P2 Inner change is best indicated by the changes in your reactions to troubles and difficulties. This begins to happen when all inner barriers to facing yourself have disappeared. No fear is left in you to face anything. You see with ever greater clarity what the wrong assumptions are and what, in theory, the right reaction should be, or one day will be. Even then, life goes on and envelops you occasionally in its clouds. Your only yardstick for progress is your reaction and not whether times of upheaval still continue to exist in your life.
P3 Life in itself is a school. The curriculum of this school is made up of the outward-manifesting conditions of your inner life. This includes the positive and the negative conditions. The rhythmic change from positive to negative outer manifestation, and back again, alternating in cycles, applies to all human beings alike, whether or not they are on any kind of path, spiritual, psychological, or otherwise.
As I said before, the only difference between these two types of people is that the person who searches in the right direction will learn to have a different approach to both the positive and the negative manifestations. When you gain clarity on this subject, you will no longer feel it an injustice that undeveloped, selfish people seem to have an easy life. You will understand that they are merely going through a period—which may happen to be an extended one this time—of favorable outer manifestation.
P5 What I wish to convey is that there is a mistaken idea in many metaphysically inclined circles. Their measure of spiritual progress is whether or not mishaps occur in your life.
P6 The wrong conclusion of this lies in thinking that desire for love in itself is wrong. The right conclusion would be to feel, “The type of love I wanted so far is wrong; it cannot be. But I have a right to long for being loved. This can happen, provided that I, on my part, learn to love in the right and mature way.”
P7 You substitute for your desire to be loved the desire to be approved of, to shine, to be better than others, to impress people, to be important. Somehow this seems less shameful. Thus you go through life constantly proving yourself. The substitution can assume various other forms. People may have to agree with you, to follow in your footsteps, or, you may have to prove to them that you agree with them, that you conform with public opinion or the opinion of certain people, or what you think their opinion is—and that is not always the same.
The frequent tendency to conform, to be the “obedient child,” is part of this conflict. As long as you do not understand the nature of this compulsion—after you have verified its existence in you—you cannot see any solution and will be unable to give up the compulsive fight. But with the help of these words you will search in the right direction, so that you not only know in your intellect that the sadness of your unfulfillment exists, but you will also feel it—and that is good. You will then realize that your fight for approval, to prove something or other, makes you selfcentered, proud, arrogant, superior—or unhealthily submissive, which is bound to make you resentful.
If you allowed yourself to feel the original longing, not being afraid of the supposed “humiliation” and “weakness” this desire implies, nor being afraid of feeling simple sadness that will never have an unhealthy effect on your soul, you will contribute greatly toward your fulfillment. You will realize that it is not you who are too inadequate to be loved, but that the substitute layer that you artificially concocted is the problem. You will then not wallow in damaging self-pity, but will grow sufficiently to shed those tendencies that prevent you from receiving what you should.
P8 Think how very frequently it happens that your emotions react disproportionately when someone disagrees with you. Find specifically how this fight to prove something, or yourself, in one way or another, brings out the worst in you. You see, the desire to be loved, in itself, is entirely creative, if stripped of the childish exclusiveness and one-sidedness. The first step is to become aware that this desire exists in you, and to what extent.
You must become completely aware to what degree you are dissatisfied in this respect. You also have to become utterly aware of the substitution. You have to experience the emotions which constantly fight for approval. You have to become aware of the compulsion to prove whatever it is you want to prove at any given instance. Concentrate on this “proving” in your daily review and self-observations. It must be examined, analyzed, and brought into awareness more and more.
Why should it matter so much that people admire your intelligence, or your success, or whatever it is you set out to prove. You will also detect that subtle little tendency which strives for conformity with others; you will discover the weakness embodied in this trend and begin to understand its cause. All that has to be explored and experienced in your emotions.
You will inevitably find behind this entire façade your desire to be loved. I cannot emphasize enough that the intellectual knowledge of all this means nothing. You have to experience your emotions in this direction step by step. First you will allow other people to not love you if they so choose. That may make you sad, but it will never make you tense, or compulsive, or intense.
P9 You will learn how to make the generous gesture of giving freedom to others not only to be wrong, or to disagree with you, or to have weaknesses which you may not approve of, but also not to love you.
—The Pathwork® Guide