74 QUESTION: If you are confused, it is very hard to ask questions. Because you are confused, you just don’t know what it is. There are merely feelings.
ANSWER: Formulate the feelings. Try to bring them into concise thought. That is surely the hardest and the most important part. Only in this way can you get to the root of the confusion. It is not quite so difficult as you imagine. You have to settle down to want to do it. Clarify your questions concisely.
Even if the first questions are inadequate, it does not matter. From these first questions you will be able to draw out further questions, until they come more to the point and lead you closer to the root. You will then be able to eliminate the questions you started with because they were dealing merely with the circumference of the problem, while as you proceed you get closer to the center.
QUESTION: But isn’t one confused because one can’t put down what disturbs one?
ANSWER: There is no such thing as “one cannot.” The way you put it implies that you think there cannot be any solution. You may think this unconsciously. You may, again unconsciously, hope the solution will be handed to you, for you cannot work it out yourself. That is all wrong. Since you have brought about your confusion at one time, you are the one – the only one – who can solve it.
QUESTION: One can try, but often only with small things.
ANSWER: Exactly. Begin with the small things. You cannot possibly get to the really big issues in your life immediately, because they are too deeply submerged. The outer, little confusions, however, are the symptoms of the larger, hidden ones. Therefore, one needs the outer happenings to point to the inner condition.
Thus the little everyday confusions, the by themselves insignificant or unimportant things, are the very best to start with. Those you can hold on to and concentrate on. You can formulate your thoughts and questions only about what you can put your finger on. The little, seemingly insignificant things that confuse you serve to bring out the deeper confusion.
You will always see, when you analyze one of these small things, that there is something more vital at stake, some important underlying principle about which you are confused and beclouded. So the best, indeed the only possible way to go about it, is to take daily incidents and work with them. That is not difficult.
QA175 QUESTION: As a child I was punished for the wrong things and given love for the wrong things. How could this have influenced my life as a grown-up person?
ANSWER: Yes, of course, it would influence your life. There’s no doubt about it. Now, once you realize this, it will be easier for you to see how this has distorted, not necessarily so much your sense of value intellectually but emotionally, so that emotionally you are geared in cross-purposes.
You will not freely let yourself express the most positive in you – your loving nature – because you would automatically be expectant of negative results and vice versa. When you express your particular kind of negativities and that does not bring positive results, you are astonished and indignant, perhaps. And then this distortion would influence your inner direction.
But, you know, it is also necessary that you see that now you are, indeed, free and you determine your own emotional value system. You can also see – by recreating the consciousness, reorienting these inner misconceptions with the help of meditation and other means and experimentation in your work and in contact with others – that this is not so.
You need to convince yourself that, in truth, the negative ways do bring negative results – not because anyone punishes you but because that is the way life is. And your positive expressions must eventually bring positive results, even if you cannot see it directly.