Cooperation, Communication, Union

Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 80 | February 17, 1961

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Greetings, my dearest friends. Blessings for each one of you. Blessed is this hour.

The highest and most desirable state in the whole plan of evolution is union. Union on this earth plane does not exist. Some people have a vague idea of union, and in isolated moments they sense or feel the significance of that state of being. But then the moment passes. Since union simply is, it exists outside the law of cause and effect. Therefore there is no point in my discussing it. You could not possibly comprehend me and I could not find appropriate words in the human language to convey what it is.

I will, however, discuss two preliminary stages in the evolution toward union. These two stages do exist on your plane of existence and consciousness. They are, at the lower level, cooperation, and, at a higher level, communication. No living creature can exist without cooperation and communication. Even on the material level humanity could not survive without them. Food, drink, shelter — all that you need for your physical survival — depend on cooperation and communication, although their form and practice may vary. They take a different form in a primitive society where people organize their own communication with nature and the elements. As development proceeds further and the community increases in size, people have to organize communication with their fellow creatures accordingly. The better people get along with each other through proper cooperation and communication, the better will the community’s life function on the most basic material level. This is so obvious that I need not discuss it at greater length.

Understanding the need for communication and cooperation on the physical level will make you realize that mental, emotional, and spiritual subsistence is necessarily just as dependent on cooperation and communication. You know that the same laws hold true for all levels of existence. It is one of the great errors and tragedies of the human race that this truth is ignored. If people were taught to understand this truth your world would be very different.

There is in the human soul a center out of which the soul-forces flow, or to which another person responds. This center governs the laws of communication, and, on a lower level, of cooperation. However, we shall not discuss cooperation now, since its nature will become evident when you have understood communication. Cooperation is simply a more superficial form of communication.

All universal laws tend to work freely when the human entity is in harmony with them. However, if the human being is in disharmony with these laws, because of ignorance or lack of development, then the laws become broken, twisted, and distorted, and communication cannot take place. Thus the path to ultimate union is blocked until the harmonious laws are restored within the entity.

If you review earlier lectures on the manifold problems of the human soul, it should be easy to see how you break these laws. If you are overeager or overanxious, if your desire for communication is exaggerated into a craving, the soul forces will automatically become harsh, pointed, and rigid. Their movement will be sudden, and their impact on the other person’s soul center, — from which he or she in turn responds, often quite unconsciously — will be too strong. The whole universe is based on balance, and whenever balance is upset, the universal forces work toward reestablishing it. This is often a painful process. For instance, the effect of aggressive communication must be that the other soul withdraws, because the corresponding inner forces restrict, and seem to reject, the overeager attempt at communication.

In your everyday observations you can easily see this, especially in the work of self-search. You may be quite unaware of your hidden craving and exaggerated need; you may have covered it with a layer manifesting quite the opposite. Nevertheless, that which is really in you is what matters. And when you discover your exaggerated craving, you will understand that this hitherto unconscious current causes the door to close in the other person. You will then no longer interpret it as a personal rejection, but will understand that his or her unconscious soul forces must respond according to the law that reestablishes balance.

To better understand this process we have to be clear as to the meaning of overeagerness. You may think it is merely a strong positive quality, and as such it cannot or should not upset the natural balance. But this is not so. You will now understand that such overeagerness is a distortion, because the urgency of your need is not in truth. It is imaginary and, as the word implies, comes out of your images, conflicts, and distortions. In your unconscious you believe you must have love, affection, and attention. It is not a question of desiring them in healthy mutuality; there is in you a one-sided childish demand as though your very life were at stake. It is so forceful that the balancing forces cause the other person to withdraw from the exaggerated motion of your demand. If the person has inner unresolved conflicts and problems, the motivation for such withdrawal will be unconscious and negative. In the relatively healthy person, the response will be similar, but it will come from motives that are positive and conscious.

Try to visualize this strong, forward-surging motion, with all the impact of the forcing current, and you will fully understand the inevitable response. Visualize the soul forces, and then remember incidents in which you were involved on either end. On some occasions the exaggerated need surged out of you and was repulsed; at other times, such forces were directed at you, and in spite of your desire for love and communication, you could not help but repulse it. Such observations will broaden your understanding and will prove very beneficial for you.

In the past, before you really penetrated the hidden regions and motivations of your soul forces, all these inner actions and reactions were unconscious. At best, you were faintly aware that something like this was happening. But now, as you continually progress on your path of self search, you have become much more aware. If you combine this awareness with knowledge of the laws of communication and balance, you will gain even deeper insights. They will guard you from drawing the wrong conclusion that your “love” is rejected and that, as a result, you are worth nothing.  You will understand that your childish, exaggerated craving has nothing to do with healthy love, and that the former is actually the reason for the unhealthy impact and subsequent rejection.

Once you fully understand this, you will no longer need to protect yourself from hurt and disappointment when you do love, nor will you need to guard against loving. This pseudo-protection causes you to withdraw into isolation; you refuse to communicate. When you make no attempt to initiate contact, no energy will be generated to seek out the other. Hence, nothing will happen. This is just as damaging as the other extreme of childish craving and forcing.

These are the two major distortions of the laws that govern communication, with many subdivisions and personal variants, which have to be found as they manifest in each individual. Only when you grow, and therefore become aware that the wrong reactions are due to wrong impressions, can you gradually change this state. Keep in mind, as you examine your inner reactions, that you constantly fluctuate between the extremes of over-eagerness coming from an exaggerated need, and withdrawal. Strange as this may sound, sometimes you pursue both alternatives simultaneously; at least you try to, just to be on the “safe side.”  No wonder your soul is torn in half and that your strength evaporates. No wonder you are in disharmony, unhappy, and hopeless. You seldom, if ever, realize for a moment that all the outer events you blame for the situation are the natural result of your inner state which you have brought about.

My friends, I say again that theoretical knowledge will avail you nothing. Only your personal work — your personal search for these deviations, distortions, and errors — will show you the truth of these laws. The truth is that outer events seemingly unrelated to your inner state are actually the very effects that you set in motion. The knowledge of such laws will liberate you and give you the strength and perseverance to learn gradually how to communicate without exaggerated need. As you know from my previous talks with you, this need comes, in one variation or another, from your childhood disappointments. You still have not come to terms with them and still try to overcome them by further exaggerating the need because you are driven by your unconscious reactions and motivations.

Once you fully see and understand what is happening in you and subsequently become able to let go of the exaggerated need, you will find that need to be an illusion. Once it ceases to be a question of life or death to satisfy the child’s craving, you will not have to resort to the other extreme, which is to sabotage the very thing you want most, and which you should indeed have in a healthy way. You sabotage communication either by frightening the tentative feelers of the other soul back into withdrawal, or by insisting on your own isolation and refusing to risk your way out of it. You erect a wall around you, be it ever so subtle. If you let go of both extremes, out of your center of being, the soul forces will flow harmoniously and will have a favorable effect, even upon those who still have unsolved problems of this sort. This law always works. As you give out, so must it be returned unto you.

When people truly learn this, a change always occurs in their lives. They begin to communicate truly instead of merely subsisting on mutual dependency and need. In this state one fulfills the need of the other in order to get his or her own need fulfilled. This is now the interrelationship of most human beings. Whether it happens in your professional life or in your personal relationships, like marriage or friendship, makes no difference. Your world here on earth is, to a large degree, governed by dependency and need rather than by true communication. Realize this, my friends, and as you look within yourself try to see how you prohibit or sabotage the attainment of the very thing you desire so much.

Many of you fail even to realize that you do want communication. Rejections have made you so cautious that you consciously believe you are genuinely and healthily detached, but your exaggerated need merely festers underground, covered by layers of false detachment, which is nothing but fear and withdrawal into isolation, protection against being hurt. The hurt of course would not be necessary if you unrolled and understood the entire process.

Once you have found, acknowledged, and experienced the underlying need, you can try to determine how much urgency or craving is there. The stronger the craving and the unhealthy exaggeration, the more likely it is that you are unaware of it. You may believe that the stronger the need, the more aware of it you must be, but this is not necessarily so. In fact the case may often be just the opposite. Something in you senses the exaggeration and is ashamed of it. You know that something is wrong about it. You also unconsciously feel humiliated by the constant nagging desire that can never be fulfilled, because it has been wildly exaggerated, and therefore you put it out of sight. You also dislike yourself for your dependency, which makes you feel helpless before those to whom you feel you must submit to get your need fulfilled. As a result, you may have an opposite outer reaction of extreme and ungenuine “independence.”  Be on the lookout for this, my friends.

After you find the existence of the need, and its intensity, try to determine to what measures you have resorted in your attempts to deal with the need. I have discussed these previously, but I will show them to you now in a new light.

One such measure is the submissiveness — sometimes very subtle — with which you sell your soul in order to get love. When this tendency is on the surface, you may tell yourself that it is your ability to love, your readiness and willingness for it. You may believe that your submissiveness is true sacrifice and unselfishness. Only very close analysis and insight will show you that this craving has nothing to do with real love, and that, while you are using it, no real communication can be established.

Another such measure is aggression, to which you resort as a protection against the vulnerability of the underlying submissive aspect. I have also talked about how you artificially overdramatize your life, your emotions, and everything pertaining to your person.

You hope by all these measures either to gain what you want, or to protect yourself against the disappointment and frustration of not getting what you want. Since such false protection automatically precludes the fulfillment of your desire, you constantly vacillate between these various measures, never fully deciding for either, and simultaneously pursuing contradictory ones. It will now be clear to you that even one of these measures is bound to distort the law of communication and therefore sabotage your heart’s desire. But when you simultaneously pursue several mutually exclusive alternatives, you bring such disharmony into the universe of your own soul that disentangling these knots and reestablishing order will be much more difficult.

When you have found the false means you have tried to use, you will clear the way for true communication in all its beauty. You will understand what may have seemed contradictory in your belief that you are healthily interdependent with others. This healthy interdependence, however, can exist only if you are truly independent — not of the other person, but of your own distorted need and urgency. Only on the basis of personal independence can you have healthy interdependence. However, both can be distorted, and that, unfortunately, is very often the trouble. Whoever withdraws into a shell of isolation, or who aggressively antagonizes people, shows an unhealthy, uncaring, false independence that comes from and also leads to more unhealthy dependence and need. Such inner behavior, no matter how camouflaged, never expresses a free choice for healthy independence and interdependence.

Now, my friends, are there any questions in connection with this subject?

QUESTION:  Did I understand correctly that the exaggerated need is a neurotic streak?

ANSWER:  Of course. It is an illusion, because when you feel the need you believe your life is at stake. You may not consciously think so, but when you examine your feelings of disappointment or frustration, you will find their true intensity and significance. Then you discover the illusion and see that the intensity of your emotions bears no relation to the issue.

QUESTION:  I was referring to something else. You spoke of two people needing each other in a wrong way. One fulfills the need of the other in order to get his own need fulfilled. Why is this unhealthy or wrong?

ANSWER:  Such a relationship can exist for quite a while, and it can even work for a limited time. But it is not a relationship based on true interdependence, because the individual’s own real need has not yet been established as the core of right communication. Such an unhealthy relationship is based on bargaining and the interplay of submissive and domineering attitudes. Either attitude can be dominant in one partner, or they may alternate in both at various phases of the relationship. Free interaction on the part of both partners is the mark of a healthy relationship.

QUESTION:  There seems to be a very fine line separating healthy and unhealthy dependence, as well as healthy and unhealthy independence. How can we distinguish between the two?

ANSWER:  The line is always fine. You cannot find the inner truth about such a subtle and elusive matter if you merely discuss it. There is no rule or formula. You may develop the best theories and believe them with your mind, but your feelings may deviate completely. The only way you can discover the truth is through the work you do on this path, facing and examining your feelings and reactions, and understanding their significance by tracing them to their roots. Behind all negative, disturbing, and disharmonious feelings must be some original wish and its frustration. When you find this, you can determine how real or how illusory the wish is. Only after you are able to comprehend fully the immature and distorted emotions can you attain the healthy ones. You will be able to see where they may already exist to some extent, and therefore how they may be developed. You will then feel the difference between wanting something freely and needing it so much that the non-fulfillment really hurts.

COMMENT:  May I add something here?  I think we can understand it by seeing the degree of frustration and anxiety an unfulfillment creates in us.

ANSWER:  Yes, that is right. But you should also be careful of the pseudo-calm harmony, the superimposed lack of need that is simply a withdrawing from life, love, and communication due to fear. That, too, is something to be carefully examined.

QUESTION:  You spoke of the subject of unity. An occurrence in this week’s news brings up a question regarding the possible unity of the Christian churches. There have been attempts made by the Pope and his ecumenical call, and by various denominational groups to get together, in the hope of becoming united. In spite of these attempts, the battle still rages between fundamentalism and liberalism. Just this week, Bishop James A. Pike of the Protestant Episcopal Church referred to various “myths” in the Bible — such as Adam and Eve, Eden, Heaven and Hell. He was immediately accused of heresy by his own clergy. What do you think is the place of myth in religion?

ANSWER:  People do not understand what myth really means. For the majority, myth means invention, fantasy, imagination, fairy tale, or a lie. Of course, the real meaning of myth is very different. But this misunderstanding is not the only reason for the failure of various religions to come together. If this problem were solved, something else would stand in the way. Often, people are so bound by their allegiances and loyalties to religion, politics, or anything else to which they adhere, that they are afraid to let go. A personal fear or threat is involved here. They feel, “If I have to give up what I believe, then my whole world and personal safety crumbles.”  They cannot afford to face what they consider a threat to their security.

So the core of the problem does not lie in the misunderstanding of myth, symbol, or anything else for that matter. The core lies in the psychological problems, in the false safeguards people have built for themselves, and in their resistance to reexamine the true motivation for their tenacity in holding on to certain ideas, be they right or wrong. As long as this state prevails among the majority of people responsible for achieving unification, their inner obstacles will always produce outer ones. However, I would not call their goal union, but unification — the attainment of which is a step closer to union.

QUESTION:  Could you give us some idea of the true meaning of myth?

ANSWER:  I could discuss this for a long time. For the moment, I will only say that myth represents a truth which is conveyed in a form acceptable and understandable to human beings. A myth, similar to a symbol, concisely put together, is a vast truth in picture form, like the picture language in the spirit world, like the picture language you experience in dreams. The difference between a symbol and a myth is that you can have a symbol for anything, important or unimportant. In your dreams, you have your own personal symbols for your personal little idiosyncrasies. A myth, on the other hand, deals with a general, universal truth. It is presented in a concise, pictorial way to make it acceptable and understandable, to make you perceive it. The principle of myth and symbol is the same.

QUESTION:  Is it true that a specific psychic activity that is projected into the outside world is highly individual and relative?  In other words, what one sees and perceives as truth, is related to what one projects. And what one projects is relative to one’s specific psychic activity and experience?

ANSWER:  Yes, that is true, but it also goes beyond that. A myth, contrary to many symbols, is something that is actually true. But it is presented so that the individuals to whom it is revealed can grasp it. But it is, in itself, a representation of absolute truth.

QUESTION:  Could you comment on something I recently saw?  I witnessed a demonstration of clairvoyance in which the medium was not in a trance, but could see certain spirits. What happens in such a case?  Is this a case of mind-reading, perception of etheric bodies, or is it possible that the spirit in question was actually there so that the medium could see it?

ANSWER:  All these alternatives are possible. Humanity always thinks in terms of either/or. I have no way of determining now which of these alternatives apply to the particular case. But it really does not make as much difference as you are inclined to believe. You seem to think that if it is a question of “mind reading,” this eliminates the spirit-being’s living and existing. The spirit’s aliveness and its bond with you may cause your subconscious to be impressed by it, so that a clairvoyant perceives it through the detour of your own subconscious.

QUESTION:  But is it possible that the actual spirit was really there?

ANSWER:  Of course it is possible. Absolutely.

QUESTION:  You spoke about the mutual need that may hold a relationship together, and that this need is unhealthy. But it seems to me that it is only fair and right that if I love a person, the person should also love me. Otherwise it would be much more unhealthy.

ANSWER:  My dear friend, you are very much mistaken if you believe that I advocate one-sided love. In a healthy state, you will never have to worry about this, because if you free yourself of the exaggerated need, your innermost self — your real self, or your intuitive self — will cause you to direct your affection and love toward the person able to respond. Then the mutuality will come almost by itself. A lack of mutuality is only present in an unhealthy situation based on immature craving instead of free readiness to love and communicate. Since you are new in this group, it is understandable that you ask this question; however, if you were familiar with these teachings, you would fully understand that healthy mutuality is the essence and natural result that automatically comes when one frees the soul of its fetters. A one-sided love is its own proof of distortion and deviation. In order to avoid that, you do not have to worry, plan or direct your emotions, nor force your feelings to go in any specific direction. If you think you have to do that, it is a sign that there are levels of unconscious reactions that should become conscious in you so as to be handled properly. If you respond freely, mutuality must come about.

QUESTION:  Psychiatry today uses shock treatment. Could that damage the psyche and the subtle bodies?

ANSWER:  Yes, it does damage, and does not effect a real cure, but only a temporary semblance of a cure.

QUESTION:  What does it do?

ANSWER:  It gives a temporary, superficial, and very unreal pseudo-cure.

COMMENT:  It takes you by mechanical means out of a psychosis and brings you back to reality. But then you have to start working out what the cause was, in order to avoid a recurrence of the psychosis. But is it purely mechanical?

ANSWER:  You said it brings one back to reality. It does that only in a very limited way. At the same time, these shocks can, and often do, damage parts of the human psyche and subtle bodies.

QUESTION:  I saw in the last few days how people received such shock treatments and it seemed that they were actually dead for a few minutes or seconds. Is it possible that they actually do die for a few moments?

ANSWER:  No. What you call death occurs when the silver cord is severed. But there are many stages of unconsciousness which may outwardly resemble death, but they are not really death because the cord is not severed.

QUESTION:  Could shock treatment damage that cord?

ANSWER:  That could happen too. But even if it does not, it may damage other faculties and parts of the inner being that may be just as harmful.

QUESTION:  Is it possible for you to give us some sort of formula we might adopt for interpreting dream symbols?

ANSWER:  Yes, my friends, I have interpreted dream symbols in many years of training. But I cannot give you any preconceived formulas. This would oversimplify matters. To really understand and interpret dreams is a lengthy and often tedious process. It not only takes knowledge and experience, but it also demands a great deal of intuition, understanding, and talent. A dream is something extremely personal. There is so much oversimplification in your world. The real benefit of the message which the dream intends to convey is often lost when people diligently but automatically analyze dreams.

QUESTION:  Why are dreams given if it requires an expert to get to the meaning?

ANSWER:  If you really want to know the truth about your dreams, and if you take the time and effort, you can find out sometimes even by yourself. At other times, you will need help. But in case you really want to know about your innermost self, you will not shy away from the possibility of receiving such help and you will be guided to it. As I have often said, the real work of self-search cannot be done alone. This applies not only to dream interpretation. But most people do not want to know about themselves. They put out of sight everything that may give them a deeper understanding of themselves, whether gained from a dream, or from the observation of their conscious daily reactions.

May you all derive some benefit and strength, some further vision from my words. My friends, this is up to you. Make it so. Be blessed, each one of you. Be enveloped in the strength and love we bring you from our world. Be in peace, be in God!