P1 The reason is that in the unconscious the personality creates reactions and conclusions that assume a rigid form. We call this rigid form an “image.” The image consists of certain impressions from which general conclusions have been drawn. These not only cause a chain reaction within your soul, but eventually they also control and direct your outer life.
P2 True humility is passive only inasmuch as it accepts the temporary state of suffering, understanding that it is self-inflicted; but it is also completely active in the willingness to work, to overcome, to fight, and to recognize self-responsibility for all suffering in the most direct way possible. This is a good example of harmonious interplay between the active and the passive currents. Before you can change anything, you must understand what in you brings all the suffering. Only then will you gradually be able to re-educate your emotions, dissolve your images and create new, productive forms in your soul that correspond to divine law. When you approach your own inner, hidden images—the causes of your suffering, the causes of all the repetitive patterns running through your life—you have to anticipate coming across inner misconceptions that will first give you an unpleasant sensation. To encounter them with a feeling of guilt will get you nowhere.
Realize that guilt is really the rejection of the state in which you find yourself at this time, an unwillingness to accept yourself as you are. Formulate the feelings. Be aware that the unpleasant reaction often occurs before you are aware of what the recognition actually is. The formulation of your feelings into concise thought is a major part of the work on this path, my friends. I cannot stress this enough. When you do this, you will find that you feel guilty at having erred. And then ask yourself again, “Why do I feel guilty of being fallible, of making mistakes, of having faults?” The answer must invariably be, “Because I wish to be more than I am, more perfect, more highly evolved. Something in me does not accept my own ignorance or selfishness or my desire to find the easy way out.”
You know that if desires are contained in the images that contradict your most cherished conscious desires, the image-desires overrule the outer ones, no matter how strong the latter may be. Your images draw you into circumstances that correspond to them; they draw the people and the circumstances to you.
P4 It goes without saying that you should keep your lists of problems and conflicts in front of you in black and white. First, find a common denominator in all these conflicts. You will not yet know what caused them, how they came about. But once you have found these vicious circles, further search will uncover a single common denominator. But if you face your wrong conclusions by feeling them, by reexperiencing all the emotions consciously, you can then see what the right conclusion would be.
If you will meditate on this daily, eventually your reactions will change. The important thing is that your emotions change. There are several generalizations that apply to images. One is that human beings are afraid of being hurt, afraid of things going against their will. Because of this fear—which, of course, can exist only because of self-will and pride—the personality builds defenses.
P5 Ask yourself, “Why did I build it? What was the occasion? What did I want to protect myself from? How did it work out in reality? And how would my life work if I did not have this false, protective measure—this image?”
P5 Self-responsibility represents a burden to you as long as you feel guilt at finding your inner errors. But once you have overcome this error by accepting yourself as you are now, without revolt and anger, without the wrong kind of shame or guilt, as having the courage to be yourself in every respect, then self-responsibility will liberate you.
P6 (1) Self responsibility: find out (a) where you have caused your suffering and (b) how it is in your power to change it. (2) Find out about your fear of being hurt. Realize that this causes all your misery. This excessive fear makes you behave like a person so afraid of death that he commits suicide. That is what you all are doing with your images, my friends. You are so afraid of hurt that you create forms in your soul that bring you more needless hurts than would befall you without your imagined defenses.
P7 You must differentiate between karmic sickness and non karmic sickness. This does not apply only to physical sickness but to every other hardship in life—and hardship is always disease, spiritually speaking. The technicalities of cause and effect work the same way in karma as within a single lifetime. In both cases it is up to you to eliminate the negative causes. There are, however, certain difficulties you cannot overcome in this life; you just have to bear them. That does not mean that you cannot eliminate the causes—that has to be done at one time or another anyway—but the effects have to be borne.
Other, nonkarmic effects can be eliminated. A karmic debt manifests as a single event. An effect that can be dissolved usually recurs constantly, in a pattern. You may feel an unhappiness, unrest, disharmony, fear, insecurity, loneliness, yearning. All of you, my friends, including those who will read these words, have the power to change this if you want to. And if your unconscious immature nature were not so unreasonable that it wished for effortless change, you would be much further advanced.
P8 The unfoldment of the universal forces is manifold and varied. Nothing must be curtailed. Many have different tasks: one in the arts, others in science, and so on. Oneness must eventually result from such diversity throughout Creation. The ideal case would be that scientists, artists, or whoever else is contributing to the final oneness, follow their own spiritual development while they simultaneously worked on their particular talent and task.
In much later stages all these will become one, but this oneness can never be accomplished if you are not first one with yourself. By knowing your images and finding and understanding them truly, you can very well figure out what your future incarnations might be if you were not to take this great opportunity.
—The Pathwork® Guide