Lecture 132 – The Function of the Ego in Relation to the Real Self | Abbreviated Version

P1             Your inner self is an integral part of nature, bound to the laws of nature. Therefore to distrust this innermost self is unreasonable, for nature can be wholly trusted. If nature seems like an enemy, it is only because you do not understand its laws. The inner self, or the real self, is nature; it is life; it is creation. It is more accurate to define the real self this way than to say it is “a part” of nature. The ego is the part that thinks, acts, discriminates, and decides. The person whose ego has not sufficiently grown, whose ego is weak, is incapable of mastering or coping with life. And the person whose ego is overgrown and overemphasized cannot come to the real self.

P2             Only when the ego is sufficiently developed can it be adequately dispensed with. For if the ego is underdeveloped, your efforts to compensate create a weakness and evasion that can produce only more weakness. As long as the ego is not strong enough, you lack the faculties characteristic of your outer self which are to think, discriminate, decide, and act appropriately in any situation you encounter in the outer world. This is a law.

It is a logical law, for then you act out of strength and abundance, not out of weakness, need and poverty. Only when the ego is healthy and strong can you know that it is not the final answer, the final realm of being. The law that you have to reach a certain state and fully be there before you can abandon it for a higher state is extremely important to understand, my friends.

P3             The little child at birth does not yet possess an ego. It seeks omnipotence, pleasure supreme, the ultimate bliss that knows neither lack nor unfulfillment or frustration. You all have to accept your own imperfections, as well as this life’s imperfections, before you can experience that absolute perfection that you must ultimately realize is your destiny. But you can comprehend this only after you have shed the childish distortion of this knowledge that is flawed because of a lack of ego.

You all have to learn to let go of a desire for pleasure supreme and make do with limited pleasure before you can realize that absolute pleasure is your ultimate destiny. Accepting less is an acceptance of this earthly reality. Awakening to truth is possible only when you have first found and then let go of the childish distortions of utter perfection, utter power, and utter pleasure. This is the very same law that determines how working from abundance produces abundance, but working from poverty and need produces more poverty and need.

The healthy, strong ego knows reality without being upset that fulfillment may not yet be possible because of the obstructions to the real self. It (this lecture) may facilitate a letting go that can happen only when you trust your innermost self as an integral part of nature and creation.

P4             Of course, humans misconstrue the state of being as meaning no activity. But the activity is within the state of being. Because your ego is underdeveloped in the areas you mentioned (in the question), something in you tries to attain the selfhood you simultaneously deny when you refuse self-choice and self-responsibility.

P5             Meditate and pronounce the words that you truly wish to let go of the immature wishes, but without resignation, in a positive spirit that awaits the good possibilities, even though the rigid, childish version is abandoned. Part of this maturing lies in establishing clearly and specifically in what way you have caused a specific hardship, difficulty, or void.

P6             You want to attain that pleasure with the limited scope and vision of the ego, rather than through letting that most real part of nature: life and creation within you, bring it to you in its own way. But you do not entrust it, because you do not let go. False ideas, as well as selfwill, are naturally a result of the ego world, and not of the real self. But it is also within the power of the ego to give up both selfwill and false ideas. The ego alone is capable of exchanging the false idea for a truthful one.

This means letting go of tense, anxious self-will and replace it with a relaxed, free-flowing, flexible will, based on discriminating reasoning power, and calling upon the intuitive levels of self for higher inner guidance from the real self. Perhaps the best way for you to understand these principles (question of karma) would be to realize that the human body is a direct result of the personality which, of course, exists before the baby’s birth. The personality’s thinking, attitudes, emotions, actions, all have their effects. The body with its environment, the life and life situation, the personal fate—all these are effects of the mentality and personality and character.

P7             The self-punishment (question) is a substitute for giving up the guilt-producing attitudes. By doing so, you unconsciously believe that it is possible to maintain these attitudes yet absolve yourself of the guilt. Therefore you go on punishing yourself, believing that this makes up for the fact that you do not give up the destructive patterns. If you say often enough how bad you are, if you suffer enough from your guilt, you feel you are still a nice person, in spite of maintaining what is, in actuality, of no conceivable advantage to you and to others.

—The Pathwork® Guide