QA134 QUESTION: It seems to me from what you have been teaching us, that nature’s way is that of growth toward perfection. Man’s way, on the other hand, seems to be one of going off a path and getting yourself into difficulty. I’m reminded of a line in Thompson’s poem about the wood having to be charred to fully control man. Is it necessary for man to be burnt or to find himself in difficulty or at a dead-end before he can come back?
ANSWER: It would not be necessary except that man is often unwilling to see the truth or to take the efforts unless he is in a state of suffering. But it would not by nature be necessary. Now, the incredible and inconceivably wonderful way of Creation is that the laws are made in such a way that whatever happens, man has a way of coming out. If he chooses, he can avoid suffering; if he does not choose so, by the very fact of his suffering, he is eventually bound to find a way out, just because he suffers.
In other words, never can suffering be in vain. It seems so, looked at from a very short-sighted, out-of-context vision. But in the long run, this is the truth, my friend. Man need not suffer, but since he often chooses to remain in his blindness and in the temporary short-sighted, precarious satisfaction of negative feelings, he therefore produces more negativity, until his suffering gets greater and greater.
The greater it gets, the more he is bound to come out of it, because finally he can only come out of it due to his choice and due to his will and due to his determination. He will often determine it only when he has suffered, refusing to see before. But it would not, in principle, be necessary.
QA175 QUESTION: This is partly a social question, partly personal. Some people on welfare – this is the social aspect of it – it’s almost impossible to rehabilitate them. We hear this question over and over again with the hard-core cases. I learned when I was a caseworker that I could only rehabilitate, or shall we say help, the person who was already motivated to be helped. Over and over again, the question is coming up: What to do about the people in this country?
ANSWER: Who do not want to be helped, you mean?
QUESTION: Yes. So my question is, and this is applicable personally too: How do you motivate the unmotivated? What reaches somebody? What starts motivation in somebody?
QUESTION: They are.
ANSWER: Yes, but sometimes human beings have to suffer so deeply before they can be motivated. Because their stake in refuting the parent and therefore life and the whole society is so strong that even if they suffer, they still would rather suffer than get well.
I cannot answer from a mere human point of view, because it is impossible to do that. For I know you human beings wish to find solutions and help for everyone immediately. That is very good and very fine – but it is, unfortunately, not realistic.
For there are innumerable, innumerable human beings who must go through the depths of suffering before they want help. They will not accept help otherwise. They must come to a point when they see their old way does not work – it isn’t worth it – that they must really want to change.
If you give a person help who is not ready to take it, it will be thrown back in your face. And that applies in exactly the same way in microcosm and in macrocosm. You can see it in small ways with all of you whose overall being wants help and wants to grow and wants to realize the divine potentials and is yearning for love and happiness. And yet this other side so often stubbornly limps behind, refuting the very help the conscious part of the personality – and also the subliminal part of the personality – seeks.
In other words, your spiritual being and your conscious being thrive in love and in truth, and move toward it and want to move toward that. And yet there is this negativity in you that refutes it and does not accept the help and battles it. Therefore you yourself, find yourself in a battle, and the realistic way to go about it is to see this, to accept this, and by accepting and seeing it, bring the change about.
For what do these human beings feel? For what do your resistant psyches feel? You will feel, “I am told by authority that I must behave. I will not behave, for if I can only be loved if I behave according to their standards, I will force them to love me by helping me, by making myself so miserable and helpless that they would come around my way.” This is what is being said by a humanity that refutes the constructive way of life, the selfhood.
Of course this is a distortion, because although this may have been true when you were children – that you were only approved of and apparently given love to when you were good little boys and little girls – it is no longer true today, for you are not being asked to behave. You are being offered a help that makes you self-sustaining human beings.
This misunderstanding creates a tremendous resistance to being productive and self-sustaining. And this truth can only be found when the other way, in many cases, shows no way out – when the suffering and being trapped is just too much, that one really wants to see, “Is my way of being the right way, the way that is really good for me, the way that makes me happy and isn’t that, after all, the most important thing?”
Now, this may sound discouraging for people of goodwill who want to find quick ways to help sick human beings. But there is no such panacea. For when a human being is unwilling to be helped, there is nothing and no one who can do anything about it. Nothing.
You can only motivate a person to the exact degree he’s open for it. Otherwise you will find deaf ears and blind eyes.
QUESTION: There’s no way of opening people for wanting to be motivated?
ANSWER: Not unless they want it. If they do not want it, there is no way. Yes, you can find this or that. You know, if somebody is really not motivated, you give them materially good circumstances, he will do it less. You give them hardship outwardly, he will use the hardship as an excuse for his negativity. You know that in the individual cases.
You cannot win if a person is unwilling to see the truth. I do not want to sound negative or hopeless. I am not. In fact, I say the world is growing, overall. But there are these human beings who do not want to accept it. And this has to be seen and understood, for then possibly a way can be found if they feel not the pressure upon them. Is that clear? You do not quite believe me, do you? You think there must be a way to motivate people if they do not want to, do you not?
QUESTION: I don’t know. No, I quite agree with you, there isn’t. But that makes the situation pretty hopeless.
ANSWER: No, not from an overall point of view. Not from the point of view of spiritual reality. For your human point of view, of course, this is very different. But there are many, many individual entities who have to go through exactly this kind of life in order to be motivated in their innermost self, where the karmic end that they approach will be slightly different.