P1 One of the fundamental human predicaments is the struggle to overcome the duality between life and death. Whether this manifests directly as fear of death, of aging or of the unknown, it is always fear of the passing of time. Only by your unceasing willingness to see, evaluate, comprehend, and unify yourself by ruthless truthfulness will you ultimately succeed. There is a very direct connection between these three: fear of one’s own unconscious, the fear of love with the opposite sex, and fear of death.
P2 Ultimately, you cannot fulfill yourself without overcoming the barrier between you and the opposite sex, thus truly becoming a man or a woman. For this barrier indicates a barrier to areas within the self that you shy away from exploring and understanding. It indicates a resistance to fully grown selfhood and an insistence on artificial infancy. Therefore, the struggle of self-realization, in the last analysis, must mean: first, removal of the barriers between your consciousness and the hidden areas of your psyche.
The three basic hindrances are pride, self-will, and fear. Take first the barrier between consciousness and the unconscious: pride. It bars the way because you may not like what you will find if you venture into the unknown within yourself. It may not be flattering or compatible with your idealized self-image. Even if your finding proves not to be derogatory, you will fear it might be. The importance of being admired makes you adopt the standards and values of others whose approval you seek.
P3 Self-will causes apprehension that what you find may force you to do something your little ego is not inclined to do, or to give up something which it is unwilling to surrender. Self-will wants the little ego to be in control, so you can cling to the known. Fear bars the way when both pride and self-will indicate a lack of trust; then fear makes you believe that the final reality is not to be trusted.
Cosmic reality is embedded in your deep unconscious as the stream of cosmic events. If you enter into this stream, it cannot help but be benign, bringing happiness, fulfillment, and meaningfulness. The triad of pride, self-will, and fear also applies to the barrier between the self and a mate. Pride enters because, whether you are man or woman, you fear the apparent helplessness – and therefore shame—of giving over to a force greater than your little ego. Self-will is opposed to love because it wants all control; it cannot give itself up.
You are under the misapprehension that giving yourself over to the love force is the same as heedless and headless greed, unreasonableness, and lack of realism. This is not so. Realism, objectivity, the ability to relinquish, and fearless willingness to enter love are not only compatible but interdependent. The triad of pride, self-will, and fear also influence one’s attitude to death. Dying ultimately means giving up self-direction—and this surrender, strange as this may seem, appears humiliating.
P4 You see, my friends, it would be so easy to wish for death because you cannot cope with life when life is painful and unfulfilled. In this unfinished, ignorant, and blind state of terror, you would all too easily escape into death, even though, in this case, death would not prove any different than life—for both are intrinsically the same. In order to avoid such a destructive escape, the life instinct must be very strong. And it can operate only as long as death remains an unknown. This strengthens the stamina to try and try again, until life is finally mastered though understanding the self, and hence the universe.
Only in this endeavor will the inner understanding finally dawn that death is not to be feared—or, that it is feared only in exact proportion to the still existing fear of living and loving. This is what being in peace with oneself, being in harmony with God, really means: not holding back, not pushing toward, but dissolving in the life stream, in full possession of yourself, yet without fear of giving up self-possession. This is the great experience that you are blessed and privileged to have when you find your mate. And this will ultimately be the experience of going into a new form of consciousness.
P5 The truth is like the sun, around which all other planets revolve while it remains constant and bright, even though it is often covered by clouds. The clouds are your pride, your self-will, and your fear, your ignorance and your stemming against, or hurrying ahead of, time. But in the moments you perceive your truth—be it ever so banal or apparently insignificant in terms of cosmic development—the clouds disperse and the warm sun of your higher consciousness regenerates you with strength and well-being, with joyfulness and peace.
If you look at your desires, fears, and needs, your apprehensions and reactions—right or wrong—at this and every moment, you will find the eternal now. In it you can live fearlessly with rightful confidence in the unknown. You do not have to become perfect; you are perfect, in a sense, when you can calmly face, acknowledge, and come to terms with your present imperfection. When you no longer struggle against the self, thus shedding your pride and pretense, and become willing to change, thus shedding your selfwill, together with all fears of self, of others, of life, of love and of dying—all these evaporate like ice in the sun.
If one fears life, certain other people may represent the security one feels lacking in oneself. One may fear loneliness, lack of actual or irrational protection, by the loss of others. Attaching the fear, or other negative emotions, to where they really belong (our own helplessness) rather than experiencing them in displacement, is always a relief.
P6 You may deny the existence of the fears of loving and of self-surrender because you are acutely aware that you ardently desire this fulfillment and can experience it without inhibition in fantasy. They (barriers) are removed more effectively through awareness of their existence than through ignorance.
—The Pathwork® Guide