P1 Although there is no prison, and there are no fences in realty, if you believe and act as though you cannot move from the spot, the effect will be the same.
P2 For instance, you fear you may not be liked and helplessly hope that perhaps you might be. Meanwhile, what escapes you is that your actions could easily bring about what you truly want. How often do you fear you may not succeed in a venture, passively, helplessly waiting for fate to determine the desired outcome? It does not occur to you that there are many ways in which you, and you alone, can bring about what you want. All your energies are geared to creating the appearance that what you want exists in your life.
But deep down, you are convinced that you cannot really have it. You are ashamed to admit this, so you pretend you possess what you do not. The first wall in the maze, then, is your belief that you cannot have what you so easily might have. The second wall, resulting from the first, is your shame about a non-existent and unnecessary deprivation. The third twisted corridor in the labyrinth of the mind is the pretense that you have what you want or could have if you wanted to, while you believe the opposite. You completely forget that your unconscious mind is the monster; that once the unconscious is conscious, you are not a slave to it, but its master.
P3 The change lies in doing your best, rather than giving the best impression. If you look at all your past discoveries in that light, you can determine the vast difference between giving the best impression, so that the best will be thought of you, and actually doing the best in order to obtain a particular desired result. This is the very key that determines the real success you want in a vocation, in a rewarding relationship, in growth and in self-unfoldment.
It is important, in this connection, that you discover (a) the feeling of helplessness, vague hope and fear that something should or should not happen, while not seeing how you can influence it; (b) the exact cause of your unfulfillment: how you act as a consequence of your misconceptions and images, how your negative emotions make you react, what they emanate, and how this affects others; (c) how you pretend to have or be what you think you could not genuinely get or become. It seldom occurs to you to add, “Here is my resistance.
Now that I know and see it, I reject it. I do not give in to it. Regardless of what I ignorantly and erroneously fear, I wish to penetrate behind the resistance. I am in power, not my resistance. My will for truth and growth is in power, is real, and not my vague, childish fears that cause the resistance.”
P4 “Why should I not be liked? It is important to me to be liked. My inner resources will furnish me with all the qualities I need. I will go out and be genuinely concerned for the other person, rather than merely pretending. When I am willing to like others as much as I wish to be liked, I shall like myself better, because there will be no unfair exchange, demand, or pretense on my part. Hence I will believe in the possibility of being loved. Repression is merely another word for deception.
So express the will to grow out of destructive patterns and take active leadership of your life and development; Declare, for example, that you wish this kind of relationship instead of that kind of relationship. Declare that you wish a specific kind of self-expression, vocation, profession, set the goal you really desire to achieve. Then you may ask yourself what you intend to do for it. Also question yourself as to whether or not you believe in the possibility of attaining the goal. If not, why do you doubt?
When cause and effect cannot be linked immediately, where they are once, or several times, removed, the status quo must be temporarily accepted—but only as long as cause and effect remain obscure. If you do not see what you can do right now to change what it is in you that constantly creates undesirable results, how can you come to a wider view of cause and effect, so often ascribed to an unfathomable fate? All that is necessary is seeing what is there to see, what even your nearest and dearest know but dare not tell you because they rightly feel you may be hurt and may not wish to accept what they observed.
P5 Free, voluntary and joyful effort is the result of spiritual awakening. Effort made against one’s will, forced on the individual because life requires it, is the result of still being fenced in by a limited understanding of spiritual reality. Yes, that requires effort, too, for the person who ceases effort ceases to live. At the very beginning, one may have to overcome a certain resistance, but one voluntarily does so, as a free choice, because the desired result is worth the effort.
How do you feel about the effort required for any of your daily chores, for the effort of this pathwork, for the effort of living as such? Do you have to be constantly pushed, perhaps by yourself as well as by life, while still another part of you resists? If this is so, resentment against life itself must be much stronger than you think. But the voluntary effort has to be exerted first, by the self, to generate sufficient momentum so that it becomes free flowing.
P6 You suffer because you believe suffering is necessary and inevitable. If you believe that you must bleed, you will cut yourself. the either/or attitude has three important subdivisions, contained in all mass and personal images: (1) If this is good, then that is bad, everything is either black or white, right or wrong. (2) There are but two equally undesirable alternatives; no other possibility seems open. (3) Only one, or at best only a limited amount of desirable forms of self-expression and fulfillment can be had; other choices have to be given up.
You are used to quickly assuming a ready-made rule, without questioning it. You echo something blindly, without quite knowing why. And if you are challenged, you feel cornered and lean on authority; you conform, without ever using your own resources and your mind to find out why you adopt or reject, why you condone, and why you condemn. Adopting views and standards without questioning and probing, without getting to the real issues, or even the will to see what is really important and true, stems from the concern to gain approval, ward off disapproval, and not from a sincere concern for the issue itself. Here we find again what I mentioned first: living in integrity versus living in pretense.
P7 Wrong conclusions are always the result of stale, stagnant, obsolete ideas that remain unquestioned. If you dare not question your own taboos, you cannot widen the horizon of your life and discover that there are so many beautiful possibilities. Then you are doomed to making choices between equally undesirable and painful alternatives. You have to choose between either this or that goal, the fulfillment of this or that wish. You also believe that your happiness or fulfillment takes away someone else’s, so you dare not wish for your own, in the fear of being selfish.
But beyond the fence, where no envy and jealousy exist, there is no such limitation. There the universe is seen for what it really is—unlimited. Within the fence, you think you have to make choices. Beyond the fence no such choices need to be made. You cannot step beyond the fence unless you discover that you are a free creature with self-responsibility. Clear-cut, concise formulation and articulation of what you wish, in what way you need to grow, and where you need help, will bring forth answers from the deepest source of truth and wisdom within,
P8 Accepting your limitations does not mean resignation to a limited state. Rather, it means true self-responsibility. In other words, when you find yourself in a position that is evidently the result of a long chain reaction of negative beliefs and misconceptions, you will no longer feel hopeless about your condition. As your inner consciousness changes, you trustingly express your wish for fulfillment, in the knowledge that this is in keeping with spiritual reality. Thus you build a new condition. You will deeply know, without a doubt, that as your limited concepts bred their limited results, so your expanded concepts of the abundance of creation will breed, correspondingly, its own rewarding fulfillment.
—The Pathwork® Guide