70 QUESTION: When there are so many things we all want to ask, why is it such an agony to ask questions?
ANSWER: This question may seem funny to you, my friends, and yet it touches a very basic problem which I have mentioned so often that to do so again might bore you. You see, it has to do with the human reluctance and fear to reveal the best in oneself. You are worried that others may smile about you, find you inadequate.
Or perhaps your question may reveal a basic earnestness, a touching humility, a desire toward the best in life and in yourself. Or it may reveal a problem, thereby revealing one as a troubled, searching human being, vulnerable and confused as all human beings are.
Actually this is endearing, but people, in their distortion, are ashamed as much of these endearing and touching struggles in themselves as they are ashamed of their faults – and often even more so. Just as you are ashamed to show love or devotion, you feel more secure to be – or at least to appear – superior, invulnerable.
Many of my friends have overcome, and many others may manifest, this universal human reaction in different ways. But those of you who still feel this shyness, question yourselves seriously and as honestly as you know how. If such emotions simmer on the surface, try to translate them into meaning, and you will see that, more or less, they are what I say.
QUESTION: In the last session you said, “You will no longer feel it an injustice to see undeveloped, selfish people seem to have an easy life. You will understand that they are going through a cycle of favorable outer manifestations.” But according to your teachings, the good outer manifestation too, must be the product of the inner state of being, something that the person must have produced himself. Now, observing some very selfish and undeveloped persons being loved and living in pleasant surroundings, would that mean that in certain fields they have liberated themselves?
ANSWER: In the first place, no matter how undeveloped and selfish a person may seem, or even actually be, he too, must have assets in his personality. Otherwise, he would not be ready for incarnation. Just because he is a younger soul, less is expected of him – by his own spirit or real self – so that these assets have greater weight than the same assets in a person of whom more can be expected.
At the same time, the liabilities of a person of higher development count more than the liabilities of a younger soul. The maximum expectancy according to the overall development determines the length and quality of the various cycles, favorable and unfavorable. This is why all Scripture says that no human being can possibly judge another.
Moreover, it is your human illusion to believe another person as being so happy, simply because certain favorable conditions exist. There may be a temporary contentment, but not the real happiness that does not fear life any longer. There is a great difference. With the kind of person you describe, the dependency on others and life’s ups and downs is still very strong and this does not make for happiness. However, this has no bearing on the fact that they may experience certain times of outer ease.
One aspect of immaturity and separateness is that people always think the other person’s happiness is greater than theirs, while their own unhappiness is greater than the others’.
91 QUESTION: My question has already been answered in part. It has to do with improvement on the Path. Does the improvement occur automatically through self-recognition, or is there any value in certain disciplines that call for resolutions, or promising oneself not to repeat certain patterns?
ANSWER: Promising oneself not to repeat certain patterns may be quite risky, because you cannot help these patterns as long as you do not find the reason for them. Once you have found their existence, you have yet to understand their inner – though false – necessity. For you, they are a necessary defense. As long as these factors are not thoroughly understood and you have not recognized that the defense is destructive and ineffective, that in fact it brings you the very thing you wish to defend against, such promises to yourself would be useless.
If you stopped the pattern without the necessary understanding, you would experience extreme anxiety. This, in turn, would produce other destructive patterns. Or, if you continued helplessly in the pattern despite the given promise, you would feel angry at yourself and be discouraged. Or else you may be in such a conflict about the matter that you repress awareness of the repetition. You repeat it in such a subtle way, perhaps in a slightly different way, that you are no longer aware of it and have to make the recognition all over again.
Hence, promises of this sort are not to be advised. However, discipline of a sort is necessary. For instance, admonishing yourself to face yourself honestly, again and again; or resolving that change takes time and needs a great amount of understanding; or not letting up on efforts of self-observation and taking account of one’s actions and reactions. Discipline is also needed to be aware whenever the patterns repeat in variations.
The answer to your question is a combination of discipline in the sense I have indicated, and of allowing oneself to unfold in one’s entire nature. Only this combination can produce growth, and growth cannot be speeded up.
The necessary step before a destructive pattern can be dispensed with is understanding the inner defense and the need for it. The consequence will be mature acceptance of the results of this destructive defense until such time as the psyche is ready to do without it. This is a necessary preliminary. Without it, maturity is impossible.
This stage cannot be shortened. Once you are truly ready to let go of the pattern, you will no longer need promises to yourself. You will not wish to do it, or feel it, or act by it. You will quite naturally grow out of it.
You see, my friends, you have so often a wrong attitude in the hurried approach toward your development. This hurry indicates, on the one hand, a strong idealized self-image, that is, “I must be perfect already.” This only fortifies the non-acceptance of yourself as you happen to be now. On the other hand, the hurry also indicates this: “As long as I am imperfect, I have to experience imperfect situations, unfulfillment and frustration. Therefore, I must become perfect in a hurry, so as to be perfectly happy.”
This includes the childish attitude we have discussed frequently of not accepting life as it really is. The child wants heaven on Earth. It is true that at this stage you have already evolved from the state of demanding happiness from life and others, resenting it when not given to you, and disclaiming any responsibility for your wants.
You have realized at this point that you are the master of your fate. But you still do not accept that life has to be taken as an imperfect business. The ability to derive happiness from it even though it is not perfect, to accept yourself as average, is the greatest sign of growth and maturity.
In a private session some time ago, I said to one of my friends, and I repeat it here publicly: you have heard many aspects of what constitutes maturity and immaturity. One of the great milestones on the road to maturity is the ability to give up being special or grandiose, and to accept yourself as being average, living an average life. If you can derive happiness out of the ordinary and out of being ordinary, then you have truly come a long way.
If you do accept yourself and life in that way, you will no longer have to whip yourself into perfection. You will no longer need heaven on Earth. You will view your own progress with equanimity. You will no longer feel any frustration or unhappiness as a disaster. You will give yourself time to grow. It goes without saying that if the compulsion to be happy and perfect is eliminated, you will be much happier and more perfect than you were before.
Thus you will approach your progress with the right kind of discipline – not by attempting perfect action, but by giving up the resistance to face what is usually right in front of you and yet hardest to see. You may be quite determined to find yourself. You expect some deep important insights of devastating impact, while the little ordinary things that reveal so much about your problems are right in front of your eyes and you do not see them. To see what is right there requires discipline and wanting to see it.
QUESTION: Isn’t prayer a kind of discipline to keep oneself in a certain chosen direction?
ANSWER: Yes. Prayer is a good way not to give up one’s efforts in the right direction.
91 QUESTION: I have noticed that when I confess my faults to another, it seems to give them relief and helps them face themselves. Would you care to comment on this?
ANSWER: Yes, this is very true. It is very obvious why this is so. You see, in their aloneness and separateness people believe deep down in their emotions – although they know differently in their minds – that they are the only ones who have all these weaknesses and faults.
They feel themselves ostracized, different, separate – and therefore it is a great relief to actually be approached by a human being who has the strength to face and pronounce similar weaknesses, faults or limitations. That gives courage and makes it so much easier to face the self, while the irrational and unconscious belief that you are the only one leads to further repression.
94 QUESTION: In the last lecture, with reference to the defense mechanism, you said that the basic defense is a general inner climate you can feel. Could you please explain what you mean by “inner climate”?
ANSWER: If you observe your emotions, which you increasingly learn to do on this Path, you will detect the kind of feeling that can best be described as an inner stiffening. It may not always be on the surface. It can be provoked or caused, for instance, when you do this work with another person and certain areas in you are touched, or when you encounter criticism or disapproval.
You will detect a hardening, a fearfulness, an apprehension, a desire to reject whatever it is that comes to you. You feel attacked and threatened. The feeling in you, coming as a reaction to the instances just mentioned, is your defense mechanism. Feeling it is a great step forward; you will come to see how this mechanism in you reacts, and how such reaction is against your interest. You have to observe this inner climate, the stiffening and hardening, otherwise you cannot get further in this important respect of the work.
96 QUESTION: When you achieve the real self we are all talking about, you have an intuitive knowledge from within. You act in truth without fear. When you reach this, you suddenly know that there is no death, there is no evil, there is no pain, you accept what we experience due to our own inadequacy and fears. When one achieves this feeling, there is still the human body one is in and the human fear one recognizes. You cannot chase it away and say it isn’t there.
ANSWER: No. Do not expect, my dear, to become superhuman. Of course, you have to deal with the difficulties of life that accrue from being in matter. I said just before, in another connection, if you are your real self, it does not mean you are never insecure, afraid, frustrated, that you are never unhappy. But you can deal with the unhappiness. You can come to terms with it in reality. You can accept it. You can accept frustration.
Your life is not at stake because you do not get your will. In your state of illusion, however, there is so much more at stake than the lack of a wish-fulfillment. Your value and worth as a person is at stake and therefore you experience life in a distorted way. That is why frustration cannot be borne by the person who is still embroiled in immaturity and pseudosolutions.
Once you are real, your own value will not be mixed up with your issues. Certainly you will at times be frustrated, uncertain, sad. In fact, if you were never sad, you would not be your real self. Sadness is healthy; it is a result of feeling and responding to aspects of reality. But self-pity and depression are not. Boredom is not. Life is joy and sadness; happiness and tragedy; fulfillment and frustration. The real self can deal with both, the false self with neither.
Why is it easier for so many people to go through a real tragedy, only to break down from their imaginary little ailments coming from their distortions connected with the little ego? The healthy part responds to real life while the unhealthy part in you responds to illusion with illusion.
Beware of believing that your self-pity, bitterness, futility due to shallow living – no emotional depth and not owning up to your real feelings – with its resultant boredom, is sadness. Be clear about the very decided difference between these entirely contrary feelings: sadness and self-pity mixed with futility. When you cringe away from sadness, you wind up in shallow living with all its byproducts.
Do not expect an impossibility of yourself. You do live on Earth. Of course you will be insecure, afraid, sad and unhappy at times, but you will not feel insecure, victimized and uncertain about yourself. That is a difference. Live life fully with all that it brings, without cringing from your feelings. Please, let us go into whatever is not clear about this at our next meeting.
97 QUESTION: You were speaking about our true self and our fulfillment, our closeness to God. Can you say a word about an individual making progress along this Path by just doing the work that is his to do? The village blacksmith – I don’t know how deeply he has to probe. He makes good horseshoes. He has unhappiness in his life. He seems to be quiet. Brother Lawrence in the kitchen. The surgeon may come home and say, “I skipped a stitch.” But he saved a man’s life. He did good surgery. Is it necessary for a person to proceed in this rather deep and involved search of the subconscious when he feels he is doing God’s work and has fulfillment on that level?
ANSWER: The human entity is a deep, involved, complex being. Therefore, in order to be undivided and unified, these levels have eventually to be reached by some process or method. It is entirely possible that someone is fulfilled in one way, while another aspect of his being waits for unfoldment and growth that cannot be reached merely by doing good work.
Yet a number of people on this Earth may not be spiritually mature enough for such deep probing. In their life work and in meeting their daily problems as best as they can, without the awareness of their deeper feelings, they do the most they can. On the other hand, there are isolated beings who are spiritually and emotionally so mature that in their own way they follow such a path, even though it may appear different in method and organization, but the end result is the same.
But for those who are somewhere in-between on the scale, it is necessary to become aware of what goes on in the deep, involved and complex levels of their soul, in order to attain the maximum development in all areas of their personality, not only in one or two aspects of life. For this, a certain help is necessary, some sort of organized method, for working alone one is usually too involved to see clearly. Overemphasis on those aspects of the personality that function smoothly may lead the person to overlook what is not in order yet and what could be brought out.
However, the work should never be approached in a spirit of “God demands it of me.” Then it would be compulsive and indicate, somewhere in the psyche, a wrong approach to God, to universal law, and to the self. It should not be done in a spirit of fulfilling a superimposed duty.
The more you grow into life and into yourself, the more you will realize that you wish to do it in order to live a fuller and happier life, and thus give more happiness. You will wish to override your resistance to facing that which you suspect is there, but wish that it were not.
It is not so much a question of necessity, but of making the best, the fullest, the most meaningful experience out of your life – in every possible respect, not just in work alone. Getting to know one’s unconscious mind is not something entirely unconnected with the soul, with one’s being. Quite the contrary!
In the last analysis, it is not possible to grow spiritually to the fullest without psychoanalysis, or self-search by any other name. There is no separation between spiritual living and psychological processes, if you consider it from the point of view of seeing the truth in yourself. This is so simple, even though certainly not easy. Good actions are fine, but there comes a point in one’s development when more is at stake than good, kind, helpful actions and fine execution of one’s work.
100 QUESTION: You said in the last lecture [Lecture #100 Meeting the Pain of Destructive Patterns] that the effect of one person being in truth is of greater cosmic importance than we can possibly realize. Can you explain this?
ANSWER: If you think for a moment of the effect of the negative, distorted soul parts of a human being in the sense discussed tonight, you will also understand the opposite. Any pseudosolution is bound to reject another human being. When you submit, you do not experience the truth of the other person’s humanity, of his or her needs, vulnerabilities, problems and insecurity. In your demand to possess a strong and ever loving protector, you must be disappointed, perhaps unconsciously so, and in your disappointment, you become hostile – perhaps again unconsciously.
When you are aggressively arrogant, denying your own need to find love, affection, communication, you reject the other person outright. In your withdrawal, you never give warmth, you never fulfill the other person’s needs. When you are self-alienated and perfectionistic, you cannot help but hurt others.
When the pretense of your idealized self is at work, you do not let another person come near you, out of the unconscious fear of facing exposure, and you are bound over and over again to reject him or her, perhaps without ever realizing that you are doing so. All the rejection, isolation and pain that you inadvertently inflict onto others is bound to strengthen their own destructive defense mechanisms, just as their destructive defenses fortify your own. This persists unless you are on a path such as this and begin to see the process for what it is.
Now, reverse the process. Imagine the effect it must have on your surroundings when you are no longer defensive, fearful, withdrawn and falsely superior. You are then open to life and to the heart of another person. The courage to live and to love enables you to help others to weaken their own defenses and destructive patterns, even if they are not yet developed far enough to choose a path of self-finding.
Everyone you come into contact with is therefore affected. And this effect extends over all of those with whom they, in turn, come into contact. It draws rings upon rings of effect that interact. If you think about it in these terms, you are bound to visualize the truth.
QA123 QUESTION: In the beginning I found out I hate the medium. Now, I found out I don’t hate the medium – I hate you, because you give too much freedom. Also I hate you, because when you answer my questions, I feel like you answer me as if I were a five-year-old child. Before, I was very happy for that, but now I would like you to answer my questions like a grown-up person, and this is my conflict.
ANSWER: You see, as you said, there is the conflict right there, because on the one hand, you do not wish the freedom; you are afraid of the freedom. In that you are like a child. Now you see, the actuality is I do not really answer you in any different way than I answer anyone else, but you know your own childishness and you dislike yourself for it.
So therefore, you think or feel that my answers to you are very different from the answers I give to all of my friends. So it is your very conflict that is at stake here. On the one hand, you fear the freedom, which means adulthood.
What are the advantages of a child and what are the disadvantages of a child? The advantages of the child are that it has very little responsibility. It obeys the rules imposed on it. And if they work, it is fine; if they do not work, it cannot be made responsible for it. The child does not have to make any decisions. It takes the ready-made laws and rules and lives by them, which is easy. This is the advantage.
As opposed to the adult, who, in the true sense of the word, has to make his own decisions, not only in the obvious, mundane affairs of daily living, but also on the much more subtle question of what is right and wrong for him and why it is so, of creating his value system, of making the decisions in the areas of emotions, values and his own moral system. To make decisions in this requires a constant readiness to think, to discriminate, to weigh, to examine, and to be ready to pay the price if the decision turns out wrong.
In any human being’s life, this is bound to happen so and so many times. These are the disadvantages of adulthood. On the other hand, the adult has a freedom the child does not have, and you can see this on the most outer level of existence, when the child is required to regulate the day according to the rules the grown-ups make. The child is required to absorb a quota of learning, not according to its choosing but to what is given to him by the adult world.
The grown-up, the mature person, the adult, makes his own decisions about his preoccupations and occupations, about what he wants to learn and what he wants to do and how he wants to live. So he is much more free. So freedom and self-responsibility, as discussed a long time ago, must be hand in hand. It cannot be that one wants the freedom but one wants the advantages of childhood, of not being responsible. And this is – not only yours but also of so, so many, many other people – the unconscious demand. When this exists, there is conflict.
That this is coming to the surface now in what technically might be called the transference situation in your reactions to the medium, respectively to me, is a very favorable thing, because it enables you to see the conflict, not in theory but in actuality and practice, by the way you react.
This understanding will help you to make your choice fully – not just the choice to say, “I want to be grown up,” but also to forget that a part in you rebels against certain facets of adulthood. Now, I have answered this question indeed like I answer an adult.
QA124 QUESTION: You said that man cannot truly unfold without a mate, but what if advanced age makes it utterly impossible and therefore prevents true unfoldment?
ANSWER: You see, my dear, again man is tempted into the erroneous view of looking at the manifestation. Do not be misled by the outer manifestation. What counts is the inner attitude. It is possible on such a path, for example, to find something at a time when it is outwardly too late. Then even if the outer fulfillment does not occur, the inner readiness, attitude and transformation is all that matters.
I will not even have to deal with the theory of saying that in your future incarnation, such a fulfillment will be much easier and will be possible. I can even say for this incarnation the unfoldment of the forces that were inhibited – the removal of fears in this respect – will bring a new emanation, another attitude toward life, so that perhaps the fulfillment, which might have occurred in earlier years with a mate, may exist in some other way or may come about in some other way.
What matters is not the outer fulfillment. What matters is the inner attitude – the removal of those aspects which have blocked such a fulfillment – and this can happen at any age regardless of whether or not it is factually too late. It has nothing to do with it. In spirit, there is no “too late.” And even if during this Earth life the fulfillment occurs in a different way, it makes no difference.
QUESTION: But it does make a difference to the poor human being, I think, because it’s very disturbing.
ANSWER: Well, isn’t it better to fulfill something at a late time than nothing? Hundreds and thousands of individuals who have either never heard of a path of self-realization – or even if they did, they have resisted this – finish this life incarnation without even realizing what they have missed and why they have missed it.
QUESTION: I perfectly understand that. There’s no question about that. But on the other hand, when one has worked for many years, and you can’t see a reward, it’s very bitter to…
QUESTION: [Another person] Reward?
ANSWER: Whom do you blame?
QUESTION: It’s probably myself.
ANSWER: Do you not blame some kind of god according to your old god concept that is supposed to reward for effort?
QUESTION: No, but maybe I blame myself, because I believe if one is on the Path, really and truly…
ANSWER: What does being on the Path mean to you?
QUESTION: What the Guide…what you teach us to try to live.
ANSWER: You see, the criterion is again not “on the Path” and “not on the path.” Again you human beings always tend to make such final distinction. There are people who are not on such a path, and they confront themselves as much as they are capable of doing.
There are individuals who are on such a path, and they are not doing the utmost according to their capacities, potentials, who approach the path as a task they fulfill, almost against their will, to obey the law. Not because they really want to look at the truth in themselves for the sake of the truth.
They do it for the sake of obeying, which again, in turn, they do for the sake of reward. And here it is these fine distinctions that determine the infantile attitude and the attitude of an adult – the mature attitude. Now, if an adult individual consistently maintains an infantile approach of doing this work, not for the sake of the truth but for the sake of some other motivation – and therefore always doing it a little halfheartedly – the result cannot be what it could be.
Even working for a specific result – although, of course, it is on a higher level of maturity than for the sake of obeying so as to be rewarded – which must come in a hurry, is not the real spiritual truthful, mature outlook. When you will come to the outlook of “I want to look at the truth in myself for no other reasons but the truth for the sake of truth,” then true understanding will come.
The blocks that have and continue to stand in your way will melt, and they will melt whether or not outer fulfillment is in a specific form possible or not. It is a very curious phenomenon that those people who in emotion – which is easily detectable by inflection, voice and implication – blame the universe or some higher force for not sufficiently rewarding their effort, are the very same people who – if you really look deep inside one can see – the efforts are not half what they could do according to their possibility.
When one does one’s best according to one’s potentials, there is no bitterness, and this, any friend who has approached this threshold will readily confirm. Bitterness is always a result of not having done what one is potentially capable of for one’s self-realization.
QA124 QUESTION: When one is involved or in a relationship, the work on this Path seems easier to comprehend. But as one becomes involved in a real-life situation or relationship, one is overwhelmed by complexity of emotions so that one cannot see clearly – a small situation becomes more complex than a very deep philosophical question. What should one do if one is overwhelmed by this emotion and drowned in the sea? If one withdraws from the sea, we seem to escape; if we stay we might drown?
ANSWER: Well, this is a good question, which I will attempt to answer as much as it is possible, for there is so much to say here. In the first place, in order to really come to liberation of one’s inner shackles, the badgering of the unconscious and the frustration is an absolute necessity. Without it, one cannot find what needs to be found.
When people go to human doctors of the soul, such doctors often are very emphatic in advising not to seek out a new situation as long as the treatment lasts. On this Path, we do not give such advice for many reasons.
Some of them are the following. One, for example, is that if one learns to pay attention to the out-picturing of one’s inner problems – whatever the outer situation is – one will find a sufficient badgering, challenging and assault on the unconscious. One can learn from the frustration that results from one’s own limitations.
It is just those little issues that yield the most important result and not the general, philosophical concepts. They will never bring a real liberation. As you have often seen in your work, if you truly analyze a little issue – in itself an insignificant incident – and you truly understand it, you receive more realization, more understanding from it, than by discussing general philosophical concepts.
Even your own misconceptions, when they are only discussed in general terms, do not yield the result you get by looking at the little everyday issues. I cannot emphasize enough that these little issues have to be taken into account. They do more for your progress than anything else.
Reason number two is, since this is not a therapy but a spiritual development that goes on, it is a constant process. Therefore to tell you to stay out of living would, in our spiritual view, be detrimental. If you do not go out of your way but just live your life, naturally, as it comes – you do not prohibit, you do not seek, you do not do anything purposely or you do not refrain from doing anything purposely for the sake of this Path – then you learn by whatever life brings you. Just be relaxed about it and take what life brings you, examining these little issues.
The third reason that we do not advise such artificial staying out of living is that the guidance is so strong that all of you would see it. If you only open your eyes to it, you will see how constant it is, how strong it is. It is often only you who close your eyes and do not see it. I am not just talking to you personally now. I am speaking generally.
Now, your question of drowning is, of course, something erroneous. You do not need to drown. Here you will have to learn, my friend, the healthy balance between a mature ego formation. Only when this is established can you then let go and be safe. If letting go is encouraged before the ego is autonomous, the fear of drowning is then a result.
In many respects, in your ego, you are still dependent. You are still, in many respects, helpless. You’re still governed by the infant or the child in you, while, on the other hand, your emotional nature is very strong and it is put into the service of obtaining the gratification of the infant.
In other words, the infant that wants everything its own way, that is unable to assume adult responsibility, is unable to stand frustration, is unwilling to renounce any little pleasure or accept any difficulty of living, and wants utter bliss – it is this ego that is not equipped to enter into the state of union.
It wants the bliss on the terms of the baby, and therefore it is dangerous. Therefore in your work, in your specific case now – it may not be applicable to everyone – there is, on the one hand, this tremendous pleasure drive in the way of the baby – without responsibility, without frustration, only gratification. And it is this desire that makes you so afraid of it.
There is a vague fear in you that if you assume this adult responsibility, with all that this entails, you will lose the pleasure. And you do not want to give up the pleasure. You’re also confused, because you have heard and you know that the complete fulfillment of the mature person is a full experience of pleasure. This confuses you.
There is something in you that does not know which way to turn. You have the drive for the pleasure, and you have the knowledge that pleasure in the adult is something not only admissible, but even an essential part of mature fulfillment.
This confusion exists because you do not realize that only when you are willing for the sake of responsibility, of reason, of fairness, to make certain denunciations, thereby appearing to give up temporarily a pleasure, that this will make you equipped to experience the full union and the full bliss where there is no danger of drowning.
It appears to you that by assuming adult responsibility you forfeit the pleasure, and this confuses you.
QA124 GUIDE COMMENT: This brings me to one more thing I would like to say regarding your work on the Path, so as to get the optimum result – where I still see neglect, where you still overlook and do not sufficiently concentrate on it – and that is: examine the feelings you have immediately within the work, either toward your Helper or toward someone else at that moment, perhaps in connection with certain things that come out in the work.
These things are pushed aside and looked away from and not sufficiently discussed and therefore so much valuable result goes down unused, unexploited. Your results can be so much more vital if you pay more attention to these immediate emotional reactions, and do not push them aside, rather talking about generalities.
So often you escape into generalities. You take a finding which you make general and talk in general terms rather than your disturbing reactions at such and such a moment. One such clear understanding will do more than anything else you can do.
Here I beg of you, my friends, you will see that many closed doors, much frustration and disappointment, and results that do not come and could come, could come if you would do this.
QA154 QUESTION: I have come through a very long period of development this summer, and would like to know whether I am in truth or am I deceiving myself?
ANSWER: No, you are not deceiving yourself. There is no question about it – you experience visible manifestations of progress, the fruition of many years of hard work. But I also wish to say that the danger is that such experience may mislead a person into believing he now can let up on his efforts. That would be a very great mistake, because there is still a lot of uncovered and undiscovered territory to go through.
Now, I know you know that in theory, but it is also necessary that you know this in practice. Because once one lets up, it is much more difficult to find the way back. It is much more difficult to resume when the pendulum swings backward again, when the cycles go into the downward curve again.
It is very necessary to even increase the positive effort of this Pathwork in a positive period, because then the next down curve will be much less severe and much less discouraging and much easier to make the next swing upward. This is my very emphatic advice to you.
Because although the progress was actual – and you can be quite sure of that – you do not let these still residing escape mechanisms lead you into letting go or diminishing your effort. There is no real reason that makes this necessary, because if you understand that the first necessary emphasis that is the key for everything in one’s life is the self-realization, then you will have all you need – in time, in effort, in every other conceivable way.
It is your approach to it that will make that possible. If you think it is not possible to concentrate on this, you will not find the means. If you know and determine and make up your mind for that in a reasonable, unfanatic, unexaggerated way, you will not only have it but it will increase the strength, the energy, and your whole organization of life.
I beg of you, do not let the past progress go to waste by prematurely allowing an interruption. I have seen many people who fall into just such a mistake – because they have accomplished a certain plateau and experienced certain progress, and then they left this work and they did not go all the way toward the completion of finding their total, real self. And then a relapse is worse.