Spiritual material resembles threads, fine, ray-like threads—in this case of somber color and texture—which are spun, knotted, and entangled, until there is such a tight ball of confusion that one can disentangle it only with the greatest difficulty. . . . it takes a great deal of effort to find the truth at all.
Pathwork Lectures 1996 Ed.
The 1996 Edition, which contains 258 lectures, some of which were transcribed from question and answer sessions, has been edited to simplify the complex language structure in which the original lectures were created. Eva’s native tongue was German and her sentence structure reflected this, sometimes resulting in awkward English usage. This edition also eliminates what can be seen as sexist terminology, common in the period of transmission of the material but not accepted in practice today and, in general, simplifies the language where to do so will not interfere with the meaning of the lecture itself.
[W]hen you understand that this life is one of many learning periods, one link in a long chain, you will at first sense and later comprehend more and more fully the connections. Then your goal will no longer be immediate happiness through the fulfillment of every single wish in this existence. You will instead direct your vision toward the whole.
So it is important for you, my dear ones, to recognize that many of the events in your life which seem to repeat themselves were chosen and planned by you when you still had your wider vision, before matter enveloped your spirit. It will be helpful for you to know this. A very ambitious spirit may sometimes even ask for a particularly difficult destiny, knowing clearly in the state of freedom from matter that the pain to be suffered is little and of short duration in comparison to the gain. This should give you food for thought.
[T]here are a variety of possible causes for world weariness. Of course the yearning for God and perfection plays a role here too whether consciously or not, as well as the nostalgia for one’s true spiritual home that dwells in every human being. For here on earth you are only visitors, it is not your true home. But that is never the main reason for the indefinable longing. Its background is more complex, and this is what I want to talk about now.
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.”
I have said it before, but I want to repeat it: Every human being, not only a medium, can and should have personal contact with God’s world. Everybody can have it! But the conditions have to be met. When God’s spirits speak to you through a medium, they never want to turn you into some puppet who is dependent on them. Yes, there are unaligned spirits—and I am not even talking about the dark ones—who would gladly give you instructions about what to do or not do; this would give them power and flatter their vanity. But an evolved spirit of God does not need or want power, does not need or want flattery. An evolved spirit wants what God wants, and God wants to make free and independent human beings out of you.
Each emotional reaction, thought, opinion or tendency, even the smallest personality trait, is a luminous ray which is invisible to you, but belongs very personally to each individual being. In the same way, the fixed and yet eternally moving spiritual laws, which pertain to every possibility or modality of outer or inner reaction, also create such luminous threads. Wherever your personal rays agree with those of the spiritual laws, you fulfill your life and you are in harmony and bliss.
Those who have made the decision and given themselves into the hands of God immediately sense what is happening within. The first reaction is a great relief and an inward joy that for a while completely takes possession of one. This wonderful feeling, though, does not stay with you forever. Hearing this, you could easily conclude, at least in your feelings, that if the heaviness and unpleasantness is likely to return, there is no point in making the decision in the first place. But I say to you that this is not so. After having crossed the first threshold, you are only at the beginning of the path. I have told you before that the spiritual work only begins after this crossing, and that being on this path consists in not giving up, but continuing to press on steadily. That has to be the price.
My dear friends, today I would like to speak about prayer and meditation. What is the difference between the two? Many people are not quite clear about it. It is always a matter of agreeing upon the meaning of terms. I should like to make the following distinction: Prayer is a preliminary step to meditation. Prayer is a matter of thinking, meditation is prayer with feeling, it engages the soul forces as compared to the thinking forces. To get to the second and further step you need a certain discipline and concentration which you learn through prayer. Most people are not used to be spiritually and mentally active, yet one cannot enter into meditation unless one has first learned the preliminary state of concentration.
It is generally difficult to understand the real meaning of the teaching that the Kingdom of God is within, just as Hell is within, too. You imagine that this refers to a mood and therefore to some unreal thing that cannot be grasped. People only take for real what they can see and touch; feeling states cannot be seen or touched.
Deep within the heart of each human being is the longing for happiness. Now what is happiness? If you ask different people, you will receive different answers. The spiritually immature, after thinking about it for some time, will say, perhaps, that if they had this or that fulfillment or a worry eliminated they would be happy.
One hears people say again and again, “If God exists, and there is indeed a divine order, how can it be that so many terrible things happen on earth?” You all know, you have all learned that human beings forge their own destinies. That you have to carry such heavy burdens is the result of breaking spiritual laws, often unconsciously. Still, this will not sufficiently explain to you events like wars, in which, through the decision of a few, many who seem innocent have to suffer a heavy fate. To this I reply: First of all, even in mass or group disasters, an individual will never need to experience anything that does not fit into his or her own destiny. Second, every person, except those very few who have already reached a higher state of purification, is also sharing the responsibility for wars and other mass disasters. Not only the politicians or those few who visibly and publicly shape world history are to be made responsible for wars, but every single person who, with impure thoughts and emotions, pollutes the cosmic “reservoir,” and this, one day, must have its effect.
Doubt is the opposite of faith; and faith, my friends, is in reality nothing other than the certainty of all that you may doubt now: it is the inner experience. Inner experience cannot come into existence through outer events. So we are dealing here with two entirely different levels of consciousness. To accomplish something within you, you have to prepare the inner conditions as well as the outer, by finding and conquering your inner blocks and hurdles, in short, everything that stands in your way to faith in its true meaning.
I have promised to talk to you tonight about how we in the spirit world see the entire human personality, the complete unit. You all know that you have not only a physical body, but also various subtle bodies, each representing something different. You also know that your thoughts have definite spiritual forms, and that such forms are created not only by thoughts, but also by feelings, since a feeling is really just an “unthought thought” not yet made conscious. Although thought creates a different form than a feeling does, nevertheless, both create very definite and substantial forms. Each subtle body, as well as the physical body, has an aura: the vibration and emanation of that body. Thought-forms or feeling-forms reflect their image in the aura. These forms really do exist in the spirit. The auras, therefore, are not the images themselves, only reflections of the images. These forms create the spheres in the spirit world and, according to the intensity of the thoughts or feelings, are vague and weak, or definite, strong, and durable. In other words, all these forms fluctuate and change since everything in spirit is in perpetual motion.
Tonight I wish to speak about the influence between the spiritual and material worlds. Much has been said about the influence of the world of spirit on the world of matter, but not as much about the influence the other way around. For both affect each other.
It is not surprising if a person, confronted the first time with this phenomenon—that a spirit should indeed be able to talk through a human being—cannot readily accept it. Many things are possible, however, of which you know nothing as yet. So just be open and wait. Eventually you will see that not only is this so, but much more exists than you can even dream of. You will not only be able to accept all this intellectually, but you will actually experience it! Your lives will change when you know certain truths. This will give you direction and purpose, while now you often do not know what this life is all about and why you should have to go through so much hardship, so much testing. And yet, there is a sense to all of this. So relax, untie knots, be open.
There are many of you who admit God exists. God or this Higher Intelligence—or whatever you choose to call it—is of course one and the same. Yet you do not believe that it could be possible in this wonderful Creation for an entity of higher intelligence than human beings to manifest to you through a human instrument, if preparations are made and certain conditions fulfilled. This, you think, is incredible. This is something you cannot believe. But why not, my friends? Why is it so hard to believe? It is certainly not unimaginable that creatures of higher intelligence, of greater wisdom, endowed with more love than human beings should exist! If so, it should be possible to communicate with them.
The subject I will discuss tonight is free will. People are forever and ever debating this subject. One group claims there is no free will whatsoever: everything is fate or destiny. Another group says, more or less, that there is only free will. According to a third group, some things are determined by free will while others are not. Now which is actually true?
Now who is Christ? Some Christian religions claim he is God. This is not so, for he himself has said, as you can read in the Holy Scriptures, that he is not God. He is not the Father, or the Creator. Some say Jesus was just a wise man, a sage, a great teacher with great wisdom, not unlike a few others who have lived at other times in other countries. This is also wrong. The truth is, my friends, whether you want to believe it now or not, that Jesus, the man, was the incarnation of the Christ. And this spirit is the highest and most exalted of all created beings. He is the first direct and inborn creation of God. His substance is the same as the substance of God. All of you possess some of this substance which I call the higher self or the divine spark; it has to come out gradually through spiritual development. But no other created being has this substance in quite the same degree as the Christ. And there is the difference.
I want to stress that there is no coincidence here; none of you have been drawn to this community by chance, not even those who come here once and do not stay because they lack either the spiritual maturity to understand what is going on, or because they do not want to develop spiritually and walk this path of perfection for which a continuous supply of spiritual food is necessary.
Since one of the most important divine aspects is free will or freedom of choice, this had to turn into its opposite too. The spirit who was the first to succumb to the temptation of abusing this power, the one who is sometimes referred to as Lucifer, Satan, or the Devil, who influenced others to follow him, would naturally have been the first one to inhabit the new world that came into existence. This spirit had complete power over all those who followed him, and, contrary to God, he used this power. God gives the freedom of choice and this has deeper significance than most of you realize. With that freedom necessarily comes the possibility to abuse the given power and to use it contrary to the divine laws. If no choice were available, there would be no freedom and no power. There can be no divine happiness, in fact, no divinity at all, if it cannot be attained or maintained by free choice. By the same token, the opposite of God and His laws must be the prohibition of free choice and the domination of the stronger over the weaker ones.
There are many ways, indeed, to test with what spirits you are communicating. Anyone who wants to judge must, under all circumstances, take the trouble to study the vast subject of how to test spirits. Only then will that person be in a position to determine from where they come. I have spoken about this subject and will do so again in the future. For the time being, I only wish to say this: If you still lack the necessary knowledge to determine with what spirits you are communicating and what laws are involved, you can ask your heart right now. You will get the answer to some extent, provided you do not let your doubts shade your feelings. If your feelings are receptive and open, you will be able to find and feel harmony, as well as love, patience, wisdom, and humility—or the opposite of all this. But your heart will only be able to speak to you and confirm what you wish to know if you are receptive, if you are open and put all prejudice aside for the moment.
Greetings in the Name of God and Jesus Christ. I bring blessings to all of you, my friends. As I have promised, we will have tonight a question and answer session. From now on I will be ready to answer also personal questions in these general sessions, my friends, but only those of you who…
Greetings in the name of the Lord. I bring you blessings, my friends. Again I will answer your questions tonight, instead of holding a lecture. I will resume regular lectures after most of your questions have been answered. It is a very good sign if my little group has questions, for this is proof that…
Everybody knows that it is important to be a decent person, not to commit so-called sins, to give love, to have faith, and to be kind to others. However, this is not enough. In the first place, knowing all this and actually being able to act on it are two different stories. You may be able by voluntary action to refrain from committing a crime such as stealing or killing, but you cannot possibly force yourself to feel that you do not want to harm anybody, ever. You may act kindly toward another, but you cannot force yourself to feel kindly. Neither can you force yourself to have love in your heart or to have real faith in God. Whatever pertains to emotions is not dependent upon your direct actions or even on your thoughts. Changing your feelings requires the slow process of self-development and self-recognition.