Lecture 88 – True and False Religion | Abbreviated Version

P1             You know by now, because of your work on this path, that one of your great struggles is overcoming the unconscious desire to remain a clinging, protected child, to refuse the apparent hardship of adulthood, self-responsibility, and independence. To the child in you it seems much better to remain helpless, to force the powerful adult world, or God, or any substitute for these two, to take on the responsibility for your life that you yourself should carry.

But unconsciously you battle against this very awareness, wishfully thinking in your unconscious that the disadvantages of adulthood can be avoided by remaining a child, who at the same time refuses to face the tragic disadvantages of prolonged childhood.

P2             Whenever fear, timidity, nonassertion, appeasement, and obedience predominate in a personality, rebellion must exist also. It may not be on the surface, but it must exist! By the same token, if you encounter in a human being overemphasis on independence, hostile domineering tendencies, toughness, and denial of all laws and rules, you may be certain that fear, cringing appeasement, and helplessness also exist, though hidden from awareness.

The shame surrounding these tendencies is so great that the outer personality takes on a false freedom and independence in a poor imitation of the real qualities. Both crude types—often appearing in more subtle mixtures and combinations—represent, of course, psychological deviations that can always be traced to parental influences and early experiences.

P3             Both causes produce personalities distorted by helplessness, false goodness, and appeasement; or overindependence, rebellion, and false toughness; or a combination of both. In both instances you hide something and ardently try to prove to yourself and others that the hidden does not exist. In one case you hide the rebellion and hostility; in the other, you hide the helplessness and desire for protection, the tendency to appease and be falsely “good.”

P4             You will no longer hope for God to give you what you should and could be strong enough to obtain for yourself. In the transitional state between giving up false religion and embracing true religion, there comes a phase of nothingness. The way to Him is through accepting aloneness.

P5             From a sense of humiliation you will develop humility. From clinging appeasement and blind obedience—often without understanding—you will develop into a strong self-responsible being, trusting in your own capacity to obtain what you need in life. You will feel that God is a help when you come to true religion after abandoning the crutch, but in a completely different sense. Now you need God’s help because you make yourself helpless.

Then you will feel God’s help because you will perceive the perfection of the universe and its laws, of which you are an integral, contributing part. You will feel that you are the driving force of your life. You can help yourself if you really want to, if you are ready to sacrifice something.

P6             The false religious attitude arises when you ask God to help you overcome a hardship in your life and then you sit down and wait. You do not examine sufficiently why you have this hardship. You may do so peremptorily, because someone else in authority has told you to do so. But even while you attempt this examination, you tend to try to prove that you have nothing to do with the hardship. It has just fallen upon you undeservedly, and there is no way of getting out of it unless God intervenes with an act of grace.

You do not muster the inner will and stamina to find how you can really get what you want out of your own creativity. God is in you. The divine forces are in you if you mobilize them, rather than wait for them to come in from the outside. As long as you expect God’s grace to make up for your human laziness and greed, you must be disappointed, whether or not you admit this to yourself. Find these attitudes and understand them more fully. If this is done deeply, not just superficially, you will all be surprised to find how far you have gone to forcefully perpetuate infancy.

P7             Once you analyze and understand certain emotional behavior patterns, you will realize how preposterous they are; how incompatible with your conscious belief; how contrary to your own best interests; how logically impossible. After seeing and understanding all this, the change happens organically, by itself, as it were. A certain period of self-observation is necessary in order to gain full insight and then be able to change. You will, for instance, find what your expectations really are, how you inwardly complain. You will find what you yourself could do to make these expectations a reality, and you will understand why you have not done so.

P8             When you no longer need grace as a substitute for your own weakness, when you do not make an asset out of your weakness, then you will become strong. For a while you will live without any understanding of grace, but then the true concept will dawn on you. When you investigate your emotional reactions and find that you want companionship out of fear of being alone, then the need for companionship springs, at least partly, from a poor motive. If you want to be alone out of fear of involvement because you have a strong tendency to withdraw, then your desire to be alone springs, again at least in part, from a poor motive. In other words, either tendency can be healthy as well as unhealthy.

P9             The attitude toward a person in this frame of mind is not to try to force the issue. The more you want to penetrate the resistance, the more frustration and impatience you will feel. And this is bound to affect the other person and increase the resistance even more. Moreover, it will be extremely useful to analyze the reason for your own frustration and impatience. In some way your sense of competence may be involved. Or the other’s acceptance of the truth may have an urgency for you that is not realistic. Whenever such currents exist, a mutually negative effect is established that worsens the inner problems of both parties.

—The Pathwork® Guide