QA130 QUESTION: Could you explain jealousy?
ANSWER: Jealousy is, of course, a lack of security in oneself, a lack of self-confidence, and also a lack of love, because fear and possessiveness may often appear as love but do not truly indicate love. When you really love, you can let free, you can let go. That does not mean that a lover is happy when he loses his beloved one. Of course not. Jealousy is something else.
Jealousy is not just sadness of perhaps losing someone. Jealousy means something like envy: “You have what I want, and you have what I feel I deserve.” Jealousy contains the ignorance and the misunderstanding that anyone else can have what belongs to you and that you cannot have what really is your due. When I say your due, I do not mean that in the moralizing sense of you get, by an outer deity, the reward you deserve. Not at all. It does not even have anything to do with deserving.
You may be utterly deserving, but when you feel, “I should not or cannot or must not or will not have this,” then you eliminate that which you want to have, and then you need to be jealous when someone else has it. You may be absolutely deserving from a moral point of view, but if, due to a misconception, you say No to the fulfillment, then you will need to be jealous and you will need to rebel against the fact that you remain empty-handed, until you find where and how and why you say No yourself.
This may not necessarily have anything to do with a moralizing way of, “You deserve, because you’re good enough, and you do not deserve, because you’re not good enough.”
QUESTION: Can you explain it in a situation such as two love partners, where one love partner makes love to another person?
ANSWER: I would say that such a thing can hardly happen unless the one who suffers because of this unfaithfulness has in some way pushed the unfaithful one away. It would not happen otherwise. Find the element where you pushed away, and you will not need to be jealous. You will find your peace and your equilibrium in that discovery.
As long as you ignore where you pushed the partner away and the partner finally followed suit, as it were, you must suffer in jealousy.
QA172 QUESTION: I was wondering if you could help me understand my problem with irrational jealousies and suspicions, and also my problem with dependency in relationships?
ANSWER: Yes. Perhaps the most direct and relevant answer is that you deny – unconsciously without knowing it, without wanting it, driven by unconscious forces – your love feelings, all your pleasure feelings. You do not let them out in their full capacity. And this, of course, is a general human predicament.
I do not tell you anything here that applies especially to you. But because you do not know this, because you’re cut off from this, you are then insecure. It is due to that insecurity – namely, that you are not deriving your self-esteem and your security of life from your own center of gravity, from within your own being – that you become dependent upon others.
You therefore must become possessive and afraid and jealous and in control, and think if you do not or cannot govern them according to your liking, you are lost. And that can never be accomplished. Then the more you set out by unconscious indirect means to control them – because you are so dependent – and the more you take these energies away from where they should really be directed.
And that is to bring out your own capacity of feelings and of love, and also to strengthen your ego. For you cannot trust your love feelings if your ego is weak and you’re involved in a vicious circle. Your ego remains weak if you constantly nourish yourself upon others. And the strength is then used in a way to get others to nourish you.
Again, here too I say to all my friends who are not involved in this work and who just listen to lectures, eventually if they truly want to go and make the best of their lives and find themselves and realize the infinite, glorious potential for joy and pleasure and happiness and resourcefulness and strength and security and the manifold possibilities of life expressions that you all sense within you – vaguely perhaps, but nevertheless you sense it – it requires a more concentrated and greater investment and commitment to such a path.
And therefore these words may then serve as an understanding and an eventual incentive, in one way or another, to go to these depths within yourself.
QA174 QUESTION: I’d like to ask about jealousy for someone who experiences this jealousy and then later, in a sort of delayed action, feels violent rage, which is then projected on innocent bystanders. This is then followed by guilt, which is followed by punishment, and on it goes. Could you show what the jealousy is about and how to break this vicious circle?
ANSWER: Yes. Well, the jealousy is a very overall feeling of when a person is still unwilling basically to be involved in life, to give his very best to whatever he is doing – to himself, to his environment, to life itself, to his own fulfillment, to every activity. The emphasis is mainly on receiving, on getting and then perhaps if one gets everything one wants, give a little.
And since that never happens that way, then the person sort of feels “this is a good excuse not to give,” because one wants to get first, obtain first. Thereby, one fosters constant frustration, for in the giving lies the fulfillment.
The fulfillment is not then a reward or a holy, goody-goody attitude because you were a good child, so now you can receive – heaven rewards you. It is not like that. But it is that the giving personality is open and susceptible for pleasure on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
It’s only the loving, giving person who can truly be fulfilled, because only in that attitude lies the capacity to experience pleasure. Now, when a person is anxious and is full of reserves about pleasure and giving and receiving pleasure and giving love and loving and being involved and giving one’s best, he or she must be frustrated.
This frustration then creates the envy or jealousy to have what other people have, because one then is so separated from mankind that one constantly thinks what others have is so much better, and one’s own deprivations are a special injustice of fate. This is how jealousy is fostered and perpetuated in the psyche.
Therefore, I would say, whenever you become more self-aware on such a path, you have to confront your anger, your rage, your jealousies, your enviousness. For it is indeed so often the case that people feel all that but they never permit themselves to acknowledge it.
They’d rather rationalize it away, explain it away, and deny the feeling. Then the feeling comes up indirectly in other ways that are much more destructive than the direct acknowledgment of such a feeling. So the acknowledgement is a very important aspect.
The next step would be to recognize precisely what I said here: to understand that envy of what others have is a result of frustration, and the frustration is a result of the false belief that others can ever frustrate you.
Nobody else can do that, any more than that anyone else can give you your fulfillment. For no matter how much love others give you, if you are blocked, it won’t ever be what will leave you filled, satisfied. It is in your own attitude – and this must be recognized – where the soul blocks the full giving.
QA180 QUESTION: One of my most important problems is that when I’m in a relationship, I feel very threatened, and I always have a feeling of competition, especially in a relationship with a man. I feel competition from other women and this takes the form of jealousy.
ANSWER: Yes. Now, of course, the dynamics of such a situation go much deeper than I can possibly handle in one answer in such an evening. And also even if I could give you all the answers, it would not be sufficient for you to work it out, because you have to come to feel it.
There are only certain things I will go into at this time with the hope that this may make some sense to you. Even if you feel just an inkling of it and you can build upon this realization, or you can open a new door of introspection in this respect, this might lead you to a greater understanding of your problem and eventually to resolving it.
Now, the first thing I would like to say is that the jealousy, the insecurity, the threat, the competitiveness – all of which are aspects of the same thing – are caused by an initial fear of your feelings, fear of commitment to the total flow of your feelings. You may, of course, rationalize this by putting the cart before the horse, which mankind is so prone to do.
In other words, you may say it is because you are afraid and insecure and jealous that you hold back on your feelings. And I say it is exactly the other way around. You are afraid of competition, you are jealous, you are insecure, because you hold back your feelings. There is a deep anxiety and fear in this regard, a constrictiveness and a holding in you, which creates the whole problem here.
In order to really dissolve this, in order to become capable of totally feeling what I say here and making the inner decision to change, it requires a long time of work on such a path, self-observation and insight. You need understanding of yourself and allowing your feelings to be as they are – even if they are irrational – without acting them out or explaining them away, but merely observing them for what they are.
This will eventually lead you to the point where you will take the apparent risk to let yourself feel. And that will then alter the entire situation. Because, you see, here is also another matter that is part and parcel of this. It is the type of person you attract to yourself as a result of this problem, which may then, on the surface, seem to justify your uncertainty.
Many times – perhaps not always, but many times – the person you are involved with may indeed have his own problems and may not be ready for an inner commitment to his feelings on his part, which then creates a vicious circle. You pick this up in your unconscious and you say, “Well, of course, if he feels that way, how can I then let go?” And vice versa.
The initial problem “I must hold back my feelings” is always then encouraged and justified by having a partner who seems to bear out the apparent wisdom of holding back on the feelings. But if you are, in principle, willing to let go of your feelings – which does not mean blindness and an unrealistic attitude; quite on the contrary – you will then choose very different partners.