P1 That is, life will manifest exactly as you believe and conceive of it—not one iota differently. To discover the discrepancy between your conscious and unconscious beliefs must always be the first step in the direction toward full selfhood. Life’s relative nature is therefore neutral: life itself consists of a highly potent, creative, and impressionable substance that is exactly as malleable and moldable as the soul substance, for, in fact, they are one and the same.
The limits one sees must seem real. Therefore the rules one establishes, or blindly follows, find their confirmation. Yet the moment a person discovers that these limits or rules are not unalterable law and can be questioned, the limits recede and new laws are proven, according to the new beliefs.
P2 Since the life stuff is so moldable, the absolute nature of life must be as limitless as the reach of consciousness. Hence life is limitless in its possibilities for good, for unfoldment, for yet richer and greater experience. It is not limitless in its possibilities for evil, for the limit is set when life ceases – or seems to cease. The dreaded ultimate is always non-life. There is nothing beyond non-life. This limit of non-life could exist only on the relative plane, never on the absolute plane.
On the absolute plane life is life, therefore it cannot be non-life. In order to make this (widen your horizons) possible, your feelings must come alive. After the first superficial layer is removed—and many people do not even wish to do this—you encounter a sadness about the “true” lack of feelings. You feel like a cripple who is different from others, born with less capacity for rich, warm feelings.
But this is never so, and there is always a more hidden level where the numbness is very deliberately instituted. The deliberate numbing occurs because you believe life is your enemy, and your life-affirming feelings would deeply involve you with this feared enemy. In order to avoid this, the feelings must be clipped, stilted, hindered. As with every issue in the human psyche, this misconception is bound to bring about the very aspect one fears and tries to avoid.
The natural feelings are always life affirming, outreaching, joyous and so is life’s essence, unhampered by false ideas. Only when pain, misconception and misinterpretation of pain arise, is the natural flow diverted or stopped altogether. As life is essentially buoyant, so are the feelings. As life is essentially positive, so are the feelings. As life is essentially rich and involving, so are the natural feelings when they are not tampered with.
As I have said before, you fear life because you fear non-life. But any apprehension, aside from death, when you truly analyze it, always boils down to a personal annihilation, a personal form of nonlife. Perhaps you fear a negation of your dignity, of your essential value; or perhaps a denial of wishes. Even though the form these wishes take in an immature being may be damaging and unrealizable, their essence always remains intact and realizable, provided one takes the trouble to crystallize it. You do not feel at home in your life. You feel anxious, persecuted, ill at ease.
Negation of life, negation of feelings, and negation of self are all one and the same. And because negation implies non-life, fear arises. Out of fear one proceeds to do the very thing that aggravates the condition of non-life and non-self. Blessed are those who are aware of what they miss in life and proceed to remedy the situation.
P4 In what area of your life do you deny life? How do you do this? In what way does the denial take place? In order to avoid seeing the negation of the self, of feelings and of life, you produce a false self, false feelings, and therefore a false life. False feelings are created because nothing is as frightening as numbness.
These false feelings parallel other illusions—about your spiritual development, your character, your fulfillment, your sufferings, your state of happiness or unhappiness, the reactions of other people to you. Then you believe these reactions to be either better or worse than they really are. Some (people) find certain facets of their idealized self-image, for example, and content themselves with that, not wanting to see the rest of their illusions, which they unconsciously believe they cannot live without.
P5 In other words, when people try to expound a nihilistic world view, they hide their private fears, disappointments, and suffering, their distrust in their own innermost self, in their feelings, by making a general rule that life is, supposedly, bad. The personal experience must be unearthed. Therefore this path must be concerned with penetrating illusions—the illusion that says, “I am fulfilled” when one feels unfulfilled; the illusion that pretends the world is bad when one believes that one’s feelings are unacceptable or dangerous; the illusion that ignores a particular unhappiness; the illusion that makes one unaware of how one holds back the spontaneous flow of natural feelings, and the illusion that does not want to see in what devious ways this can be accomplished.
Illusion does not refer only to glorifying or beautifying facts by falsely making them more positive. Illusion also means producing unreal negative emotions. Hence, the feeling is manipulated, artificially exaggerated or dramatized. Again, this may apply to positive or negative emotions. Anger, hurt, suffering may all be dramatized and clung to. Artificial feelings, both positive and negative, serve to alleviate the terror of non-feeling, which is a state of nonlife.
P6 The manufactured feelings are always troublesome and problematic. They do not bring enlightenment and clarification. They do not bring peace of mind. False feelings always create problems on the dualistic level. The false feeling of love breeds and results in the conflict of submission and slavery, loss of dignity for the sake of giving in, giving up one’s own rights and desires for the rights and desires of the loved one. So the way out seems to deny love in order to have one’s selfhood intact and one’s freedom unhampered.
False positive feelings breed irreconcilable conflicts. False negative feelings, after a time, appear as real negative feelings. These feelings seem to keep the psyche alive, as it were. The aliveness is not real life, but it seems better than deadness. You all know that on this temporary plane of existence real negative feelings do exist, real anger, real fear, real hurt. But they never rob the person of peace, at least not for any length of time, beyond the immediate purpose of the specific real feeling.
Real anger can be expressed. It will clear the air. Real fear is a purposeful warning that serves to make the individual cope with a particular situation successfully; when that situation is over, the person has become stronger. This is not so with false emotions. A real hurt mellows and makes a wiser person; it makes you grow and expand your horizons. A false, dramatized hurt can never accomplish this.
P7 Note how you do not question yourself, with a relaxed attitude, “Now, do I really feel what I think I feel? Do I not perhaps put it on?” Once it is put on, it controls you. When you come to this area in yourself, you can truly proceed to unlock the door, and learn how you make yourself sick needlessly, sometimes out of a misunderstanding and, very often, my friends, out of a subtle spitefulness. The spite comes from hurts you have misinterpreted; it was originally directed against your parents but now manifests toward life and toward anything and anyone you encounter.
(Question about unrequited love relationship): If you did not fear and deny it, you truly would not find yourself in such a situation. Your feelings would be directed toward a person who is willing and eager to reciprocate. Recognize that you feel more reassured when you feel less alive, while this more intense state of feeling threatens you and makes you doubtful you can cope with it. This doubt results from your reluctance to trust your feelings.
(Question about how to know the difference between false and real feelings): The easiest way would be to express every day, deep into the psyche, the wish to become aware of them; to face where false feelings arise. When you decide, “This is what I want, this is what I am going to do: to live in reality, to see the false, to stop it, and to allow the real to come out, and I know that this decision must bear its fruits, I know it will,” something already begins to change within. Each day intend it, say it, mean it, and look at what is.
—The Pathwork® Guide