P1 Not knowing that you deny what you consciously wish is the greatest pain because you are pulled in opposite directions. Whenever you get closer to the fulfillment of your conscious wish, your unconscious shrinks away from it in terror. Such tense motion defeats it, for tension arises from hopelessness, doubt, and an urgency which works counter to the smooth movements of the universal flow
P2 The will to find the part of you that says no must be continuously strengthened and encouraged. When you are unhappy you automatically blame someone or something else, at least emotionally. Blaming brings in its wake other destructive attitudes: stubbornness, blind resistance, the desire to punish those who one thinks are responsible for one’s unhappiness, and even some form of deliberate self-destruction as a way of punishing them. This is a prevalent pattern that, to some degree, exists in everyone.
Whenever you are unhappy, look first for that side of you that says no, for whatever reason. Then look for the side that blames others even if only subtly, indirectly and secretly. Look at your emotions where you make a case against someone or something—against life at large, perhaps. Because no matter how wrong others may be, they can never be responsible for your suffering, no matter what the appearances are. If you do not blame anyone, but overly blame yourself in a very destructive attitude that does not find a way out, then you are doing exactly the same. For this kind of self-blame is only a disguise for violent hate and blame of others. This must be the process: really wanting to see where you say no to what you want most – no matter how impossible this may seem offhand.
Question your emotions extremely carefully, and look at them when it comes to practical reality. Notice how you act contrary to what you imagine you want so much. Denying the truth of your saying no and then blaming others—and denying the blame as well—is a violation of the laws of life. For the laws of life are not only truth, but they also mean seeking all causes in the self, where they really are. The next step in this connection is the detached observation of the movements of the soul—When you become very quiet and listen into yourself, you will feel it. You will know what it is that moves and motivates you, no matter how subtle it may be.
P3 When you are in harmony with life because you are connected with your own causes and effects, your position toward the forces of life can be compared to that of a swimmer. The more rhythmic, relaxed and harmonious your movements are, the less strenuous moving is. Movement becomes effortless and self-perpetuating. In spite of the justified trust that the water carries the body, the person does not deny his or her responsibility and participation in the act of swimming, or even of floating.
Your ego must be active in a healthy and relaxed way. You must not abdicate, or negate, the participation of the ego in the act of living. Nevertheless, you fully trust and allow yourself to float on other forces. You will feel floating, being carried, yet actively participating and self-determining. This is a wonderful way of being. It is the way of being. The greatest step a human being can undertake is to say, “With all my heart and all my might I wish to recognize the cause within.”
P4 The next step is to understand that whenever you get to the basic causes which make you deny the thing you most wish for, fear, pride, and self-will are always involved. Fear is a fault because it implies distrust; it arises out of hate. Fear must always exist to the degree the person is unhappy about his or her own character. Otherwise it could not exist. You cannot overcome a fear unless you go through it. The only genuine reassurance is knowing your capacity to meet and deal with what you fear, intelligently and realistically.
This can only be done by fully going into it, not by evasion. The courage to accept what is inevitable strengthens the capacity to find genuine and meaningful ways of avoiding unnecessary feared events. Make a list of fears. Look at your fears. To what extent are they caused by pride? To what extent are they a result of a rigid selfwill—unwilling to bend, change, flow with the stream of ever-changing life?
Fears must be met. In order to be met, they must be ascertained. They must truly be faced up to—painstakingly and specifically—not glossed over in a general way. That will never do. Some undesirable events come to you because you set their effects in motion a long time ago and the causes cannot be eliminated. Thus the effects must be borne.
P5 Face your pride squarely, which makes you so perfectionistic that you must fear falling off the self-erected pedestal. Many fears will dissolve when you are willing to give up your pride. Then you will see the unfairness that exists when you blame life, or other people, for what is really in yourself, no matter how imperfect and wrong others also are. When you deny the cause of your suffering within and place it outside yourself, you always commit an unfairness; you are never in truth. It is always pride that makes facing fear impossible.
Little by little and, as always, with relapses at first your soul substance will begin to change. It is a gradual transition in the course of which the old and new are experienced together, side by side, or one superimposed over the other. As this goes on for a while, you will begin to sense—underneath the level on which you are tortured, anxious, numb, hopeless, and twisted in pain—another reality. This level of reacting—where you fluctuate between twisted anxiety, torture and hopelessness, on the one hand, and numbness, lifelessness, on the other—is assumed by most of humanity to be the natural state of being, existing, functioning.
Underneath the tortured level a new way of being evolves. The feeling is one of immense safety and well-being, of vibrancy, peace and aliveness; of a flowing feeling of utter confidence. It is a feeling of being carried, yet deeply knowing that the power exists within to govern life in the best possible way. The new is as yet only a vague feeling deep inside the self. But gradually it becomes more predominant until it takes over and replaces the old. It will alternate, fluctuate.
Again and again, you have to battle your way through periods where you are thrown back into the old state without being in the new one. In the peaceful state of self-realization all intensity vanishes. People are habitually not only tense, but tense because of an intensity that is directly related to the state of duality – through believing in something very good versus something very bad. The duality makes a painful cramp inevitable. Anything you do not want, you intensely push away. Anything you desire you intensely grasp. You grasp for the good because you fear the bad and fear not attaining the good.
Anything you intensely avoid you must fear. The pleasure must become less intense, just as the pain will become less intense when you learn to go through what you fear. Going through the fear mends the split of the duality. The courageous attitude of going through what is self-produced and inevitable must not be confused with masochism, deliberate self-destruction, or hopeless resignation.
P7 Quite a few of you have, for example, experienced how anxiety can loosen up as you fully face and understand it, as you express it directly and convert it into its component parts of other emotions you had denied—perhaps rage, hurt, sadness. In your approach to yourselves, through meditation, make up your mind, again and again: “I want to face the cause of the evil in my life, that which causes my suffering. I truly want to look, with courage and honesty, at all the truth in me and around me.” The more you do this, the more this path will help you by its self-perpetuating forces that are thus activated. Feeling the anger, one accepts, faces, and ceases to fight what is. The same applies to any emotion. It then dissolves, for it is always illusion. Feelings reconvert themselves into their original substance.
P8 When you give up the self-centeredness of the infant and, the greed of the infant that cannot brook denial, it will no longer be the end of the world if you are not assured of reciprocation. You will then automatically develop the intuition to know when and how to express your feelings. In other words, you will be able to allow these wonderful feelings, whether or not it is possible to express them in a direct way, whether or not the other person is at all times able to take them.
—The Pathwork® Guide