from fully facing your Lower Self. Question yourself: “Do I wish to pamper myself? Do I wish to be in self-pity? Or can I just calmly look at myself with the negative tendencies that exist side by side with the constructive ones?”

P3             When you approach certain trends you are not ready to accept in yourself, you produce, almost artificially, an overreaction of despair, hurt, self-abasement, or a feeling of injustice.

P4             Self-respect and self-assurance can not exist when you hide from seeing your impaired integrity. You can make the effort to use will, concentration, and acute self-observation to detect the subtle—and sometimes not so subtle—reaction of shying away from facing yourself in this touchy area. By following the incentive, I mean the attitude of discovering your disproportionate hurt at any suggestion of certain negative trends, and your disproportionate fear and rebellion against such implications whether coming from others or from yourself, or simply through certain events of your daily living.

Once you have arrived at the healthy self-acceptance in which you fully face your real guilt and certain hitherto hidden aspects of your Lower Self, what then? It is not sufficient merely to recognize it, although that comes first. To enable you to go through this first step you have to remember again and again that you are not forced to take any action, or to make any change that you are not wholeheartedly willing to undertake, and not because I say so, or because some spiritual law prohibits forcing

P5             It is very important for you to know that you will not be punished for knowing and yet not acting on the knowledge. Sufficient awareness will eventually make you wish to go through the action that makes restitution for past guilt. Now, how can this be done? There is no ready-made formula: there never can be for a reality which is dynamic and knows infinite varieties. Restitution is comparatively easy for obvious wrongs one has inflicted, but it is not so easy to make restitution for subtle attitudes and emotional reactions. When the issues are not clear-cut, when it is a question of subtle emotions or indirect results, such as when, for instance, you are withholding and withdrawing, you will still find ways to make up for the wrongs committed.

You can inflict pain by not daring to give your best, be it due to fear, cowardice, pride, betrayal, and other misconceptions, all of which would leave others in need, and increase their sense of unworthiness. Even if you no longer have the opportunity to make good with the person you have shortchanged, the cultivation of the ability of giving your best—rather than deliberately hampering it as before—will make for restitution. If you voluntarily give up your wall of isolation, and thus let the richness of your inherent being stream onto others, that is restitution.

P6             In short, my friends, two major steps are necessary for you to free yourselves of the crippling effects of real guilt and unrecognized aspects of the Lower Self. The first is finding and facing these aspects, calmly and proportionately, without self-condemnation or self-justification, yet fully taking responsibility for any wrong you have done inadvertently, directly or indirectly, by commission or omission. It is necessary to penetrate through all the false guilts going through the paralysis and the weakness as well as searching in the areas where you are exploited by others.

The second step is restitution, which is often subdivided into first expressing the real guilt to another human being so that you cease to carry it alone, and then finding a way to make good and atone.

What is a blessing? Imagine that you have a very strong wish that is absolutely unhampered by selfish motives, by ambiguous, confused, contradictory emotions, by uncertainty or fear, or the slightest gnawing feeling of real or false guilt. The wish is a clear stream without the slightest selfishness. Such a wish is a blessing. Such a crystal-clear strength, undiluted, unconfused, unsplit: that is a blessing. If a human being were capable of expressing a wish for someone else in that way, the power and strength this wish would have for a person who is only remotely open to receive it is something that defies your imagination.

P7             The wish of a human being in a state of conflict is counteracted by a contrary feeling which makes the energy current weak. But if the energy current goes in one direction, or predominantly in one direction, then the wish is strong. Cross-currents go on constantly, not only among people, but also between them and beings of other worlds.

—The Pathwork® Guide