QA154 QUESTION: I would like to ask you about the present phase in which I am on this Path. I used to be aware that I was up against, let’s say, the authority problem I had with my father or the problem with my mother, and right now it seems to me that it’s neither. The authority problems I have had with my father and mother seems to be resolving, and in a strange way, I myself am becoming an authority, which is a new thing to me. I’m afraid I will become the kind of authority that I hated or rebelled against, imitating that kind of authority. Is there anything that you could tell me about this?
ANSWER: Yes. Yes. To a certain extent what you said is true – that in your attempt to become your own authority, there is a measure of defiance in there that bespeaks a lack of real freedom. And with that you run into the danger of going around in circles and not only become the kind of authority you dislike, but also eventually internalizing it again and turning it against yourself again.
For whether you use this defiant act toward others or toward yourself, in the last analysis it amounts to pretty much the same thing. This is quite true. In that respect, you are a little bit stuck.
You confuse submission with a flexible openness to accept something from others. And by the same token, you confuse rebellion with freedom and selfhood. Now, why is this so?
There is, of course, a common denominator there. And the common denominator or the underlying unifying reason for both these dualities and for this whole pendulum to fluctuate, is a basic fear of really becoming yourself. That still lingers on.
The fear of really becoming yourself has to do with contacting certain of your feelings and experiencing certain of your feelings. This, on the deepest level – the becoming of yourself, the connecting with yourself as you are and accepting in a different way your place where you are now, right now – is the reason why you fluctuate between these two extremes of authority.
You can go into yourself and say, “I really want to go all the way and see the truth and be in truth and connect with the truth in myself,” and let go – let go of defiance – and let go of the need for approval which makes you submissive. At the same time, because you are submissive, you need to be defiant, rebellious and therefore destructive, and turn against yourself in order to prove yourself nonsubmissive. If you can let go of all that for the sake of the truth, you will find the right way.