Lecture 221 – Faith and Doubt in Truth or Distortion | Abbreviated Version

P1             When you go deep enough and look astutely enough, you also find out that what really obstructs you is the sum total of everything that is negative and destructive in you. The mind does not want to accept this. The mind has created theories about sickness, or neurosis which, though quite correct in themselves, disregard the fact that it is the negativity that creates illness and neurosis.

When you no longer justify and rationalize and see without any embellishment those aspects of you where you hate rather than love, where you separate yourself in your defense rather than openly trust, where you look away rather than face, where you deny rather than affirm, where you distort truth rather than are in truth, then you see the place where you create unhappiness and frustration.

The human mind has known this for many centuries, but has misused this knowledge and made it into a punitive, authoritarian judgment that elevates those who judge and puts down those who are being judged. Religions have been particularly guilty of this distortion. There is no pain that is not, in the last analysis, caused by a violation of spiritual law, a basic dishonesty, and somewhere an ill will.

P2             When you go beyond the surface manifestation—the problematic life situation—you find, embedded within a wall of protective covering, the lower-self attitudes, intents, feelings, thoughts and actions. For fear that you may not want to, or not be able to, give up what distorts love and truth in your inner universe, you must also, to a certain extent, not even want to fully see it. For a part of you may say, “I know I cannot, do not wish to change. So why should I want to see it? I would rather go on deceiving myself.”

P3             Yet, unless you leap into the unknown, no expansion and no change can ever come to pass. For, as you well know, growth and change always imply a momentary anxiety. Faith requires a succession of several steps or stages. Each of these stages is highly grounded in intelligence and realism. To give up the only mode (negative) that you know, without anything else to go by except a lofty theory, is absolutely impossible for you.

You need to clearly understand what to expect of the stages you must go through to acquire a new and better way of functioning and to inhabit a new and better reality, expanded beyond the narrow confines of the fenced-in present. The first step is to consider such a new way as a possibility. The process of making room for a new, as yet veiled, possibility is a substantial first step in the practicing and acquiring of faith.

P4             “I do not know yet that there is another way, and if there is, how it would be. I do not feel such a new modality. But perhaps there is another way. Perhaps I am indeed an expression of a divine reality that dwells deep in me, even if I have not yet experienced myself as a divine reality. If that possibility exists, it has also the wisdom to convey to me how I can find another and better way of functioning in this or that particular area. I will simply be receptive to this as a possibility.”

To consider alternatives that are as yet unknown is an honest attitude. It is objective. It is humble. This is not to say that there will be no anxiety, for all new experience is connected with anxiety, but it is an anxiety that is quickly and easily overcome. If you find yourself secure only if you issue forth negative judgments, if you hate and put down others, you can apply this first step. You may have to work hard to establish real self-respect—and this approach is a sure way to attain it. When you sincerely do this, grope and patiently wait for the revelation from within, you will find. Of that you can be sure.

P5             In the second step you allow the divine self to supply the answer. Again and again you will have to grope your way back through these stages, until, in order to make this newly-glimpsed reality your own, and into a permanent home ground, you undertake an even greater leap of courage and honesty. That is the third step in the venture and growth of faith. It expresses: “Yes, I have experienced something new, but I am not yet able to hold on to it. It is not yet my own permanent ground. To make it my ground, I fully surrender to the greater reality in the universe. I let go of the known safety valves, the familiar ego habits of finding security and self-fulfillment in at least partially negative ways. I surrender to the divine power and let it guide me. I dedicate my life to truth and love for its own sake.”

If you truly question yourself with all the logic and reason at the disposal of your mind, you will see that you are not really taking so much of a risk. If there is no such thing as a divine reality, what do you have to lose trusting in it? But should you indeed find that it exists, if its manifestations are no illusion, then surrendering to it is indeed the only wise and reasonable thing to do. Since divine reality is truth and is love, truth and love must be the motto to which you totally surrender all of your being.

Your not surrendering to truth and love as divine attributes, to divine will, is based almost exclusively on self-seeking and vanity—in other words, what others will think of you precedes consideration of truth and love. Of course, you may not notice the results immediately. For you must make that leap into the unknown for the sake of truth and love, for the sake of the will of God. Dedicate all your life, all your actions, all your directions, all your goals to the truth and love that are essentially divine attributes and expressions, inside and outside of you.

P6             When you do this consistently, you arrive at the fourth step, where faith becomes an experienced reality, where it is already a proven fact that is so securely anchored in you that no one can take it away. Do not shy away from the momentary anxiety that the leap into an unknown new reality induces. Do it for the sake of truth and love. Or, if you will, for the sake of God—your own, inner Godself. But the person who doubts in the wrong way creates a tremendous split.

The question here arises not only what you doubt, but also how you doubt and why you doubt. What are the real motives for doubting? For example, you doubt the existence of a supreme intelligence, of a creative universal spirit. With this attitude your claim is that you doubt, but you really mean that you “know” it does not exist—which of course is impossible, for you cannot know this. It is also dishonest because you take your very limited present perceptions as the final reality. Moreover, such a statement always contains a further dishonesty—and that is the hidden stake in such a belief.

It is as personally tinged by wishful thinking as the wrong kind of faith is. There are numerous reasons for this personal stake, as for example the fear of having to face one day what the personality frantically avoids facing now. There is wishful thinking in believing that life ends, that nothing has any rhyme or reason, because then nothing matters anyway. So “faith” in a non-God exists in order to hope for no consequences. If you doubt something that you do not want to know—for whatever reason—then your doubt is dishonest.

This wrong kind of doubt has a lot in common with the wrong kind of faith. So you must question your doubts. Do you have a stake in what you doubt? What are the honest reasons for your doubts? On what real considerations do you honestly base these doubts? If you doubt others—rather than your own motivations, distortions and opinions, your subjective judgments and negativities—you deny the truth in yourself.

In the real version, faith and doubt are not mutually exclusive opposites. They complement each other. The real kind of doubt selects, weighs, differentiates, gropes for the truth—not shying away from the mental labor of dealing with reality. This leads to the various steps of faith. In each of these steps the right kind of doubt is necessary.

P8             As you make truth and love the centre of everything you do, you will experience the living God within, the strength, the health, and the know-how to solve all your problems and to get out of the negativities you seem locked into, unable to give up.

—The Pathwork® Guide