QA139 QUESTION: In the last lecture you spoke of the vulnerable spot as being the vital center from which wisdom and energy arise. Could you say a little more about this vulnerable spot, please?
ANSWER: Yes. You see, this vulnerable spot is the center of all feeling. Whether the feeling be based on reality situations – on concepts corresponding to truthful understanding – or not, is beside the point. All feelings take place in this vulnerable center.
There is no greater energy than feelings. Even actions – actual actions – and thoughts can only be energized, if I may use this word, if there is a feeling behind it. Without feeling, the energy or the thought or the act would be minor. The primary energy comes from feeling.
Therefore, in a human being, sometimes when the feelings and the act, or the conscious thought, are conflicting, the energy is low. The effect therefore – insufficient or wanting – is weak. This is because the conscious thought and action goes in one direction; the feeling, however, is different and does not correspond to the action.
Now, the powerful energy that is connected with feelings is the only thing that can create whatever it is. Creation is not possible without energy. Therefore, the life center must be free to feel. You cannot create anything in your life if you have no powerful feeling. If you produce a crust over the feeling and numb the feeling, creation is weakened and you falter, you limp, your life will be inadequate – the energy is insufficient. The vulnerable life center must, therefore, in order to live successfully and creatively, be free and made resilient, which can only be done when it grows according to reality.
If you only take the questions that have been addressed to me tonight, every one of those questions, in one way or another, reveals that an unreality, unreal perceptions, are at work. All the various problems stem from unreal feelings, feelings that are based on untruthful interpretation of what happens or what exists. Every one of the problems is finally that.
Because of the unreality, fear and negativity and destructiveness come into being. In order to protect one’s self, not only from the untruthful fears that one expects from the outside, but also from the negative feeling generated within that power center, one numbs and puts a scab on that life center. Therefore one inhumanizes oneself; one deactivates one’s power; one loses contact with oneself.
The process of this work, that is so feared and yet so desirable, is to remove the scab, to allow as it must, at the moment, this vulnerability to come to the fore, with its hurt and its fears and its cruelty, and all the negative feelings that may exist in there. When one goes through these negative feelings courageously, then the power and the strength builds, and the vulnerability becomes a beautiful, resilient, safe energy. This is what I have to say.
The gist of the meditation that all of you, in one form or in another – adapted to your own personal needs and requirements in your personal situation – should be, “I have the courage to look at the truth. I decide for this courage. I do not need it to be given to from outside. I do not have to ask for it, for my decision to have this courage will put something in motion from within and around and outside me that will strengthen this intent. So I make up my mind at this moment to look the truth in the face, whatever that truth may be. I want to see the total reality of my life. This is my decision.”
When such a meditation is conducted and then applied to wherever you have an uncomfortable feeling, whatever you are working on at that moment, or wherever you are confused, ask yourself the question, “If I’m confused, if I’m upset, if I’m afraid, if I’ve got uncomfortable feelings, what is the truth? What do I believe? What is the truth of my belief, which may be an untruth, but I want to look this truth in the face at the moment. What do I really feel, fear, expect, anticipate, assume – what is it? And then when I do this, is this reality, what I believe? I want to see the reality.”
If you use this always safe-guiding principle, my friends, with the help you have on this Path, you cannot fail. The liberation must become forever stronger and the world of the life, of reality, forever more desirable and more great and more wonderful.
Do this, my friends, every one of you, wherever you stand, wherever you are. And the greater your specific problem, it is exactly on that problem that you should apply this – not on other problems. For you may not necessarily run away from this Pathwork. You may, within the framework of this Pathwork, run away from yourself by using such a formula, not where you are disturbed, but somewhere else where you are less disturbed or not disturbed.
You may avoid the very situation that is most painful, using all sorts of explanations. But then you do run, and you do not really want to run. You do not need to run from the courageous facing of what it is you believe. Find and ask yourself the relevant question of what is the truth.
Suppose you are disturbed about a situation. What is it that really disturbs you? Often you go around in circles and do not pinpoint the direct question about what really disturbs you. Suppose you have any negative feeling toward your Helper – which is a very natural phenomenon and all or most of you may have this occasionally – or for any other person for that matter.
The relevant question is: How does the other person really feel for you? It is not whether this or that is so or not so. What really matters to you is, are you accepted as you are? Will you be rejected? Does the person – Helper or anyone else – have good feelings for you or negative feelings?
This is all that you are really concerned with, for instance, in such a question. Now, when you shirk this question and go around to all sorts of other things, you cannot come to what really matters. For when you question yourself on what really matters to you, you will immediately find a way out. You will immediately come to a truth. It is then not difficult to see.
Try this, my friend. Try to follow this formula. All your upsets and your fears and your hates and your resentments and your guilts in connection with this, and your negative feelings which then produce guilt, are a result of not facing the question: What really matters to you and to the situation involved?
In other words, it amounts to pinpointing again – pinpointing. Now, here, this way too you will come to your own vulnerable center by not evading the feelings that are exposed in you. Instead, what you often do is numb them and project them onto others. You usually project them on the very person. If you fear nonacceptance and hate and rejection from a person, you produce these feelings to that person, and then you fear that this may come from the person, and then you do not face that entire issue.
Now, I show you the way where you can immediately find help. Utter these wishes; utter these wishes of truthfulness with yourself, with the courage to face whatever it is.
QA141 QUESTION: It seems that I find something that I want very much – joy or achievement – and then suddenly for some reason I turn around and fight against it. Why does that happen? It’s so ridiculous.
ANSWER: Yes. Yes. Yes, you see, this is wonderful that you can ascertain it. Because for all of my friends who are at that point – they are truly aware of this very fact that you have now mentioned – this is so much of the battle.
When you can state, “Here I am, not wanting the positive but wanting the negative. Why is this? Why is it? Why do I want the negative? Why do I obstruct the positive?”, then answers will come. You can further send the thought into yourself, “I really want to see the full answer. I want to be fully aware of why I obstruct the positive result, the positive extension, the happiness, the good things.”
Each of the answers has to be experienced personally and worked out personally. Some of this, of course, will be a little repetitious, but nevertheless, I briefly recapitulate certain phases, and it may bring certain echoes, because there are various levels involved here.
Perhaps on a most superficial level, which is still unconscious, you will find that which many of you have at least passingly or temporarily verified. It may then have eluded you again, and you may have sort of forgotten it, at least emotionally. That is, the precarious joy you obtain by punishing life, by punishing a vague authority.
First, you may not quite know to whom – but as you ascertain, it is always an extension of the parent or a replacement of the parent – you say, “You will see how unhappy I am. I will teach you; I will show you.” You see, it is that kind of rebellious, childish, destructive spirit. This exists on one level.
Then there is another level in which there is a fear of responsibility, the fear that when you have the good thing, you may lose it again. You may have to do certain things you may not be up to. You may be called upon to relinquish certain selfish, isolating, destructive, proud, vain motivations or attitudes or pursuits within your psyche.
Since you are unwilling to give them up, you feel either you do not deserve it, or you are not even in the proper climate for receiving the good. For the good is unbearable and frightening and almost burdensome to the extent you clutch and cling to destructive separating attitudes.
Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you, in your search, before you can come into the positive openness, before you can really and truly want to be positive – for you cannot force yourself to have a most positive desire – you have to pinpoint exactly which negative, destructive aspect you refuse to give up.
As long as this is hazy, as long as you do not know that such aspects exist in you, and as long as you further do not know why you want to hold on to them, that long happiness will be almost burdensome or frightening. And you will somehow cringe away from it, close yourself up to it, not open yourself to it.
Of course, the further away you are from the results, the more acutely you will suffer that you do not have it. And the more you will want it, the closer you get to it, the more you will cramp up against it. The acknowledgment of this level in you – where you are aware of that – will give you the opportunity to pinpoint exactly where you do not want to be as responsible, as decent, as loving, as fair as you can be.
For there must be some level where you want more for yourself than you’re willing to concede and give to another person, where you give yourself an extra place, where you want more consideration than you’re willing to give, where you want more attention than you’re willing to give to the other person, where you feel your hurt is much more important than the other, and so much so that you do not even want to see the other person can be hurt too.
In other words, the onesidedness, the childishness, the egocentricity with all its unfairness that is always connected in there, must be seen, evaluated, and truly be given up, in the recognition of “why should you be more than others or have more than others?”
Now, of course, on a conscious level, you do not want that, but emotionally you all have levels where this is true. And that must be ascertained. For as long as this exists, fear of giving up the ego, fear of letting the highest powers of the divine, cosmic constructive and creativeness sweep you, bring you to and bring to you and unite you with constant expansion and happiness.
That must be fearful. It is like a beautiful, flowing river that you unnecessarily fear because your whole condition is not compatible with this river, with this atmosphere, with this climate.
In other words, my friends, happiness can only be truly embraced – and wanted, even wanted, let alone realized – when you no longer desire for yourself, in the deepest level of your being, different considerations than for others, when you no longer exist in that climate where others are only a means to attain your self-respect, your sense of lovability.
You see, it is so confusing for you because you believe – when you are still in this state – that other people are often not only important but, in fact, over-important. That makes you believe that you do not give yourself special consideration, that you are very fair, that you are even very loving, when you actually bow down to their wishes because you need so much that they do what you want.
And that is always, in the last analysis, to do something for you that you should do for yourself – be it take care of your outer needs, be it to establish your self-respect and your sense of lovability, your sense of integrity. Whatever it is, you need the other person for it. That may make you confused and believe that you perhaps even love them more than is good.
It is the wrong kind of love. It is an imbalance. You demand of them what you can only furnish for yourself. And you can only furnish for yourself if others are not a tool which you have to either manipulate or coerce or submit to in order to make them do what you want – and if they don’t, you hate them. As long as you’re in this state, your relationship to yourself is imbalanced, and your relationship to others must be equally imbalanced. And therefore happiness becomes an impossibility.
You cannot want it; you must fear it; it becomes a climate that is unbearable. And that is then your terrible conflict, for you cannot live in unhappiness, and you cannot live in happiness. You must strive away from the former and you still cringe away from the latter. In that no-man’s land, you are trapped.
Now, this is the state most human beings more or less find themselves in. And another way of describing or of defining this Pathwork is to make your psychic climate compatible with the bliss that is the nature of things, the natural state of affairs. When you are compatible with this natural state of affairs, which you reach step by step, phase by phase, then you are going in the right direction.
QA165 QUESTION: This question is from my daughter. She’s in a vicious circle and she can’t get out. She says, “I see myself manifesting my duality of fulfillment and nonfulfillment, which has some negative results. How can I break this painful pendulum of despair and pretense?”
ANSWER: The only answer to such a question is to go right through to where it hurts most or where the fear is greatest. Not in an act but in facing the feeling. Unfortunately, mankind is conditioned to such an extent to do everything but that – namely, to look away from that, to even deny that unpleasurable feelings exist in a certain manifestation of life at certain opportunities; these can be so easily explained away.
This is precisely the point: the fear and the hurt must be faced directly. Then it will cease to be a fear and a hurt. These very feelings will transform themselves into a living, beautiful energy. The fear of allowing oneself to experience and emanate and give forth love will vanish, but only when this is faced.
Wherever the resistance is greatest, wherever the unpleasurable feeling is greatest, this is where you should look. All of you.
This is not only in answer to this question from your daughter but to everyone. Beware of running from the unpleasurable feeling and putting it out of sight. Wherever the mind disturbance exists, something much more may be underneath.
And that “much more” is the very key you need in order to be truly yourself – fearless and totally capable of experiencing life at its best. This is the message I have for her, and it will not be too difficult if she practices what she has learned along this Path by merely devoting a few days successively to do what we call the daily review.
At the end of each day, she can question herself, “What did I experience today where I had rather unpleasant feelings? What is really behind it?” And then meditate, “I want to see the truth of it. I do not want to let the discomfort I experience at this or that thought, at this or that reaction, at this or that opportunity, to make me turn away from it.”
That is the liberation and the strength that is what you all really look for, consciously or unconsciously.
QA165 QUESTION: I’m aware of how I prohibit my own pleasure, vis-à-vis the world and my surroundings, and I was going to ask a question along these lines. But tonight my old problem of hostility and fear of people has come up; I feel very trapped. I feel very angry at myself for being in this situation, because I’ve worked very hard and very specifically on this problem for a very long time. I just would like some key that would enable me to come out of this withholding of my good feelings, because I can’t break through this knot. You know, tell it like it is. Don’t hold back.
ANSWER: In the first place, I would like to say the progress is already contained in the fact that you now experience the anger at yourself, rather than in the past, when you experienced the anger at others because you were not yet able to face your anger at yourself. So that is already progress.
In order to really answer your question, I must concentrate primarily on your attitude to yourself in this respect. That is really the crux of the matter. In your attitude that you wait, so to speak, for you being able to be free from hostility, free from fear, free from the barriers that keep you from your love feelings – in this attitude you are putting yourself out of gear.
My suggestion is that you approach yourself rather in the following manner, “Here is my fear. Here is my hostility.” Settle down, so to speak, and observe yourself in it, calmly and with a dispatched, dispassionate and detached attitude of real self observation.
For in the way you go about it, you put yourself under a pressure, constantly influenced by yourself, that really, if it were translated into words, would be, “I already want to be where I am not,” and that puts tension and pressure into you.
At the same time, it is a constant self-rejection; it constantly generates impatience at yourself, at where you are. Therefore, you really prevent yourself from this gradual freeing. The gradual freeing can only come in that climate of self-acceptance.
Therefore, I say, prepare yourself. For quite a while the fear and the consequent hostility will be there. Little by little, you will bring back the fear where it really belongs. First the fear is of people, and therefore the hostility against people. The next step is the fear of your own hostile feelings toward them, and therefore the fear of your feelings.
When you register this fear that is already much closer to home, you will be already less anxious, less tense, less constrained. Then comes the next step – that you will be able to say, “Yes, here’s the fear; now what is really the fear?”
Gradually, gradually, the fear will diminish in seeing what the issues are. This is my primary advice for you. For you see your fear, but you constantly want to push it away by a rigid self-discipline and enforcing it. And you see, my dear, you thus prevent the growth.
You all have to realize that this is a growth process, and the ego cannot elicit the growth process in a direct way. It can only do it in an indirect way. Your ego must decide to go on this Path, and it must make up its mind to really want to face the truth, and really want to go through it and not evade anything. That is the task of the ego, again and again and again.
This is the organic growth that happens independent from you – or let us say dependent only indirectly – as a result of your activities on the Path, when you allow the soul substance to grow from a misconception into a truthful concept of life and yourself, when you allow the courage and truthfulness to you look at yourself, and then the realistic, patient attitude with which you let the God-power in you take its course.
When you put a plant in the soil, that universal, divine power takes its course. That plant does not come up instantly after the seed is put into the ground. You must, therefore, give it time. Give it time by looking at yourself in this relaxed, accepting way so that the growth process takes its course.
Then you will see, little by little, how it takes its course, and that may happen, perhaps, in a completely different way than you conceive of. Then you will be in peace even before you have resolved your problem.
But if you approach it that you think you first must resolve your problem and then you will be in peace, you are already off gear, off-center, so to speak. Do you understand this? This is very subtle and can sound misleading, as all words can sound misleading.
You see, it is an extremely subtle process. When man thinks everything has to be changed before he can be happy, he is somehow in a wrong concept of life and himself.
Every instant of man’s life, wherever he is, no matter what is absent in the fulfillment, can be of utter bliss if he truly approaches himself in this self-accepting way that does not shy away from the truth – each instant, if it is transcended in that way.
So do not press away from the instant Now. Then the negativity will be dissolved and the outer events will flow toward you. Do you understand?
QUESTION: Yes, you just seem to be saying that I should sort of stand back and accept myself as I am at the moment.
ANSWER: Yes. See yourself as you are. Do not push at yourself in despair. For then this illusory upset will go away – that you are not yet free from hostility, which could hardly be. That would be absolutely impossible after this time.
QA174 QUESTION: I’ve had very strange feelings for the past few days in the solar plexus. It’s like a fluttering inside. I think it’s connected with self-assertion, and there’s something sexual involved with it. Today, on the way up here, I had a little trouble with my car. It started making some kind of sounds. It felt like a very heavy, gloomy thing and then inside this fluttering. Can you see anything?
ANSWER: Yes. In the first place, it is not in itself a sexual thing. But I would say this, that whenever a human being is about to release new energy because he’s about to confront something he has not confronted before, sexual energy is freed. And this is exactly where you are. You are at a threshold.
You’re about to face a breakthrough, a decision, an inner “are you or are you not facing up to certain things that you’re still resisting?” Before this inner decision is made, before one commits oneself to this, there always is this anxiety. There is a inner battle going on in your spirit. Once you solve it, once you commit yourself to really go through with it, you will indeed experience a new release of strength and energy.
QUESTION: A lot of these manifestations seem sort of negative.
ANSWER: Before one has made the decision, yes – because there’s a battle, the resistance.
QUESTION: But I do find that I feel like I’m on a threshold.
ANSWER: That’s right. That’s exactly what it is. And what you would need is to inwardly declare yourself, assert the fact, “I want the truth. And I’m going to face the truth, and I’m not going to run from the truth. No matter what it is, I’m going to face it.”
That inner commitment is essential for every single human being who wants to get to the nucleus of himself, who wants to realize the best he is, who wants to make the best of his life – it cannot be done otherwise. Everything else is an evasion of that and must lead to disappointment.
So, therefore, no matter what way you choose, no matter what Helper, who and what outlet you choose, if you are really desirous of spiritual development, of making the best of your life, of resolving your neurotic problem, in no matter what terms you use, this commitment to the truth in you, this vigorous, virile assertion of “I want the truth, and I’m going to face the truth, and I’m not going to be conquered by my own resistance,” that assertion will tip the scale.
It will be the difference between being a helpless straw in the wind of life, or taking over. It will make the difference between being a victim to your own unconscious, and therefore also to life and to others, or to taking over in a way that is meaningful – not by controlling, disciplining that away which you don’t want to face, which is a distortion. But by the willingness to face up to whatever is inside.
Let it come up and realize that you have everything it needs to deal with it. You have everything you could possibly require to cope with whatever is in you. The terror of “I will be unable to cope with my feeling” is not only an illusion, but it is also an evasion. It is the foolish hope that by not facing up to it, it will go away. It will not go away.
That decision must be made consciously and deliberately – and not once, but every day of one’s life. It becomes easier and easier. And when you feel yourself resisting, you can then have a dialogue with yourself.
You can speak to yourself and say, “This is foolish. I am not an ostrich. What is in me can only harm me when I do not know it. When I know it, it cannot do me harm. And therefore, I choose to know. And it is an adventurous, stimulating, challenging, venture into my own self.”
If you make such a decision – of course, these words I address to every single one of you here, not only to you who asked this question – if you make this commitment and if you assert this and thereby mobilize the strength that is in you, you will have gained an immeasurably important foothold, and you will indeed successfully go through this threshold you feel yourself on.
You see, the weakness people feel in themselves is totally self-induced. It is precisely a result of believing one cannot face what is in the self. This is a wrongness. You can face anything that is in you – absolutely anything!
It will not break you; it will not make you do things you do not like or that may endanger you. That would only be if you throw a temper tantrum, because what you find in yourself you do not like and you exaggerate it. So you have nothing to fear if you go into yourself with this attitude I describe.
When you mobilize your own strength by saying this is what you decide and you’re not going to be dissuaded by unreasonable, irrational and blind resistance, then the world will indeed be open for you and anyone else who makes a similar decision.
QUESTION: I distrust my own strength and discipline to handle these things. Right now, I’m feeling good and in control, but I’m going to become indolent.
ANSWER: Only if you choose that. The choice is yours. You see, when people say, “I’m helpless” or “I’m weak” or “I’m this or that,” they are only that because that is what they want to be, what they tell themselves. And they think they have a vested interest in being that.
They still hope in the illusion that by not facing what is there, it will go away, or that they will get the world on a silver platter if they’re sufficiently unhappy and prove to the fates that they really deserve to receive it without doing it themselves.
You can distrust your strength if you are not using it, but if you use it, you will find that you have all reason to trust it. So it is not true that it is either trustworthy or untrustworthy. It is exactly that which you choose to do.
QA250 QUESTION: Can the Pathwork claim to be truly making use of all the spiritual contributions available to us from the riches of humanity’s cultural history? And what would we be able to say to our friends from other traditions in which the deep truths are not personified in particular forms such as Satan, Jesus Christ, etcetera, or are you only addressing yourself to Westerners?
ANSWER: As to your first question, it would be truly absurd to assume that any path, any spiritual educational and healing system, any schooling, any philosophy, any religion, any book, could make such a claim. The diversification of God’s Creation is too widespread to put it all in a nutshell, as it were. The truth of Creation could not be put into a million books and treatises. And yet it could be contained in one word, if man’s understanding is geared to it.
What the Pathwork does, however, is to communicate the kind of knowledge immediately necessary in order to undertake the personal purification of those who are called to go this road. Therefore, the knowledge given is very cohesive, relevant and connected. It is focused on that which is truly of weight and importance.
You could go and collect knowledge all over the globe, esoteric and exoteric knowledge, and it would be a meaningless pursuit, unless the knowledge is geared to a specific and meaningful goal. Collecting knowledge would become a burden and would confuse and defocus you, unless it is given with the understanding of what is important now, and why.
No spiritual teacher of genuine origin and calling will dispense knowledge just for the sake of it. So please keep in mind that the point is not obtaining knowledge per se. The point is to expand your consciousness, so that, among many other gains, you can properly assimilate and put this knowledge to use.
It would no longer be wisdom if those cultural riches are not used in a way that must benefit personal purification, liberation and transcendence, and thus finally to help others to attain this goal. This Pathwork does make use of all of God’s truth that is relevant to this purpose.
As to your second question, the point is again slightly off-center. What should you say to your friends who think differently? Whatever the truth is, that is what you should say. Provided these friends are open to the truth and want to hear what you have to say. But if it is important for you to convince them, then perhaps you need their agreement in order to assuage your own doubts.
These doubts are quite legitimate, whether they apply to this or any other topic. But it is important that you voice and face them in order to obtain real, inner answers, answers that are experiential. What I say to you, to all of you, is never a dogma that you should blindly accept. It should only be considered as a map to help you forge your own inner course until you can make the experience of what is being mapped out.
This can be done only if a total willingness to see the truth exists, if all previous preconceived ideas are given up, at least temporarily, until they can be verified from inner divine experience. The obstacles to this inner experience of divine truth in any subject are fear, self-will, the need to be right, the need to be agreed with – hence pride, prejudice, and many other attitudes that you will learn to face and deal with on this Path.
Furthermore, it is not true that all of Eastern spirituality only perceives the formless realities, no more than that all of Western spirituality only sees the form. This is an oversimplification and a generalization.
Besides, how could any spirit of truth adjust truth to only one kind of audience. Truth is truth; it cannot be snipped away and made palatable to please a specific audience. In that moment, it would no longer be truth. But it is a fact, of course, that various groups of people, in different cultures, perceive only certain aspects of reality, and then falsely conclude that these aspects represent the totality.
You must have guessed by now that it is not either/or. When you know and comprehend these teachings better, you will see that this is one of its basic approaches: to unify dualities on all levels, in many areas of human life. So also here.
It would be as false to state that there is only form – personification – as it would be to state that divine reality only exists as the formless. Both are true and neither eliminates the other. The real seers and knowers of this world, wherever they live, are aware of both these aspects of reality.