162 QUESTION: I am aware of the fact that I distort reality. I wonder how this applies to my job situation, in which I am caught in a hostility cycle with my boss. At least on my part I feel very hostile to him. This is very real to me, although I know I am overreacting. Would you comment on this?

ANSWER: As you already know, this has really not much to do with your boss. It is all a question between you and your father. You have to ask yourself the relevant questions. What do you really feel about your father? What do you believe he felt about you? And why? If you tackle only these three questions, you will already be more in clarity on the level of what you believe exists, rather than being in the fog of not quite knowing what bothers you.

Out of these questions more questions will arise, of course. But let us not hurry ahead. Just concentrate on these three questions, without taking anything for granted. It is essential that you ask yourself and answer these questions. Then you can tackle the next level of considering what is.


QA166 QUESTION: I work as a journalist, but I feel that my deepest and most creative urge is toward fiction. In private work this afternoon, tremendous anger came out which I feel at having to try and do both, and really succeed at neither. It just seems that doing both at the same time is too much. I wonder if you could comment on what is the most constructive attitude for me to adopt with this?

ANSWER: Well, the most constructive attitude for you to adopt is, if for whatever reason you are prevented from doing what you would like to do, to seek the cause within yourself. The anger must come out, however not in acting upon it, but in recognizing it and letting go of these constricting emotions which hold your creative forces.

Once you see the anger in full force, you also need to evaluate it and see what it tells, what it expresses, what it says. For it says – and here you are in the company of general humankind – of blaming life, of blaming circumstances for this, rather than your own fears, your own holding back, your own desire not to risk anything, not to expose yourself.

Once you face this, then the problem will resolve itself. But I also have to add this: that this problem, this conflict you see here, is but a symptom of a deeper-rooted conflict. If you only work on the symptom – although it is important to recognize it for what it is worth – you cannot bring it into a resolution.

You can only see what deeper parallel conflict it mirrors to you. And then when you go to the deeper conflict, you will see that this will fall then into place. Do you understand? {Yes I do}

So do let out the anger. Face the anger. Face the other emotions that are beneath the anger and around the anger and locked up with the anger. Then let the feelings express themselves in their most irrational way.

Let them tell you what the childish part in yourself expresses and demands and expects of life and how these expectations must be disappointed and therefore put you in turn into an eternal state of frustration.

QUESTION: In the private work, I said that part of my attraction, certainly, for the job lies very simply in the money, and the social status that it seems to give me. Could you tell if this could be related perhaps to the deep problem that you speak of?

ANSWER: Well, yes, certainly, certainly. But a number of mixed emotions are there. Perhaps I might put it in the following way. There’s partially, of course, the fear of not conforming or of not living up to what is expected of you. Partially it is a realistic motivation which is, of course, based on the necessity of making a livelihood.

Partially, what also enters into this is that there is a distaste – perhaps symbolically speaking – for reality, and your fictional world offers you an expression of everything you would like to express in reality. Deep inside there is a very negative conviction in you that you cannot have a very happy and fulfilled life in which you completely express yourself, and therefore describing it fictionally is the only outlet.

Now, since this is a displacement and a substitution, the outlet itself is blocked. [Lecture #121 Displacement, Substitution, Superimposition] If you were deeply convinced that you have the strength and the right and the possibility to fulfill yourself completely, and if, at the same time, you are willing to take the responsibility for this upon yourself completely and not wanting something – be it approval or protection – then a positive conviction would come into being that would make it possible to not only write about it but to also experience it.


QA166 QUESTION: I cannot choose a career. Where and how within myself must I work to release the solution to this problem?

ANSWER: There is, of course, no quick and easy answer to such a question, because this too is a symptom of many other symptoms. If I would give a rough overall answer, it would be this. Your not knowing what you want, what you like, what you are best in, what you enjoy most, what is you, reflects that you are lost from your real self.

Now, the next question would therefore be, why are you lost? Why are you not in contact with your real self? And all the answers I could give you would only be generalities, because they have to be experienced by yourself.

You have to experience your various fears – your fears of self-assertion, for example; your fear of committing yourself, for example; your fear of expanding, even; and your fear of being disapproved of. All these fears have to be recognized.

Then when you have these recognitions where you experience this in yourself, then you can go further and understand what these fears are. Of course, it is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to find this by oneself. One does need help. But if you’re truly ready, help will come to you or you will come to where help can be given to you.


QA167 QUESTION: To be happy in my work has always been uppermost in my mind. But it seems I can never seem to find the right vocation.

ANSWER: Well, I would say this to you, my friend. You could not find the right vocation because you have not really found yourself, and you have not found yourself because you are erroneously too afraid of yourself. You are afraid of yourself, since you are afraid of your feelings.

The very emphasis you put on being happy in your work is in itself an expression of evading the deep happiness that your soul longs for, and has resigned, unfortunately, to ever attaining. The real fulfillment, the vocation that exists for every individual, can only be found when one does not fear oneself in any shape or form, and when you do not fear quite so much your own feelings.

I would suggest you test yourself: Why do you fear your feelings so much? How can you get to your creative wellspring if you fear your feelings, since creativity is also feeling? How can you find the vocation if you cannot get in touch with your creative wellspring? How can work be enjoyable if the feelings of joy are inaccessible, because the other feelings that bury the joy are so much feared?

These are the questions you must face. You must also face the fact that you have resigned because you think it is too terrible. What is so terrible that you feel that you cannot face it? There is always a way out if one truly has not given up, but has taken the robust attitude, “I will live my life to the best. There is no need to fear anything in myself. There are deeply buried resources that can come to my aid and can make me a contented, fulfilled and joyful individual.”

If you have given up on that and then hope to find a vocation that can give you that, it is a vain hope. Because you want to enjoy your work, and how can enjoyment exist if the joy feelings are buried? But you can get to them to the degree you want to.

There’s nothing to fear, my friend, and I say this to all of you. The fears are illusory; they are error. The truth is light and safe and love and happiness.


QA178 QUESTION: I took a job as a security officer almost five years ago, seeking security at least. Lately, though, it’s become rather intolerable and is going to eventually be insecure. I really think I should leave it. Last week, when I realized all of this, I found myself in a state of panic and terror. I almost went into a depression. I’m asking about the nature of my terror. It’s holding me back from going on to something more creative and more fulfilling.

ANSWER: Before answering your question directly in the sense you ask, I’d like to say this. What you just said proves amply that when a person believes a negative situation can be improved by an outer change, it always must lead to the realization, sooner or later, that the outer change is no solution. It’s the inner change that is necessary.

So often a person hopes against hope that a mere outer change will be sufficient to improve an intolerable state of mind. For no matter how much you believe it is only the outer situation, it is always the state of mind that is essentially the creator of the outer condition.

Now, to come to your question, what is the state of your terror? I would say this – and here I would go back to the very beginning of these teachings when I gave an outline of this Pathwork in a very simple manner. Needless to say that the simple statement does not make the following through of the actual step easy, but it is really very simple.

At the very beginning, I explained that man’s inherent, divine nature is covered up, and this cover is his destructiveness. The terminology I then used was the higher self, the lower self, and the mask self [Lecture #14 The Higher Self, the Lower Self, and the Mask], as all my old friends will verily remember. I said that the mask self must be torn away so that the lower self is fully faced and come to terms with and confronted and understood – its dynamics, its reasons for being, its origin in this life.

Only when this happens can the personality truly want to give up the lower self, to dissolve it, so that the higher self unfolds. It is that simple. But it often takes, with the greatest of efforts and concentration, many, many years of hard work before the mask self fully emerges in clear-cut terms and before it dissolves, so that the lower self is revealed. This creates terror.

Man cannot live fully, according to his full potential and unfold the best in himself, as long as not every last bit of self-deception – which is the mask – is removed. When all the games and roles and pretenses are challenged and revealed, only then can true life begin. And that may take a lot of time. For many people lack the courage to face this directly; even if they want to consciously, the unconscious fear is there.

By understanding this, you may help it a great deal by saying to yourself that you have the courage to face and to realize that the lower self is not your real being – that is not all there is to it. Only then, when you do this, will you be capable of allowing truly good feelings to spread within your whole being. That is roughly the story of your life.

But so it is the story of everyone’s life to one degree or another. And if you now face your fears, you may perhaps recognize some of what I said and go very directly to this problem by meditating, by stating your desire to face the lower self, to do away with the mask self so that the higher self can come into being.

When you deny yourself happiness left and right, when you sabotage fulfillment in this way or in that way, you can be quite sure it is precisely because of what I just said here: that deep within yourself you say, “I do not deserve it, since I do not even dare to face what I think is all there is to me,” and what would then be unfaceable.

But if you face it, soon you will feel there is a wealth within you, a wealth of beauty, a wealth of resourcefulness, a wealth of the eternal spirit.


QA181 QUESTION: We’re all on this Earth for a specific reason. Sometimes we do a few things very well. How does one find that area we are really in tune with?

ANSWER: The only way to find this activity that is truly one’s own, one has to go deeply into the self and recognize that if that activity is not already manifest, there is something in the self that blocks it. What these blocks are, why they exist, there can be no generalization made. They exist for many reasons and are due to a variety of circumstances – inner blocks, inner fears, lack of self-evaluation, certain rigidities in the psychic substance – which must be explored.

There is always a correlation between the unfulfillment in regard to one’s vocation and an unfulfillment in regard to one’s emotional fulfillment – with man and woman. However, the manifestation may exist on different levels, so the exploration has to take place from different points of view when these problems are worked through.

When one has met from the two sides, he will find there is a common denominator there. There is somewhere a fear of knowing one’s true value and holding back on that – and there are many, many chain reactions why this is so.

Often it is also the case that human beings can only find their true vocation later in life. They have to go through various stages first. The fact that they have not immediately found their true vocation is not that they have missed out in their own personal fulfillment, that they have failed in any way. That may not be so at all.

For before this real fulfillment can come, one has to go through certain other stages in one’s development. And there may be a meaning to that. It is very often that the real fulfillment in all respects only comes in the second half of one’s life. It is when the yearning for it and the discontentment becomes acute. Then there is a sign it is time to find what is blocked inside.

The time has then come when one should go into the new life on all fronts. But this requires a very great commitment to wanting to explore the depths and to not shy away from any of the necessary steps – regardless of how apparently difficult or painful it may first seem – and give up past illusions about life, about one’s theories, about one’s self. This is painful.

Again, the pain is illusory – but at the moment it seems real. Only when this is accepted and not shied away from can the nucleus of the self be reached where all is one and where the unlimited good flows to the periphery.


QA221 QUESTION: Can you give us any specific guidelines about business conduct and practices in connection with Pathwork principles and our moving out to try to create new business opportunities for ourselves? For myself, I’d like to know how to reconcile my fears and feelings of imagined and real inadequacy with business associates, and my need to present a strong image to them while revealing my own truth.

ANSWER: You really answered your own question here very adequately, although you may not be aware of this. The first part of your question, the general part, is so general that it cannot really be answered. All I can say is that there is not a single principle of the Pathwork that would not also apply to every aspect of life, from the most refined spiritual level to the most superficial outer material level of being. These are exactly the same laws.

You may say – and, of course, as far as it goes, rightly so – there are quite a few people who are very successful in business and who violate every law that we know of. Now, although that is true, as far as it goes – on the surface – it is not really true. Because when people are successful only on an outer level while violating spiritual law, it is disconnected from the inner truth, from the inner peace, from the inner sense of blessedness and meaningfulness, so it is not really true.

Also such success cannot be on firm, permanent ground. It is always, more or less, short-lived. Whether it is actually short-lived on a material level or whether it is only in the inner realm short-lived, does not matter. It is the inner realm that is the reality. For even if you have all the money in the world and you do not have inner peace and wholeness, that money will not be a blessing. It will mean nothing to you.

What we are talking about here is that the spiritually whole and unified person must make room in his own consciousness for expressing abundance and beauty on all levels. And to not create a split of outer suffering and outer asceticism as opposed to an inner spirituality. These are dichotomies that are not based on truth.

Now, what laws to apply? There is not any law that you learn applicable to the psyche and the psychological and spiritual and emotional and physical level of your being that does not also apply to that aspect of your self-expression. As you say yourself, in business you are secretive, you keep yourself separated, you keep up pretenses, and in a very real way, that is precisely why you are not successful.

Even if you were temporarily successful, that is why you would never feel secure in your success and happy with it. So you have here the platform to truly apply truth and self-revelation also to that area and avenue of your self-expression. You will see how you will flower in this as in every other way of life.

If many people, who have begun to experience inner peace and joy to some extent, cannot bring this spiritual fruit to their career life, material life, or their emotional partnership life, it is only because their mind has not made room for that possibility.

The mind has closed itself up to it and has denied such a possibility may exist and has thus created a schism. So your mind must make new leaps in embracing every possibility that is compatible with truthfulness, with love, with abundance – in short with the attributes of the divine universe within you. And if you apply that truthfulness to all of your life, all of your life will blossom.


QA221 QUESTION: I want to ask a question about my commitment to my profession as a bioenergetics therapist. I had committed to go to a trainer’s meeting this coming weekend, and I did want to go. But the closer it came, the less I wanted to go. I really got to the point where I just would rather be at the Center. I feel there’s a larger question about doing workshops outside my work in the Pathwork. I feel I would be dividing myself unless I could do those workshops as I do when I work here, the Pathwork with the bioenergetics. I’d like you to help me with that.

ANSWER: You see, the question is really again, and again, not whether or not you should give workshops outside the Pathwork. You could do this and it could split you off, or you could not do this and it would be escaping or not necessarily healthy. Both alternatives depend on where and how they come. But the important thing is your own inner state there.

As long as there is an anxiety and dependency and fear and neediness to the extent it is now, which comes as a result of distrust, whatever alternative you choose will be in some way anxiety-producing and problematic. So I would say, in the meantime, you have to make a decision on the practical level as best as you know how, until you get to the deeper levels of uniting yourself with your divine self more and more, where the unity that is in you will reflect in your outer activities; and whatever you do will then be right.

Now, in the meantime, you have to grope as best as you can. Maybe one time, this choice seems right and you have to also allow your own feelings to tell you which desire is, at any given moment, the best – along with your practical considerations. But on the whole, you are improving on your path, and I say, go deeper, go further, expose it more and more, and see it and you will be able to change more and more.


QA222 QUESTION: I’m having a great deal of trouble finding my way in taking care of just ordinary, everyday living. I have a great deal of trouble working and keeping my commitments there. I would like to ask you for help in dealing with this.

ANSWER: One of the greatest and perhaps most immediate obstructions in this respect – an obstruction you would really have to meet first – is an innermost belief that being responsible and doing your job well and following through and organizing your life in an orderly way is something undesirable.

You have a very deeply ingrained conviction that only that which is dispersing and irresponsible and the line of least resistance is pleasurable. Now, the truth is exactly the opposite. My advice to you is to really pray and meditate for the enlightenment, for the understanding – the feeling-understanding – how much happier and more fulfilled and more pleasure would you feel if you were really doing everything you do to the best of your ability, to give your best to it, not just to do it in a rebellious way out of the belief that it has to be done and you really resent it; that you really follow through on everything.

Doing it in that way would give you a great deal of satisfaction that you now miss and would save you a lot of hardship that you impose upon yourself by being constantly in a rebellion against self-discipline, against structure, against order – self-chosen order and structure.

Another misconception that is part of this is that you cannot differentiate between structure, order, and discipline imposed from outside or chosen by yourself. If you do not know that difference, then, of course, you would rebel and you could not even choose it independently, as a free agent. You need to choose it freely because you realize that is the only way you can fulfill yourself. The only way you can enjoy leisure is if you fully give yourself to work – then it will not be an imposition that you need to rebel against.

Another aspect of the same misconception is that you believe if you give yourself fully to work, you have nothing but work. Again, just the opposite is true. You can balance your life in a harmonious way between work and leisure only when you give yourself fully to work.

Then you can give yourself fully to leisure – because otherwise leisure will always be stolen. Actually pleasure is also stolen and not real pleasure. Then if you really choose work, well done, the work will be in a different way, as pleasurable as the leisure. And you will have both in equal balance, not necessarily always measuring in exactly the same time span, but you will enjoy both equally, without guilt.

Leisure will be without rebellion and defiance, as much as work will be done freely chosen. And that is where you have to go – you have to want to attain this understanding. For if you fulfill work only as an obeying child to an outer authority, you can never feel your manhood while you work. You think your manhood is contained in the rebellion and defiance, which, of course, is totally a distortion.


QA222 QUESTION: I have come in contact with the dilemma that I’m creating in my job – how much negativity I’m winding around myself. I am into a great deal of cruelty and demand to have my own way and infliction of pain on the people that I work with, and accusing them of mediocrity and believing in their mediocrity – I really do believe in their mediocrity.

ANSWER: Whether that’s true or not, that’s not even the point.

QUESTION: But I do attack them both directly and indirectly, and now I have created an atmosphere of fear which I really must say I enjoy. They’re afraid of me. I have intimidated them very much. And the only reason I don’t get fired is because they feel that I’m making a contribution. [Laughter] I know that I’m doing a lot of negative things, and I’ve seen it lately like I’ve never seen it before. I’ve been blaming all the way through, and now I’m only lately beginning to see it. I could continue and try to work this out in the job that I’m in. The question I would like to get help on is, is it worthwhile to be in this atmosphere that is even more negative than I am? [Prolonged laughter]

ANSWER: Right here, you see your split. You do not see that you have created this for yourself. The negativity around you cannot be more negative than you. It can only be the result and the reflection of your creation. Now, of course, you know perfectly well that I will not tell you to stay or to go, because not only is that not my task, but also it would be totally contrary to the law of self-responsibility.

It would also be senseless, because whether you go or whether you stay is not the issue. The issue is how do you work out your problem, which you could do either way. What I want to say to you, though, is there is such a mass misconception that the negativity, the toughness, the cruelty, the ruthlessness, the selfishness and so on that people have in their souls, in business this is good. And that is the only way you can make it in life.

Even though that may be apparently true of many people around you, it is not the truth. And you come to see that it is not the truth. Wherever there is negativity inside, it must create negative experience. It cannot be otherwise. I would also say to you here, it is not true that this just happens now. It happened many times before in life, only before you were more aware through your Pathwork, you were not even aware of what was happening.

You were so geared to explaining it away, to projecting it outwardly, to having your explanation and to using actual negativities of other people – which, of course, also exist and co-create the situation – in order not to see your own creation. But now you have that awareness. And it is absolutely possible for you to really see that this is your creation.

Now you can make another creation. But as long as you have such a stake in the arrogance, the cruelty, the superiority, and all of that – because you defend with that against other feelings you do not want to deal with in you – as long as that is the case, wherever you would go – business and private and personal – that would be your creation.

So the question here is really that you should be rather grateful for being able to see this. For it gives you, for the first time, an ability to make connections you were not able to make before. And by making those connections, to have the incentive and the initiative to make a positive commitment in every area where you want to remain negative and to perhaps pray to see the reality.

For even if there is negativity or mediocrity or whatever you wish, it is still not the reality. The way you feel is already a distortion and, at best, you’re dealing with a half-truth.

QUESTION: [Another person] I want to ask you whether the inability of this person to differentiate the points you explained is an involuntary process or is it something that she’s aware of and she refuses to see it?

ANSWER: The borderline is very thin here. I would say it fluctuates. There are times when she’s really not aware, but not because she cannot be aware – because of an intention not to be aware. There are other times when it is almost there. It is there for the grasping.

The mind has to make another step to see this gap, to bridge that gap, and to see the outer surrounding “my experience with the world around me is a reflection of me.” That will can be expressed, and then it will all fall into place. I would say she’s almost there. It is a question of choice here.


QA229 QUESTION: There is a terrific obstruction in the company I work for that’s creating difficulties. I feel torn between my responsibilities, and I tend to over-expand what I think they are. Could you give me some guidance?

ANSWER: Of course, I cannot tell you what you should do, but I can perhaps guide you and help you to see in which direction to look within yourself, how you have contributed to being involved in such a dilemma and conflict around you.

The direction to look to find the divine voice within that will guide you in what to do is the following way: To what degree do you enjoy this conflict? Even though there may be consequences and your position may be jeopardized, in the position itself there is an enjoyment in which you experience your power.

Looking for this power has gone into this particular manifestation now. It has gone underground here and then has bred and helped create this situation. Now, the moment you can connect with your pleasure in having that power, you will also be able to know exactly what to do.


QA237 QUESTION: In my life I feel a split. Right now I’m a receptionist in an advertising agency. I’m beginning to feel like I want to move out with my dancing and possibly become a dance therapist, but I feel blocked there. I’m not sure what it all means. I’d like to know if you could comment on it?

ANSWER: I will not comment on the activities themselves, because that is really not the point. The point is it is very possible that you might expand in this or a similar new direction or in this direction and still be in the present situation. At what point that is organically right for you must come from within you.

What I will say to you is the problematic aspect about the conflict you experience now, and there I can possibly help you. The problematic aspect is when you are in a situation that affords you a certain amount of security and groundedness, appreciation by your surrounding, and success in what you’re doing, then you become restless.

You want to destroy it and you want to rationalize it, even with perhaps a truthful movement. And this is very important for you to see. Can you connect with this at all?

QUESTION: Very much so, yes.

ANSWER: Now, if you can deal with this, if you can recognize it and work with this, then perhaps you can stay in your present situation and nevertheless prepare, if that is your inner self that moves you to, without destroying a present situation that is very good for you. So that it is not an either/or at this point. Do you understand?

QUESTION: I understand. But I feel that my restlessness gets me confused and not clear about what to work on within the present situation.

ANSWER: Your restlessness is very much a result of not wanting to deal with certain things, such as, for example, what I just said – destroying something that gives you peace at the moment. And that creates a restlessness. But it is really guilt that creates it, and the sense that you do not deserve the good, but also a certain amount of hostility and spite. Now, if you do not deal with these attitudes, restlessness will be the experienced outer feeling.


QA242 QUESTION: When you asked us to stand [after giving the Force], I felt two forces: wanting to join in in unison and also being very frightened of it. Now, the question I ask – and I feel there’s a connection – I feel that I’m ready to move out, particularly in my work. I’ve gone through the negative feelings as to what has kept me from moving out. I also feel a strong grounding in the fact that I can move out and want to give myself pleasure – I want to take responsibility for myself. I’m getting opportunities now but at the same time, I’m not making the connection with something.

ANSWER: What really stands in your way is a feeling that if you open all of yourself, you say Yes completely – to life, to giving, to working, to being productive, to going out and moving out and all that this means – that this will extract tremendous difficulties and demands from you. And this is a misconception.

So you protect yourself in a habitual fear that you almost talk yourself into. You make it real. Finally you believe it is real. And the movement out becomes anxiety now. It is not true. It is based on this false belief that you will be less free rather than more free when you become responsible and giving.

You have to realize that the more you give, the freer you are, the less are you obligated to do other people’s will. For only the infant or the child is dependent on grown ups who care for it. If you are truly an adult, you can make choices in absolute freedom. My suggestion here is that you specifically pray for understanding this, for seeing the freedom contained in adulthood, in giving, in maturity, in constructive contribution, in self-discipline, and in self-responsibility.

The best meditation would be “I truly want to experience, what do I believe is the danger that I resist so? And where is this a wrong idea? I would truly like to understand how do self-responsibility, self-discipline, constructive giving and outgoingness make me free? I would like to see this, experience this, know this, and I pray for the guidance of this.”

As you really want to see the truth of this particular area, the truth will dawn on you. Little inspirations, new feelings, new experiences in an inner way will come where you suddenly will make these connections. You will see the freedom and then you will know – nothing will stand in the way to really want this.

For your spirit yearns for freedom, and unfortunately you have gotten it into your mind that adult contribution and giving and loving and self-responsibility infringes your freedom.


QA254 QUESTION: Please explain the energetic and emotional/spiritual aspects of the ebb and flow of new patients to my practice. For long periods of time I experience a tremendous influx of new patients, and then suddenly an equal slackening off. The child in me demands a constant flow. When it doesn’t happen, I feel very insecure and frightened. I would like to understand so that I can give in to this reality.

ANSWER: Everything in the universe moves in this constant ebb and flow. It is the pulsating movement of life. Expansion-contraction. Each phase brings another aspect of reality to experience for consciousness. Everything I teach you in regard to unification of duality is based on this principle. I show you that both ends of the spectrum can be positive, good, desirable, rather than one being good, the other being bad. So it is in your case.

If you were not so insecure, you would enjoy the phases of ebb, of contraction, in a spirit of giving yourself rest. But what is this insecurity? It is nothing more or less than lack of faith and lack of understanding. The more you flow with the movement, the ebb periods will only serve to gather your strength and to claim your faith in life’s abundance, preparing you for the next phase of expansion, of fullness, of activity.

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