103 QUESTION: I would like to ask a question for my little grandson. He is living in fear most of the time. As a result of this fear, he constantly gets sick. Now this fear is that those he loves – all his loved ones – are hostile toward each other. And if he loves one, the other withdraws. He is constantly torn. I wonder if you could show me some way?
ANSWER: There is really nothing I can say that you do not know already. However, I will try to help. In the first place, all of you have to fully face that what he fears is correct. It is not an invention, an imagination on his part. If you fully face this fact, not just acknowledge it superficially, such awareness on the part of all of you will already have a healing effect – not only on him, but upon all concerned.
When you fully face this fact, you will encounter the problem of your own guilt. Also, this guilt has to become fully conscious. Such awareness will bring into clear focus the question of, “Have I caused an inner problem in this child due to my own imperfection? How can I live with such knowledge?”
Your unconscious knowledge of this pressing question makes you shy away from facing it and you become more compulsive in trying to eliminate these destructive feelings that are evidently responsible for the child’s fear. The more compulsively you want to get rid of the destructive feelings, the more you have to pretend to feel what you do not really feel. And this, in turn, aggravates the problem in him and in all of you. It increases fear and guilt all around.
However, if you face up to that which you feel, and fully understand it by going to the roots of it – which can only be done without guilt and without judging yourself or others – then you begin to change the atmosphere even long before you are able to feel differently. This must then help him.
Oh, you can tell him many things and he certainly has unusual understanding in this respect. But what you tell him will not really help unless you face what is, without moralizing about anyone, but just accepting your immaturity, and by doing so, learning more about it. Such activity will relieve the strained atmosphere which produces his fear.
The strain is caused more by your compulsive striving to be something you cannot yet be because you do not fully understand the roots. Accept this slow process of your growth. Remove the compulsion and the impatience, and the imperfect feelings of hostility will be less harmful than the compulsion to overcome them.
In such a frame of mind, all of you will truly understand that he too brought his unresolved problems into this life, as you brought your own. The environment only brings out what exists already. It cannot bring out what is not there to begin with. He has to live out his problems, as you are required to live out yours. Your imperfect parents and environmental conditions simply brought the problems to the fore.
This truth will be a personal experience only if and when you remove your hurry, your lack of acceptance of yourself, your dependency on pleasing the moral standards of others so as to be approved, as well as your guilt, and your fear. Until such time, you can help him by quietly pursuing this work of self-awareness and self-acceptance.
You know all this, but so often you do not apply it to the everyday little feelings which you let go by without becoming aware of their existence and therefore, eventually, of their deeper significance. This will then enable you to perceive the effect that you have one upon the other – and in this your view, all of yours – is still limited. That is something you have not yet taken into consideration. Not really.
QUESTION: You mean me, personally? Or you mean all of us?
ANSWER: At least you and your daughter who are in this work of self-finding. Both of you have found in your discoveries about yourself that what he fears is actually so. You have pursued this pattern of division of loyalty.
By now, you understand – and this is a great improvement – not only that this is so, but to a degree, why this is so. But you do not as yet understand, or experience, or are sensitive to the effect that this has on others and that this understanding will also help the child. Understanding without moralizing.
QA118 QUESTION: The shame and guilt of parents for giving insufficient, imperfect love was mentioned in the last lecture [Lecture #118 Duality Through Illusion – Transference] in connection with affecting the love potential of the child. But I would like a little more explanation how this works, how this is connected.
ANSWER: Yes, I will be glad to. When the baby, even in its first months – not even to speak of later years of childhood – misses a vital force, which you may call love, warmth, affection, security or safety – all these warm and safe feelings of being fully accepted – if this is missing, a void is created in the soul of the child.
I will not discuss the fact that only those souls who already have the potential for this void due to unresolved problems enter into this family. That goes without saying. We all know that. But let us, for simplicity sake, begin the origin in this life.
So if this void exists, then the love potential in the child must suffer because of the void. Let me give you a very simple example on the physical level. Let us assume a human being grows up with insufficient food value. The food he receives is sufficient to sustain him, to keep him alive, but he may have a shortage of certain essential food forces – vitamins or minerals or proteins or carbohydrates or whatever it may be. Therefore, a certain strength he would otherwise have is missing.
He may go through life. He may be capable of fulfilling certain tasks up to a degree, but at a much greater expense of energy. Vitality will be missing because he has this shortage in his physical system. And until that shortage is supplied, he must be weaker than his given potential.
As an adult, however, he is no longer dependent on these missing food values being given to him. If he gains the knowledge and realizes where he is lacking in strength and why, he can go out and supply it for himself so that the past shortage can be eliminated.
It is exactly the same, my dearest friends, with the emotional food values. This potential strength for love-giving has not been given its chance to develop by withholding that force, that nourishment from the child. But when the child grows up and is no longer dependent on this force being given to him, he then can set out to straighten out confusions and misconceptions and gain the selfhood that enables him to fill the void within himself by his own actions, attitudes, leanings, thoughts and feelings. Thereupon the food value can be supplied. Does that make sense to you?
QUESTION: Yes. I have an additional question here, though. The lacking parental love can be shown in different ways. The one way may be through guilt and shame and overindulgence and in other ways, or else in indifference. Now, would both these things have the same effect and still leave a void regardless of what the outer manifestations are?
ANSWER: Well, let me try to answer this question. There’s quite a lot to this answer. In the first place, of course, the effect is not necessarily the same, because let us assume a completely or relatively very strong and healthy and unconflicted soul will not be affected or will be very little affected.
Then, to the next part of your question, the fact whether the lack of love manifests in one way or another – and there are many ways in which it can manifest, not only these two – that again depends not only on the parent or both parents and each of their problems, but also on the characteristics and the type of conflict of the child in question.
So that in one case, let us say, overindulgence may have the same effect that in another case withdrawal or even cruelty would have. While a different effect may come with different siblings from the same attitude in the parent. So a lot of factors play a role, a lot of interaction.
There’s the temperament, the character of parents and child, and their interaction in what particular way the effect will manifest. But one thing is clear. The common denominator of such a condition that prohibits the love capacity is always, in the last analysis, a separateness which cannot or fears to come out of one’s own confinement. This is always lack of love, which is then often substituted by over-responsibility and over-compulsive duty fulfillment.
But whatever the substitutions, the idealized self-images, the way this manifests may be, deep down – where love is not fully experienced and cannot reach out – it is always the fear of stepping out of one’s own boundaries.
QUESTION: Is it possible that if a child doesn’t have that absolutely fulfilling love in babyhood, that this human being is still possible to completely love her or himself?
ANSWER: Oh yes, definitely through such a path of self-realization when you wake up and see your distorted, unrealistic concepts, which make you govern your life in a destructive way.
I mean you recognize how the fearfulness makes you confined in yourself and makes you, without any justification, hold back. Then this love stream can reach out. As you straighten out the misconception, this whole thing begins to change. Of course, this is not a process from one day to the other, as you all very well know. This is a gradual growth.
But in this growth it is certainly so, because in the last analysis, it cannot ever be in this creation – which is an eminently meaningful one – that anyone’s development and fulfillment could be dependent on circumstances outside one’s control or on other people. This holds true only for a limited amount of time – let us say, for the child as it grows up and until it can reach the point where it is capable of pursuing its own development.
Then, for that limited segment of time, this dependence on the parents and the family condition exists, but not in the long run. That is so very often a confusion for mankind, because man can only see that which is immediate. Now, from the immediate point of view, it is often true and it looks that way and is that way – that the child seems to be tremendously handicapped and is for that limited period handicapped by the parents’ lack of development or problem. But not in the long run.
QUESTION: I am right now concerned with a child who doesn’t even know who his father is and who is one of eleven children whose mother never paid any attention to him, who’s lived in foster homes all his life and is now in an institution with mental problems. I’m concerned with him, because I feel very deep compassion for his situation. I recognize he is probably in a karma where this is required of him. But how does a child like this, who doesn’t even begin to have a chance to face himself or his problems, ever receive the opportunity?
ANSWER: Well, he has the chances. The chances do come to him several times in life. And there it is up to him. Of course, it may be very difficult with all the defiance and bitterness that he even sees the chance, and then the spiral movement of life itself goes on, until finally the strength and the wisdom is developed that it can no longer be overlooked.
All of you who are here have at one stage gone through such periods where you seemed to have no chance and yet you did have a chance, for you have now reached where you are – a much higher state of awareness, more strength, and where your immediate free will has much more leeway.
But you have all been, at one point, where this was much more limited, where you had been confined due to your own confinement of the limited outlook and where you had, perhaps many times, overlooked the chances given to you to create your own strong self or to recreate it. Until finally, some cases sooner and some cases later, you get to the point where you are now. Do you understand?
QUESTION: Well, not quite, because I feel that these people have been so rejected that they would reject the opportunity even to have insights, and I do not feel it’s their responsibility.
ANSWER: No, you see this, as I said before, from that limited outlook and you are right. In that limited outlook it does not seem to be their responsibility. But when you see the whole, it is always the self-responsibility. I realize this is hard to grasp, and the more you begin to grasp it, the more you pursue this Path, the more you experience this in yourself – let us say when you see your own handicap coming from childhood and how you at certain times were really helpless and how you are now no longer helpless due to your struggle. And when you see your effort to gain understanding, your openness, your search – for without that openness and that search, you would never have reached that point.
This is on the smaller scale, because of course, you were not as handicapped as such a case you cited, but still the principle is the same. For the limited amount of time there is this helplessness, there is this dependency on circumstances, but in the long run these very circumstances are the result of one’s attitude. It works both ways, don’t you see?
QUESTION: I see it. I wonder if we ourselves who have evolved to some extent are not meant to reach out and help these people.
ANSWER: Of course! Wherever you can, it would be very wonderful if you do. But, my dearest, the more you weaken yourself by unhappiness, the less you are capable of helping. The more you see or can manage to see on a wider scale, the less you will weaken yourself and therefore the more effective your love will be and your reaching out will be. There are many ways in which to reach out, and each human being has different opportunities for that.
It can never be effective if one does not find, as you do who are on this Path, my friends, first one’s own limitation that limits or prohibits the reaching out to the full potential. And that is the best way to reach out in more ways than one. Certainly!
QA118 QUESTION: You were just talking about that baby not being fed properly. I have a problem there. If a baby sometimes doesn’t get the proper food, it might develop some bone structure problems. The bone structure does not develop properly, and the baby will have it the problem all his or her life. Now, the same can happen with the soul too, especially if the soul is not very resilient. Somebody who is sticking to things can’t throw that off; if it were hid in the deepest part, it wouldn’t get development in life.
ANSWER: I understand what your question is here, but I think you will find the answer and the explanation immediately if you shed the light on the question and the problem on the opposite perspective. You are approaching it as though it is now the fault of the parents that this condition cannot be remedied for the whole life.
I have really talked about this so much in the past about all the laws of reincarnation, which are not different from the psychological laws. They’re one and the same laws. But I will answer it again.
The soul that is burdened with these problems, with this inner stubbornness, with that inner rigidity, with that blindness, is not by chance given into a life situation where this seems to be even made worse. But it is the law of attraction that makes it flock to life conditions, where the parents themselves are so undeveloped that they cannot give to the child anything else that it calls forth through its own soul condition.
So there must always be the equal conditions that attract one another. But this does not relieve either the child or the parent from tending to its own further development. Neither can the child say, “Well, it is all the fault of my parent, and now I am a poor innocent victim.” Nor can the parent say, “Well, it is not my fault; the child was born that way with these problems.” They both have their problems which demand looking into.
QUESTION: Yes, I understand that. I didn’t think of the parents. I thought of that baby with the bone structure problem, and it can’t be remedied. So the same thing can happen to a person, even on the Path?
ANSWER: Well, I explained that. That’s right.
QUESTION: But I didn’t blame the parents or the child.
ANSWER: Yes, but you see, if you extend this very question further, it must come to this: “Well, whose fault is it that the child has to go through life with these impairments?” In the end it must come to this “whose fault it is” – the child’s fault or the parents’ fault or both faults? So this is why I answered the question in this way.
QUESTION: In connection with that, if a child has a bone defect, could he, if he develops highly enough spiritually, even correct the bone defect?
ANSWER: It could.
QUESTION: The physical bone defect?
ANSWER: It could and it has happened. There are certified cases where such things have happened. Of course, they are not frequent, because too often a soul who is still burdened with these problems – bringing forth physical conditions – does not have the strength. But in theory it is possible, and it has happened in practice, certainly. There’s no limit to this.