QA121 GUIDE COMMENT: There is nothing more glorious than pursuing a path of self-confrontation, of coming to terms with yourself, of self-acceptance, which is the sole basis for growing. The richness and the fullness of life that thus becomes yours cannot possibly be described or measured. May you just persevere, every one of you.
With these words I part with the blessings, with love, and with admonishing you, not to forget that when you are sad or depressed that you are not in truth, for truth must lift you up. You never have to fear truth. May these words be deeply inscribed in your being and in your consciousness.
QA135 QUESTION: I do not feel depressed, but I feel very sad. I recognize that I feel too sorry for myself. But the thing is that now I feel that I don’t have any goal for anything. And sometimes even to not be in this state would make me happy, because then I do not feel depressed.
ANSWER: You have come quite a far way and now you will establish for you a more concise goal. You will start with the rudimentary aspects of manhood, selfhood, self-respect, self-responsibility; you will clarify these concepts and use these as your goal. And as this goal will clarify, you will know and you will be less confused. You will have a stronger foothold. This is your way.
In the meantime, when you have these occasional apparent relapses of self-pity and self-dramatization, it is when you still rebel against adulthood, when you insist and demand infanthood, which you are in many moments of your life willing to give up, and you have begun to give up in some way – and you are ready to give it up completely.
But then the old voice comes forth again. Extended infanthood in an adult being who should no longer be emotionally a child, creates lack of self-confidence, of self-liking, impairs integrity, and it amounts in unfair demands. When you see this, then the self-pity and the demands both will disappear. And therefore more strength will be gained. You have nothing to fear. You are on the best of ways.
QUESTION: Why is it that some people do not feel useful?
ANSWER: Well, they may be or they may not be. They may indeed not be useful, because they lead a selfish life. But if they are actually useful, they may not know it. It is as simple as that. Each individual case has to be examined.
If it’s true that the person is not useful, if that is the case, then one has to find out why he leads such a self-centered life. What is the fear that makes him refuse to participate in life, to give of himself to life, to contribute to life. And the answer is, the solution is, the expression, the meditation daily, “I want to enrich life. This is what I want. I request the guidance to do so,” and the guidance will come to observe, while this is expressed, to what extent it is really wanted and to what extent one denies this while one says it in one’s emotions.
The denial will then be the explanation why one feels or is useless. It is so simple. Want to be useful! If you express this desire to be useful, and by doing so discover your fear of and your blocks to do so and then dissolve the blocks, you must become useful. The more useful you are, the less you will be in the unfair state of demanding more than you give. And the more useful you are – the more you contribute to life – the richer you must become, because you will then allow yourself happiness.
You will then reach for the happiness that is yours. You will no longer fear you don’t deserve it; you will no longer block reaching for happiness in exactly the proportion you do not block being useful and giving of yourself. Whenever you feel inhibited to reach for complete fulfillment on all levels, you must simultaneously and equally be unwilling to give of yourself in one form or another. It is the same thing. If you find the one, you will find the other.
You can only work on both simultaneously – once on this, and the other on that. It changes. Once you’ll be more aware of your blocks to giving and at another period, tomorrow, you may be more aware of your blocks to receiving. But realize they both are interdependent and directly connected with one another.
QA159 QUESTION: Could you tell a little more about the plight of depression and destructiveness in life?
ANSWER: Yes. Depression and destructiveness are always a result of fear: fear of seeing the truth, fear of expansion with all its responsibilities or apparent responsibilities – responsibilities in the good sense and responsibilities in the negative sense as the psyche conceives of it.
It conceives of it often as a chore, often as something difficult to maintain. It conceives of it as something that is expected, and that one must live up to, and that becomes strenuous. So that a stagnant condition, a condition of nongrowth and nonfulfillment seems more comfortable, seems easier, and is therefore sought.
It is therefore looked for but in a very hidden way, of course. And it is only one part of the self that looks for this gray contentedness that makes no demands. Real happiness always seems to make demands that the weak psyche feels threatened by. Therefore, happiness is rejected and feared.
This is, very basically speaking, the deep core of depression and of destructive patterns of behavior in action as well as in thought or feeling.
Now, on the road toward self-realization, it is one of the most important facets and most crucial turning points, when a person becomes aware of that part within that says No to happiness – that says No to growth, No to pleasure, No to fulfillment, No to joy, No to stimulation and excitement – because it is confused with restlessness and lack of peace. Therefore, happiness is denied.
When one finds that part in the self that reacts in this way, a very important, crucial point is found. But it is often the most difficult thing to find, because it is the deepest repression. All sorts of destructive feelings that are repressed as well are not as deeply repressed as the fear of happiness, which is responsible for the unhappiness.
QA177 QUESTION: About two weeks ago, I began to feel very nervous and very depressed. I was physically exhausted from it and yet extremely nervous. It was shattering; it was frightening; it was really indescribable. It was the worst depression – I have never experienced anything like it. It came at a time when things were going fairly well for me. I feel that this last year I started to grow a little, and this has been a very good thing. About a week after it started, it built up and suddenly the whole thing vanished. I was no longer depressed or nervous. I’m wondering what could have caused it or, better yet, what I could do about it next time.
ANSWER: Well, I will answer both these questions. What causes it is a twofold thing. In the first place, when there are deep inner confusions and unresolved problems, the soul sends forth its messages, which are not always properly translated by the conscious mind.
It is very often that such an experience, unpleasant as it may be, is a very salutary thing in the sense that it tells the conscious person, “Do something about it. Go into the depths. Seek any possible help you can find to explore yourself, to find the real innermost reasons for an inner division, for an inner conflict you are not aware of.”
This is your own spiritual self, your own soul that reacts this way, which is a wonderful thing if it is properly understood, if the sign is heeded, if it is taken seriously, and if it not just explained away by superficial rationalizing ways. So this is one thing.
The other reason that is connected, of course, but on a more outer level is that in connection with these deep-rooted problems that exist in you – a deep inner conflict that exists in you, deep emotions that bother you, that you have not accepted within yourself – some things may have happened that disturbed you, but that seemed too disturbing to really acknowledge, so you pushed them underground.
My advice to you is to seek more personal, extended help, because you really wish to live in the depth of yourself and not just on the surface. Also, specifically, whenever such a thing may reoccur, ask the question of yourself, “What really bothered me? What did I perhaps look away from and close my eyes to and did not want to acknowledge and that is stuck somehow in me? I really would like to face the truth and acknowledge what bothered me.”
Whatever you really acknowledge could never be as disturbing as when you swallow it. Then you may find something very insignificant and say, “Oh, this is ridiculous; I could not be disturbed by something that insignificant.” And I say to you, whatever insignificant answer you may first give yourself, it is not that insignificant, because it is very directly related to a deep inner conflict in your deep emotions.
I would say that the discrepancy in you between the way you think you ought to be and the feelings you believe you ought to register – those feelings that are humanly normal and that you do experience but do not make room for in yourself – is very wide, and this bothers you. There is a lack of self-acceptance with the way you really are because you erroneously think that this is bad.
There is an exaggeration there that would immediately block out your real values, because you also have emotions that you do not permit yourself to have. And your depression and disturbance is very, very much connected with that.