QA99 QUESTION: I’d like to ask about dealing with this thing we call sapping.
ANSWER: Being sapped by others?
QUESTION: Yes. I realize that in certain instances, it’s when I either try to block off what’s in myself that’s in the other people, or when I want to be dependent and depend on the approval of other people, that I feel sapped. But I also feel sometimes a lot of energy comes out of me and sometimes, it’s like I take people in whole, and maybe I don’t know enough yet about how to deal with this. When I was on my LSD trip, I literally experienced some other people’s sicknesses in my body; for instance, when I felt I had to vomit, it was partly my vomit but it was also partly my friend’s vomit. And I’d like to know a little bit more about how to deal with this kind of thing.
ANSWER: In the first place, when you are a Helper, you have to realize that each time you see a Worker and work with a Worker, you go into his world – you literally enter his realm. And of course, every human being has several levels, several realms he lives in, the positive and negative and many in-between. But since you mostly deal with the negative realms, you enter those.
Now, this requires a strength and a resiliency that you can only acquire through your own Pathwork. If you are not vigilant with yourself, you must be depleted and even exploited in the energy by those who sap on you. For instance, this will happen, that if you are not conscious of their negativity, then you will be sapped, if you are not precisely conscious. And that in turn happens when you are blocking off in yourself. It does not even have to be necessarily the same thing, but to the degree you block off something in yourself, you are exposed to being sapped.
QUESTION: Either good or bad. Either positive or negative could be blocked.
ANSWER: Yes, right. You see, whenever you block off something negative, you unavoidably also block off the positive counterpart of it that is dormant underneath. Every negativity is a distortion of something positive. It is not negative per se. So the more blocks you have against your own negativities, the more you are automatically blocking against the positive, the divine, the truth, the beauty, the love of the universe within you.
When you are blocking, you become a prey to the energy sappers. If you’re not blocking, you will be aware. You will also be aware in a sense that you will be so connected and listening to your own body and with your ego self, that you will go with the harmonious flow and you will know exactly when to stop. You will find the right balance in your life that you will just work right, and no more and no less. And that is also a byproduct.
If you overwork, that is because you are blocking and you do not know your rhythm; or if you do not work enough, you may be just as much exhausted. It does not matter. The right balance for you will reveal itself as an on-going rhythm that you follow, as you unblock yourself to yourself. Then you can go into those regions and worlds of the people you help, without being detoured and exhausted. And their sapping will have less and less effect on you.
QA213 GUIDE COMMENT: The difference between counseling, or giving therapy, and being a Helper on the Path is primarily that the former concentrates on learning, on knowledge of techniques to be learned, while the intuitive faculties, important as they are, recognizedly, still are a secondary aspect. Even those who believe they are a primary aspect still do not truly have a method in cultivating the inner channel.
Therapists and counselors simply hope for the best to have a well-working intuitive channel, for the world realizes today that without this, help is very limited, no matter how good the knowledge and the technique and the information in the mind may be.
Being a Helper on a path such as this puts the primary weight on the intuitive channel. And as you know, we have a very systematic way of developing that channel and utilizing it to the fullest. This does not mean that you dispense with your ego. The ego personality – the mind, the thinking, the knowledge, the information, the will capacity, everything that is part of the ego personality – is not merely to be disregarded. But that ego must become an active instrument to lead to the inner channels.
Now, the primary prerequisite is your own path, your own development, your own capacity to face the truth in you – no matter how unpalatable it may seem now – squarely and honestly, without exaggerating it and without diminishing it. It does not mean that you must be a perfect creature, but it means that your defenses are considerably lower to an ever greater degree, that your inner commitment to being in truth is forever more sustained. That must be the primary factor.
As you use your ego faculties to put them into the service of your divine intelligence, the two will merge and will become one in a very realistic, and I may say, down-to-earth way – something that is not mystical, something that is not far away and lifted above the human issues. Quite on the contrary. The human issues become holy by your ability to take them as the stepping stones, as the gauges, as the way-showers they truly are.
To the degree you are thus committed to your own path and your own truth, you will become an excellent instrument through which the divine consciousness can guide you and inspire you, not only about your own fulfillment but also in regard to helping those who have been entrusted to you or who will be entrusted to you.
A further prerequisite is the devotion with which you use the helping work as the highest form of giving. This devotion must be cultivated. You must check it out, as it were, again and again. You must test yourself. You must check, of course, the negative motives of wanting to help – perhaps competition, perhaps wanting to glorify in an exalted position – all these negative motives must be faced.
But even while they are still operative in you, you can already, simultaneously, cultivate the positive motivations. You can create a new energetic condition by positive commitment in your meditation that you truly want to be a humble Helper, serving in the great universal plan, and be utterly devoted, not for your ego glorification – and this must be stated by you – but truly for the purpose of helping other souls to reach the truth of their innermost being.
If these motivations are stated and claimed, you will find it easier and easier in each encounter you have with those whom you help to make the connection with the divine source in you. This does not take long hours of concentration. It is a quick focusing, but a focusing that is very serious, very sincere, and very total. It may take but a minute of focusing, of expressing your desire to be guided by the greater truth to manifest through you and be but a channel. When this happens, your intuitions, your connection with the divine source, will become forever more reliable.
In order to attain this state, this attitude must be repeated; it must be inculcated by forming a new habit of approach to yourself, and approach to the activity of helping. This activity also requires a period of testing. There will be many tests – there must be many tests – tests that challenge your sincerity and your devotion. At the beginning, you may have to truly give of yourself, and also in the sense of not requiring too much remuneration.
But as time goes on – and you will know when – you will feel entitled to also receive material remuneration, and that should indeed be the case. But if this is the case before you test your sincerity of motive and of giving, you will encounter difficulties, difficulties that can be avoided if you willingly undertake a learning period in which you must possess the freedom to give without having to receive monetary remuneration at the beginning.
So your life must be built in such a way that as you become a Helper on the Path, you have to have leeway and a margin in which you can let yourself have these testing periods. They may take longer or shorter; each case is different. There is no set rule – there must be no set rule. But you will know and those who help you will know: when your heart is pure enough in giving, then you can also receive.
And if your heart is not pure enough in giving, you will not even let yourself receive. If you let yourself receive counter to your heart, you will destroy it sooner or later; you will manage to destroy the receiving. So humility and giving must be a primary foundation to build in you.
Another aspect I want to discuss here is the aspect of competitiveness with other Helpers. You are not able at the moment to completely rule it out. If you were to do so, it would be a superficial endeavor that would not come from within, and the attempt would, again, sooner or later fail. You would deceive yourself. Rather you have to approach this problem in an openness and accepting attitude of where you truly are in this respect, like in any other.
You must observe how you compete, how you want to be better than others. But even while you do observe yourself, encounter this attitude with the truth that your mind is capable of thinking and knowing. You can begin the dialogue by saying your comparison with others is a false measurement. You can never compare your capacities with those of another person.
Ask to be guided from within, to know it on all levels of your personality. Let go of your stake in wanting to be someone by being better than others. Know you can only be your full self when you stop comparing and when you are your own best. So jealousy and competitiveness among Helpers will destroy your own autonomy and your channel.
Now, when you know these things, my friends, you will embark on the journey of becoming Helpers or of perfecting your capacity as a Helper in a very safe and secure way. How well you are doing can only be measured by the outer manifestation and by your feeling of security and joy and fullness you have about your life and your activities – this as well as any other.
QUESTION: I seem to be going in and out of states of wanting to give and of not wanting to give. I feel this is true about my decision about being a Helper. I don’t trust the place where I’ve come. I want to give, but I feel it’s very confused; I feel it’s expected of me on the irrational states. I’d like some guidance on this.
ANSWER: This a case of misplaced trust and distrust. You have reversed the order. You trust your nongiving, and you distrust your giving. But you also distrust your giving because in your giving is still a hook, and the hook is, if I may translate it into concise meaning, “I give so that you will notice it, praise me, and give and fulfill my demands.”
Now, when you encounter this kind of giving, you may then tend to go into the opposite direction and resent the person of whom you have these demands and to whom you want to prove how good you are. You falsely resent them and you go into the opposite extreme of wanting to not give at all, under the misconception or misapprehension that this then means you’re free and yourself.
This is your confusion, and my advice to you is that you actively meditate, very specifically, that you can be guided from within to give without hooks, without proving anything to anyone – that you do not give to please any human authority, nor will you refuse giving in order to defy such authorities, because that is where you are still hooked up.
QUESTION: I’m becoming more and more aware of my self-will and my desire for power and control and how it has influenced me in many ways. And I know that this is going to be a dominant thing in my training as a Helper. Right now I feel that I’m in a tug-of-war between the two. As I’ve become more and more aware, I loathe that particular part of me. As a result, I find I’m withholding from various situations, and I’m afraid I’ll alienate somebody. It’s like a vicious circle, and I know it’s wrong, but I can’t get out of it.
ANSWER: Now, in the first place, you know that whatever self-loathing exists is absolutely and inevitably the very block that prevents you from changing that which you loathe. So I would suggest here the following. As it is true that you cannot feel toward others in any way different from the way you feel about yourself, so it is also true the opposite.
In this particular juncture, it would be very important for you to see how judgmental you are when others make mistakes, or what you deem are mistakes. Your loathing of their mistakes, your fury at their mistakes, is exactly what makes you equally loathing and furious with yourself. You will be able to accept a fault, a shortcoming, a miscondition, if you can see it without hatred – in others as well as yourself – and pray for more tolerance and more understanding.
As you see your intolerance and your lack of understanding of shortcomings, you can begin in the groups you are involved with, in the environment in the Pathwork with your friends, where you learn to accept whatever is, where others accept you, to express just that: “I loathe; I am intolerant; I want you to be perfect, and I want me to be perfect.”
It is that demand for perfection that you must expose for what it is, so as to stop loathing yourself, so as to accept it without excusing it, to accept it with an aim of “yes, this is something that is amiss, but the deep resources exist in me so that I will gradually grow out of it.”
There’s also an element of “if I can be perfect right away, I will not have to suffer. I will not have to suffer the consequences of my own shortcomings.” And that, in a sense, is cheating. So you really have to learn accepting what is, without hatred and loathing, and without self-justification. That would be the key. You can pray for it, meditate for it, expose it, and it will come.
QUESTION: I feel a tremendous conflict regarding being trained to be a Helper. I was in the training group last year, and in some respects, I feel I didn’t give very much to it. On a very deep level, I feel I want to be in the training group, and I want to be able to give. But above that I feel a tremendous resistance to expose myself and to give. I really feel a place in me where I just don’t want to give. And I wondered if you could suggest a meditation for me to find out what it is that I really want to do at this point.
ANSWER: I would say the moment you are aware of your not wanting to give, you really ask with utter sincerity and goodwill to be inwardly enlightened about the misconception of holding yourself together. I might say that when you study the last lecture [Lecture #213 The Spiritual and the Practical Meaning of “Let Go, Let God”], you will find a great deal of help for this problem.
Part of you is motivated to want to train to becoming a Helper. You can do so even while another part of you recognizes your resistance to give. That is all right. And you are not the only one. But work with the meditation of wanting to know the misconception, and use particularly the last lecture in this respect.
QUESTION: Since I joined the training group, the anxiety I have in helping someone is that I fear I have to find a solution for their problem immediately – and I want to know why.
ANSWER: Well, let me answer this question first. It is an important question. The idea that you must find an immediate solution comes from the very part in you in which you think you have to prove your adequacy and your accomplishment. And it comes from the ego part of the self that is disconnected.
If you can embrace this knowledge, this fact, and then actively and directly meditate that you want to receive the path, the truth of the other person, the solution from the other person as it evolves – that you make yourself very receptive, that you use the receptive principle and in patience and in humility, and in a spirit of waiting and letting the other person unfold himself or herself – just take in!
Then you will allow your channel to guide you. Your inner channel will unite with the inner path of the person whom you help. It is truly a marriage.
Helping is one of the most satisfying, beautiful, noble, enhancing, stimulating experiences there is. It is truly a marriage, in the spiritual sense, of your channel with the channel of the other person. The other person’s path unfolds.
It is a living organism that reveals itself, but it can only reveal itself to you – and then through your consciousness to the person himself or herself – if you make yourself receptive, if you let it happen from within, if you trust the process rather than molding it with a driving force of the ego. That is my answer.
QUESTION: When a Helper is defensive in exposing a problem they have with their Worker, because they cannot stand that there is any indication they might fail with their Worker – and sometimes they let the situation go on for months and months – I wonder if you could say something about that.
ANSWER: When this condition exists, and of course it exists among all human beings – therapists, doctors, etcetera – so it must also exist, perhaps to a lesser degree, but nevertheless it also exists, with the Helpers on the Path. Although, in this respect, you are by comparison much more open, compared with therapists and other people who are more oriented in the ego sense.
However, the aim should be to eliminate all this defensiveness, and it is indeed possible. If it still exists, then you can know that you are really still more trusting of the appearance, rather than what is. And what is, is always the divine reality, whether that divine reality is momentarily blurred by your own defenses, by your own misconceptions, by your own negativities – but nevertheless, that is what is.
It is therefore nearer to the beauty and purity of the divine reality than when you pretend. When you defend and do not want to show what is, you pretend. And you put the stake in the appearance rather than in what is. All of you, not only Helpers, but everyone, could perhaps use part of your daily meditation for precisely that: “I wish to put all my stake in and invest everything into what truly is, and not what appears.”
Such a meditation and a sincere desire for it will have wonderful effects. I would also suggest that both the training groups – the already-existing old one and the new one – should always start with such a meditation – something of that sort – where you once again state your sincerity in motive to help, and also your true wish not to appear, but to be.
QUESTION: I’m not a Helper, but I teach, and I find that the situation has many elements which I think would be applicable. That first impulse about giving is exciting and very exuberant. I give out a lot of energy and it ends up confusing the other person or being too overwhelming and not organized enough. I judge that as being childish, and my solution to the problem is to be tight and rigid and very unnatural and very controlled. I feel as if that will make a person learn, or that will give to the person so that they could take in and, of course, that doesn’t work. I would like to know how to find the true giving.
ANSWER: Now, there must be a combination. The true giving, the true flow, the inspiration on the wisdom and the truth and the love and the wholeness of the divine center, is a spontaneous flow, of course. However, that flow can be harmonious and organized only if the outer personality also learns self-discipline and order.
Now, if the divine flow becomes a substitute for self-discipline, it will disintegrate you, because it is a tremendous energy and it works without questioning. It works according to laws and conditions as they are. So it is up to the ego personality to find the right balance.
You yourself, for yourself as well as a teacher, have to be aware of this balance: that the ego must learn its own function – to keep order, balance, a proper groping at all times to sustain or find or refind the balance. Then the ego is secure and strong enough to let go of itself and to allow the divine influx.
QUESTION: I feel guilt for getting paid to teach. I know this has to do with a more general problem, but I wonder if there’s any relation to what you said about helping, whether one should go through a period of testing before one gets paid?
ANSWER: No, it is not the same, because when you teach your craft, your art, your vocational skill, you already have put in, in learning. You have learned your quota so that you can give on. To fulfill a spiritual helping job is a very different proposition. Of course, in reality it is never – neither in this nor in anything else – determined by what you receive back, because you can give extremely unselfishly, devotedly and fully, and be fully receptive to receive the best.
The capacity of a Helper is tenuous at the beginning, because it is mostly relying on the channel and not so much on outer knowledge. The outer knowledge has also its function: the understanding of the laws, the understanding of the principles as I teach them. But that is a very minor aspect. And that makes the difference. I think in your case the problem arises primarily from your guilt in not wanting to give fully and wanting to get, on an emotional level – of cheating.
QA213 QUESTION: I feel a split. On one level I’d really like to become a Helper, but on another level, I feel very anxious about that and a lot of unwillingness to give up my withholding. And so I’ve decided not the join the training group. But I also feel that I’m cheating myself. Can you comment?
ANSWER: Yes. Well, it is your decision. I will not say you should make another decision. I will not say that. But the only comment I can make is that indeed it is true – whenever the nongivingness takes predominance and is acted out, then you do indeed cheat yourself and you feel this.
Fortunately you are aware of it and are capable of making the connection. And that is the price you pay. Because you are deprived – and that applies to all human beings – to the degree that you deprive yourself and others of your capacity to give, you must be deprived. You must shortchange yourself in exactly that measure.
QA247 QUESTION: Recently there has been some controversy amongst us on an important issue relating to Helpership. Basically, the two extremes can be represented. One is that the Worker must follow his own path in his own time. Head-on confrontation of his defenses might gain outer appearance of growth, but in reality the Worker will only be appeasing the Helper, who is his authority figure. In this way, confrontation is counterproductive. Let the Worker be where he is; he will do the work.
The other thought is that confrontation of the defenses and lower self is needed. Spiritually, we become channels in true Helpership, and can help the Worker see truth and reach new levels of reality through truthful and loving confrontation that directly challenges the Worker’s areas of distortion.
I feel that either of these choices in itself is incomplete and that the answer to this question is probably that it is not either/or, but some combination of both approaches. Personally, I do feel more toward the second choice, because I feel that within loving confrontation, there is respect and awareness for the Worker and his process. Please, would you care to comment on this issue and give us whatever you feel would be helpful to us at this time? I feel that you are an example of the loving confronter, and I am grateful to you for this.
ANSWER: You are quite right that it is never an either/or. And this is indeed an important question. I would like to add to what you correctly pointed out that the natural flow and process of an individual’s path may indeed necessitate confrontation. For the person may be quite ready to face certain aspects of his lower self, but he may delude himself that he would break down if he does so.
By not dealing with these aspects, he rather halts the flow. So the truth may be completely reversed. The Path process of a person is aided by confrontation, not endangered. To always wait until the outer personality really wants to face certain hidden aspects only too frequently leads to stagnation and standstill that can last over several lifetimes.
You also need to differentiate between those who join such a path and those who are already deeply committed, who have worked for quite a while, and especially those who are themselves Helpers and leaders. The former have to gradually grow into this process, and do require a finely attuned sensitivity about how much confrontation should be done and how much deferred.
They need to be strengthened, reassured. Their trust must be gained gradually, and some minimal faith in God and their own higher self, at least intellectually to begin with, must be established, before a more direct confrontation of aspects difficult to accept can begin.
With someone who has been working for a considerable time, or someone who has aspirations of becoming a Helper, let alone those who already are, direct confrontation becomes an obligation and a responsibility. The awareness that a breakdown is a self-chosen weapon must exist, so that it is not used as a barrier. If the mind is willing to be in truth, confrontation will never damage, nor will it lead to what you mentioned – pleasing the Helper and thus only pretending to accept and change.
In a community such as you build, confrontation is essential. It is sharing your observations and giving them as gifts of love. It is very well known that, with the best of will, a person still struggling in his defenses and lower self aspects is blind, while others can see what escapes him. It is, of course, very important that such confrontation be made in a true spirit of love, not with any hidden agenda. And this is not difficult to detect.