You can listen to the audio transcript on this page for each Lecture.
Click on the Yellow Title bar to Study
Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 5
May 6, 1957
HAPPINESS FOR YOURSELF OR HAPPINESS AS A LINK IN THE CHAIN OF LIFE
Greetings in the name of God. I bring you God’s blessings.
My dear ones, God’s spirit world would want nothing more than to help you grow spiritually –
– into happiness, harmony, and light. God’s spirits try continually to extend their helping hand to
bring you over those hurdles where you are struggling with the difficulties in your spiritual
development on this path toward perfection.
We can only help, however: we cannot force. First
you will have to want to reach perfection (Maturity, Wholeness-mdw), and open the door through wanting it. Only then will you perceive this help as a palpable reality.
This, in turn, will increase your feelings of security and
deepen your trust in the reality and truthfulness of God’s spirit world. Yet it is only too often that
humans will pay no attention to the heavenly spirits around them and so will not see, hear, and feel
those who offer their help. Even if they believe in principle in the existence of God and His spirit
world, they do not think that this has an effect on their personal lives with all their problems.
Thus they close the door and may continue walking on a wrong path. Going in the wrong direction often
begins with a seemingly trivial choice, but the more one moves away from the point of choice, the
farther one will stray into a dead-end street from where it will be ever more difficult to find the way
Even when people love God and want the good, they so often do not see in themselves that
which is the determining factor in their development and fulfillment. What appears to be an
unimportant detail is often the root of all unhealthy currents in the soul.
You, however, do not
recognize it because you are unwilling to awaken to the inspiration coming from the divine spirits.
For it is always more comfortable to stay in the old way. The result is sadness or dissatisfaction with
life; you do not understand why, but this is very often the reason, my dear friends.
It is my task to give you hints, to awaken you. May each of you hear what applies to you
personally — but even for this the willingness has to be there. Only when you feel it can you absorb
and assimilate this material.
Whenever human beings set themselves a goal, whether consciously or just emotionally, and
this goal is a selfish one, they will often not be able to reach that which they want. Even if they
reach it, its effect and the satisfaction it gives will be a fleeting one; it will dry out, become shallow,
and eventually dissolve.
If you want happiness just for yourself, then you will not become happy.
Most likely you will say, “But of course I do not want happiness only for myself. I will be very glad
to see my fellow human beings also happy.”
But it makes a great difference whether this is just an
occasional and rather superficial thought, formed out of a sense of duty, or whether the wish
penetrates your whole being. Each one of you can look inside to ascertain how deep the wish really
For here too you may deceive yourself; here too you can want something with your mind, having
already learnt one thing or another, but another part of your personality, which I call the lower self, pulls your emotions into quite a different direction.
This part does not really care for the other
person — not emotionally — though in your mind you may indeed wish him or her well — that is, as
long as it does not cost you personal sacrifice or any great effort — and this is the crux of the matter.
Almost anybody, unless still on a very low level of development, will in theory feel glad when good
things happen to another. But even quite developed people, if honest, often detect in themselves
some envy, or a slightly malicious joy over the misfortune of others.
How far along is any individual in this respect? Is anyone willing to give something up for the
sake of another? Ask yourself: “Do I want happiness for my own sake, or is this the second
consideration?” Can you address God and say, “Of course I cannot fool you, just as I cannot fool
myself. True, I want to be happy. But also when I obtain this happiness, I want to maintain it by
becoming a connecting link. What I receive from you I wish to convey to others in some form,
even if I have to make a sacrifice — perhaps to renounce my ego-gratification.Please show me how
I can give out to others all that I have received from you.”
If you immerse yourself again and again
into this thought, until it takes root in your soul, until it becomes such a powerful spiritual form that
it penetrates your entire being on the deepest level of your feelings, then you will have fulfilled the
conditions. Then the particular spiritual law can manifest through you, and then you will be truly
happy, exactly because your own happiness is no longer the ultimate goal of your endeavors. That
is, the “I” will give up its self-importance for the sake of the “Thou.”
Then you seek happiness not
only because you want it; on the contrary, the goal will be to give happiness to the other, to others,
and your own happiness will merely be a way station, so to speak.
Your happiness will be given to you so that you can pass it on. Then you will indeed become
a link in the chain, which is the sole requisite to keep the stream of happiness alive and flowing. In
this way it will never dry out. Whatever the person who serves as such a link gives out will be
reciprocated a hundredfold.
God will always show you how, in what form, your love and knowledge
and happiness can be passed on to others, but first you must have the readiness to do so. Indeed,
today, tomorrow, next week, and every day you have to make the resolution to be in readiness; you
must consciously conquer your resistance. Do not push it into unconsciousness. Then you must try
to translate the readiness into action. And so the spiritual law can begin to fulfill itself in you.
Let each and every one of you now think about what particular blessings you enjoy; it may be
good health, or spiritual strength, or the happiness and security of a loving relationship; it is different
with each one of you.
Everybody has received a special treasure from God. And once you have
decided, “I will no longer want to be the ultimate goal, but rather a link in the chain,” it will be
shown to you how you can pass on that which you have received, and you will also be richly
rewarded, for that is the law.
At the same time you will not take your gifts and treasures for granted — which is always a sign
of spiritual desiccation and causes the gifts you possess to lose their luster because the law of giving
and receiving has been violated. If you are a living link in the chain, every one of your gifts will
regain its shine, and the joy and pleasure that you had lost will be restored to you.
As with happiness in general, so it is with every one of its components that a person may
desire: love, strength, health, freedom — everything. Whatever one wants for one’s own sake will
dissolve, wither away; whatever is sought for the sake of the other, as a link in the chain, will
blossom and flourish — for yourself and for the other.
Take, for instance, the many people who are preoccupied with becoming free. They avoid
anything that could bind them. But the same law applies here also: Those who desire freedom for
its own sake will find themselves bound on the inner level.
On the other hand, one who desires
freedom to become a link in the chain, to effect some special task for God’s Plan of Salvation and
for fellow human beings, will blossom in freedom without being bound inside. Giving energy to
further the upward development of human consciousness, this person will be free not only on the
outer level, but inwardly also.
Those who lust for freedom out of pure egoism, elevating themselves
above God and claiming freedom from the spiritual laws, become less and less free; the vaunted
freedom will turn into bondage, and ultimately they will find themselves in fetters. Those who ally
themselves with God and His laws will continually increase their freedom and their independence.
This is the immutable law, which cannot be overthrown.
God’s laws were created in wisdom and
love, and those who revolt against them out of defiance and ignorance — either because they cannot
as yet understand them or because they do not want to comprehend them for unhealthy emotional
reasons — must become increasingly unhappy with the resulting tight inner bondage.
Many people who revolt against human injustice cannot comprehend that God is just and that
in spirit infallible justice reigns. Spiritual justice makes use of human injustice in order to bring
about ultimate justice.
My dear ones, this may appear contradictory to some of you. Nevertheless, it is not; the
equation balances out. I will give you an example. Let us suppose that a criminal who has
committed several crimes has gotten away with it every time. He laughs into his beard, both at the
stupidity of people and at the lack of justice, which seems to be to his advantage. Then one day he
is arrested for a crime he did not commit.
You will find that it is exactly this kind of person who
will scream loudest about the injustice in this world. He went scot free all those other times and
now, when he is innocent, he is forced to pay. The more obstinate such a person is, the less will he
recognize the great justice prevailing over the minor injustice. He will not want to see this. But this
is how he is being tested.
For it would be all too easy to recognize spiritual justice with all its
ramifications if the connection between crime and punishment were always so evident. The
imperfection which human beings have created for themselves must be the remedy, so to speak,
through which they can regain the lost perfection.
If complete justice reigned on earth — and this in itself is an impossibility, since the
imperfection came into being out of free will and has to be overcome through free will — then it
would be too simple for you humans: earth would not be a testing ground, and it would be
meaningless to strive for the attainment of a higher consciousness.
The attaining of a higher state of
consciousness is the utmost grace, to which the door must be opened by the entity itself. So you are
tested as to whether or not you are willing to see farther, even if this means giving up self-will, spite,
self-righteousness, and other negative currents. The magnitude and glory of God’s creation lies
exactly in the fact that imperfection is used as a means to attain perfection, that human injustice is
used to bring about divine justice.
The example I just used is a crass one; nevertheless it applies in one way or another to
everybody. If you really want to find out whether this is so in your case, the insight will be given to
you, though of course it is not easy to meet yourself so honestly. You often have to pay for
something that you have not committed — but what you are really paying for lies buried in the past.
What it is can be found out only by summoning the inner will in meditation. And even if the action
for which you have to pay now was committed in a past life, the insight can come, provided you
follow this path of development and purification. Helpful insights are given by heaven as a token of
appreciation for your honest endeavors, for your humility and goodwill.
It can also happen that you are not asked to account for a series of smaller trespasses. The
spirit world is willing to wait and see whether you will conclude on your own that something in your
character needs to be improved. But if you do not search in this direction, the effect of all the
neglected deviations will descend upon you, as it were, in one fell swoop; you will have to pay off all
the little things.
This may make it easier to awaken you to the fact that you have to change
something in yourself. And here again your attitude will be tested. Will you say, “I never did
anything wrong enough to justify all that is coming to me now,” or will you assume that God cannot
be unjust and therefore begin to explore whatever it is in you that needs to be uncovered. This is
always the question, and your answer makes all the difference as to whether you are passing the test
or not; it will determine the direction of your development.
It is a special grace — and I purposely choose this word — when you can pay off your
violations of spiritual law in the same life and not in the next, since it is so much easier to see the
connecting threads and thus recognize ultimate justice, even when it comes in a roundabout way.
Such experiences will make you feel that there is safe ground under your feet and establish your
permanent trust in God.
But, as I said, the grace of recognition can be given to you even if what
you pay off reaches back into a previous incarnation, provided you are absolutely determined to
choose self-awareness and purification. In this way it will be easier for you to harmonize your
relationship to God. And harmony with God brings about your happiness. It is not, as often
believed, that finding God is giving to Him.
I tell you all this so that you can think about your
difficulties and find out whether you are paying for something that you caused in this life or in a
previous one. Whichever it is, you can still find the seed in you; it must be a special fault which has
to be recognized and dealt with.
When humans shed their body and enter the realm of spirit, most of what you call the
unconscious is open and accessible. Not one of you, my dear ones, not even those who have
already progressed on this path or who are actually in a state of healing, have even the remotest idea
of the reality of this unconscious, which is so often deeply split into opposing currents and works
against the conscious mind.
Some of those who are in healing may have caught a glimpse of it.
Encountering these previously unconscious currents and tendencies feels as if you met a total
stranger who leads his own life. It requires work, discipline, and training to feel into these currents
and recognize precisely what they are.
The encounter with this stranger is a sign of great progress;
you have every reason to rejoice. Sing “Glory Hallelujah,” for the first battle is won, the first step
toward the unification of your personality has been taken.
Do not get depressed. It is extremely
important for anyone who hopes to accomplish in one life as much as possible not to postpone
encountering the unconscious, but to face it right now. For the unknown part of the personality has
tremendous power, and this power lies in its being unconscious, so that only the widespread effects
are visible. You see the symptoms and not what causes them. These undercurrents cannot be
controlled as long as you are not aware of them.
It is a great mistake to believe that if you do not look at the undercurrents, their effect will be
less severe. It is, of course, possible to exert some control over their outward manifestations, in
crises and conflicts, but this is not sufficient. You know by now that all thoughts and feelings create
spiritual forms of the greatest reality, even if you cannot see them.
These forms have far-reaching
effects: in ever-spreading circles, actions create reactions, which again have consequences, so that a
long chain reaction ensues. You may control some of the outermost manifestations of the long
chain, but, as I said, this is not enough. Disturbed soul currents cannot be set on a right course until
one penetrates deeply into their origin in the unconscious.
The conscious mind wants the good and wants to act right; one part of the unconscious, the
higher self, also strives upward. But in every human being another part of the personality wants
what is evil and false — yet this evil or falsehood does not have to be of the criminal kind; all
depends on the person’s development.
A higher developed individual’s negative traits weigh as
heavily as the criminal tendencies of a less highly evolved being. Blind, impossible demands may rub
him sore, so to speak. They cannot be fulfilled, partly because they are not realizable, and partly
because they run contrary to what the higher self desires. The opposing tendencies clash and
exhaust the soul; they create disharmony and sometimes illness. Above all, they prevent spiritual
growth, or at least hinder maximum development.
Therefore I cannot urge you enough to devote
all your attention to the discovery of the unconscious: get to know the unconscious, make it
conscious in meditation, in prayer, in all your striving. Without this there can be no significant
progress, and you will have to experience the open and unhindered manifestation of your
unconscious currents when you shed your body.
Then the conflict must be entered. This will be a
disappointment, for people, until they face themselves, believing that they are far more developed
than they actually are, assume that only their actions count; yet their feelings are also actions and
have just as tangible consequences.
Also, the development of the personality takes incomparably
longer and is much more difficult to accomplish in the spirit world. God has arranged life on earth
in such a way that your spiritual ascent is speeded up in the surroundings of imperfection, in the
diversity of developmental stages. Yet it often happens that more incarnations are used than strictly
necessary to set the imperfect, blind, unconscious currents right; some future earthly lives could be
avoided by a stronger commitment to development in the present.
Human development has advanced so far that at least a certain number of people are ready to
approach the hidden soul currents; today more people have the maturity necessary for such a search.
Therefore God has allowed humanity to make discoveries about the psyche, the unconscious.
Though the knowledge is still scant, more and more will be found out about it. Not all people are
ready, of course; many still have to learn to adapt their external actions to God’s laws. They will not
be led to such a path as this. It is not an accident when someone experiences guidance at certain
Many people find their way to a psychiatrist, but only when their inner conflicts have become
so great that they tear the person apart, so that they feel miserable and utterly lost. Those who are
already on a higher level — or think they are — should walk their path without getting caught in
major crises, that is, in a completely voluntary manner, kindled by the knowledge that the self-search
cannot be avoided. What seems to be difficult here will be even more difficult and more time-
consuming in the spirit world.
The earlier you start, the easier it will be. Do not persuade yourself
that what I say may not be true and that then you may have taken all the trouble in vain. No, my
dear ones, nothing that anyone achieves spiritually is ever in vain. These are the only lasting values
which will never fade; they will be yours eternally.
The more you postpone the purification of your soul, the more the unhealthy currents will get
entangled in the unconscious, and the more difficult it will be to disentangle them. For as long as
one has not looked at these currents in the light of one’s consciousness, one will continue daily, even
hourly, to push the same emotional reactions into the unconscious, piling the new upon the old.
Think about all this, and liberate yourself from your feelings of resistance, which will certainly
emerge, at least in the beginning.
Do not believe the voice of resistance; it offers nice explanations
to the intellect, which are, in reality, nothing but subterfuges to avoid self-search. Use your critical
faculties to detect the excuses you make only too easily, or the intention to dismiss the whole
problem. Observe your reaction when you hear these words.
How do you feel as you listen to
them? Do you feel a slight discomfort, perhaps in a deeply hidden place, or even quite obviously?
Do you want to shrug these reactions off with a vague gesture as if you did not need to do the work?
Look into yourselves, my friends. Those who are truly willing to make the decision to purify their
souls will be helped to do so.
The helping hand will be there. The healing of the soul does not have
to, and should not, proceed in the same way for each individual; therefore the way will be smoothed
for everyone so that all can find what is best for their path.
Now I want to switch to a subject which has been discussed on some occasions and seems to
puzzle some of you: How and why is it possible that there are so many different religious concepts
on earth? You think, “Everybody says something different, much of it is contradictory; therefore
none of them can be in truth.”
My dear friends, there is only one truth. Let me explain why there
are differences in the human concepts and how they should be viewed — and here I exclude errors
which have slipped into the concepts through faulty transmissions. As everything has form and
gestalt in spirit, so does truth, that is, the true state of things.
The form is unchangeable and yet in
constant flux, since everything in the spirit is in continuous, ever-vibrating, circular motion.
Nothing is static, neither feelings nor circumstances, nothing at all. Imagine a wheel, unchangeable
in its basic form, but constantly turning. At various places and at different times, after fulfilling
certain conditions, people occasionally lift the veil that covers it and see a small segment of the huge
wheel. One person, at one particular time, sees one detail behind the veil; another, at another time,
or in another place, sees something quite different.
Their observations may occasionally coincide,
but often they do not, since the wheel is turning and whoever lifts the veil may see just then
something different. What they see may sometimes appear contradictory, because the connection
between the parts of the whole cannot be seen through the veil.
If the whole wheel were visible, the
seemingly contradictory parts would be seen as belonging to a whole. So humanity is fighting
because their various interpretations sound like contradictions. In reality this is not so. Even when
a religious concept contains definite errors, one can find the grain of truth on which it is based.
People often approach this whole area with a wrong attitude. They believe that there cannot
be such a thing as absolute truth, only relative truth, a conclusion they base on their various glimpses
behind the veil. They purport that everything connected with God and Creation is more or less a
matter of personal opinion or taste.
Each belief contains something beautiful and noble, they say,
and therefore all these matters of belief are subjective and not absolute or objective. The
conclusion, based emotions, is that there is no absolute spiritual truth. Instead of trying to find the
truth that can be found in each religious concept, people dismiss everything, at least emotionally, as
illusion, imagination, and a matter of preference.
This means that the entire concept of the absolute,
which can only exist in spirit, becomes predicated on human perception with is errors, elevating it
above all else. By embracing this error, you become passive, you are unable to lift the veil and to
personally experience the truth.
This is only possible when a person is convinced that there must be
an absolute truth above relative human truth, and when you are careful not to transpose the relative
human truth onto the absolute spiritual truth. That would necessarily close the door to personally
experiencing the truth.
In this respect people can be divided into two groups. One clings dogmatically to a set of
beliefs without much thinking or examining their feelings about them. They will never know what it
is to have a deep personal experience of truth. The other group is the one I mentioned before.
Today it is especially numerous, mostly consisting of intellectually advanced people. They claim that
their views are particularly unbiased, that they have “freed” themselves. But they throw the
immutable, eternally moving, absolute, divine truth into one basket with human dogma, and thus
they lose the solid ground from under their feet.
Both groups represent extremes; both are in
untruth and miss the point. The second group is just as far away from the truth as is the first one,
yes, often even more so. With all their superficial, intellectual knowledge, they are actually the ones
who are the searchers. But they can find only if they first open a door within themselves, perhaps a
door to their unconscious.
What is “religion?” There is so much misunderstanding about this, and you are often anxious
to assure yourself and others that you are not “religious.” You make the mistaken assumption that
being religious means to adhere to some sect and blindly accept a set dogma. Religion means “re-
connection with God,” and everybody wants this, whether knowingly or not. All unfulfilled longing
is basically nothing else but the wish to return to God, that is, to “religion.”
The more a person is
aware of this wish, the more peacefully and harmoniously the soul currents will flow. People may
even find their way back to God through a sectarian community, if the instructions received there
activate their soul force and open the door to self-search and through that to higher perception.
This is the essence of religion that people can discover also by adhering to a religious sect. Then the
minor errors or deviations do not matter; in this case they are only details. Such details become
important only when they hinder the individual’s progress, whether directly or indirectly. This,
however, depends largely on the individual.
For other people, the way back to God does not lead through joining a religious sect; they
must be shown another road. But whatever the way, everyone needs help from the outside; this
outside help constitutes the material with which they must build their own house. But “religion,”
that is, “reconnection with God,” is essential for all. God is absolute, God is truth, and therefore the
truth beyond human error is also absolute.
Humans will receive as much of the truth as they are
able to understand and assimilate, according to their development. There are many, however, to
whom more could be given than what they are receiving — but they do not want it. They are too
lazy, or they are not fulfilling the requirements for some other reason. But to those who truly
knock, the door will be opened.
QUESTION: You spoke to us before about giving our happiness to others, that is, to give
something to another. If, for instance, I can make somebody happy with a small gift, but I can give
this gift to only one person, to whom should I give it? Should I give it to a stranger or to someone I
love, or to a relative? If I can only give it to one person, who should have the preference?
ANSWER: What you have in mind is a material object which you can give to only one
person. In this case, you should very quietly think about who might need this thing most, where this
thing would do the most good. If you follow your love feelings, you would certainly give it to the
person you love most. Such a choice however might easily be too selfish.
On the other hand, if you
were affected by some guilt complex, you might choose to give it to a person to whom you find it
most difficult to give. Both of these solutions might be wrong in a specific case. What the right
answer is cannot be found by rules. God has surrounded you with his spirit helpers who will help
you in all your problems; when you have liberated yourselves from your compulsive ego will, from
all distortions, you will be ready to be inspired and led even in the smallest things.
answer will correspond to what your emotions desire: however, in that case, you would not have
followed blindly your emotions, but comprehended the will of God by honest self-examination.
Another time the answer might be very different from what your emotions would like to hear.
What I meant by giving happiness was much more than giving material things. Such giving is
not always possible and, I can confidently say, is not very important. Of course, if someone has
plenty of possessions and never gives anything to anybody, that is a fault.
For someone who is very
avaricious, material giving would be a helpful practice to overcome the fault. Yet, generally, people
are more easily inclined to make some material sacrifice with which to buy their way out. They are
much less likely to undertake spiritual sacrifice. That is much more difficult.
What I mean about giving happiness is this: When you yearn for happiness and love, fill
yourselves with thoughts about how you can pass on whatever you have or desire, how you can view
all you long for as something to be passed on to others. Once you have the intention, the heavenly
spirits will help you and show you the way.
Test yourselves how much you want happiness,
harmony, light, love, freedom. Then see that until now, in your emotions, you wanted these things
for yourselves alone, because you wanted to be happy. Again, in your emotions, until now you
considered yourselves number one, the most important person. Now perhaps you can change these
Of course you cannot make yourselves desire not to be happy, that would be impossible, but
your feelings should learn not to attribute so much importance to yourselves. Your feelings should
learn that the whole movement of Creation is directed to the fulfillment of the Plan of Salvation, to
the return of all beings from the darkness back to God, into happiness.
Those who use the
happiness that they hope to attain or have already attained to contribute to the Plan of Salvation, will
act according to the law and become a link in the chain, instead of an end in themselves. You may
not have a very clear idea of how the transmission could take place, but when you are open and
ready it will be shown to you and you will be led to certain tasks.
For instance, one person may be required to give a little time. Many people have more time
than they need, so that they can give of it — not in the way they want to, but as God wills. And that
is always much more wonderful. So you must open yourself to the will of God. For many, the first
offering would be to heal themselves so that as free and emotionally healthy people they may be able
to really give and truly become links in the chain.
Such self-healing requires at the beginning a
seemingly great sacrifice: the overcoming of resistance to see oneself in truth, to open oneself, to
give up faults. If you do not do it only for yourself, then becoming a happier person will be a means
to make others happier, to give and love more.
If you have such an intention, the spirit world will
give you every possible help to overcome the difficulties on your path. You can only help others
truly when you become so healthy that your inner harmony will affect people positively not only on
the outer, but also on the unconscious level.
To make other people joyful, to give them love, warmth, consolation, and deep understanding
when they are unhappy, and to help them spiritually to find the right way is only possible when, in a
deeply felt way, the ego is no longer the center of your awareness. As long as you want your own
happiness without being a link in the chain, you still put your ego in the first place even if you are
not conscious of doing so.
All of you must first heal the wounds in your own souls, remove the
crust with which you protect your hurt, and only then can you be a real help to others. By doing this
work of self-healing, one incorporates oneself into one’s proper place, and is led into harmony with
the spiritual laws. Even before you are completely healed, certain ways will open to you to become a
useful and active participant in the Plan of Salvation. But the initial desire will have to come from
you. What the task will be, you can leave to God.
It will be a task which is suited best to your
capabilities and will make you happiest. You will then become a light, a support and an example to
others. You will be all this only if you do not do it merely as an outer action, but out of a deep inner
commitment to purify yourselves, to love better, understand and help others.
Whoever can awaken
and cultivate these higher feelings within the soul will truly come alive and enjoy a deep, intimate
contact with God’s spirit world, will never be alone, abandoned or embittered. Such a person will
obtain true abundance and riches which cannot ever be taken away.
Let yourself be led by God entirely; open yourself to His will alone, so that your way can be
shown to you step by step. God is a generous giver, my dear ones. You will realize that when you
see that what comes to you through Him is more wonderful than anything you can imagine for
yourself. The initial difficulty is only to entrust yourself to God.
No, the question is not the giving
of some material thing; this would be much easier, much more convenient. You have to give
yourself. For, if you can give yourself in the right way, you can give to everyone with whom you
come into contact. However, before you can give yourself, you must have gained yourself. You
cannot give what you do not have.
Few people truly possess their own selves, because they do not know themselves well enough
and so are more or less lost to themselves. To the extent you recoil from your own imperfections
you do not possess yourself. Then you do not stand on solid ground.
Almost all of you human
beings are still slaves to your faults and negative feelings. Only by accepting yourself as you are can
you master these and therefore yourself. That is how transformation and purification begins.
However much outer freedom you may have, you are enslaved as long as you recoil in
embarrassment from each inner imperfection and outer exposure.
As a slave you cannot possess
yourself and therefore cannot really give yourself. A consequence of this state is that you are very
dependent on this or that outer happening and therefore cannot live in harmony. Harmony can
only be created when you no longer depend on things that are beyond your control.
Those who have found themselves on this most beautiful path, the path of light, no longer
have to give some specific thing. Such people can give themselves totally, not only to a loved one,
but also to any situation in life where God has placed them. They can give themselves with their
whole soul and with their whole being.
Originally given in German, translated by Hedda Koehler and Judith and John Saly.
Edited by Judith and John Saly
Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 5 (1996 Edition)
For information to find and participate in Pathwork activities world wide, please write:
The Pathwork Foundation
PO Box 6010
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6010, USA
Call: 1-800-PATHWORK, or
The following notices are for your guidance in the use of the Pathwork® name and this lecture material.
Pathwork® is a registered service mark owned by The Pathwork Foundation, and may not be used without the
express written permission of the Foundation. The Foundation may, in its sole discretion, authorize use of the
Pathwork® mark by other organizations or persons, such as affiliate organizations and chapters.
The copyright of the Pathwork Guide material is the sole property of The Pathwork Foundation. This lecture may be reproduced, in compliance with the Foundation Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Policy, but the text may not be altered or abbreviated in any way, nor may the copyright, trademark, service mark, or any other notices be removed.
Recipients may be charged the cost of reproduction and distribution only.
Any person or organization using The Pathwork Foundation service mark or copyrighted material is deemed to
have agreed to comply with the Foundation Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Policy. To obtain information or a copy of this policy, please contact the Foundation.
Guide Lecture No. 133 – 1996 Edition April 30, 1965
LOVE: NOT A COMMANDMENT, BUT SPONTANEOUS SOUL MOVEMENT OF THE INNER SELF
Greetings, my dearest friends. Blessings for all of you who are here now and who read these
It has become apparent through this work of self-realization that unreality breeds disharmony,
and where there is disharmony, there is no love. The circle closes. Where there is no love, there can
be no fulfillment.
All religions, philosophies, and psychologies agree that love is the key to fulfillment, to
security, to creative growth. And yet love cannot be commanded, nor can it be a commandment. It
is a free, spontaneous soul movement. The more people try to love as if it were a duty demanded by
conscience and obedience, the less does it truly manifest.
Where love exists, there must be fulfillment. Lack of fulfillment is a sure sign that the soul has
not yet learned to love. Although these words may be understood in a general sense, this simple
equation is often overlooked.
Let us look deeper into the topic of love now. In this way we can come a step closer to
obtaining the greatest of all keys to the true life — not by following forced, artificial, superimposed
commands from the intellect, but the spontaneous inner activity of the heart.
When love exists, physical health, one of the most vital requisites in human life, must also be
present. Love is a purifying force, and to the degree that it is lacking, all sorts of negative emotions
will cause ill health, especially when the trouble remains unrecognized for a sufficiently long time.
Where love exists, there must be successful human relationships because in love’s presence
there is no fear, no distrust, no illusion.
Love can flower only on the substantial soil of reality and
fearlessness. Where one perceives reality in truth, one does not trust or distrust where it is
inappropriate to do so. One accepts the other as he or she is, and adjusts one’s own feelings to what
the reality is. Then there is no necessity for groping in the dark, fearfully half-trusting, halfdistrusting, thrown between one’s needs and one’s fears.
Love and self-confidence are inevitably interdependent. Where love is lacking, the psyche
must be confused and, conversely, where confusion exists, love must be lacking.
When love exists, all conflict must be eliminated.
The personality will find the fine borderline
between apparent extremes, and will recognize the difference between the healthy and the distorted
versions of an attitude. An example would be demonstrating healthy assertion without deviating into unhealthy aggressiveness or hostility. Nor will you be confused between the alternatives of
submissiveness and domination through selfwill.
You will know when to assert your rights without
hostility against unjustified demands, where compliance would be destructive for all concerned. You
will not be driven to the opposite of compliance, namely stubborn rebelliousness — because
conceding always appears like a submissive, humiliating giving in.
It is only through love that this
precarious balance of opposite extremes is achieved. This fine balance comes automatically through
the heart’s ability to love, but when merely intellectual understanding tries to find the golden mean it
remains elusive, no matter how arduously it is sought.
And yet, this universal key of love is so very difficult for humanity to use. There is nothing
that human beings shy away from more and are more afraid of than simply allowing themselves to
love. Loving seems such a risk, so dangerous, so threatening, so irrevocable.
Nothing could be
further from the truth. But you build elaborate defenses and flee. You not only flee from
involvement and contact with others, or from facing faults and destructive attitudes in yourself, but
primarily you flee from allowing yourself to love.
This prohibition causes all the other ills.
The prohibition against loving comes from two basic misunderstandings. The first is
misinterpretation of reality, in other words, illusion. Illusion produces confusion along with a host
of negative emotions such as fear, hostility, separateness, self-pity, ambivalence, and vindictiveness.
These emotions make love impossible.
It is unthinkable when your innermost concepts,
perceptions, and value systems are in accordance with reality that you could be afraid of loving. The
second misunderstanding is the underestimation of the self and the consequent inferiority feelings.
This may sound almost paradoxical. Superficially viewed, it certainly seems possible to think little of
oneself without impairing one’s ability to love. And yet, my friends, this is not so. For in the
moment you underestimate yourself you cannot possibly perceive the other person as real. By dint
of your feelings of helpless weakness and inadequacy, others assume the role of giants against whom
you defend yourself.
This may take the form of rejecting, resenting, or despising them, but not then
does it occur to you to sense the other’s vulnerability and human needs. The other’s strengths and
weaknesses become distorted and discolored.
Both come to represent elements hostile to you personally.
Therefore your underestimation of yourself forces you into a hostile role, no matter how
this is camouflaged by outer submissiveness which, in itself, may appear as lovingness. When you
think so little of yourself you do not evaluate the importance of your actions and reactions.
The two interrelated tendencies of underestimation of the self and misinterpretation of reality
create the barriers to loving and its apparent danger. These two tendencies make the human heart
so timid and so reticent. Being overcautious about loving increases one’s withdrawal and isolation.
Many an individual is half-willing, but this half-willingness denies love rather than affirms it. It
makes all sorts of conditions and provisions; there are always so many ifs and buts.
The lack of love, which comes from illusion and confusion, distorts perception and prevents
self-evaluation. From these results, disturbed interaction and disharmony follow. The disturbed
emotions and distorted perceptions form a nucleus, almost like a foreign body, in the soul.
(This becomes The Dweller on the Threshold-mdw)
The spiritual being as originally created knows nothing of these disturbances. Its nature is
love, a fearless state of abundance, of positiveness, of productivity and expansion, of meaningful
growth both in and with the universe. Its natural state is the wisdom that comes from accurately perceiving reality.
It is the nucleus of distorted perceptions, this foreign body, that prohibits the
soul from being in its natural state — the state it is born with and born to express.
Human beings struggle and fight against this foreign body in wrong ways.
They sense its
existence and want to rid themselves of it, but the ways they choose to attempt this are often
tragically the opposite of what could lead to its successful elimination. People struggle by denial and
flight, by forcing away and superimposing, as you all know.
But, for many of you, even having heard these words so often has still not opened the door to
the truth that sets you free. Some who follow this path do not see that they struggle against
acknowledging this foreign body. They often find themselves in an interim state between giving up
the armoring that has covered this foreign body so far, and not yet being quite able to muster the
courage to acknowledge the full significance that its existence entails.
The fact that this foreign body is denied causes more misery than the admission of its
existence. People feel that they have to deny it because they misunderstand the application of the
teachings of truth and love. Instead of ridding themselves of the foreign body, which can only be
done after close examination reveals its nature and the reason of its coming into existence, people
still act as though this foreign body did not exist.
They continue to superimpose more foreign matter on the original soul substance.
Why is it so difficult for you to acknowledge this foreign body? Not only because of your fear
that others will find fault with you and reject you, but also because of the underlying basic fear that
the foreign body may be your ultimate self.
At this stage you believe that only the superimposed
veneer that covers the foreign body gives you the feeling that you have love, generosity,
unselfishness, and kindness. Only this thin layer assures you that you are nearly as good as you want
to be, that you are a decent person.
Such faulty awareness of your goodness does not give you a
sense of reality, because you have not truly discovered that which is genuinely good and loving
within you. But you dare not acknowledge the opposite of this seeming goodness, so you struggle
against admitting that which is actually foreign to your real nature. However, you do not know this.
You think, fear, and suspect that the foreign substance is the ultimate you. This is why you struggle.
When humans come to that vital part of themselves which responds not out of a “should,”
but out of a natural, unquestioned “I want to,” the response is free, with an utter rightness that is
hard to conceive until the inner live center has been experienced. The foreign substance covers this
very experience of the real self, the live center where a spontaneous, loving intelligence and
fulfillment without conflict awaits you.
To sum up, you fear taking the vital step so necessary to liberate yourself from the substance
which is not compatible with your real nature, because you anticipate that this foreign body is the
final answer to who you are.
Many of you have already advanced in certain areas and have
succeeded to some degree in stripping off your superimposed layers of pseudo-goodness and
However, you have not yet quite succeeded in seeing that these pretenses are
pretenses, because you fear that underneath the pretense there is nothing but the opposite of love
and that there is no further reality beyond that.
So you cannot experience the truth of your genuine lovingness, your genuine generous nature, unless you take the seeming risk of exploring yourself to discover whether the foreign substance causing you so much misery is really the ultimate you, and whether you can indeed find the promised land underneath that layer.
Only by diligently taking
stock of your non-love can you spontaneously feel your love. Only by painstakingly acknowledging
your selfishness can you truly convince yourself of your potential unselfishness.
This requires the courage that comes into being when you reach for it in the spirit of loving
the truth of encountering yourself as you are more than anything else. When doing a daily review,
examine your reactions of disharmony and meditate in the following sense: “If I am in disharmony,
somewhere in me there must be a misinterpretation. I wish to see the truth. I declare that my will
to be in truth is stronger than my resistance.”
Such a meditation, my friends, will give you the results you wish for. You will come to the
point where you clearly feel the foreign body of misconceptions to be just that. Many of your
victories over fearful resistance are the living proof of what it feels to function out of your vital, live
center which is now less obstructed than ever before.
Out of your solar plexus flow new wisdom, strength, serenity, and dynamic vitality. A fearless
love for all creation, a security, an understanding of self and others, an ease in letting your soulmovements flow forward in the beautiful rhythm of the cosmos permeates your soul.
At first you
will experience these qualities occasionally and faintly, only to lose them again and doubt the reality
of your few moments of bliss. Later they will come more often and last longer, commensurate with
your victories over your resistance.
You will come to feel that the disturbed substance in you is truly foreign matter.
At the beginning of such a path, this foreign body seems to be all there is, your
natural state as it were. You are so deeply involved in it that you cannot conceive of anything else.
But there comes a time when, having experienced the real self more and more often, the still existing
nucleus of disturbance is clearly defined as a malignant growth, rather than as a diffuse overall
climate permeating you completely.
This stage is significant and indicates good progress.
The struggle to turn away from facing this disturbing nucleus of foreign matter, with all its
distortions, negative emotions, pains, hurts, and hostilities, takes on many forms even while you are
actually on such a path.
To counteract the danger of continual evasion and therefore of continual
misery, the assertion of the following statement will help greatly: “I am afraid that what I find may
be the ultimate me. Is it or is it not? I will take the chance of finding out, for only such clarity will
bring me peace.
My doubt allows for the possibility that there may be more in me than either the
pretense, or that part which is so hard to look at and which I try to ignore and project in so many
This means acknowledging your present state instead of running away from it. Through this
approach to yourself, you will come much closer to the next phase and to liberation than by trying
to force your present state away through denial and superimposition of feelings that cannot ever be
The next stage will gradually lead you to a state where you can feel the boundaries of this
foreign body, even while occasionally still being immersed in it. Now you will know that it is not the
ultimate reality of you because you will have experienced sufficiently often the reality of your real
Hence your real self will be easier to recapture, and you will have more strength and
stamina to transcend the momentary immersion in your distortions which make you so confused
and blur your vision. This strength is increased only through repeated victories over the temptation
to run away from the foreign substance, to shift and displace its effects on others, to rationalize and
concentrate on that which is not vital for your victory, whether or not it be true or false in itself.
The acknowledgement of the immediate now is still not sufficiently understood and is often
overlooked by the majority of my friends.
Whenever you acknowledge the truth of each moment,
you will be in peace, regardless of how much disturbance and unreality still exist in you as conditions
to be gradually eliminated.
Fully acknowledging your condition in the now must give you peace. So
please understand and do not forget: It is not the problem itself, nor the conflict, nor even the
misconception which create turmoil in your soul, but it is your running away from yourself. Your
not being in the immediate now, your fighting and struggling against it in an unconstructive way,
causes so much soul-hardship.
If you remember these words, you will be able to take up the struggle in an increasingly
constructive, successful, and effective way. You will be nearer to loving because reality and loving
are much more interconnected than self-righteous trying and loving are. Now, are there any
questions in connection with this topic?
QUESTION: Lately, I am experiencing something new which is evidently a result of doing
the pathwork. I am no longer so afraid and frightened, but still something is bothering me. Deep
inside I know that I am not afraid, and yet on a more superficial level I seem to think that I am. Is
that what you were talking about?
ANSWER: Yes, indeed. Exactly. It is part of it. You seem to function on two levels
simultaneously, as it were. This is a typical experience a person goes through in the course of
transcending the foreign body and beginning to sense another reaction coming from the real self.
The fact that you had so often and consistently acknowledged your fear made you lose it
You acknowledged it first without even understanding why you were afraid, and then
realized that you feared going from one level to another. When you understood the true nature of
this fear, it lessened. This is what you now experience.
QUESTION: How can I now completely get rid of the fear, because sometimes I seem to
shift the fear to something else?
ANSWER: The moment you shift it onto something else, you again get away from the reality
of the immediate now and therefore new attempts have to be made to get back to the reality of your
feelings. Also, you often substitute fear for another emotion, so that when you are in fear you do
not have to face your real emotion.
QUESTION: My hostility?
ANSWER: Yes. It is hostility, it is hurt, and it is at times a kind of vindictiveness turned
around so that you punish others with your state of unhappiness. If you can acknowledge all that,
your fear will vanish. And gradually these emotional attitudes themselves will disappear, because
they are faced in the now. When you get to the nucleus of the now, there are no more problems.
Human beings constantly move away from this foreign nucleus. When they turn about and
begin to go toward the true nucleus of their innermost selves, they gradually find peace and
However, this course is the last line of action that anyone wishes to pursue. People use
or even unconsciously abuse every truth teaching and spiritual philosophy in order to avoid going
where they need to go — into themselves. They try to find salvation and solace through adopting
rules, theories, teachings, knowledge. They have it all up in their heads, where it does not do any
good, unless they use the intellectual maturity thus gained toward moving inward, always to a deeper
The fulfillment which the universe has in store for you is not separate and far away from you,
my friends. It is not in the distant future, not in a state beyond your physical life, not in attaining
something through arduous means.
It lies solely in the acknowledgement of what you really feel and
think at this moment. It is this great simplicity that seems so hard to comprehend. You go through
such pathetically unnecessary struggle in order to turn in the wrong direction, hoping against hope
to find salvation without meeting yourself in the now.
As I have said many times before, even on such a path as this whose aim is to attain selfhood, (The Manifestation of Christ AS you, no longer a hope: SEE Colossians 1:27-mdw) there are many snares to tempt you away from yourselves. You make a successful attempt to reach your inner being, but suspecting something that fills you with dread and anxiety, you are instantly ready to turn away, and use the old means all over again, this time in a new guise.
You ascribe your
emotional discomfort to factors outside of yourself, which is, in principle, the same escape you used
before going on such a path. But as long you do not give up, you can always be helped to change
direction and find, again and again, the inner movement in you which flows naturally. It is your soul
movement of love and truth which leads to all fulfillment.
QUESTION: My sister has a great compulsion to physically run away. And when she gets
there, she wants to turn around and run back. There is something she has a great fear of. Can you
find and pinpoint that?
ANSWER: Yes. It is an outer symbol of the inner fear mentioned in this very lecture. There
is a great readiness and willingness to love; the potential is great, but in spite of this fundamental
potential, there are afflicted areas which the soul does not dare to face.
The existing misconceptions
and confusions, as always, stop the flow of love. Just because love is such an inborn need for this
person, the afflicted area causes even greater self-rejection, increasing the fear of finding these areas,
and therefore triggering the flight from the self. This then is symbolized outwardly by running away.
QUESTION: In other words, she has to turn inward?
ANSWER: Of course, that is always absolutely necessary.
QUESTION: Do I run because I don’t love, or because I am afraid of being rejected?
ANSWER: It is intermingled. The immediate feeling is fear of rejection. This started very
early in your life. My friends may have noticed that for the longest time I have shied away from
saying anything that might appear as pointing an accusing finger at you.
The implication of “you do not love” should be avoided here.
To say this would be grossly misleading and would hinder insight.
But when fear of rejection is analyzed, one always finds that childish fear which precludes love, regardless of how much love may otherwise exist in you. Please do not take this in a self-moralizing
way, and make it more difficult. Just at this moment and on this level, acknowledge where you are
1st John-4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Before coming to the level of not loving, other factors have to be recognized. In the final
analysis, it amounts to not loving, but it is not an overall condition; it merely applies to the trouble
spots in your psyche.
It varies, of course, depending on how great the troubled area is. There are
people who function healthily, happily, and constructively in many aspects of life that correspond to
soul areas which are entirely free from misconception, underestimation of self, illusion, fear, and
other destructive conditions.
Hence in these areas love and trust do exist. Only in isolated spots
does the foreign body blur the inner, real being. There are also others in whom almost the entire
love capacity is hindered by such grave impairments and distortion that the overall life is disturbed,
disharmonious, unfulfilled, and unhappy.
The more this is the case, the greater is the temptation to run. And the more you run from
yourself, the more this foreign body grows.
QUESTION: As I see it, this love you speak of is expressed in some form or another at all
times, not just in relationship between mates and sweethearts. It is also in the love for work. What
would be some of the very highest aspirations for the realization of love in pure flow?
Would they usually be expressed by a creative force or a creative realization? Would this expression usually be expanding from a point where one has known one’s environment and one’s experience to a point
that has been unknown before? Would this be true?
ANSWER: Yes, of course. Most decidedly yes. Because it is unimaginable for human nature
to comprehend the free-flowing current of the love force, and what the ability, versatility, scope, and
variety of its expansion and creativeness can be. Let us imagine a human being who is entirely free.
Such a person’s inner being would be constantly manifest, functioning, and expressing. The
tremendous power of the life force would flow into all directions. Since this being would be free,
there would be no fear of the unknown, and thus no blockage of the free-flowing energy current or
the vast possibilities for creation and expansion.
Human beings are so used to holding their forces together, afraid of this expansion. They fear
it will pull them apart. In truth the expansion does not pull you apart, it unifies you. The great
spiritual laws always seem contradictory.
Letting go of the self into the harmonious flow unifies,
while strenuously and fearfully holding the self together splits and disintegrates the psyche. The
more the universal forces flow into the many directions and possibilities, the more do they in the
end become one.
This great possibility is frightening for the soul which is used to constantly holding itself
together. The holding together happens by force of will, by force of mind, and by superimposing
goodness. The natural letting go is not a self-indulgent lack of self-discipline. It is rather a state of
fearing nothing in the self and therefore dispensing with all guards.
Hence, nothing opposes the
cosmic movements of the soul forces. Love can blossom only in this natural state of fearlessness,
where you allow all inner movements to perform with their spontaneous rhythm, even if at the
beginning of their growing out of affliction, these movements point to undesirable aspects in the
self. To follow the natural flow brings the soul into the great unity.
QUESTION: Do I understand you correctly that aggression is sometimes a good thing?
ANSWER: Yes, there is a healthy aggression. Healthy anger does exist. These are
byproducts of the interim stage of human nature. Healthy anger must occasionally be expressed in a
well-integrated life. Healthy anger does not create inner disharmony.
It is a great misunderstanding
to ignore or deny this fact. The denial comes from the artificial holding together of one’s inner
forces, and from superimposing false goodness. It is a false belief born of fear and obedience that
occasional anger never exists in a truly spiritually evolved person.
In the human realm, healthy anger is a necessity. Without anger, there would be no justice
and no progress. The destructive forces would take over. Allowing this takeover to happen is
weakness, not love; fear, not goodness; appeasing and encouraging abuse, not constructive living. It
destroys harmony rather than furthering it. It destroys healthy growth.
Anger can be as healthy and necessary an occasional reaction as love is. It forms part of love.
It, too, comes spontaneously. It, too, cannot be forced. Trying to force or deny any emotion leads
to self-deception which then may take the form of pretending that unhealthy anger is the healthy
The cause cannot determine whether the emotion elicited is healthy or unhealthy anger. The
cause may entirely justify real, genuine, healthy anger which is, needless to say, constructive in this
Yet, the anger experienced may be the unhealthy kind because of the personality’s unresolved
problems, insecurity, guilts and doubts, uncertainties and contradictions. The issue itself may
warrant justified anger, but an individual may not be able to express that kind.
To the extent that an individual is capable of experiencing and expressing real love, he or she
is capable of manifesting constructive, healthy anger. Both real love and real anger come from the
Absolutely any real feeling is healthy and constructive and furthers growth in the self and
in others. Real feelings cannot be forced, commanded, or superimposed. They are a spontaneous
expression, happening as an organic, natural result of self-confrontation.
QUESTION: In that case, would you permit physical violence?
ANSWER: No. Healthy anger does not necessarily manifest in physical violence. Expression
of negative emotions, even when they are not healthy, need not in the least lead to destructive acts,
either physical or otherwise.
This is one of the most frequent and hindering misconceptions in the pathwork. This is why I
have mentioned it again and again ever since the beginning, because no matter how many times I
have said it, it is forgotten.
The inner psyche fears that acknowledgement of negative emotions
must lead to acting them out. This is not so. On the contrary, you are free to choose whether or
not to act, how and when, or to express any emotion only when you are fully aware. When you are
not aware of what you really feel and why, you are constantly driven, and suffer from all sorts of
compulsions you cannot understand.
A compulsion is the direct result of unacknowledged, unconscious feelings and conditions.
The more you know yourself, the more you are in control of your self.
It is not, as you say in fear, “I cannot look at myself in candor because then I may have to let out these undesirable impulses and do harm to others and therefore ultimately to myself.” This
vague reaction also has to be brought to the surface in order to dispel it and render it ineffective.
Please repeat this in your daily meditation — all of you: “Awareness of what I feel, no matter
how undesirable it may be, will make me free. I will have the choice of my actions only to the
degree of my awareness.
If I choose to verbally express these feelings when there is a good purpose,
such as with my helper, I will do so. If I feel that such expression may impair a relationship, I will
not do so, but will withhold it knowingly and without self-deception.” Such meditation will
strengthen the knowledge and finally penetrate the more hidden and resistant layers of your psyche.
It is entirely mistaken to assume that awareness of anger and even verbal expression of it
results in physical violence or in any other form of destruction — whether the anger be healthy or
unhealthy. Healthy anger, since it comes from the real self, knows just what to do and when to meet
the necessary requirements of the moment.
QUESTION: What about people who are violently persecuted? What should be their
ANSWER: The instinct of self-preservation will most certainly make them fight and defend
themselves against such occurrence, whether by counterattack or by flight. The healthier the whole
personality, the more certainly does this instinct function in choosing the right defense at the right
This again is not an intellectual consideration, but, as always, a spontaneous manifestation of
the real self. If necessary, such counterattack and defense will also be physical.
QUESTION: Regarding expression of anger, I find it unbearable.
ANSWER: Sometimes it is inadvisable; sometimes it is advisable. This is what I mean:
When you are aware you have the choice, and when you are not aware, you do not have the choice.
The more you are aware of the possibility of making a choice, the more freedom you gain and the
less you will feel or think that restraint is due to outer demands, outer authority.
With the awareness that you are making a free choice, rebellion against restraint becomes superfluous.
There is a great difference if restraint is exercised because of demands from the outer world, or because you choose it with your own free will. Paradoxical as this may seem again, the more you choose restraint
willingly, with alert reasoning and constructive motivation, the freer you become.
It is not, as might be supposed, that the less self-restraint there is, the freer the person.
The more directly you are aware of what you really feel and express it, if you so choose, the
less you will become entangled in detours and evasions. Directly reaching the core of one’s feelings
or reactions, and thereby under standing their true significance, is the art and the aim of this
If your aim is finished perfection, you still find yourself caught in perfectionism, which
hinders your progress. But if your aim becomes to know what is it you really feel at this moment,
then you have a realistic aim leading to instant release, truth, harmony, and dynamic progress.
Again, a seeming contradiction: The more you go to the spot of whatever happens to be true
now, the more you grow into real perfection: (Maturity-Wholeness-mdw). The more you strain away from what you now feel and think in an attempt to be more than you happen to be in this instant, the less you grow toward your goal of gradually achieved perfection. These words should also be used in daily meditation
because they are a key for all of you.
QUESTION: What about the reverse of what you have just said? What about the person
who is afraid or too insecure to show righteous anger? What is happening to love in this situation?
ANSWER: This is a very good question. Where there is fear of expressing a justified anger,
to that degree there must be fear of loving. Behind both fears is confusion, misconception, illusion.
It is these misinterpreted hurts and pains which are responsible for the foreign nucleus I was talking
This nucleus obstructs the manifestations of the real self, the outflow of genuine love as
opposed to superimposed love, and of the capacity to express healthy anger as opposed to twisted,
tortured anger. When insecurity makes a person too anxious to express justified anger, that
individual is as yet incapable of feeling healthy anger. When the issue justifies anger, insecurity
induces conflicting feelings.
Healthy anger makes you stronger, twisted anger, weaker. Healthy love is all-embracing and
enriches you the more you give out of yourself. Sickly, distorted, false love impoverishes and breeds
conflict between self-interest and the interests of others. It comes from and increases duality; it
always opposes the good to the bad.
Ungenuine love is always connected with self-pity, resentment,
hostility, and conflict. There is in it always the feeling of, “I ought to love, therefore I think I love,
yet I do not want to love because then I will be taken advantage of. Since I ought to love and do
not want to, I feel guilty and am bad.”
When you feel this way you cannot express healthy anger. It is dissipated at the source, for you doubt your right to feel anger, since you do not dare to love.
If you continue to struggle and to find the right expression of your feelings in the now, you
must experience the beauty of the universe, the truth of being which knows no conflict. That truth
combines loving with receiving one’s full share of happiness, instead of mutually excluding either
love or happiness, as seems inevitable when love is attempted by outer good will.
When, however, you use outer good will in order to recognize that behind your trying to love lies a non-love born of fear, hurt, and illusion, then in the way of finding out what these illusions are, you must finally come
to real love, your real self, the genuine expression of all you feel and are — which will be good and right.
My dearest friends, be blessed, all of you. Find the way, step by step, into the realization of
these words. Be in peace, be in God!
Edited by Judith and John Saly
2nd Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you (mdw).
For information to find and participate in Pathwork activities world wide, please write:
The Pathwork Foundation, PO Box 6010 Charlottesville, VA 22906-6010, USA
Call: 1-800-PATHWORK, or Visit: www.pathwork.org
The following notices are for your guidance in the use of the Pathwork® name and this lecture material.
Trademark/Service Mark Pathwork® is a registered service mark owned by The Pathwork Foundation, and may not be used without the express written permission of the Foundation. The Foundation may, in its sole discretion, authorize use of the Pathwork® mark by other organizations or persons, such as affiliate organizations and chapters.
The copyright of the Pathwork Guide material is the sole property of The Pathwork Foundation. This lecture may be reproduced, in compliance with the Foundation Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Policy, but the text may not be altered or abbreviated in any way, nor may the copyright, trademark, service mark, or any other notices be removed.
Recipients may be charged the cost of reproduction and distribution only.
Any person or organization using The Pathwork Foundation service mark or copyrighted material is deemed to have agreed to comply with the Foundation Trademark, Service Mark and Copyright Policy. To obtain information or a copy of this policy, please contact the Foundation.