79 QUESTION: I would like to know about the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” in everyday life, in different emotions, for instance. Has the destructiveness of thoughts and feelings any reference to this commandment?
ANSWER: Of course. All commandments apply to all levels of the human personality. So is it here. It does not merely refer to the act of physical killing. As you rightly said, thoughts and emotions can be destructive, and in that sense they are acts of killing. The terms “life” and “death” do not merely mean the physical manifestations.
When you consider the commandment from this point of view, it takes on a very different meaning. It also does not apply merely to your destructive emotions and thoughts negatively affecting – killing – others, but also to your own life force, how you darken and deaden life itself. The more you advance in this work, the more you realize how your unresolved problems, conflicts, deviations and images negatively affect your surroundings, yourself – and therefore life as such.
Take the current example of the universal psychological process we so often discuss. When you feel rejected and insecure, you often assume an attitude of trying to please the very people whose acceptance you crave. In doing so, you often despise others who, you think, are despised by those whose attention you want so much. Often this is a subtle thing indeed, but nevertheless, you all have similar problems.
This betrayal has not only the most damaging effect on yourself – bringing you the very opposite of what you originally wanted and why you assumed the role – it is bound to hurt and reject others. This may not manifest in deeds or words, but exists as a hidden, well-camouflaged attitude. You may even bend over backwards so as to hide this attitude from others and yourself. Nevertheless, it exists in you and causes damage. This, for instance, is a typical and frequent act of emotional “killing.”
There is only one way for salvation and real solution, and that is love and truth. Neither love nor truth can be part of your entire being unless you find and understand those areas in you where you are not in love and in truth. Only such work can produce and gradually bring about this state. There is no shortcut and no formula, no miracle and no easy way to accomplish this, my friends.
Only utter self-honesty in all your doings and reactions – be it in little, insignificant things, be it in something important in your life – will bring you to the desired goal. If you persevere in that, your entire being will become more and more constructive, healthy and beneficial for yourself and others – and for the universe.
99 QUESTION: Would you care to elaborate on the psychological aspect of the fourth commandment?
ANSWER: Yes. As usual, there are many levels of interpretation, but I assume you brought this up in connection with our topic [Lecture #99 Falsified Impressions of Parents: Their Cause and Cure]. The fourth commandment is so often misunderstood, and much harm has come from these misunderstandings and superficial interpretations. In this case, forcing and guilt make love and honor into something compulsive that destroys real understanding and subsequently real love and honor.
In blindness, you cannot respect and love when almost all you see may be undeserving of such love and respect. When you squash the early impressions of the parents and superimpose artificial, compulsive love and honor, you are even further from true love and respect. However, the real meaning is exactly what I have said: see the truth. When you do so, you respect the basic human being in everyone, regardless of their many aberrations and blindnesses.
QUESTION: But how long will it take for humanity to derive the real meaning of the fourth commandment? We usually have to learn for a whole lifetime in order to correct such mistakes or distortions.
ANSWER: How long will it take for people to correct any distortion of truth, not only of this particular one, but of any other divine truth that has reached humanity? Any truth can be distorted, you know that.
When humanity has progressed sufficiently in its development, this will no longer happen. In order to get to this place, the error has to be recognized and dissolved. Self-awareness must increase and then, little by little, the distortions will vanish.
You seem to believe that the distortions have to disappear before you can develop awareness. It is just the opposite: the distortions exist because of your relatively low level of awareness. As such, the distortions themselves contain the remedy, for without them you could not come to perceive truth.
From a spiritual point of view, which is our vantage point, one person who gains inner truth in the sense of this Pathwork has an infinitely greater influence on the entire cosmic development than do millions of people in error. This may sound like an incredible statement, yet it is utter truth, my friends.
QA114 QUESTION: In regard to our responsibility, for instance, to aged parents, could you elaborate a little bit on the deeper meaning of honor thy mother and thy father in the Ten Commandments?
ANSWER: Yes. One side of the question, I think, is so obvious that I do not have to elaborate on it. And I might only add that often people over-honor – in their actions and deeds – the parent to a degree that is self-effacing and self-destroying just because underneath, the unrecognized resentments, hates and hostilities smolder. This self-effacing, self-destroying, over-activity in honoring them, supposedly, is merely a cover-up for the guilt of destructive feelings one feels.
Honoring does not mean giving up your own life. Only he who has faced the hostilities and come to terms with them, and therefore has reached a real understanding and forgiving of the shortcomings of the parent – not an enforced, superimposed one – will then know the healthy middle way between doing what is good for them and even first, to a degree, sometimes putting one’s own advantages a little bit aside, and yet honoring yourself too.
Nowhere does it say in the Bible or in any other holy Scripture that man should not honor himself. Yet, many human beings exist who live in such a way that they constantly dishonor themselves, toward themselves. They put everything and everyone ahead of them. They honor the parents for the sake of disregarding their own growth and right to live.
When such is the case, you can be sure that very opposite feelings smolder underneath that the person has not dared to face. For if this is not so, one cannot honor a parent or anyone else for that matter without disregarding one’s own life.