151 QUESTION: Somehow, for the first time, your lecture [Lecture #151 Intensity: An Obstacle to Self-Realization] upset me very much. I ask myself if this is so because I am near the point you are talking about and resist it?
ANSWER: Can you pinpoint what upset you in the lecture?
QUESTION: It has to do with the hope a human being could have.
ANSWER: It upsets you because you are not yet quite ready to trust it. It is upsetting in a sense that one knows these possibilities exist, and yet one does not trust oneself to go that way. This is why a large part of humanity violently subscribes to hopelessness, negativity, to the view that the world is chaotic and senseless.
This is as much wishful thinking as the childish hope that a deity will do your salvation for you, or that you could be helped by following other people’s advice and authority so that heavenly bliss will descend upon you in a life beyond.
The adherence to an outer faith, no matter in what orthodox or unorthodox form, contains as much wishful thinking as hopelessness. The latter says, “There is no need for me to do anything – face anything unpleasant, change my personality, or give up a destructive attitude I do not wish to shed – for it all makes no difference anyway.”
If life makes no sense, if there is no rhyme or reason, if there is no evolution and continuum of all that lives, then, indeed, overcoming of character defects is unnecessary. Subscribing to a nihilistic philosophy of life, one can comfortably shirk unpleasant aspects of self-facing.
This is why hopelessness is no less wishful escapism than the hope of being taken care of by another intelligence than one’s own. In both instances, it is possible to avoid facing the unflattering facets that destroy the ideals one holds about oneself.
Both are two sides of the same coin: the rosy-colored future in a life hereafter, attained by adherence to an outer faith and obedience to laws and rules that come from outside, is fundamentally no different from the hopelessness of nihilism. Both avoid that which seems so difficult – honest self-facing.
QA157 QUESTION: Can you say more about hopelessness?
ANSWER: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Now, the hopelessness that man and most people, I would say, at some time or another, suffer from, is always and always a result of being locked in one’s own problem. One side wants out and the other side resists the out and wants to remain in this fixed, destructive position – out of fear, out of stubbornness, whatever the reasons may be.
When this point is unconscious, consciously the mood is hopelessness. You yourself have experienced numerous times that the moment you have made such a point conscious, and you have seen this as I explain it here, instantly the hopelessness vanishes, even before you’re even willing to settle the conflict.
Only the mere fact that you see that one side in you wants out into the freedom – into selfhood – and the other side says, “No, I don’t want it; I want to remain in my old way.” The moment you face this, without even resolving this conflict, the hopelessness is gone. Because you see what causes the bottleneck, what caused the hopelessness, and that it is up to you.
Any time you choose, you can do what you wish. You can stay there and be unhappy, or you can go out and be happy. That is your choice. In seeing this, even if you do not choose the liberating way, you cease to be hopeless.
The hopelessness is only a result, because you do not see your own entanglement on such a point. Therefore I say, whenever you find yourself feeling hopeless, remember those occasions and say to yourself, “Oh, ah ha, here it must be that I’m caught in such a point. And I would really like to see this. What is this point at this moment where I’m thus caught – that I want and I don’t want, that I resist the way out for whatever reason. I would like to see this.”
The moment you say this, you make it possible for the guiding forces within yourself to take place. And it will come. I assure you, it will come – maybe a few days later, maybe even as soon as a few hours later, you will see it. Do not be cramped about it. Do not press upon intellectual liberations.
Just state this fact and allow the guidance to take place and it’ll come. But if you let that hopelessness swallow you up, and you move around in the circle and you dig yourself deeper and deeper into the hopelessness, it becomes stronger.
You play the game of the hopelessness, and it becomes almost inextricable. The feeling is almost as though you could not extricate yourself any longer. Haven’t you found moments when you discovered just such a conflict, and in that moment the hopelessness vanished? You felt invigorated?
QUESTION: The question of finding, at the specific moment, the voice that says, “I don’t want out!”
ANSWER: Yes. Yes. That’s right. In one way or another, directly or indirectly, that there’s. You have come numerous times to levels of yourself where you have seen you do not wish to take a way out. Do you not remember that? For instance, moments when you could see the self-responsibility versus the child, where you very consciously resist giving up being a child.
ANSWER: And you have made progress here. You have come across more and more reasons in yourself why you believe this would be a bad bargain, and why you therefore stick to a way of life that does not yield the satisfaction you have a right to expect of life.
QA222 QUESTION: I would like to understand the original positive manifestation, if there is one, of the hopelessness I’ve been experiencing, and how that’s been distorted from something positive.
ANSWER: There is a hopelessness that is justified from the point of view of where in you, you do not wish to give up a negative pattern. Wherever the self wants to remain in a negative pattern and wants to insist that it must be that way, the hopelessness is justified. But, of course, it is distorted and misapplied when the self then says, “It is hopeless per se.”
The moment you could make the step into that part in you where you say, “I do not wish to give up this or that. I do not want to make a total surrender to my divine self. I do not want to give up a certain attitude” – whatever it may be – you will find several such stubborn refusals. The moment you can make connection with them, you will see that the hopelessness, from that point of view, is justified, and in that sense, it is truly positive.
But it is also important that you see it is justified only to the degree you wish to retain a negative, life-denying attitude. That hopelessness comes from the higher self. It says, as it were, “As long as you stay on that tangent, there is indeed no hope.” But that does not mean that there is no hope per se. You can give up that attitude, and then there will be hope.
I have several times said that the distortion and the duality in these areas are that there is a false hopelessness and there is a false hope. If you have hope on the level where you wish to attain happiness from the point of view of the misconception, the pseudosolution of the images, then you must also have a hopelessness.
Now, if you give up that insistence, if you give up the false hope, for example, to get it from your parents or substitute parents, then the hopelessness will also go away.