QA149 QUESTION: In a recent relationship, it occurred to me that there’s a very basic lesson for me to learn, but I am struggling to see precisely what it is – although I get hints here and there. Can you help me see what part I played in having it turn into the fiasco that it did, and is there anything I can do at this point to rescue it?

ANSWER: I will answer the last question first. The best way to rescue it would be to learn the lesson. The answer for “what is the lesson and how did you spoil it” is really one and the same answer.

There are several aspects about it, but the first aspect I’d like to mention is pride. The lesson to learn is that in your psyche, or in the way you approach life, there was the idea that the most important thing is to preserve your pride. That has become more important than any other consideration. This would be the primary lesson to learn.

If this lesson is being learned, you will indeed find many open doors – many new aspects – all leading to one central point where you should be at this time. This will also show you how you have not only spoiled this relationship, but you have also spoiled many other relationships before.

Also, what is more important even than that, is your own self-respect, in a deeper sense. For deep inside, you do know all this; everyone knows all these answers. The deep inner self can never be deceived, and you do know when pride is more important than, let us say, feelings of happiness for yourself and others, consideration of perhaps the vulnerabilities of others, or where your own real interests lie.

When all this is forfeited for the sake of pride, then the real self feels unhappy and is disturbed and dissatisfied with itself. If this lesson can be learned, the visions you will gain will be perhaps somewhat like this.

You will begin to see things of importance for yourself and others that you could not possibly see until now, when the preservation of pride was so over-important, when the preservation of pride made you violate not only your interests, but those interests of others.

Whenever such errors exist in the human makeup, the unitive principle – what is of interest to one, must also be to the interest of the other – cannot be seen. It begins to be split off so that the dualistic vision ensues in which it seems – and this is the illusion of the dualistic world picture – that what is in your interest must be against the other person’s interest, and what is to the other person’s interest would be against your own interest.

This was your main split in duality, with which you battle all your life. You couldn’t afford, as it seemed to you, to be considerate and kind, because then you thought you would be damaged. Yet, you could not wholeheartedly be ruthless, because your conscience did not let you do this because you thought, “If I am pursuing my own interest, I would have to be ruthless to the other person.”

So you could not really commit yourself to either course. You fluctuated between both courses, and either one of these courses is in itself dissatisfactory, because it is a product of illusion, of error, of duality, where it is either/or.

It becomes an even worse struggle and conflict if one cannot even make up one’s mind to either course. One tries a little here and a little there. And this is the result of pride which blurred your vision, the vision of truth, that what is your real interest cannot ever be against the interest of the other person. What is against your real interest must also be against the interest of the other person.

When this is pursued, pride is no longer even a problem, even if at the beginning of this particular path within your path, it may have to seem, temporarily, that the little pride may have to be relinquished. Not in a sick martyrdom or self-devaluation, but rather in the spirit of “I will not hurt; I want to see the real circumstances. What is the other person’s frame of mind? I will rather consider not to hurt than to preserve my little pride. Perhaps this is not as important as I thought.”

This can also lead to confusion, when giving up of pride comes in, to gratifying the stiff self-will, which is, of course, the second thing that plays a role here. For sometimes when one is involved in this confusion, one may claim, “Yes, I give up the pride,” but in order to bring forth one’s self-will.

You cannot go wrong if your attitude is: “I want to see what is really going on in the other person, and I want to respect the other person’s basic human rights even to be wrong or to be in error, as I am wrong and am in error at times.”

When this basic attitude is cultivated, inside an intuitive understanding will ensue absolutely – you can be sure of that – which will dispense with the conflict you are involved in now. Do you understand that?

QUESTION: I believe I do. I would just like to ask further whether this is, in fact, symptomatic of a very basic problem, or whether it’s something fairly trivial and I shouldn’t put so much emphasis on it.

ANSWER: Oh no, it is very basic, and you know it, you feel it. It is extremely basic. Extremely basic.

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