P1 If you are not strong and independent—self-responsible in the deepest sense – the power of the energy flowing into the system is too much to bear.
P2 I have mentioned in other contexts that every function and organ in the personality exists in the physical body as well as in the invisible body, which is the model after which the former is fashioned. There exists an inner and an outer consciousness, which is not as crassly definable as the conscious and the unconscious mind. There is an inner knowing and there is an outer knowing—the former not necessarily being unconscious at all.
There is an inner faculty of sensing, and there is an outer one. There is an inner reasoning process, and there is an outer one. Thus you have inner functioning and outer functioning, which can best be explained by the voluntary and the involuntary physical responses. Awareness always begins with the outer layer, of which humans are not naturally aware. In fact, you must pay attention to it for a considerable time before you become capable of ascertaining in a clear-cut, concise way what you consciously think, feel, and experience.
P3 When you start with muscle tension in the outer body, it is necessary first to feel, be aware of, the tension, in order to subsequently relax it voluntarily. This parallels mental and emotional functioning: There, too, it is necessary first to know that you feel and think a certain thing in order to change it, if the thought is untrue and the feeling destructive. For the purpose of opening the centers a relaxed state is necessary on all levels. Concentration exercises to observe your state of tension in order to relax it are therefore extremely useful.
Once your outer body has attained the relaxation, feeling healthy and vital, and you therefore gain awareness of inner body blocks, you will know how it would be if these blocks were dissolved. It is the same way with the inner body blocks. Knowing of the two states—the temporary blockage you find in yourself now and the flowing energy that is potentially yours—brings you considerably nearer your own potential for being and experiencing.
When you become very quiet and listen into yourself, you will find an emotional tension and cramp; you will see how your mind is either overagitated or sluggish—additional manifestations of underlying tension that has become too unpleasant to bear. Quiet self-observation helps you to accomplish this. You have begun to experience the presence of a greater reality and intelligence within you, as a result of your development and growth and after having deliberately set out to activate it. Its guidance is the most reliable and wisest imaginable. Its voice becomes forever more distinct and discernible.
As outlined last time, the center in the solar plexus region is the channel of communication with the inner wisdom of cosmic truth. But this does not mean that cosmic truth is located in the solar plexus. For this divine wisdom makes you completely self-responsible, which you erroneously consider a disadvantage, overlooking the fact that only in self-responsibility can you truly live and move and vibrate in joy and delight. Every disturbance offers the best opportunity, for if you value the truth of the moment, the truth of the problem, more than anything else, and state this, letting go of all other considerations, the truth will make itself known to you, and you will know that you are indeed both human in your present fallibility and divine in your underlying potential.
To understand the layers of consciousness of which you are an expression, it is necessary to conceive of the inner and outer “brains” as one and the same organ. Now, where is the inner, universal consciousness? Consciousness resides in every cell, in every molecule, in every atom, in every tiny fraction of living matter. Every one of these infinitesimal units of consciousness functions with exactly the same immutable lawfulness as the human personality does.
Conversely, to the extent the whole organism knows truth, the little units will eventually adopt it and will know their origin and connect with the universal wisdom and life that is inherent in every particle of existence, no matter how separated at the moment. Hence, more and more, life must replace death, health must replace sickness, joy must replace suffering, security must replace fear. Again, every state of emotional strife consists of subtle, invisible life matter being in error.
P6 And every slightest tension closes the centers. Wherever you feel a congestion—be it a painful state in your emotions or body, or merely a neutral state in which you know that something hardened in you prevents you from living fully—set out to find the underlying error. It is one necessary condition for opening up the life and energy centers. The state of frustration always implies something that makes you want to fight unnecessarily against the frustration.
This forces you to remain in a state of mind that says, “I must not have this in order to avoid that,” or “I must have that in order to avoid this bad thing.” These musts are fear-tension currents. You have to learn first to accept it without exaggerating its impact on you, without feeling threatened by it. You will find a new realm of reality in which you are fulfilled only when you accept in a realistic and constructive way that frustration is an integral part of the present reality.
P7 1) The most childish and therefore troubled state is one in which frustration appears to be disaster. 2) The state of emotional maturity that accepts not having what one wants while using one’s best faculties to eventually overcome or diminish the frustration. 3) Once a person with this mature attitude has learned to encounter and deal with frustration, she or he can reach the ultimate state where every alternative or possibility in life contains an equal amount of potential for unfoldment, therefore pleasure. You will also see that by tensing up against frustration you cause much more frustration for yourself, for the very tension is a denial of life as it now comes to you.
Sit down in a very relaxed way. Do not slump down, yet sit without tension, completely contained within yourself, without stiffness. The spine should be straight, not needing to lean against the backrest of the chair but held up by its own balance. Close your eyes and feel every part of your outer body. Relax it deliberately. Then try and see what happens when you do not think. Do not force yourself not to think, for this would only make you tense. Rather attempt it in the spirit of “I would like not to think, but I know that I am not capable of doing so without some involuntary thinking processes taking place almost all the time. Therefore I shall calmly observe my thinking processes, to what extent they penetrate my mind without my being able to control them.”
P8 Breathe calmly but distinctly through your abdomen. Feel your lower stomach rhythmically lift up and down, in as calm and regular fashion as you can. This exercise will help you calm the busy, agitated mind. Therefore the center at the solar plexus will open. Through this exercise, a channel to this center will begin to loosen up and finally open. Thus an inner connection to your higher wisdom will be established. The other practice I suggest is very much related to the topic of this lecture—the observation of outer and inner body blocks. Sit down in the same way. In this exercise you may also lie down flat.
Again relax and tune in to your body. Let every part of the outer functioning deliberately relax. Then you will find tense areas of which you have not been particularly aware before. See to what extent you can deliberately loosen them and where this is not possible. This will show you whether the area belongs to the outer or inner system. Once you can clearly distinguish the area and feel the block, or the lump, or the congestion, question the meaning of it.
Connect it to the mind and the feelings that create it. What is the fear that creates this tension? Ask yourself: What is the direct relationship between the specific body tension and fear? Send the thought into these cells, which have their own consciousness. The mind carries the misconception; the feeling responds to it by negative, destructive emotions; and the body expresses all this with contraction, tension, stiffness, rigidity – which are also behind the flaccidity of unhealthy forms of apparent relaxation.
—The Pathwork® Guide