P1 Growth is not merely an organism becoming bigger. It is an expansion, but in a particular sense. It implies mastering something that one was unable to master before. You convert obstruction—whether inside the self or in your surroundings—into a part of the realm of the self. Growth always implies bridging a chasm, resolving a real or apparent contradiction. This applies to all levels of being. When an infant learns to walk, it experiences a disunity between its physical powers, the laws of gravity, and the world around it. Once the child learns to walk the disunity disappears.
P2 Psychological conflicts follow the same pattern. Before a particular difficulty has been recognized you experience an unconscious helplessness and a sense of limitation. Then you become aware of the problem. When you decide to do something about it you begin a path of struggle, of searching, of testing your faculties. Eventually you attain a new unity that expands your power over life. You gain a new security and peace. This is growth.
All growth must combine the voluntary and involuntary functions. The voluntary faculties require effort. You must persist, groping and searching for new approaches. This calls for self-testing, for removing defenses and vanity, for courage and truthfulness with the self. The balance of conscious effort and relaxation applies to the smallest details as well as to the most significant aspects of your spiritual development. It applies to meditation, which must combine the two sides, as well as to the acquisition of any new skill.
It may appear safer to remain in the old disunity than to venture forth into a new unity because of the effort that is necessary. If the effort is perceived as something that you should not have to make, it seems malignant and undesirable. If you perceive it as a movement that is part of life, you will find it challenging and pleasurable. Within this attitude you will find the right distribution of effort and effortlessness.
P3 While you are torn by the apparent futility of equally undesirable alternatives which make life itself futile, you are in a state of utter disunity, of duality. Your assumption that there is no way out is a denial of the growth process that life always is. Your willingness to find a solution is a commitment to find a new mastery over present helplessness and constriction, a commitment to life itself. The first step is always the most difficult.
It is crucial to consolidate your voluntary faculties to identify and confront the specific disunity of the moment. The involuntary yields recognitions, inspiration, guidance and revelation until the puzzle fits together. Use your voluntary faculties to make room in your mind for a particular unity where there is now disunity. Affirm that the unity which still eludes you can be attained, and that you will attain it. What you invest will determine the outcome.
The first appearance of effortless, spontaneous unification will be incomplete. It will disappear because the unification is not yet total. More voluntary effort must follow suit, new material must be unearthed, until the second, third or fourth manifestation of this specific unification spontaneously reappears. It requires a poised and relaxed forward movement into life. The effort must be disciplined and relaxed rather than tense and rigid. When you feel that relaxed effort is impossible, search for unconscious reluctance to move forward.
P4 Constriction and stagnation connote that you are content with a very limited state. Therefore, dynamic growth is also mastery over misconceptions. As a result of such misconceptions, all forward movement appears dangerous. The stagnating, restricting, limiting life in which one dares not venture forth seems to give safety. If you really question them (hidden, irrational feelings) with an open mind and in a very simple fashion you will find that resistance to growth is fear.
Your insistence on remaining as you are sacrifices happiness, pleasure, wholeness, love and expansion, yet it appears to make you safe. Seeking a tiny point of security within a narrow circumference is an abdication of your universal destiny. It denies pleasure, wasting the most valuable spiritual power you possess. When the outer serves as a mere substitute for the inner enlargement of life, it is still preferable to total stagnation. When people are more primitive, they must deal with the outer levels. Later their task lies in the unification of the inner world. Physical and mental skills have their value, but they miss the mark as a substitute for inner growth.
P5 Once you realize that the result of your efforts will be unexpected and spontaneous rather than direct, then harmony between the voluntary and involuntary faculties will establish itself. Harmony between the voluntary and involuntary faculties exists primarily in making room for both in your attitude. Wait with an inner readiness. The sequence of the lectures I have given this year began with the creative process itself, with every human’s creation of positive or negative life circumstances through beliefs, thoughts, feelings and will. I have shown that living inevitably means creating.
Unification depends on your inner commitment to create an expanded, unified life of bliss and pleasure rather than one of narrowness, disunity and pain. It is a sin against life to not grow. You are an expression of the divine. You are God. It is your birthright and your destiny to fulfill yourself by making more and greater unifications, to expand your spiritual skills so that you can do away with disunity and create bliss by spreading unity.
—The Pathwork® Guide