P2 When a barrier exists to the opposite sex, a similar barrier must primarily exist to oneself regarding one’s own sex. When a man fights against his own masculinity and is confused about it, a barrier is created which makes him fight against women. The same applies, of course, to a woman.
P3 Fear of one’s own sex and therefore of the opposite sex leads one to level off the difference by diminishing one’s own masculinity and femininity and assuming the traits of the very sex one fights against. He fears self-loss not only because the necessary discipline of fulfilling his responsibilities in life appears as a disadvantage and sacrifice and therefore as loss of self. He also fears having to let go of himself in a full relationship. Therefore, he is confused by thinking that he has to choose between discipline and the ability to let go of himself.
To the degree a man learns to be responsible for himself in the true, deeper sense of the word, to that degree must his fear of letting go of himself disappear. The same fear applies to a woman, but from a different angle. A woman fears the apparent helplessness of giving herself up, of surrendering herself. She thereby defeats her femininity and in the end becomes more helpless and dependent.
The more control she exerts, and the more false discipline she uses in order to prevent the dreaded self-loss, the weaker and more dependent she becomes on other levels of her personality. She either becomes emotionally dependent in her excessive need of being loved and approved, or mentally dependent in order to excel over others, or even physically and materially dependent. So she, too, fluctuates between discipline and letting go of herself, exercising both in the wrong way and thereby prohibiting her self-fulfillment.
When a man refuses responsibility, not only in his vocational or everyday life, but more specifically in his emotional life, out of fear of carrying too great a burden, he burdens himself more and simultaneously isolates himself from all that his spirit yearns for. When a woman refuses the apparent helplessness of self-surrender by exerting an artificial and unhealthy control, she becomes even more helpless, while at the same time isolating herself and forfeiting her destiny. For such is the spiritual law.
In a healthy state, the two primary aspects of discipline and of letting go—they might well be termed as the prototypes of masculine and feminine aspects—exist in both sexes but are arrived at from opposite sides. When a man accepts his full responsibility on all levels of his being, with all that this entails, he can then let go of himself without danger. When a woman does not out of fear, pride, and self-will fight her destiny, she must gain the strength and selfhood which give her full security in herself. She finds herself by losing herself. He loses himself by finding himself. And they are both the same! These two principles might be visualized as the primary motivating cosmic forces of the human entity. It all depends on the manner in which they are used. The disharmony caused by the misuse of these forces creates unrest and inner worry.
P5 The masculine and feminine principles of discipline and strength versus self-surrender and letting go of the self meet in the last analysis and become one. Each becomes the other and each helps the other to integrate more fully and harmoniously. Through healthy strength, flexible discipline, and mature self-responsibility the entity becomes strong enough not to fear selfsurrender, and wise enough not to do so indiscriminately. Through healthy, relaxed openness and outgoingness, the personality finds the strength and discipline required to live productively in union, by living self-sufficiently as an individual.
To begin establishing this benign cycle of interflowing movement between the masculine and the feminine principles, you have to determine your specific fears first. Try to ascertain to what extent and in what respect you fear and resent the role of your own sex, and therefore avoid contact with the opposite sex. Examine what you believe are the injustices, which you unconsciously exaggerate in order to hold on to yourself, so as not to risk the danger of selfforgetting.
P6 Human beings fight, often blindly, against four inner conditions. These are: (1) the lack of awareness of real and specific needs; (2) the extent and urgency of such needs; (3) the frequent lack of awareness of specifically who is supposed to fulfill the needs and in what particular way, since all the original desires have been displaced; (4) the extent of the ability or disability, the willingness or unwillingness, of the other person to satisfy your needs to the full extent.
The intensity of your need may not be automatically diminished, but to the degree that you are aware of your need, it will become bearable. As it becomes bearable, you no longer need illusion and wishful thinking. You can look the truth in the face and accept what is, no matter how imperfect or how far it is from what you wish at present. The moment you are aware of your need, you can also envisage the fact that someone else may be personally unsuited for filling your need and you may relinquish your demands. No longer displacing your needs will generally mature you sufficiently to be able to tolerate frustration if need be.
Your present readiness to tolerate the frustration of your will and to relinquish it if need be, together with your ability to face what is, rather than closing your eye in wishful thinking and persisting in applying a forcing current because you do not wish to give up your will, as well as your capacity to objectively evaluate the unreasonableness of your demands, will open the flow of true relating. Both manhood and womanhood can only be fulfilled by recognizing your barriers to and fears of the full functioning of your manhood or womanhood.
P7 Do you not know that your unconscious excessive demands make you prone to the unconscious excessive demands of others? And these two forces make a real relatedness absolutely impossible. For as long as lack of awareness of one’s own needs creates excessive one-sided demands, disappointment and fear must create a barrier of separateness. Whenever there is friction between you and others, look at your naked feelings by asking yourself what you expect of the other, what you would want, or what you fear that they would demand or want from you.
If you look at confused, disturbed, and disharmonious feelings, you must dare to let out the irrational and have the courage to allow your unreasonable inner child to manifest on the surface. Face your anger about the fact that your demands often remain unfulfilled. A disharmonious mood will so often yield information about unconscious needs and demands, either your own or those of others you feel you cannot cope with. The procedure is simple, provided you take the daring step to own up to your unreasonable feelings and requests, your unfair demands, and your childish selfishness.
—The Pathwork® Guide