Greetings, my dearest friends—all of you here. Blessings for everyone. May the truth of these words reach your innermost being and plant a seed in the fertile soil of the creative substance of which you are born and that bears you all the time. For being is a continuous process. Birth is not a one-time occurrence. Life bears new fruit all the time. That which has already been born is forever renewed, it grows and changes, it is in a process of perpetual birth.
In this lecture I would like to discuss a very specific chain reaction—both in its natural, unhampered, and therefore positive manifestation, and in its distortion. In its positive, natural version, the links of this chain are the following: life’s basic abundance and generosity; its overwhelming “givingness”; humanity’s similar and hence compatible attitude; self-possession; the ability to deal realistically and constructively with frustration; being true to the issue, the self, the moment.
The links in the negative chain reaction are: life’s limitation and enmity against humanity; humanity’s defensive pettiness of spirit; self-alienation; the false, destructive reaction to frustration; living for the sake of approval and impressing others or—often simultaneously—for the sake of rebelling against others to prove independence of spirit.
Every one of these links has been amply discussed by us and, in many cases, worked through on your path. But we have never seen the importance of these links as a continuum. It is therefore necessary that we talk about this at length.
The very essence of life is its truly limitless fertility and givingness. It sprouts forth forever new and more varied experiences of bliss, self-expression, fascination. It is everything, literally everything, that the mind can conceive of, including, of course, limited, negative manifestations. If your mind is geared to perceive and conceive life a priori as hostile and mean, it will unfold to you exactly that way. If you ignore life’s versatility and richness and its capacity to create anything you truly believe and desire, then you are caught in a trap from which you can escape only when you recognize it as such. You will not escape until you challenge your silent assumption—the assumption that life is limited and negative—which seemed so natural to you that you did not even notice it before. Then you will recognize that another possibility exists, one that might indeed bring forth a different kind of manifestation.
One might almost say that the misguided focusing on this limited expectation of life is a trick of the human mind. Then, finding again the truth of being is a simple click of the mind. Life is continuously bubbling forth with an energy of powerful creative impact that is truly inconceivable by the human mind. Nevertheless, aspects or particles of this essence of life can be experienced once you open the door and life begins to present you with its gifts. I might add that the very fact that life can bring forth to the exact degree of your expectation and concept is proof of its limitless power and generosity. When your mind, as an intrinsic part of life itself, is geared in a way alien to life’s essence, then this very alienness must be experienced. Only when life’s manifestation and your consciousness appear inseparable does the rift mend and life begin to become what it potentially is.
The second link in the chain is your attitude. I already mentioned how your consciousness, your concept and expectation of life, directly influence life’s manifestation. When you are aware of life’s essence, of its richness and generosity, your attitude will be totally different from the conviction that life is your enemy. In the former case, your very being is compatible with life’s generosity. In the latter instance, it is not.
Let us examine this a bit more closely. When a negative conviction exists, suspicion is natural. Suspicion creates ungenerous impulses and attitudes. It is in itself ungenerous to suspect someone of negative motives when this person is really disposed very favorably toward you. The principle is the same whether this someone is a particular entity or life itself. The suspicious, ungenerous attitude creates further negative, limiting aspects, for example, fear and greed. Both fear and greed stem from blindness and breed further blindness. Greed wishes to amass selfishly when this is not necessary in the least. It creates a closed-up, tight, and very negative energy and an atmosphere that truly excludes the person from life. Thus, the person must experience lack, rejection, and frustration. He or she then builds defenses against these negative experiences. You all know how damaging the defenses are, how they indeed destroy the good of life that wants to come to you.
If, on the other hand, you know that life’s essence is generous, you will be open, trusting, and generous yourself—generous in your trust in life and in your being, for there is no need to hold back, to hold the self together in a tight package of ungiving. All feelings will stream forth generously and fearlessly. More of life’s gifts come to the individual who understands the nature of life and acts accordingly.
I recapitulate: your compatibility with life lies in trusting it and building on this trust; in knowing that it is unlimited and that it brings forth exactly according to your expectation, attitude, and concept. The firmer this conviction becomes as you repeatedly experience this truth, the more trustful, relaxed, positive, creative, and generous you become. There will be none of the petty defenses, pseudoprotections, and pretenses that one who distrusts life inevitably adopts. When you look closer at those defenses, you will see that underneath them lies doubt in life’s essential benignness.
Whenever you find yourself enmeshed in one of your problems, in one of those neurotic battles with yourself and life, you are, in that area at least, negative in your perception of life and therefore distrustful of life. Consequently, you institute pettiness in your approach to life. Wherever there are inner problems, there must be a negative outlook on life, distrust, and ungenerous attitudes toward life and others. All the roles and games we have amply discussed and that we are working on display these characteristics.
The next step in the chain reaction is self-possession versus self-alienation. If it is true that human beings must squander themselves as generously as life squanders itself on all created beings, provided it is allowed to do so, then the individual must first possess itself before it can give itself away. Only when you fully own yourself can you give yourself safely and thus find self-renewal in the giving of the self. Each step of giving seems to involve the risk of losing. It is always first an apparent abyss into which you trustingly throw yourself, only to find that all risk is illusory and that giving yourself to life is the safest, most realistic attitude conceivable. But this reality must be discovered by taking the illusory risk. Only when you own yourself can you take such a risk—never when you are not in full possession of yourself. If you do not own yourself you have nothing to give. You are poor. For the richness of life is within you. When you ignore this fact and build your values and your foundation outside yourself, you become more and more impoverished and hence can give nothing away. On the contrary, you strive to amass more, you try to cheat life by manipulating circumstances so that you gain as much, and give as little, as possible. Of course, I do not discuss material things here, although your attitude toward them may be colored by your emotional attitude. However, these attitudes are not always exactly parallel. What I am primarily concerned with is the more subtle level of feelings. Your attitude toward giving of your feelings, as opposed to receiving good feelings from others, is the criterion by which we can determine whether the chain reaction is positive or negative in any aspect of your life. Cheating of life occurs most frequently in the realm of emotions. Most human beings—in one respect or another, to a greater or lesser degree—wish to receive all the love possible, but are really not willing to give any, although they try to convince themselves that they would love if only they were loved first, and that it is dreadfully dangerous to love without the reassurance that their love be returned in the exact manner they want it.
This brings us to the next link in the chain reaction. What are the elements that determine self-possession? There are several, and we cannot examine them all at once. But I will point out two specific aspects, which have been discussed previously, although not in this context. These two aspects are truly key points, so that self-possession undoubtedly exists when these two aspects are healthy. The first is the ability to deal with frustration, with life apparently saying “No” to you. It is one thing to know theoretically that every No you experience in life, no matter from where it comes to you and how undeserved it appears to be, is ultimately your own doing; it is quite another to experience this truth. To do so, you must summon a great willingness for such experience, which is not easy. It means overcoming the often strong temptation to indulge in self-pity, resentment, complaining, and accusing—overtly or covertly—in your emotional reactions and expressions. The latter course often seems at first quite justified and inviting. The former way—bearing frustration—implies the willingness to accept our premise, even though you cannot see it yet and may have to search until the true cause reveals itself to you. Until such time, the frustration must be borne in a productive way.
There is a right and productive way, and also a wrong and destructive way, both to accepting and rejecting frustration in life. The right kind of acceptance automatically brings along the right kind of rejection of frustration. Right acceptance is the awareness and willingness to see that every frustration is self-produced and voluntarily pushed out of sight. Hence the result must be borne with courage and without self-indulgence. Doing so fosters the helpful attitude that mistakes must be paid for and that the payment is not an unfair demand on the part of life. Such an attitude is never negative or hopeless, but rather leads to the right kind of rejection of suffering. In effect, the person expresses this attitude into life: “There is no need to suffer for the rest of my life. I am willing, with all my heart and with the best investment of myself, to find the cause and change it. Therefore, I know that life will yield the fulfillment that I desire and deserve all the more since I act as an adult who does not claim any special dispensations for his ignorance and destructiveness.” This attitude unites the right acceptance with the right rejection of frustration.
Wrong acceptance of frustration leads to wrong rejection of it, and vice versa. When you dramatize frustration as annihilation of your world, it soon becomes so convincing that you feel as though it were really that—and reasons can be drummed up that make it appear that way. All the while, the underlying message of the personality is, in effect: “I refuse to suffer any disappointment. I must have what I want at all times, instantly, and in exactly my way, or else I feel persecuted.” The denial of self-responsibility leads to false acceptance—hopelessness, resignation, doom. When the small, momentary frustration or difficulty or disappointment is dramatized into a tragedy and induces a person to have a negative outlook on life, then a destructive “acceptance” is operating. If a disagreeable occurrence is made into a catastrophe—often only in one’s emotional reactions, which may not be expressed openly—then rigid insistence on one’s own way, arrogance in demanding special treatment from life, and the exaggeration that the difficulty is insurmountable and hopeless—in short, selfwill, pride, and fear—create a dark climate and dissension in the soul. They make the dualistic split wider. It is always easy to get lost in two opposites, which are both wrong when they appear as real opposites. This principle is clearly illustrated here. Acceptance and rejection of frustration are not opposites but can form a beautiful oneness. The attitude that comes into being from this unity expresses everything that is compatible with life’s nature—a relaxed, confident, trustful state. This attitude renounces special treatment; it is humble and generous in dispensing with the temptation to feel victimized and accusatory.
With this attitude, you become active and at the same time receptive, so that the creative substance can begin to sprout forth for you. You will overcome life’s limitations. When you can practice the right way of accepting and rejecting a frustration of life, you possess yourself. You truly own yourself. And conversely, when you are pulled into the wrong way of accepting and rejecting frustration in life, you become alienated from yourself. You become decentralized, for your own innermost, best forces are automatically inactivated by this wrong combination. The negativity thus generated paralyzes everything in you that is essential for true selfhood.
The second prerequisite for self-possession is being true to yourself. This may mean many things. It means living for the truth of the issue that momentarily is problematic; it means being true to your own feelings, opinions, and innermost expressions rather than those of others; it means being true to the truth of the moment, which may be so disguised by complicated twists in the minds of everyone involved that, again, it requires wanting to see a reality beyond the apparent one. In any problematic situation, people suffer most because they cannot disentangle the many pros and cons, the “ifs” and “buts”. This is always so when self-alienation exists and the central point has been lost. Self-possession can be regained only when the utter willingness is expressed to see the deeper truth, which always conciliates apparent outer conflicts—either within the person or between the person and others. This inner reality reveals itself when the self is willing to sacrifice its selfwill, pride, and fear—its defenses—for the sake of what is most positive under the circumstances. Once again, this often requires, at first, a great amount of willpower to reject the line of least resistance, which is to insist on viewing the issue only according to one’s personal case against life, with all its complaints, accusations, and sense of victimization.
Being true to yourself dispenses with the tendency to submit to others, to conform and appease, which you do solely to gain approval from others. Submitting and appeasing lead to nothing but sharp resentments and further feelings of injustice. You must dispense with the prideful desire to prove yourself better than others and to impress the world. However, you must also dispense with the equally damaging tendency to prove your independence by blind and meaningless rebellion. Rebellion no more leads to selfhood than does submitting to other people’s standards, although it is often falsely viewed as strength and true independence. In reality, a self who blindly closes itself to other people is just as weak as the self who repeats other people’s values like a parrot. In both instances selfhood is lost because the truth of the matter is lost under the rubble of false compliance or false rebellion. The truth of the moment can be found when both these false alternatives are dispensed with.
Again, we have two apparent opposites. The right kind of self-assertion, which accepts the risk of being criticized, leads to an openness of mind that can truly listen to and weigh what others have to say in an honest way, asking but one thing, “Is this a truth? Could it be my truth?” When the answer is affirmative, it ceases to be someone else’s value, it becomes indeed one’s own value and truth.
I recapitulate: When the self is concerned only with its appearance in the eyes of others, regardless of the circumstances, it lacks self-possession. On the other hand, when the self is concerned only with proving that it does not care about others’ views and thus blindly rebels, there is again no self-possession. You lose yourself when you follow either course—or both courses either simultaneously or alternately. You will find your own essence if you search for the underlying, conciliating reality—which reveals itself when you are willing to give up all negative, destructive attitudes. Express this willingness concisely and ask for guidance. If you lack such willingness, examine yourself; grave misconceptions must be hindering the willingness. Nothing could be more harmful than denying that the self is unwilling to abandon destructive attitudes and then pretending that what happens to you is really undeserved.
Life’s abundance and generous giving will unfold for you and give you the best when you give it your best by being committed to the truth of the issue at all times, regardless of how difficult it may be—or seem to be—to face. Only then can you be as constructive and resourceful as you wish in order to experience life’s utter abundance and goodness. Otherwise, your desire for happiness is counteracted constantly by an equal fear of happiness, so that you repel it even while you strive for it.
This is not as complicated and, paradoxically, not as easy as it may appear. The complications cease when you commit yourself over and over again to the ultimate truth in every issue of your life. It is not easy in that the ego abhors giving up its pretenses and games. It likes to play to an audience, even when none exists.
If you learn to handle frustration and remain true to the ultimate reality of your self and the situation, you will be a creatively functioning being. You will do away with the roles and pretenses. You will allow yourself to fully feel and pulsate, for that is the truth of being. You will accept your own temporary state not with despair but with hope, because the hope will be justified by the positiveness and realism with which you approach yourself. In this attitude you cannot fail to discover the generosity of life, a life that bestows its goodness upon you again and again, beyond your wildest dreams. Life will reflect your own soul in an unending series of new self-expressions, new forms of pleasure, and depths of unifying relationships, new challenges mastered, new fascinations, and deeper well-being and peace. These are not empty promises, but facts of life. You will find yourself in forever new ways, in excitement and serenity, as you relinquish your negative attitudes and defensive games.
When you are involved in the negative chain reaction, the limited, bleak nature of life you experience seems the reality, and words such as these seem wishful thinking. The longer you dwell in the defenses of accusing and self-victimizing, the more real the limited and false life becomes and the tighter the prison doors close. Although you have erected those doors yourself, they are nevertheless prison doors and must be opened by the self. The apparent reality, which is false, draws the self that created it deeper and deeper, so that it seems almost impossible to escape. For there seems to be nothing outside when you have tricked yourself in that way. All of you must find your way back, in your long, long journey, to the truth of the nature of life; you must see the trick your minds have played on you by focusing only on negative views of life and thereby developing negative attitudes and experiencing life exactly as you perceive it.
The average human being is involved in this trick of the mind in some areas. These areas are referred to as one’s “problems.” But each person is by no means negatively involved in all areas of his or her life. It would be a mistake to view either the positive or the negative chain reaction as the only truth of your condition; you will find that you have both. In some individuals the positive is stronger, in some the negative.
Look at an area of your life where you are fulfilled and happy. You will see that your concept and expectation of life in this area is positive. This is not because life has been good to you. It is the other way around. Having confidence in the richness of life in this area, you are relaxed, unfearful, trusting. You are not easily threatened or frightened. You maintain a positive attitude, even if there are occasional difficulties and disappointments, which you more or less master whenever they come up. Thus, the good that life gives you becomes more and more effortless and self-perpetuating. When you look closely, you will see that, at least in this particular area, you can afford to be yourself—you are not strained or anxious and not particularly worried about what others think about you in this respect. You possess yourself and thus you can afford to be generous and give of yourself. You are neither submissive nor rebellious. You consider ideas or advice from others for what they are and either accept or reject them without fear of displeasing.
At the same time, there probably is another area in you in which conditions are totally different and the negative chain is manifest. Human beings whose chain reactions are only positive, or only negative, are the exception. The former is a self-realized person; the latter cannot function at all in reality. He or she lives outside society and is perhaps in jail or mentally ill. Most human beings are somewhere in the middle. They have some positive and some negative chain reactions working within them. Their path of growth lies in discovering the latter and transforming them into the former. The more this process takes place, the nearer self-realization comes.
If you view yourself from this point of view and really work through the chain reactions, my friends, the battle will at first be enormous. To make the switch from the negative to the positive chain reaction seems impossible. In this battle you have to consider that there is another reality beyond the one you experience. It will be easier to realize this truth when you have first established an awareness of a positive chain reaction within yourself. You then have a good basis for comparing the two kinds of chain reactions. You must not make this comparison superficially, however. If you do it in depth, and feel the links, you will have a key to understanding your problems.
When you fully recognize your negative belief about a specific area of your life, and when you perceive yourself deeply enough with the help of meditation, you will see, at first only in ever so subtle a way, that it is tempting to believe in the negative. After a while, you will perceive that this attitude is actually quite strong and obvious, and not so subtle at all. The temptation consists of a variety of feelings and attitudes. For instance, it seems secure to expect the worst so that one cannot be disappointed. This is particularly important because of your inability to cope with frustration. There is also an element of spite in this negative expectation of life, as if you wanted to accuse life of being mean. These are, perhaps, the most important aspects of the fascination and attraction of a negative outlook. If you cannot relinquish this satisfaction, you cannot hope to come out of the cycle of false doom. The false doom must be challenged, and only you can do it. The more you express the desire and the firm intent to see another, larger reality behind the one you are used to, the more infallibly will you perceive it. Gradually at first, and with interruptions, you will see the vague outline of a new landscape, a new vista. The experience, though tenuous at first, will feel more real than anything you have ever known. It must be recaptured again and again, for the old fascination with the negative belief is deeply ingrained. You must break the habit of negative expectation over and over.
You will probably experience something like the following: A limited, hopeless-seeming situation appears to offer few alternatives—usually one good one and one or several undesirable ones. If what you consider as the desirable situation—and it may actually be desirable—does not come to pass, you succumb to the temptation to play the doom game with life, thus fortifying a negative chain reaction. But once you have challenged your negative outlook and begin to envisage new possibilities, a completely different solution may appear. It may not be the ideal result; that may require you to overcome more obstacles within yourself and may entail greater effort and patience. But in the very process of going through these steps lies indeed the fulfillment you wish. Unless you go through these steps, fulfillment is quite impossible.
Your new vista will give you deep feelings of bliss, security, reality, and meaningfulness. The desired result will be truly your own production and not something handed to you from outside yourself. Therefore you will have a grip on it and on life, and you will have no fear of losing your grip. The control is yours, regardless of how others are involved in the situation. They may fail, but you always have recourse to the road to security and bliss.
This is another important point: Do not be misled by limited expectations of possible alternatives. It is so important to let your mind be flexible and wide open. Do not close doors with preconceived notions, but let life present its own manifold possibilities, which you cannot even notice when you are geared to perceive only a very few. You have to make yourself wide open for other possibilities than the ones you conceive of. When you can take No for an answer, you will have flexibility. You will see how very often the No turns into a Yes, once it is thoroughly understood.
Every one of you who follows this intensive pathwork should use this key. Although every link in the chain reaction is, in itself, not a new discovery, their connection and continuity are of great importance. You will see something about yourself that needs clarification, so that “switching tracks” will become easier. You can make a new reality unfold for you.
Take this lecture into your innermost being and work it through. Examine yourself for these chain reactions. See how the positive and the negative ones work in your life. Be blessed, every single one of you. Receive the love and the power that streams forth into your hearts and into your minds. Be in peace.
A case history
According to the Guide’s teachings, our entire fate is self-created, whether we live in happiness or unhappiness, fulfillment or misery. This basic metaphysical concept may seem acceptable in theory, but it is at first extremely difficult to perceive as practical reality, operating right here and now. It seems especially hard to accept this when dealing with mental illness.
However, in the course of years of experience in this pathwork, we have found the concept of self-created circumstances to be true in many ways. Hidden, easily glossed-over thoughts, when finally looked at, eventually reveal desire for illness, for death, for any kind of suffering the person may most bitterly complain about. Once you have ascertained that you actually want what you most fear and resist, there is a way out, although the discovery of this startling fact by no means induces you to instantly give up the hidden desire. It is a stubborn, destructive wish, with very definite motives that must be unearthed, explored, challenged, and held up against reality—the reality you have not bargained for.
As for mental illness, we had the first practical proof of this basic concept a number of years ago. A woman who had been on and off in mental institutions came to the Guide. She had also received shock treatments. Out of hospital, she proved unusually intelligent, even quite brilliant, as such people often are. This woman asked the Guide several questions pertaining to her illness. The Guide said to her: “You want to be mentally ill. You have your own reasons for this, which you must acknowledge and ponder if you wish ever to come out of your illness. First, understand that when you “decide” to go off, you can make a different choice. You can claim this right for yourself. But once you let the choice slip by, you become truly lost and helpless and can no longer find the connection to your own processes. You must retrace your steps to the point where you know that you decide, not some power over which you have no control.” The woman jumped up excitedly, completely conscious of what she had been told.
We recently saw more explicit proof that the theory of self-determination and self-choice is true. One of our group members was a borderline psychotic, slipping in and out of reality. When he first came to work on the path, he was drugged with tranquilizers and unable to feel anything but the most acute anxiety when not under the influence of these drugs. Completely unable to cope with life, he had dropped out of college. He was incapable of forming any relationships. He felt constantly threatened by people, by anything and everything. However, despite the severity of his illness, his exceptional intelligence, good will, honesty, perseverance, and courage to work his way out have brought astounding results. For approximately two years now he has been without tranquilizers. He has finished college and has held a job for over a year. His capacity to form relationships, however, is still practically zero, which at times makes it impossibly difficult to keep his job. His suspicions and fears put an unbearable strain on him, so that the fluctuations in his state of mind are sometimes exceedingly painful. Yet, he has progressed in this area, too, in that he has become conscious that his fear of others is largely a result of his own defensive hostility and rage. He seemed unable to move from this point until, a few days ago, a significant breakthrough occurred. In a series of three successive sessions he was, for the first time, able to give free expression to his irrational thoughts, feelings, and wishes. This led to the awareness that he deliberately chooses his sick state, for his own reasons.
We asked this young man for permission to reproduce the summary of the last session, which demonstrates clearly how he intentionally got himself into this unhappy state. Most of the time he had been disconnected from this knowledge, so that he felt himself to be a victim of circumstances beyond his control. But there were moments when, as he admitted, he knew more or less what he was doing without, however, really taking account of it and its consequences. He admitted that much of his arrogance and terrifying manner was a gambit to control others.
Here are the notes of his last session, which summarize the innermost attitude responsible for his illness:
“He hates his parents so much that he punishes them by destroying himself. However, he does not want to destroy himself completely, only up to the point of still staying alive. He calls himself a ‘cliffhanger.’ He does this despite the fact that this kind of aliveness is painful, unrewarding, and limiting. This is his revenge. He wants to make his parents feel guilty; he wants them to worry; he wants them to blame themselves for messing him up; he wants them to pay for him and be responsible for him in all ways—financially, emotionally, spiritually. He demands of them, at the same time that he destroys himself, to make him well and happy. This is, of course, an impossibility for which he blames and hates them even more. This same attitude he transfers onto his helper, whom he also punishes by his miserable state and from whom he expects magic cure, while he goes on destroying himself with a vengeance. [This is true despite the fact that, on another level, he puts his best into the pathwork.]
“The unreasonableness and utter destructiveness of this attitude became evident to him once he let it out into the open. He can see that the price he pays for the doubtful satisfaction of punishing his parents is so horrendous that it cannot be fully evaluated at once. He incurs the worst suffering, guilt, and loneliness. He sacrifices pleasure, fulfillment, love, growth, and the realization of his potentials; he literally sacrifices and wastes his life out of sheer hatred and vengefulness. Also, by making mutually exclusive demands that cannot be fulfilled—by virtually destroying himself and then expecting health and happiness to be given him by others—he puts himself into a helpless position and becomes trapped, for at that point he is no longer aware of this contradiction. He now begins to see that his hopelessness is a direct result of wanting his own destruction. His hatred grows to the extent he feels victimized and helplessly entrapped in his own prison.
“His reason for this unreasonable hate is especially irrational. One of the things he blames his parents most for is that he was not allowed to make love to his mother. In the blind, semi-aware state of this resentment he could not examine why he really felt so injured. He falsely assumed he was considered especially worthless. He also begins to see that whatever actual emotional problems his parents had, the resulting lack of warmth and understanding from them do not warrant such hatred either. The moment he sees this, he also sees that his blame is totally exaggerated. He is now at the point of renouncing this self-defeating hatred, so that he can begin to live. Once he decides for life, self-responsibility will no longer seem undesirable, but will, in fact, be the privilege of a truly free person.”
At the end of this session, our friend said that he feels as yet unable to relinquish this terrible game he plays with life. But he feels himself near it, almost touching “the water of life,” as he put it, stretching out his hand.
It may still take considerable work and effort to comprehend further the deeply embedded misconceptions responsible for wanting to retain this game. But now there is a new hope. The way is clear, even if he should temporarily “forget” it again.
The accepted view of treating mental patients is that mental illness is a result of factors outside the control of the patient: childhood, parents, even hereditary factors. All these factors exist, but if they were indeed responsible for the condition of the mental patient, there would be no way out. The only permanent way out is to recognize how the person produces his or her own condition. This is not an easy road, but the only one that promises true solutions.