QA148 QUESTION: I was a little puzzled by the statement in the last lecture [Lecture #148 Positivity and Negativity as One Energy Current] which says, “Every difficult situation in life represents a sexual fixation in the innermost psyche that man fears and runs away from.” I’ll skip a few lines and continue a little later on: “When you find the parallel between the outer problem and the pleasure current in your sexuality, you will be able to make the frozen energy fluid again.”
Now, this seems to remind me exactly of the Freudian theory which says that people get fixated sexually at some time in their infancy or adolescence. They are then unable to experience positive pleasure because of the situation which is impossible to satisfy in a regular, normal way. Therefore the aim of psychotherapy is to remove this fixation to make the energy flow in normal channels, and thus to make the person whole. If that is exactly the same, then I wonder why perhaps we have been going around so much instead of going directly to the heart of the matter, which is Freud.
ANSWER: No, it is not quite that way. I will not go into the details now to what extent it is, either in concept or in approach or in technique, similar or dissimilar. This is not the question here. The misunderstanding arises about what is conceived of as sexuality.
Sexuality has assumed a very specific connotation with most human beings, a very limited aspect of life experience. In that sense, if it is interpreted in that way, your confusion or your question would be understandable.
But when we speak of the pleasure principle in the cosmos, much, much more is meant by it. It is an all-pervasive, creative principle on which everything is governed and whose limited manifestation in man’s life experience is called – is given the name – sexuality.
If you can view it from this point of view, you will see that there is much more to it than the Freudian concept. The Freudian concept has a great deal of this truth, but it does not see this fact or this factor as a totality of Creation. It does not see that there is an interaction – and which made it not expedient to go directly to this point because this deep nucleus is not easy to experience.
A lot of outer layers have to be removed, a lot of layers where man is impressed with the misconceptions of what we call images, a lot of aspects in the psyche where man violates his own innermost principles, where he denies the real self with its real conscience – as opposed to superimposed and alienated and false aspects of conscience – where he tries to live up to superimposed ideals which seem expedient in order to get by.
All these areas must be explored and recognized – and to a certain extent loosened up – before this nucleus can become a living inner reality. There is not much point discussing it as a theory if there is no possibility to experience it.
Only when it is thus experienced will the difference that you raise here become very apparent. Therefore, a theoretical understanding of this question is useless; in fact, it may even be hindering.
QUESTION: So, what you mean in this way, is that Freud made a mistake when he or his disciples interpreted the libido in purely sexual, narrowly sexual terms – because it’s a broader kind of energy?
ANSWER: Well, I would not say a mistake. It was just a vision, and for what it says, there is a lot of truth in it. But it is perhaps too exclusive and one-sided a view. It is in more superficial layers where one can really talk of human sexuality, and not understand it from the cosmic reality where the sexual problem is not the basic problem.
From that point of the basic problem, it is always a violation of one’s innermost self, an alienation of one’s innermost self, a denial of one’s best principle and potentials. And from that point of view, human sexuality is but an aspect, just as many others. Therefore using the sexual as an exclusive mode of cure would be limited and would give limited results.
But the level I discussed it on is a far wider one. I even made it very clear and I tried to avoid, except in a certain context, the word sexuality, by talking about the pleasure principle, the cosmic pleasure principle of which every living creature is part.
The only connection in which I used the word sexuality was that from the human point of view, this cosmic pleasure principle manifests in human sexuality; and that is the only occasion I used the word sexuality so as to make a distinction there. Is that clear in any way?
QUESTION: It is clear, but I still can’t quite reconcile it with the wording of the lecture in the sense that when you say that man’s most secret sexual fantasy is called the secrets of his conflict – in other words, examining the sexual fantasies or the sexual act, one would really find what’s wrong with the person. This is my confusion.
ANSWER: I would say two things here. In the first place, as far as you personally are concerned, I would advise you – and I have made that clear in the last lecture too – to shelve the problem where you do not understand it as a theoretical concept, and wait till you work it out in yourself.
I guarantee you – absolutely guarantee you – you will then understand it when you have truly understood it in yourself. But above and beyond that, I will say this here now. If you view man’s actions – all his actions, all his human experience – as a symbolic representation of his psychic reality, what I said may become more comprehensible to you.
You may recall that in the past, on and off I have mentioned in this work, it will be very useful when certain life experiences or certain patterns in an individual’s life could be approached like a dream and interpreted like a dream.
Their symbolic nature will then be perceived, perhaps first intuitively sensed, and then seen. I also made it clear in the past that man’s factual, material life is a symbol of his inner life and not, as so many human beings believe, that inner realities are a symbol or symbolic of his outer life.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of what I explain in this lecture is almost the opposite approach from the Freudian one. If you view man’s life or life situation like a dream symbol, like a fantasy, then you will understand what I meant.
QA161 QUESTION: So many religions – including, of course, recent religions – aim toward an awareness of the universal in a way similar to what you’re saying. Since so much concentration in this Path is placed on what we call today the psychological, how were these people, hundreds or thousands of years ago, able to achieve what, I gather from their writings, was a very similar or same state – using a completely different method, without any of the modern terminology that we use?
ANSWER: In the first place, if you forget about the term psychological, or even certain words that are used today, and if you would really examine the individual path of a person who has attained self-realization, very similar processes prevail, although the terminology might have been very different.
But he too had to meet the lower forces in him. He too had to discover their meaning. It is not as different as may be believed. And I venture to say, if you were, let’s say, in a hundred years or two hundred years from now, to make a summary of these teachings and emphasize the end result – and you would also not have the perhaps then modern terms of languages – you would say, “Well, how is it that you could accomplish it without what we have today?” Now, these are just words. It is a question of semantics.
But true self-realization cannot come unless – whatever words you use, in one form or another – you transcend the so-called lower self, you have the courage to meet it and admit it in yourself. These are spiritual qualities without which self-realization cannot exist: the spiritual quality of facing the truth in oneself; the humility not to evade it and admit it; the truthfulness and sense of proportion to see oneself as one is now.
These spiritual attitudes must prevail, no matter what words you use. But often in religion, the end result is stressed, and in the Path itself, these aspects are either glossed over or simplified or only discussed from a certain angle.
Ultimately, self-realization is not possible unless you come face to face with yourself as you are now. Whether you call it psychology or whatever, it makes no difference.
QUESTION: What I don’t understand is the emphasis that is placed, almost in a Freudian sense, on things like hating one’s mother. If a person, even, of course, thousands of years ago, was in the same situation, in terms of feelings and in the whole human environment, why did not any of these feelings ever somehow come up, in even a different context?
ANSWER: Why do you think Freud got to these concepts? He did not invent them from today. They were taken from old, historical or mythological facts that always existed. But mankind up to recently was too afraid to admit these facts of life.
We do not put the emphasis as something superimposed. As we look for the truth, this comes out. As you look into your own heart, you see it as true. You do not find this in you because of any teaching or any postulation that anyone made. You find this to be true in your own heart long before you knew of such teachings or of anyone named Freud.
So it is the truth that you find within yourself, and it would be erroneous to state that this was different at other times.