QA172 QUESTION: How can one overcome inertia? This seems so difficult, since one has to overcome inertia in order to overcome it, so that one seems trapped in this obstruction?

ANSWER: Yes. Now, first of all, as is usual, the difficulty lies in not being fully aware that the self is entrapped in this vicious circle. It is therefore essential to really know it, to really accept this fact about oneself.

It makes a very great difference if one somehow knows it, almost against one’s will – because one is being told it is so – or when one really can say, “Yes, I have an inertia that keeps me back from living, that keeps me entrapped in a situation in which I do not experience life at its best, where I do not experience myself at my full potential. And therefore, this inertia is a hindrance and an obstruction. And even though I do not know how to get out of it, I would like to get out of it.”

The clear concise knowledge and admission and acceptance of this is a great deal and it is not as self-understood as it may appear. Even among my friends who are on this Path and who work with a Helper, it is usually that the Helper mentions this, while one willy-nilly listens to it and somewhat reluctantly admits it – because one is vaguely aware of its presence in one’s life and of its effects – but one has not really come to terms with the full impact of this fact.

That is, therefore, the first thing. And this applies, of course, to every other obstruction as well. But it is usually forgotten. After this has been accomplished, the second understanding about it must be that what causes inertia are two fundamental factors. The one is, as you also know, repression.

Of course, most of you know it too, theoretically. It is when you are unaware of what is going on in you, when you have repressed emotions that you are afraid of, then you will find yourself in a blocked and locked and inert state of mind. The clear knowledge of this is also extremely important.

The second factor is that there is something in you that specifically has an interest, as it were – it’s not a real interest, but it seems that way to the unconscious personality – not to come out of hiding, not to move out into life, not to become active and in tune with the life force, not to be fully aware and enjoying and active in every sense of the word.

There seems to be somewhere a threat of danger involved in this. There must be a specific misconception about it. It is of the utmost importance to set out very directly to find out what is the misconception that creates an unconscious desire to be inactive, to be inert, because it is assumed to be more safe.

So, in other words, to recapitulate, three essentials: one, the full-fledged knowledge and admission of the presence of inertia, the full statement to oneself; the second, the realization that one is repressing feelings; and the third is that there is an unconscious misconception that makes the inert state seem more desirable.

Once one knows this and deliberately requests one’s innermost highest powers for help and guidance in this respect, one will then find it in the organized way of this Pathwork, where you will be led by the inner powers to have the necessary realization.


QA172 QUESTION: Can you comment on one of my most constant reactions, which is a kind of self-dissatisfaction and self-criticism that results in passivity. How can I go to the root of this so that I can take a more constructive approach or in some way resolve it?

ANSWER: For the tackling of the problem of inertia, say to yourself, “What misconception do I have that prevents me from wanting to be active, that prevents me from wanting to be self-sustaining, and that prevents me from wanting to love?”

If you tackle these three questions, which are actually three aspects of the same question – but they have to be started as three separate questions – and take that up in your self-confrontation, in your meditation, in your work with yourself and with your Helper – very concisely, very directly – and listen into yourself and ask that question in your meditation and wait till the answer unfolds itself, you will get answers.

You will get the realization that there are specific misconceptions involved that make activity, loving and selfhood apparently undesirable and possibly even dangerous to you. Once you see the misconceptions spelled out, then you can work on that.

It would do no good if I would say it, because the meaningful experience of the misconception will only come as you overcome sufficient resistance to request answers from within yourself to these questions. But I think you can feel a distinct gnaw, a distinct sense of undesirability and possibly even danger about all of these three aspects. Can you not?

QUESTION: Oh, yes, yes. I’m aware of that, yes.

ANSWER: Now, can you go further and say, “Why?”

QUESTION: I can also feel that happiness seems to be an idea of receiving instead of giving. It seems to be a passive state instead of an active state.

ANSWER: Yes, but that is only within the framework of this misconception. {Right!} That is the misconception in itself. For the truth is, no matter how lovely and wonderful it is to receive the good feelings of others, they are meaningless if you do not have your own good feelings. That much you already have experienced. It is only a question now to recall that fact.

For many a time others have extended good feelings to you, and it was flat and meaningless unless you were enlivened by your own love feelings. So there must be something further that says, “I do not want to love.” Yet I would say that is not even the misconception.

In your innermost self, you know it feels good to love, but there are other elements here. Perhaps one clue is that there is a spitefulness that says, “I do not want to forgive those who have cheated me. And if I love the world and people, it seems to forgive those who have withheld from me.” That would be one thing you would have to face. There are other things connected with it. Is it possible for you to feel some of this?

QUESTION: In general, I’m aware of the hostility towards people, sort of, vaguely.

ANSWER: Yes. But there is also the desire not to forgive your parents.


ANSWER: To punish them with your spite. And that applies then to all other human beings, for it seems if you love the world, you could not exclude them. You would have to forgive them; you would have to let bygones be bygones. While you derive a certain satisfaction – not enjoyment, but satisfaction – out of nurturing your grudge, and that nurturing-your-grudge renders you passive. Can you see?

QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you. I think I begin to see that, yes.

ANSWER: Yes, that is fine. I would say it is also true of many others who cannot get out of passivity and inertia, that they like to nurture their grudge. They like to lean on the fact that they have someone to quarrel with within.

QUESTION: Even if I forgive, the next moment something happens, and even if very slight, I renew it again.

ANSWER: Right! Right! Right!


QA182 QUESTION: For some reason, I can’t get up the steam to move. My mind works but my body doesn’t want to do things. The reason is that I fear that every time I do something, I get ground down. I seem to get checkmated at every point. I’ve discovered a misconception, which I call my “hard effort image,” which is that life resists my every move like a steel wall because as a child I decreed that this should be so, in response to my parents’ coldness, which made me feel worthless. Hence my every effort or movement into or in life – including subtle involuntary body functions such as seeing, breathing and walking – should be agony and dangerous.

For by this checkmate device I will either attain my parents’ love or else collapse and die out of shear exhaustion – the better to get substantive parents who are more loving. Now, the more positive my gesture into life – that is, the more effort I expend in life – the more severe the penalty of the reaction – the more negative the countercheck is. Can you validate this, and help me to see the next step?

ANSWER: This is entirely correct, and I will also add some aspects – partially you have found them and realized them and discovered them about yourself – which are, nevertheless, part and parcel of this basic image.

Before I do so, I would like to say that the dynamic mechanism involved here is exactly the same dynamic mechanism that applies to all living phenomenon, whether it is positive or negative, whether it manifests in accordance with the universal law of truth, love, beauty and fulfillment, or whether it manifests in accordance with distortion of it.

This dynamism is that whatever is truly believed and wanted creates a live energy, a motor force, which becomes self-perpetuating. And the only way to change it is to change the underlying belief. Now, you and other friends know that a great deal of hard work is involved until one finds these unconscious, irrational beliefs and desires, due to the equally irrational conclusions and intentions.

This is not done from one day to the other, because offhand, the conscious mind has absolutely no idea about it. But only when this is made conscious by the effort that you put into it, can you begin to effectuate a change. And that requires another aspect of the dialogue I mentioned – the dialogue where your conscious ego self has to correct the impression, has to imprint the soul substance with the truth, not the distortion we are dealing with. At the same time great care must be taken not to superimpose these thoughts over emotions which still deviate.

What I want to add here is that in addition to the things you mentioned about dying, the belief exists that if you are unhappy – if you have not received what you desire and long for – that you must be bad, you must be worthless. Then this anger that accrues from that reinforces the belief of your alleged worthlessness. And so you wish to punish yourself by exhausting and depriving yourself – and finally by dying.

But simultaneously it also fulfills the spite that must exist toward the parents who have committed the sin, as it were, to shortchange a child, to not give it. And when I say “sin,” I do not mean that literally. I mean that in the eyes of the child, for in reality it is but the parents’ inability to see and comprehend due to their own problems.

But the child, of course, feels it as a personal rejection, as a personal insult, and therefore wishes to spite the parents – and unhappiness and death can indeed be that. So all of that plays a role. Now you are aware of that, how your own life-giving forces are stopped. They are stopped always by the mechanism that says deep inside, “You cannot have pleasure; you cannot give yourself to the forces of life that are streaming and that are at your disposal, for you will be deprived as you experienced in the past.” Then fear sets in, and anger and spite.

In this soul movement of fear, anger and spite, the body follows suit and complies with the same tension. So then actually – and this is the dynamic – the misconception seems to be true. In this tense and negatively expectant way, the life force cannot flow smoothly. It is stopped all along the way. And in this harsh, tense state that the subtle bodies and the physical body puts itself, the flow of the life force becomes harsh and leads to a harsh movement that will then create corresponding effects.

This mechanism can be broken basically by two approaches. Number one is what I mentioned before – namely, the reconstruction work of correcting the false impression, of telling your unconscious psyche that you can have all the happiness you make yourself open for; you can receive as much as you are willing to accept and as you are willing to give, for life is a constant exchange. And not give for the sake of being good but give because giving and receiving become one vital life motion.

The second approach is to observe the physical tension as you are ready to open yourself up for the pleasurable movement of the life force within your structure. As you see this tightening up on the body level, you can counteract it by not letting yourself tense up, but by relaxing. The relaxing motion will almost appear as a risky step, for it seems to the ignorant part that by being tight you are protected, by being relaxed you are vulnerable. And this risk – to be vulnerable – must be taken.

In the final analysis, this risk of being vulnerable must be taken on all levels. It must be taken on the level where the defenses are. It seems risky to give them up. It seems that you make yourself vulnerable by giving them up. This risk must be taken. At the same time, on the body level, the risk must be taken to make yourself relax. And it is the same fundamental life attitude – being relaxed and vulnerable rather than tight and contracted.

QUESTION: I can feel my conscious self very clearly, and it feels like a bulldozer pushing this mountain. I feel the struggle but I don’t feel like moving because it is like a rock sitting in my solar plexus.

ANSWER: Exactly! The fact that you have become aware of this is from the immensely valuable work and struggle you have undertaken so far. This awareness is the absolute prerequisite without which no change can come forth.

It is not always a consecutive thing of, the first part of the work is where you uncover, the second where you reconstruct. Sometimes they interlap and they overlap and interact and alternate and are simultaneous also. But you can begin – to the degree you’re conscious – the reconstruction work in the way I just talked about.

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