Lecture 53 – Self-Love | Abbreviated Version

P1             There is a healthy kind (of self-love) that exists in the mature soul. Wrong kind of self-love exists in many forms. The crudest is selfishness, putting oneself in a better light or position than one’s fellow, wanting an advantage that is unfair to the other. Then there is a certain type of self-admiration which is of a sickly nature that is obvious. This too can exist on various levels.

P2             Begin to search for your own inner, and possibly hidden currents of distorted self-love. First, find out in what way you have the wrong kind of self-love. Until you discover all the hidden, subtle emotions you cannot go further. Then you can explore the deeper regions and dig out the cause. In the lecture on the vicious circle, I told you about your guilts, about your revolt against authority, and about your fears of not being accepted and loved.

All these attitudes cause self-contempt and feelings of inferiority. You always despise yourself because in some way you wish to shortchange life. This desire must ultimately be at the root of your self-contempt, of your feelings of inferiority. It hopes to get a return from life without investment or risk and without “exposure.” You are still filled with the untruth that any other’s disadvantage may be your advantage.

P3             There exists also another wrong kind of self-love, it is the sickly kind of self-admiration, being in love with oneself. A person may be in love with certain faults, as I have stated. She is pleased about them and feels them to be something admirable, although intellectually she knows that this is not so. Yet, if she were to analyze her reactions, she would find that she was in love with her manner of living. The slightest deviation from the feeling of gratitude and rejoicing in the life-force may bring the reaction of a sickly “being in love with one’s life.”

Only your complete sincerity and self-honesty will furnish the answer as to where you deviate from the healthy and positive attitude. But beware of the opposite extreme, of feeling guilty when you gratefully enjoy life, because you also detect a slight streak of self-love in this particular fashion. Find out what rejection must have caused your self-love, this being in love with yourself or with your life, in one form or another. Not loving yourself would mean that you do not honor the divine manifestation you represent. Not loving yourself brings self-punishment, masochism, denial of your personality.

It prohibits your capacity to love and to help others. People often agonize about making the proper decision when they have to consider their own selves too. Without being aware of these thoughts, they are filled with the mass image that any consideration of the self is selfish and sinful. This mass image hinders their ability to make a decision at all. Yet making decisions is a prerequisite to healthy living. Realize that you are often called upon to make decisions when you cannot choose between obvious right and wrong, good and evil, white and black.

When you stand before a decision in which anyone has to be hurt, you or another, you face the final outcome of a conglomeration of deviated reactions and chain reactions from the past. The past you cannot change, and therefore you cannot avoid facing the issue in the present. Least of all do you benefit if you refrain from making any decision. If you weigh all this with honesty and integrity, you will find the right answer, which will differ in each case. If you pay yourself the proper respect, you will cease to demand an extra position as, emotionally, you do at present. You are off on a tangent, using the famous “I do not deserve it” that comes up so often in the image work. Deep down, your rebellion is against your own low opinion of yourself.

P5             I discussed your need of self-punishment yet in the child, as well as in the immature adult, there exists another form of punishment, the wish to punish another. It does not necessarily show in actions; it is more a matter of your inner attitude. Every human being, as a child and occasionally also later, when experiencing a hurt, disappointment, frustration, or rejection, wishes to die. When analyzing this thoroughly, we find that the hurt is seldom so deep that the wish to die is genuine. The child desires to die most often in order to punish those who have slighted him.

The child feels and thinks somewhat like this: “Now they will be sorry, now they will see what they have lost.” Instead of indulging in the death fantasy, you can punish your fellow-creatures in many other ways. Whenever you feel rejected or slighted, check your innermost reactions where the element of punishment may come in. All human beings carry the children they once were through this life in one way or another. Gain this distance from yourself, smile at it; do not get involved with this part of your being, but see it objectively. How many people develop an illness to punish their loved ones, to force them to be tender, sympathetic, considerate!

What does the soul say through such an emotion? (self-pity) It says: “I recognize that I cannot change anything. Therefore, I want the world, my surroundings, my loved ones, God, to see how much I suffer and how little it is my fault. I want others to change. If I make my suffering clear, they might.” If you are sorry for yourself, you have not accepted the truth that you, and you alone, are the master of your life. Self-pity is a complete rejection of self-responsibility.

P6             I explicitly said that to the measure that you despise yourself you feel inferior because in some way you are dishonest with yourself and life. Self-love is distorted when the life-force is directed toward the self, instead of being outgoing and finding the bridge to the next person.

QUESTION: Is there any possible connection between excessive self-love and homosexuality? ANSWER: There may be. It cannot be generalized. Homosexuality has so many different origins.

Spiritually speaking, as far as the law of karma is concerned, the possibilities are as varied and manifold as the psychological factors. The spiritual factors never contradict the psychological ones. They are only an extension. The difference lies in that you cannot so easily find the karmic origin, while you can always find the psychological roots and origins in this life. One of the possibilities can be an excessive form of self-love. Other factors also enter. Another reason for homosexuality may be an excessive fear of women in a man, or of men in a woman.

Still another reason or possibility may be exactly the opposite. In other words, if a boy loves his mother very much, and despises and fears his father, this, too, may cause homosexuality, because he wants to emulate and imitate his mother. While in another personality the exact opposite may lead to homosexuality. Then it is a fear and hatred of the mother, or female mother-substitutes, rather than love for her and identification with her. So no generalization can be made here either. Excessive self-love, leading to homosexuality, or at least being partly responsible for it, would work this way: identification with the beloved self, which is substituted by another human being, because the unquenchable desire of the soul to find the bridge to the other self cannot entirely be eradicated.

Thus, these two currents work together, expressing themselves in choosing a partner of the same sex. In other words, if a man rejects decision-making activity, everything that is part of the active life, the feminine side of his nature grows disproportionately. On the other hand, if a woman fears the passive and receptive state that, in a healthy way, is part of her nature, she becomes overactive. Such overactivity, above a certain degree, may result in homosexuality.

P8             Homosexuality is also one of the many forms of rebellion against authority. There are comparatively few human beings in whom at least a small degree of homosexual leaning did not exist during the process of maturing. Outer influences may encourage the inclination unnecessarily, while the personality may otherwise grow out of it. Many extremes have to be experienced before the healthy middle road is found. Only after the fall did the split occur. Since the fall was the product of chaos, the split in the individual entities was also a chaotic one.

P9             According to the evenness or unevenness of the split, the incarnations change from one sex to another. In cases where the change has to occur more often homosexuality can result the first time one is born into the opposite sex of the previous incarnation.

—The Pathwork® Guide