Lecture 243 – The Great Existential Fear and Longing | Abbreviated Version

P1             Sometimes what is considered “bad” by a certain society may be of the highest value on deeper levels of reality, and vice versa. Absolute good can be found only on the most profound levels of truth, through the mundane and personal “little truths” often so difficult to face.

P2             Little by little you deal first with the personal, individual violations of integrity and truth, level by level. The more open you are to this process, and, consequently, the more you recognize and loosen up your defenses so that a state of open flow is established, the easier it becomes to lift out the existential fear that grips all humankind. It is very different to be clearly aware of this fear and doubt and, for a while, live with it and deal with it again and again, from being in the previous state in which these doubts and fears are covered up and consequently manifest indirectly.

To know, feel, experience and suffer these doubts and fears is the first step on this vital new phase in your evolution. Your longing for eternal life must be totally conscious. Usually the longing is suppressed and repressed. It then becomes transformed into subsidiary longings, such as longing for health, for happiness, for abundance, for avoiding physical death as long as possible. These longings are most legitimate. However, there is an enormous difference between seeing them as the original ones, or seeing them as natural byproducts of a genuinely basic state of soul that could exist, is meant to exist, and that the personality first unconsciously, and finally consciously, longs for.

When this longing is unfulfilled, the separation between the created being and the Christ exists in a part of the total personality. The personality is split; one part is in the light of knowing—and there the longing is fulfilled. The other part is still in darkness, therefore in fear, doubt, suffering; for that part the longing is unfulfilled. When a human being dies in that state of darkness, the disruption of conscious connection will temporarily create the impression of non-existence in the life outside the physical body.

That is, the personality aspects that are in light and true knowledge will experience life after death accordingly, while the personality aspects that live in the darkness of unconscious fear and doubt will remain unconscious after separation from the body. Because of this process, the illusion is perpetuated that physical death is an extinction of consciousness. The aspects that have not yet awakened are then incorporated into the reincarnating personality and carried with it, to be dealt with when the total personality is ready on its evolutionary journey.

P3             All this will make it clear that there is a direct connection between the dark corner of fear, doubt, terror, and the longing (for eternal life). Let us now deal with two further points in this connection. The first is a vision, or concept, about the state of fulfillment which alone eliminates the fears and terrors and stills all doubt. How to work on establishing awareness both of the dark level of doubt and fear and of the longing.

And further, how should you work on directly establishing the state in which this basic longing is fulfilled, and from which all other fulfillments naturally derive. I will first describe the fulfilled state. In this state there is no fear. A sense of being utterly safe and at home in the world permeates your whole being: A sense of security about life, yourself, all things, that might perhaps also be described as “being cozy” with life. Life fits you like a glove.

P4             It is impossible to attain this sense of safety, of living in security and without fear, unless you first ascertain that there is fear in you. Once the deep existential fear is conscious, you can sense the longing for another state in which there is nothing to fear. There is a vibrancy in this state of safety that bears no resemblance to a false faith. In this vibrancy there is a most realistic attitude toward all things in life. Through this sense of belonging in the world you experience true joyousness, a joyousness combined with the peace which surpasses all understanding, an excitement and fascination with life and its manifold possibilities of meaningful experiences.

Part of the safety and peace consists in a deep knowledge and perception of the meaning of life and experience. You sense a deep meaning in your own existence, from the largest issues to the most mundane and seemingly insignificant ones. The more you become aware of the fear of chaos and meaninglessness in you, the more this state of emotion can be replaced by an experience of meaning and significance. And the more this is the case, the greater your sense of security. The true and genuine state of union with the Christ means being deeply anchored in the life of matter.

It is far more correct to say that the higher spiritual states I attempted to describe here are brought into the world of matter, into the matter-mind and the matter-body, so that they are being penetrated by the great light of eternal life, peace and joy. In this state you begin to sense the unification of all opposites. So, for example, you know your own power to create, to resolve, to heal in full autonomy. Simultaneously you know the necessity to be in a state of divine grace without which you cannot accomplish anything.

P5             When the great longing is being fulfilled, connections are discovered that give life a most exciting and safe new face. All the fragmentation that is the result of being split off from God is mended, and this new wholeness increasingly permeates your person. Your own possibilities become a new playground for living. Knowing your infinite ability to bend with life, you can “snuggle in with it sweetly,” as it were. In this soft, yielding, life-accepting, life-affirming attitude, your own strength grows effectively, powerfully, and yet so softly.

Conversely, your softness can manifest in strong assertion and determination. Knowing that life is unending, ongoing, eternal and infinite does not necessarily mean that God reveals an exact blueprint to you of how you are going to feel, think, sense, experience and be when you leave your present body behind. Thinking of your desires and surface longings, your emphasis in prayer may be on outer needs, such as health, emotional and vocational fulfillment, and so on. Even the fulfillment of your spiritual task cannot in itself fulfill the longing we are discussing here.

This leads us to the second point: What should be your activity or attitude so you can attain this state? First, to repeat, you need to look at your feelings, moods and various mental states in a new light. You will find that many moods or states you have interpreted to mean one thing have a yet deeper meaning in the light of the topic of this lecture. A restlessness, a discontent, a vague feeling of insecurity may all be rooted in psychological problems on levels you need indeed to explore and resolve.

But in addition to these psychological origins and explanations there is the repressed great existential longing as well as the fear of non-existence and meaninglessness that result directly from the unfulfillment of the longing. So it is essential that you now uncover a yet deeper level of your being that lies beyond the mask and the Lower Self, beyond the psychological and emotional problems, beyond the images and mental misconceptions. All of these are the result of the great existential longing and the fear that it can never be fulfilled.

Once you experience the fear and the longing, do not push it away and assuage it busily with substitute problems, pains and fears. Have the courage to fully experience the pain of the fear and the longing. Unfortunately, most human beings do not heed the signs even then. They may go on and on during a succession of incarnations carrying these manifestations with them as karmic ballast.

P6             You are in illusion when you shirk full experience of the pain of this fear and longing. When you fully savor the experience, you dissolve it, little by little. Yes, it is necessary to go through these approaches and experiences many, many times, again and again, with patience, perseverance and wisdom. The wisdom to comprehend that the highest, most desirable, most unified state of consciousness, the ultimate of all fulfillment that includes and encompasses and transcends all other desirable states and attainments, cannot come quickly, cheaply, easily.

By this I mean that your total focus, commitment, devotion must be generated by your active mind and will. Your total goal in life must be to find the reality of the living God as immediate experience—not as theoretical speculation and a luxury of belief, but as living reality in your inner and outer life. None of you started out being aware of this longing, of the pain and fear of not being able to fulfill it because you were too afraid to consciously deal with it. With some effort and focus, you can experience the fear and the longing.

As you experience the fear of a fragmented, meaningless, disconnected world in which you exist without rhyme or reason, in which you can cease to exist at any time, in which you seem to hang isolated over an abyss without an all-loving Creator and Creative Principle that gives sense to all things, you will also discover that you intensely long for this all-loving Creator, for a world in which you and all that exists has a purpose and a benign meaning. Have the courage and commitment to go deeply through these most essential aspects of your being.

Repeat it, feel the feelings of pain, fear and longing most specifically. Pray in the simplest and most humble way for Christ’s intervention to help you attain the state that religion often calls salvation. Be wise and humble enough to know that you may attain an inkling of this new state for a short while only to lose it again, so that your battle and search may be repeated again and again, never ceasing the inner effort, never relinquishing this new goal.

P7             Question yourself: Could there be a state of doubt, fear, pain and unfulfilled longing, if there would not also exist, on some other level of consciousness, a state of total certainty, joy and utter fulfillment of all longing? Ask Jesus Christ to give you a hand. He is there, always with you, always loving you. But you cannot always sense it, your state of separation still prevents you. So be patient and surge on with this greatest of all surges of the human soul.

In your terms, this particular journey may seem long; all else you have done so far was preliminary work. It is your task to surge forward deeply into the world of matter, filling the void with divine life. In this process, particles of your consciousness have temporarily separated themselves and lost their knowing, eternal and inevitable connectedness with the All-Consciousness. You need to re-establish this connection by the process I now describe and put all your heart, soul, mind, and will into this undertaking, for this alone will make all else you do, all your tasks, your duties, your fulfillments, your pleasures, deeply meaningful and joyous.

—The Pathwork® Guide