QA178 QUESTION: I see people now as either connected or disconnected. Somehow it makes it very clear. When I see other people, I see that they’re disconnected or they don’t seem to be here. I know that to connect, you have to start with a commitment – that you want to connect yourself. What happens if you can’t commit yourself or you don’t what to?

ANSWER: If that is the case, it has to be truly acknowledged and stated to be so, for then all is well. Then you do not close further doors. The danger lies in not admitting this fact, in glossing over it, in rationalizing it away, in escaping from it, and then true confusion and chaos result.

But the moment you can say this, then you can go further by saying to yourself, “There must be something in me that blocks it. There must be some unconscious conclusion or fear or misconception that prohibits me from taking the steps to connect with the deepest center of my being. I want to find out what it is.” You do not risk anything.

You think you risk a lot by wanting to connect yourself, but you cannot even believe that you risk anything by simply finding out “what in me prevents me from wanting something that I know is good but that I nevertheless do not want?” It cannot be merely a senseless destructiveness.

Senseless destructiveness really does not exist. It may appear to be so, but it isn’t actually senseless. There is always some kind of belief, some wrong idea lodged in the deeper consciousness. And that idea must be explored. You must probe to find out what that idea is. And you can reserve yourself the right not to ever want to change. It is your right to remain as you are.

It is your right to forfeit fulfillment in a fuller sense. For that fulfillment in a fuller sense can only come when you want to be constructive, when you want to give the best of yourself to life, when you do not want to hold back, when you want to commit yourself to your innermost being with all its wealth, when you want to feel all the way – yourself and life and for others.

When that is blocked, you miss out. But that is your right, your inalienable right. But you also have the right to find out why you want to block this fulfillment. You can take that right and proceed in this journey of self-exploration and find out, “What are these ideas that block me from wanting something I know to be good, and yet I cannot really want it?”

In that sense you will find out a great deal without the inner pressure that comes from thinking you must change, that there is some kind of higher authority behind you that whips you into that you must change. No one is there that forces you. So I say to you, find out what it is that prevents you, and then you can make your decision. And when you really find out, you always will then really want to change and want to commit yourself, and want to give up destructive blocks that hold you back from living at your best. [Lecture #196 Commitment: Cause and Effect]


QA180 QUESTION: I have a problem with commitment on any level, whether it’s reading a book or setting something, or even in this work. I started with great enthusiasm and great intent, and it always peters out. Can you help me with that?

ANSWER: Yes, I can comment on this, because you broach here a topic, which is extremely important for everyone. The ability to commit oneself in any form, on any level, is very directly related to the surrender of the ego. [Lecture #142 The Function of the Ego in Relationship to the Real Self] The inability to surrender is exactly the problem of mankind and of individuals. To the degree this surrender is impossible or seems impossible or is obstructed, to that degree commitment is impossible and concentration is impossible and following through things is impossible, and many other things – good feelings – are impossible. Being integrated within yourself is impossible.

If this is acknowledged, then this can be treated as a problem. The inability to surrender, to let go, to trust, to commit, to involve yourself completely rather than explaining it away or rationalizing it, to that degree you say, “Yes, yes, here is my problem; let us really go into it. Why am I so frightened? Why am I vain perhaps?”

It is also a question of vanity often, of holding, of being egotistical, in a sense. This is very deeply related to the inability to surrender. The ego that is held onto and that is supposed to fulfill the primary function within the personality – which may happen in a very subtle, concealed, unconscious, inadvertent way – must be looked for. All of you, my friends, must realize that this must be detected. [Lecture #158 The Ego’s Cooperation With or Obstruction of the Real Self]

You must start from the premise that this may be so unbeknownst to your consciousness – how you obstruct surrender of the ego, how you tighten the holds of ego – and that this is the problem that creates a great deal of unhappiness and conflicts which seem unconnected and appear on another level and which you then deplore and want to resolve. And when you start a process to resolve them, whenever it comes to this point, you shirk away from it.

Now, very often – and you may feel at times, maybe more unconscious than conscious – this is rationalized in that way, “Well, if I give up my ego, then I become a helpless blob.” Now, this is not so, ever. It merely means that you give up resistance and stubbornness and holding and always open yourself for a truth and not obstruct truth.

If every breathing second of your life, you commit yourself to truth as it is within you, you cannot become a blob, whether you find the temporary truth of something unpleasant yourself or whether it is transmitted to you from some other source, from some other person, it does not matter.

The truth will be the truth, and if you’re open to that, you will have a perfect balance between the healthy ego that can take care of itself but is only part of the function of the total personality. You will have a perfect balance of self-assertion without being rebellious, of being able to surrender without being submissive. These confusions will cease to burden you.

But surrender and commitment are interdependent. And if the willingness to surrender is not contemplated as a program, as a necessary gauge, as it were, if this is left out as something that is not really of importance, then the personal path cannot bring solutions, ever, to problems. You cannot become yourself in the truest sense of the word.

Surrender does not bring forth, as you may falsely believe, a negation of the self, but much the contrary is true. It brings a true birth of the self – and integration of all the faculties of the self, that institutes a harmony.

Now, I have said many, many things about this surrender, in many ways, in many words, changing the terminology here and there – the ability to let go, for example, I say or other expressions – because sometimes using a word too long becomes meaningless to the person. It becomes an empty term, so I advisedly change terminology. But I have spoken again and again of this. [Lecture #254 Surrender]

Yet, most people forget it and do not take the capacity to surrender into account and rationalize it as though surrender means submission, and as though rebellion means self-assertion. The more you rebel, the less you can assert yourself. The more you submit, the less you can surrender. And the more you surrender, the less you will submit. These are unchangeable, inexorable, spiritual laws – laws and truth.


QA238 QUESTION: I’d like to ask you a question about Theater in a Trunk. For the last couple of months we have been working on creating a play about how thought translates itself into action. It’s been a struggle on many levels. The play is still incomplete; we’re still working on it, although we are performing it. I’d like to know what the significance of the struggle is for myself personally, and for us as a group, especially since it’s the first time we’ve been working on a play since the core members of the group have actively been on the Path. Can you give us some guidance?

ANSWER: The significance in your personal case is very simple: you have a problem of already knowing certain truths and yet being shy about it, unwilling to bring them into actuality in your own feeling self. It is as though you shy away from making a full commitment to wanting your feeling self totally free, and that is the actualization – making the thought an actuality. Your thought is there but the actuality is not there. Do you see this? {Yes}

That is the significance and it reflects, as far as you are concerned, in this struggle outside. It is truly the same struggle inside of you. What you need is the courage to believe that when you make the full commitment to wanting it that it will have its result. You shy away from making this commitment because somehow you do not believe your desire, your commitment to wanting it, and your prayer for this, will have results.

So you wait for something else to happen that will never happen until you make this commitment: “I want to feel with all my heart completely, freely, unhampered. I want to give my feelings and I trust that the divine principle in me can bring this about.” That is like going out on a limb, risking this commitment, as it were, chancing it – from your point of view – that it may not result in anything. That is taking the risk of going out and making the commitment. And, of course, in reality, if you have the faith and do not give up believing in it, it will come.

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