P1 Every personality forms certain impressions due to environmental influences or to sudden, unexpected experiences. These impressions or attitudes usually take the form of conclusions in the mind of the person. Most of the time these conclusions are wrong. You see and experience something unfortunate, one of the unavoidable hardships of life, and you then make generalizations from them. These generalizations later establish themselves as preconceived ideas.
The conclusions are not thought out; rather they are emotional reactions, general attitudes toward life. They are not completely devoid of a certain logic, albeit limited and erroneous. Thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that are unconnected with an image flow harmoniously with the divine currents, adapting themselves spontaneously to your immediate needs. But the forms of the thought/feelings emanating from wrong images are static and congested. They do not “give” in accordance with changing circumstances.
P2 People may love some of their faults for the simple reason that according to the image, certain faults seem necessary as a defense, a protective measure. In fact, consciously you may fervently wish for the very opposite of your image, but the conscious desire is the weaker of two impulses, since the unconscious is always stronger. The price for your unconscious pseudo-protection is the frustration of the legitimate desire. The only remedy is to find out what your image is, on what basis it was formed, and what your wrong conclusions were.
What psychologist have often failed to realize is that images seldom form in this life, no matter how early they began. Most of the time an image is carried over from one lifetime to another. In other words, an image can often be successfully treated without the knowledge of its origin in a previous life. When an image carries over from previous lives, the incarnation takes place in an environment where provocations to that image are bound to occur, perhaps in response to similar images in the parents or others around the growing child. That is how the image brings out a problem; and only if something becomes a problem will the person pay attention to it instead of looking away.
P3 Those who are constantly reluctant to work with another person lack humility, even if only in this one respect. Unconsciously you are convinced that your images protect you.
P4 Start searching for the image by thinking back on your life and finding all the problems. Write them down. Include problems of all sorts. Then, when you have all the big and small troubles in front of your eyes, even the most nonsensical and insignificant ones, start to look for the common denominator. In meditation, in serious self-probing, in checking your emotional reactions about the past and present, and through prayer, you will find, after a long and arduous search, the common denominator. “I do not want the risk of life; I do not want the pain of life; therefore, I draw this conclusion which seems to safeguard me against it.”
Only then will you have acquired the humility not to wish for protection from the risks and hardships of life. It is a necessary step in your development to give up some of the self-will that wishes to deny life in its present form. Your difficulties will cease to be necessary once you can fearlessly accept and shoulder them.
P5 Do not let yourself be dissuaded by your inner resistance. For that resistance is just as erroneous and shortsighted as the image itself. As I said before, your image draws these happenings to you, as inevitably as night must follow day. It is like a magnet, a physical law, like the law of gravity. Your images influence the universal current entering your personal life sphere so that certain effects must follow. The price for freedom is the courage and humility to face up to things.
P6 Actually, it would be a very good exercise in meditation to think about what your next karma may be. You are always extremely concerned with your previous incarnations. It might be even more beneficial to be concerned with your next one. Do not forget that the law of cause and effect or the law of karma specifies that people are always given the chance to solve their problems in the easiest circumstances possible. God has made perfect laws and given His children free will. If the laws could not be violated, then free will would not exist.
The perfection of the law is that the long-term remedy is an effect of these very violations. Because only strict adherence to the divine can be infinite. Violation of anything divine must therefore perforce be finite. You cannot infinitely twist the law. Your violation of divine law finally reaches a point where you automatically again begin to work for the good.
P7 The highest and the best you can do is not only to take the test but also to search for your images. Your unconscious wrong conclusions are directly responsible for the tests you are experiencing at any given time. Once you accept your inability to become perfect quickly, you humbly accept temporary unhappiness. If you pray specifically for willpower and courage for a good purpose, as outlined in this lecture, the prayer will certainly be answered. People seldom realize that they must pray to get ahead. Often it is not clear to you what you need most at specific phases of your development.
—The Pathwork® Guide