P1 Three fundamental layers of personality must be involved if meditation is to be truly effective. (1) the conscious ego level, with all conscious knowing and willing; (2) the unconscious egotistical child level, with all its ignorance, destructiveness, and claims to omnipotence; and (3) the supraconscious universal self, with its superior wisdom, power and love, as well as with its comprehensive understanding of events in human life.
In effective meditation the conscious ego level activates both the unconscious, egotistical, destructive self and the supraconscious, superior universal self. The conscious ego must be completely determined to allow the unconscious egotistical self to reveal itself, to unfold, to manifest in awareness, to express itself.
P2 The conscious ego has to reach down and say, “Whatever is hidden that I ought to know about myself, whatever negativity and destructiveness there is should be out in the open. I want to see it, I commit myself to seeing it, regardless of the hurt to my vanity. I want to be aware of how I deliberately refuse to see my part wherever I am stuck, and how I therefore overconcentrate on the wrongs of others.” This is one direction for meditation.
The other direction must be toward the universal Higher Self, which has powers that surpass the limitations of the conscious self. These higher powers should also be called upon to expose the destructive little self, so that resistance can be overcome. The ego-will alone may be incapable of accomplishing this, but the ego can and must meditate to request the higher powers to help. The universal consciousness should also be asked to help you to understand the expressions of the destructive infant correctly, without exaggeration, so that you do not go from ignoring it to making it a monster.
What underlying misconceptions are responsible for the overt self-destruction, the hate, the spite, the malice, the ruthless selfwill? When the misconceptions are being recognized, guilt and self-hate diminish proportionately. The universal self can help to overcome the temptation to give in again and again to destructive impulses. Such giving in does not necessarily result in action, but manifests in emotional attitudes.
P3 Through your willingness to accept your Lower Self, the Higher Self will become more of a real presence in you. In fact, you will increasingly experience it as your real self so that despair about being bad, weak, inadequate, will fall by the wayside. The actualized universal powers will not, by themselves, enforce an integration with the undeveloped part of the self. The conscious ego-self must decide for this integration and fight for it, otherwise the universal self cannot get through to the blocked-off areas. The next step in meditation is to re-educate the destructive infant. This is not a sequential process; the phases overlap.
P4 Unreal self-hate and self-disgust will go away. Equally unreal claims for specialness and perfection also go away. False spiritual pride and vanity as well as false self-humiliation and shame disappear. Paradoxical as it may seem, the more you can accept the ignorant little infant in you without losing your sense of self-worth, the better you will perceive the greatness of your innermost being. The little self wants to seduce the conscious ego to stay within the narrow confines of neurotic self-beating, hopelessness, and morbid capitulation, which always cover unexpressed hatred.
Observe this habit of self-beating, hopelessness, and capitulation in yourself and counteract it. Talking to this part of yourself you can bring to bear on it all the knowledge of your conscious ego. Another important aspect of getting to know both the lowest and the highest in you is that you realize the function, the capacities, but also the limitations of the conscious ego. The limitation is that the ego-consciousness cannot execute this alone and must turn for help and guidance to the universal self and wait patiently without doubting or impatiently pushing.
P5 The third phase is the reorientation and re-education of the destructive part of the self. Re-education might very easily be misunderstood and lead toward a renewed suppression or repression of the destructive part that is beginning to unfold. The best attitude toward the unfolding destructive part is one of detached observation, of unjudging, unhurried acceptance. The more it unfolds, the more you must remind yourself that neither the truth of its existence, nor its destructive attitudes are final. They are not the only attitudes you have, nor are they absolute. Above all, you have the power inherent in you to change anything.
How does unexpressed hate manifest in your life? Perhaps by feeling undeserving and afraid or by inhibiting your energies. This is only one example; all indirect manifestations have to be explored. Matter is paralyzed life-stuff. This life-stuff can always be made to move again, but only consciousness can do it. For life-stuff is filled with consciousness, as well as energy; whether this energy is momentarily blocked and frozen or whether this consciousness is momentarily dimmed does not matter. Meditation must mean, above all, that the part of you that is already conscious and moving actually intends to make blocked energy and dimmed consciousness moving and aware again.
The best way to do this is to allow the frozen and dimmed consciousness first of all to express itself. Here you need a receptive attitude, instead of a reaction that what comes forth is devastating and catastrophic. The panicky attitude toward one’s own unfolding destructive infant does more damage than the destructive infant itself. You must learn to listen to it, to take it in, to calmly receive its expressions without hating yourself, without pushing the infant away. As I have said many times, kindness, firmness, and deep determination against your own destructiveness are necessary. Accept that it is you, but also know that there is another part of you that can say the final word if you so choose.
P6 “I will be stronger than my destructiveness and will not be hampered by it. I determine that my life will be at its best and fullest and that I will and can overcome the blocks in me that make me want to remain unhappy. This determination of mine will bring in the higher powers that will make me capable of experiencing more and more bliss because I can let go of the doubtful pleasure of being negative, which I now fully recognize.”
Each day brings forth new tasks, exciting tasks, beautiful tasks. They should not be approached in a spirit of wanting to get it over with, as if only then could life begin. You may begin each meditation by asking yourself, “What do I really feel at this moment about this or that issue? In what respect am I dissatisfied? What is it I may be disregarding?”
P7 You can reform, reorient stagnant psychic energy with your willingness to be totally honest, totally constructive, loving, and open. Let us examine the paradox of desire. Both desire and desirelessness are important spiritual attitudes. If you do not desire a better state of being and more fulfillment, you will have no material to create and mold life substance. Visualization of a fuller state presupposes desire.
But if desire is tense, urgent, and contracted, it forms a block. Such desire implies, “I do not believe that what I want can happen,” which is, perhaps, the result of an underlying, “I really do not want it,” because of some misconception or unjustified fears, or an unwillingness to pay the price. In the final analysis such tense desire comes from fear caused by the infantile belief that you will be annihilated if you do not have what you want.
P8 In this stage (4th) you express your desire with confidence in your ability to cope with both nonfulfillment and fulfillment, and therefore with a benign universe, capable of yielding to you what you long for. The obstacles along the way can be dealt with when you know that the ultimate state of bliss will be yours anyway. Involvement and detachment. Let us take the inner attitudes of activity and passivity. When the ego deals with both other “universes” to establish a connection, you are active.
But you must also learn to wait passively for the unfoldment and expression of both these other levels. When this balance becomes a steady state, the destructive infant grows up. It is not killed or annihilated. It is not exorcised. Its frozen powers resolve themselves into live energy, which you will actually feel, my friends, as a new, living force.
—The Pathwork® Guide