Lecture 64 – Outer Will and Inner Will, Misconception About Selfishness | Abbreviated Version

P1             The outer will is tense, impatient, and cramped. The inner will is calm, relaxed, unhurried. The outer will is anxious and doubtful. The inner will is certain, knowing neither anxiety nor doubt. But when one is uncertain about the results, one cannot afford to wait with calmness. Hence impatience, doubt, and anxiety are closely linked. To succeed, the outer will must be sustained, at least to some extent, by the inner will. To the extent the inner will functions, success will result.

P2             Confusion creates doubt; doubt impatience; impatience anxiety and tension. If doubt exists about a desire, it is accompanied by a feeling of guilt. Yet the desire may be doubly strong—due in part to the healthy and good motive and partly to the unhealthy one. The latter always creates compulsion. Thus, guilt and compulsion—two contrary directions—further afflict the inner will. It will prove most useful for you, once again, to make a list of your desires.

Then listen deep into yourself, and by finely tuning in to how your willpower feels, try to determine which will it is. If it is the outer will, you will have a slight feeling of doubt, scruples, a certain guilt and a question perhaps as to whether or not you are entitled to it.

P3             Even if the outer and inner will desire the same thing, the mere fact that the outer will is tense and impatient prohibits the inner will from unfolding, from floating, from affecting the cosmic forces. People very frequently think—and if they do not do so consciously, they feel it unconsciously—that whatever brings them happiness must be damaging to someone else. This guilt is bound to afflict your inner will for happiness.

In short, this is the unconscious concept: since desires aim for happiness and wanting happiness is selfish, I must suppress all desires. You resent the world for not allowing you to be happy, while in reality it is your wrong conclusion about happiness that is the cause. In the process of suppression of all desires and impulses, the childish and therefore actually selfish ones cannot mature and refine themselves.

P4             Every time a rightful and healthy impulse for self-expression manifests, you feel and think of it as if it were your really immature and crude selfishness. The usual and wrong way to handle this (immature selfishness) is to suppress it and superimpose a compulsive unselfishness that is not genuine.

P5             Only as a free, strong, and happy person can you have fulfillment in life and be constructive in your environment. In order to accomplish this, you have to give yourself consideration, you have to respect your own rights, and they will not conflict with the interests and rights of others. There are no fixed rules to determine whether actions are right or wrong when they appear to be against the interests of another person. However, it is essential to become completely aware of all your wishes, impulses, and motives. Only in that way can you discriminate and judge which one is selfish and which one is not.

P6             Let us say, you are shown a little stone from a big house. You can tell certain facts by looking at the stone: the quality and material, as well as the color. But you cannot tell what the house looks like from seeing the stone. You can judge neither its beauty, its architecture, nor the proportions and furnishings of the rooms. It is the same with the inner and outer actions, attitudes, and reactions of the human being.

By considering only the immediate effect, you take it upon yourself to pronounce judgment upon the whole picture with only a segment available. You need to extend your view, so that you are in a position to have a truer vision. Unselfishness is healthily “selfish.” Your fear of others is always based on your feeling weak and inadequate. By coming to terms with your confusions, by making independent decisions for carrying out unselfish acts, thus being at one with yourself, you gain the self-respect which reduces the very inadequacy and self-contempt that make you weak and fearful toward others. 

P7             In other words, you first have to become completely aware that you do not want to do the unselfish act, and why. You have to become aware of your rebellion in complying with the unselfish acts in the past, as well as with the guilt of your selfish actions.

P8             You do not have to choose the wrong alternative now, simply because in the past you performed the right actions out of the wrong motives. You can, if you wish, continue to do the right actions even while you are in the process of becoming aware that you do not like doing them.

Summary: At first, before the self-search, you are convinced that you do an unselfish act and you hate it without being aware of your hate and rebellion against it. Next you find your hate and rebellion for this act. You will further find that you probably blame other people who—so you wish to believe—force you into it. The next step will be that you reconsider why you are doing this act and what your real motives are.

In most cases, you will find that you do so because it is expected of you, and that you do not wish to offend people because you want their approval. Further investigation will show that, apart from these reasons, you would really much rather do the selfish act. When asking yourself why, the answer will be that you think it is more advantageous or more pleasant for you. By that time you have recognized the misconception that can be corrected only by means of the true concept.

If and when you are entirely aware of the misconception in all its facets, you will have to recognize also that the act in question was selfish, compulsive, and unfree, especially because you wished approval. Therefore your apparently unselfish act was really selfish. Only by allowing your true emotions to come to the surface will you finally reach the point where your inner concept will change and the conviction of truth will be yours.

P9             The moment you feel that selfishness is still there, in spite of the recognition of your negative motives, you are not fully aware of all your feelings, unconscious conclusions and thoughts. What is it you really wish and why do you wish it? Simple as this question first sounds and later is, to answer it at the start is difficult. You cannot go deeper and analyze these factors if you are not first aware of what it is you want.

—The Pathwork® Guide