Lecture 177 – Pleasure | Abbreviated Version

P1             Spiritual pleasure is not bodiless, for even unstructured consciousness is not formless. Unstructured consciousness creates so-called “subtle bodies” of streaming energy in the purest form. Therefore this energy form is without obstruction; it is pleasure itself.

P2             I mean a state of physical and spiritual bliss that is experienced in every particle of one’s body and soul, of the outer and inner being—with all sensations and faculties alive, awake, and feeling. There is no division in you, no No-current, no doubt about the rightfulness of your bliss, no ifs and buts because your bliss interferes with the world around you. You feel no guilt or hesitation. On the contrary, you will feel deeply that the greater your ecstasy and joy, the more you contribute to the world.

P3             The streamings of pleasure are the simultaneous forces of life, health, self-renewal and regeneration. Therefore health and longevity result from the capacity for pleasure. Any kind of physical illness or deterioration, including physical death, is a manifestation of division, conflict, and denial of pleasure.

On the psychological level, the importance of pleasure is at least as great as on the physical. How can you shoulder mature self-responsibility? How can you cope with the frustrations that come your way? In the last analysis, of course, frustrations come your way due to your inner limitations. Nevertheless, you have to accept your limitations, and that is not easy.

P4             How can you wish to abandon negative pleasure, the pseudo-satisfactions of your pretenses, your role-playing, your defenses? As long as you are convinced that these substitutes are all the pleasure you can have and that living a decent life implies sacrifice, you cannot even believe in pleasure. But to the degree you insist on being an irresponsible child—wanting to make others pay for your actions or inactions, wanting to secretly, neurotically cheat life—to the degree you impair your integrity, to that degree you cannot experience pleasure.

By the same token, to the degree that you assume self-responsibility, to the degree you respect and love yourself because you no longer cheat even in the subtlest of ways, to that same degree you become more and more capable of experiencing pleasure. The equation of the acceptance of full autonomy with the capacity for pleasure is extremely important to comprehend.

P5             Dependency stems from fear and creates greater fear, leading inevitably to resentment and hate. Love is possible only when you are free, when you are a self unto yourself without depending on another. And pleasure is possible only when you love. Therefore pleasure and spirituality, pleasure and decency, pleasure and emotional maturity, pleasure and physical health are all intricately and intimately connected. The less conscious you are of what you want, the more you must fear the result.

Hence, fear of death always connotes an unconscious death wish. Conversely, pleasure is made possible when the state of mind and emotions is quietly confident, calmly expectant and receptive, patient and unanxious, unhurried and unworried. Otherwise your battle against your own fear of pleasure will consciously manifest in an excessive striving for pleasure, in an anxiety about not being able to realize it, in a pessimism or even hopelessness about it. Such pessimism makes you fluctuate between two damaging extremes: either resignation or compulsive, blind, and consequently inappropriate overactivity.

P6             Only when you are acutely conscious of how you fear and deny your pleasure will you stop making others responsible for your deprivation, which makes you keenly suffer. Negative pleasure is always more geared to gratifying ego goals than fulfilling the real and legitimate need of the entity for bathing in the light of pleasure supreme. It harbors the three attitudes that are at the root of all destructiveness and deviation: pride, self-will and fear. Self-will says, “Me, me, me!” meaning the little me, the little self. That self puts its stake only into the outer, conscious ego personality and completely disregards, ignores, and rejects the Universal Consciousness of which you are an expression.

P7             The ego would not be so emphasized if the false belief did not exist that the self is annihilated the moment the ego is not the sole ruler of human life. Pride says, “I am better than you.” This means separateness, one-upmanship, everything that is opposed to a state of love. Pride may also manifest as, “I am worse than others, I am worthless, I have no value. But I must hide this fact, so I must pretend that I am more.”

Distorted pride, as opposed to healthy dignity, is always comparing and measuring the self with others and is thus perpetually in illusion. It is a hopeless and endless chase for an illusory goal that leaves the personality not only exhausted, but also more and more frustrated. Love simply feels good in itself. Love opens you up. You flow and pulsate in a state of peace, security, vibrancy, excitement, stimulation and utter confidence. Your innermost being and your outer limbs feel sweet and fulfilled when you love. Fear is a total contraction. It cannot trust anyone, neither the self nor the universe. Therefore the self that is in fear cannot let go of itself.

P8             The pleasurable rhythm of the universe is in each microcosmic universe. It requires being very finely attuned to the cosmic rhythm within. It follows the soul movements—not the distortions, but the reflections of the greater cosmos. In order to be thus attuned, an inner calmness must prevail. All agitation of the mind must settle down. Then another kind of movement within you will make itself known that is neither active nor passive in the outer sense, but it combines an inner activity of the most pleasurable rhythm with an inner calm receptivity and apparent motionlessness.

Evolution, growth, and self-development must bring you to more frequent realizations of this state, which is most significantly and intensely experienced in a love relationship. Wherever you are at any given moment, you can transcend this one instant, no matter how unpleasurable it is. In such a state of disconnectedness, going into yourself requires probing and groping to find the right measure of self-discipline, self-facing, and summoning your goodwill to see the truth and change the destructiveness. It also requires both a patient letting go and a waiting, trusting expectancy.

—The Pathwork® Guide