Lecture 60 – The Abyss of Illusion, Freedom and Responsibility | Abbreviated Version

P1             You all know, my friends, that thoughts, feelings, attitudes and convictions create forms—forms that are just as real as your earth matter. The deeper and stronger a conviction is, the more lasting and substantial are these forms. They exist in your soul and they exist at the same time in the world of the spirit. If you harbor truthful attitudes, opinions, convictions and emotions, these forms will exist in a world of light and they will, in your own soul, create and bring you happiness, harmony, and what you may call luck.

Soul forms of truth are made of a substance that lasts permanently. They will never dissolve, nor can they ever be destroyed. Convictions and emotions of untruth or unreality have the opposite character. They may last a while, but their durability is limited to the length of time that these attitudes in the personality prevail. In your daily life you may experience happenings that may change a conscious conviction. However, if you are unaware of a conclusion or attitude, it is not exposed and cannot be reconsidered and changed: it is rigid; and the more rigid a form, the stronger is its substance.

P2             When you cannot let go of your self-will, which may not necessarily mean that you want something bad or harmful, or when you cannot accept the imperfection of this world, which means that you cannot have life and people be according to your very own way, even though yours may be the right way, it seems to you that you have fallen into an abyss. You may never have translated these feelings into such terms. There is a strong fear in you that whatever happens contrary to your will means danger.

This can happen only if, at one time or another, you give yourself up to it. In other words, what seems so hard to yield to, what seems like a personal threat, is really no threat at all. If someone else does not accept you, or acts contrary to your expectation, this in itself is not a threat. Neither is it a disaster if you have to accept your own inadequacy. Yet you cannot find out that this is so unless you go right through the experience.

Only after accepting your own or the other’s inadequacy in the areas where heretofore you could hardly do so, only after giving up your own will where you hung onto it as though your life were at stake, will you be able to truly convince yourself that nothing adverse happens to you. When a person near you does not agree with you or has certain faults, you may feel all tense and full of anxiety. If you analyze these feelings, you will discover that it amounts to feeling endangered because your world of Utopia is proven unreal.

P3             You want to have a benign authority above you who steers your life in all ways as you desire. You wish complete freedom in every way; you want to make independent decisions and choices. If these prove good, it is to your credit. However, you do not wish to be responsible for anything bad that happens. The expectations you have of this god you also project onto human beings, either to a specific person or a group of human beings, or onto a philosophy, creed, or teacher. To the extent you shift responsibility from yourself onto others you curtail your own freedom. You put yourself in slavery.

P4             The more you want to evade paying the natural and fair price—in this case self-responsibility for freedom—the heavier the toll becomes. This, too, is unalterable law. To give up your Utopia seems dire misery. The world becomes bleak and hopeless with no chance for happiness, because your concept of happiness in one part of your unconscious mind means utter perfection in all ways. But all this is not true.

The only way you can discover the illusion of this fear, this abyss and its phantom quality, is first to visualize, feel, and experience its existence in you in the various manifestations and reactions of your daily life, and then to jump into it. Otherwise it cannot dissolve. This misconception is the idea that you can come to harm through the arbitrariness of the god-of-your-image, of life, or fate, or through the cruelty, the ignorance, and the selfishness of others.

This fear is as illusory as the abyss. This fear can exist only because you deny your self-responsibility. Therefore, others must be responsible. Observation of the manifold connections and chain reactions would automatically eliminate your fear of others, of becoming a victim. You could link up all unfavorable incidents with your own wrong attitudes, no matter how wrong the other people may be. But their wrongness cannot affect you. This would become clear to you and you would then lose your fear of being helpless.

P5             In truth, you cannot possibly come to harm by any shortcomings or wrong actions of another person, no matter how much it may seem that way at first glance. If you are truly willing and prepared to accept full self-responsibility, the vision of truth will prove to you that harm cannot come to you through others. The apparent faults and misdeeds of others will affect your own wrong attitudes and inner errors.

You cannot be affected by any wrongdoing or action of other people if you do not have within yourself something that responds to it, as one note resonates to another. Investigate sincerely the everyday occurrences, irritations, and annoyances in your life. Find out what in yourself responds, or corresponds either to a similar characteristic—although perhaps on a quite different plane—or to the exactly opposite extreme of the person who has provoked you.

If you truly find the corresponding note in yourself, you will automatically cease to feel victimized. You put blame on everybody left and right and never find the corresponding note in yourself.

P6             If this work is done in the right way, you will not feel guilty about it. The very nature of a guilt feeling, which stifles your determined effort to find out more about yourself, seems to say, “I cannot help it. I have to feel guilty for something I cannot help.” Therefore, a guilt feeling inevitably contains an element of self-pity. Without self-pity there could be no guilt feeling. By making independent decisions, you are bound to make mistakes. The child in you, clinging to Utopia, believes you must never make a mistake. Making a mistake means falling into the abyss. The guilt and fear of making mistakes is so hard to bear that you set up all sorts of phantom thoughts and soul-forms that make your life miserable.

P7             You will know with a deep conviction that no word and no teaching can ever give you anything better than your own realization that nothing can come your way that is not self-produced. You are not the victim of others; you do not have to fight to make others perfect, because you now know that their imperfection cannot harm you. I have often said, and many of you have experienced it, that your subconscious affects the subconscious of another person. What comes out of any layer of your mask self will affect the similar or corresponding mask self layer or defense mechanism of the other person.

—The Pathwork® Guide