Greetings, my dearest friends. God bless each of you. Blessed is this hour.
Understanding yourself means finding your real self. We have discussed from various angles what this real self is. You may have noticed that I often change terms. When one uses the same word over and over — be it “image,” “real self,” or whatever else — the meaning behind the word gets lost; it becomes dead. The moment it becomes a label, you repeat the word without really understanding what you are talking about. Meaning is alive, it is forever a fresh, spontaneous experience, and you have to guard yourself against losing it. Therefore it is sometimes advisable to use an expression that challenges you to try to reexperience the meaning behind the word. Whenever you cannot recapture the inner meaning and the living experience of an expression, be aware of it. Awareness counts so much.
Forgetting the living meaning of a word is a good example of what happens between the real self and the superficial layers of your personality. When you experience the living spirit of a term, it is your real self that does so. The unfeeling repetition of a word is done by your intellect. Memory is the will to recapture what was once experienced. When the recapturing is done simply by the will, the meaning becomes lifeless. The experience has become a repetitive pattern, and your real self no longer functions.
Let us try to get a clearer understanding of how the real self comes into being and what obstructs its functioning. The obstruction is caused by the various layers of personality that are in confusion and error and by your lack of awareness that this is so. As you very well know, there is only one way to reach the real self, and that is by knowing yourself. When you know that there is confusion in you, you are more aware of yourself, and are therefore nearer to your real self, even before you know the solution to the problem.
You, in your world, are so conditioned to an overemphasis on thought process, intellect, mind, and willpower, that you believe you can somehow become yourself by a direct act of will, and by directly using your thought process to grow and develop spiritually. For example, you have learned that to be good and to love indicates spiritual development. So you try to be good and loving by controlling your thoughts, and by directing your willpower to be so. From all our previous work together you know by now that this is not possible. It amounts to wanting to be something that you are not.
Your real self cannot be governed by will or by force. It is a direct manifestation, not of thought and will, but of a spontaneous, creative experience that comes into being unbidden, when least expected. This is very important to remember and to never keep out of sight. Unknowingly, unconsciously, undeliberately — and yet deliberately — you still hope and strive to have your real self manifest by acts of thought and of will, by indoctrinating yourself with concepts — in other words, by intellectual processes. This cannot succeed, my friends.
The question may arise, why then use intellect, thought, and will, in your arduous work on this path at all? The answer is that by using your mind and will in order to understand the confusion and error of your mind and your misdirected will and motivations, you indirectly bring about the birth of the real self.
Here is a brief overall explanation of the stages of spiritual development in this connection. The most primitive stage of development is a state of being without awareness. Animal life, plant life, mineral life are in a state of being without awareness, without self-consciousness. Primitive man was only little removed from this state. He had a brain, of course, but he was functioning mostly on instinct. Only slowly did the function of the brain, or the intellect, develop. From mineral life to primitive man, a slow ascendancy in awareness, intellect, and will can be noticed. The more this development proceeded, the less did the state of unconscious being exist, and the more it changed into a state of becoming.
The next stage is a state of becoming, in awareness. Here the human being is striving, using intellect and will, to survive in the material world. These faculties are needed to cope with the world of matter. Thought and outer will are of matter and are to be used to overcome matter; they cannot be used to get into a state of being, which is not of matter. They can be used, but only to remove the surplus action of thought and outer will through which error and confusion were created. They can be used to deal with their kind of psychic material. If thought and will overproduce and thereby create an obstruction to the state of being, then thought and will must be used to deal with their own production, and never with the state of being — the real you. This means first understanding yourself rather than hoping to bring out the real self by a direct act of will and thought.
The highest stage of development is the state of being, in awareness. This does not manifest suddenly, after you shed your physical body, but it can be experienced occasionally, and increasingly so, while you are still in the body. Such experiences depend on how you use the faculties which have bred confusion and suffering and avoid using them for what, by nature, they were not destined.
Humanity now finds itself in the middle stage. It is the state of becoming, in awareness. But within this category, there are many different stages and degrees. Let us make an arbitrary division for the sake of clarity. In the first half of this cycle, it is important to cultivate and develop intellect, memory, discrimination, and willpower. Without these qualities, as I said, matter could not be mastered. Human beings need to learn, they need their memory, and they need intelligence in order to cope with life. They also need their will to overcome their raw, animalistic, destructive instincts that had slumbered in the state of being in unawareness. Without will and intelligence they could not discriminate and refrain from acting in ways harmful to others and to themselves. In other words, their actions are governed by thought, intellect, and will.
But in the second half of this cycle, people have fully mastered this stage. They are supposed to approach the threshold of the state of being, in awareness. They often realize that they want something more than a life of material satisfactions. Religious philosophies tell them in various terms about a higher state. They not only wish for this higher state because they are unhappy, or because they have heard about it, but also because something deep within urges them toward a new way of life. Yet they erroneously try to use the same tools they needed for material life to enter into the spiritual life. And this does not work. When they attempt to reach the higher form of being by using the tools of intellect, thought process, or willpower, they construct what we call images of themselves as they should be, and images of life according to their limited past experiences.
Again and again we have discussed this entire condition: repression, self-deception, non-acceptance of who you really are, as opposed to who you want to be. All the products of thought process and of exerting the will prove only that these faculties cannot directly bring freedom and spiritual growth. When used wrongly, thought and willpower create confusion and suffering. When you consider what an image is, you will see that you have used a superimposed standard to cover up what you really feel, what you really are. In your striving to be something more or better, or to attain something more or better, you no longer accept who you are and what you feel. Both thought and willpower belong in the category of becoming, but are often used wrongly, in the sense of leading away from yourself, from what you are and have now. The harmonious state of being can come about only by accepting your state as it happens to be now, even though it is still disharmonious. Such acceptance allows you to go about trying to understand yourself and thereby grow out of this state. You can never struggle out of the state of becoming by covering up what you happen to be now. If you insist on trying, the result will illustrate how the tools of intellect and will can be destructive when not used for their proper purpose, as is the general way in your world.
Thought and will are temporary tools to give directive to your outer actions and intent. They can and should be used for your physical life, for outer actions, for deciding to know the truth about yourself. But they cannot be used for spirituality. Spirituality is, above all things, love, with all its derivatives. You know very well you cannot love by forcing yourself. You may believe you do, when in reality you do not, but that does not mean you love. Love can only come into being when you remove your errors, your confusions, your preconceived ideas, and your dependency on the opinions of others. These obstacles can be removed only by fully understanding them. Then love comes into being by itself, just as the real self comes into being by itself.
You cannot make up your mind to be a good person, to love, and have compassion or humility. But you can make up your mind to find out what causes you not to be all that and so to remove what prevents you from being a good and loving person and what stands between you and a full life, of being your real self.
Can you now perhaps understand a little better why thought process, intellect, mind, and will obstruct the birth of the real self, of love, of all the qualities that are called spiritual? All this happens by itself, as a result of knowing and understanding yourself. Thought and will can only produce thought and will, they cannot produce something that has nothing to do with them. Love, transcendent understanding, and all other qualities of the real self, have nothing to do with thought and will.
Anyone who has gone through a creative process will readily admit that genuine creation is not determined by an act of will or by a thought directed into the channel you think might bring forth such a creative experience. Creation comes unbidden and is unexpected. When you expect it least, it is there. It is the same with the creative manifestation of the real self, a genuine feeling of love and profound understanding, as opposed to the superficial, intellectual feeling that merely recites and repeats — either other people’s teachings or one’s own previous genuine experiences.
Superimpositions hide the real self. This is obvious. Superimpositions occur because mind and will take them on. Without the mind to decide and the will to go through with it, no superimpositions could occur. You superimpose because you strive for happiness, for recognition, even in the very process of spiritual development. The state of becoming is striving. If one is not in a state of becoming, there is no striving, therefore there is no danger of confusion and suffering.
Take the lowest stage of development, mineral life. It has the least awareness, will, and the very least of mind. There is no misery. In the state of being there is no misery. Misery, however, will exist as you grow into the state of being in awareness, unless you have learned to go through the state of becoming by first using mind, intellect, thought, and will in an organic way. When, however, you have used your mind and will in an inorganic, unnatural way, it becomes necessary to remove that surplus of mental and voluntary activity that has caused the misuse of these faculties. One cannot say that mind, intellect, and will cause suffering and misery, but using them when they should not be used does have that effect. Your mind is responsible for all the images, wrong conclusions, petrifications, generalizations, and all that is crippling in you. So you have to use the mind, the same instrument, to remove these conditions. This can be done only by understanding fully and deeply, not just superficially, how these false structures came into being.
There are many religious systems which realize the danger of the mind. They try to eliminate mind and will functioning, but this cannot work. Do not accept my word for it, my dear ones. I always ask you not to do that. But think about it and you will see for yourself that this is so. When you artificially cut out the mind by exercise and discipline, what happens? You repress what still exists in you, and when confronted with a crisis to which you cannot apply these exercises, what was repressed reappears on the surface. So it is only a question of how successfully you can keep out of sight what still exists. Therefore, any exercise of cutting out the mind by cutting out thoughts, emotions, or attitudes that are not to your liking is artificial and can never bring genuine liberation. A person aiming at liberation does not have to fear negative circumstances. There is no need to use discipline or any exercises, for what is not there does not have to be manipulated. This is simple logic. The only way to dissolve the undesirable is to understand it, to know it, and to own up to it.
Please do not think I propose to dissolve the mind altogether. Without it you would become an imbecile. As long as you live in this world, you need the mind. Dissolve its negative use in areas of your being where the mind is a hindrance and a direct cause of your misery and confusion, where it prevents the creative process of your real self. Many of my friends have experienced this manifestation, not only in creative art, but also when a profound thought or feeling of love, or a new way of approaching life, have sprung from a deep source within. These motions come from another area; when you observe them you will see that it is as though you had another brain, another seat of feeling and reacting, within yourself. At the beginning, it does not happen often, but its manifestation will increase in frequency and duration as you understand yourself more thoroughly. Do not try to reproduce them artificially and voluntarily. It will not work. The moment you try to do that, you again use the tools of mind and will in an area where they cannot be successful and functional.
Of these two areas of thought, meaning the superficial intellect and the real self, the intellect can be directed, manipulated, and governed by the will; the real self cannot. The real self is much more intelligent, much more certain, and much more reliable. It is always constructive. You never even have to make a choice. It just is there as the one and only truth, without any question or doubt. Questions and doubts are part of the superficial intellect. But the real self is the product, the result that is being born in you through your understanding and accepting yourself as you happen to be now. As you accept the reality of your actual state now, the real self can manifest.
An intrinsic quality of the real self is that it reacts in forever new ways to each experience and aspect of life. It is never governed by the past. Therefore, its way of experiencing life is as poignant as a child’s. But when your impressionable mind has made an image out of an experience, has petrified this onetime experience into a general rule and law, then your present and future ability to experience the new is limited by its tie to the past experience. The freshness goes out of it, and often even the truth, because the present has, in reality, no resemblance to the past, or would not have any if you did not mold it according to your image.
Perhaps you will now understand better what we have examined and worked on all this time. The only way to dissolve past experiences which are deeply imprinted on your conscious or unconscious mind, and to free yourself of the mind’s limiting and erroneous structures, is to become aware of them, look at them, and understand them in their full scope and depth. This can be done only if you are truly willing to face yourself in absolute candor, and dispense with any hankering after what you should be, as opposed to what you are. I repeat: this cannot be done if you moralize with yourself. Constant self-moralizing, which often happens in subtle, devious, hidden ways, keeps you from understanding that which causes misery in your life. The misery is always self-produced; it never comes from outside, no matter how much it may appear so on the surface.
Often, people are basically ready to enter the second half of the cycle, approaching the threshold of the state of being in awareness, yet they oppose the organic growth into it by artificially holding on to an overemphasis on the mind, intellect, and the outer will. They believe that they can attain growth and experience the real self by curbing the will, by manipulating thought, by disciplining emotions. When they achieve a temporary state of precarious peace, they easily believe that they are on the right road. But when their smoldering inner reality disrupts this false peace, they despair.
If only you would let go of trying to live up to ideals that you are inwardly not yet ready for, you would not misuse the tools of intellect and will, creating more obstructions. If only you could attribute lesser importance to the concepts than to what you really feel, you would not obscure the jewel of the real self. You all hold on to these tools because you feel unsafe without them. You do not trust yourself to be without rules, laws, concepts, and ideals from outside. Without the knowledge of what is right and good, you unconsciously think that you cannot let go of superimposed standards, ignoring the fact that if only you looked at yourself as you really are, you would have nothing to fear. In order to do so, you would have to see first that the superimpositions do exist; and, second, determine why they exist. You then would come to see that the need for security plays a role here. But holding on to security cannot bring the real self into being. If you follow this procedure step by step, you will not obstruct the growth that you are inherently ready for.
Do not try to cut out by force the overemphasis on the outer intellect and will. Use them rather to see and understand what is in you, and accept yourself without moralizing. Do not ignore these tools, but use them to indirectly bring about the constant renewal and regeneration process, the direct experience of creative spontaneity that only the real self can give.
What you find within yourself may very well be the same as the superimposed standards you adopt from the outside. Yet there is a world of difference between the two. Only what comes genuinely out of yourself is of value. You cannot find what is genuinely within you, behind all the destructive patterns and images, if you are not ready to dispense with the superimposed, intellectualized concepts, and thus look at yourself naked. No matter how true a concept may have once been for the person who has experienced it, the authenticity of the experience gets lost when thoughts and actions are repeated mechanically.
What I am saying here is old wisdom, and much of it I have said before. But very little of it has been truly understood. So I am trying now to say it again in different words. The phase most of my friends are approaching now requires the awareness of everything that I have said tonight.
And now to your questions.
QUESTION: In my work on myself I have found that because I need to justify myself for what I do, I condemn myself as well. I realize that this is a defense-mechanism that has to do with my wrong conclusions and images. I am in some sort of emotional confusion, which I have been intellectualizing. Will you please suggest an approach to this problem of self-justification and self-condemnation?
ANSWER: As you become aware of justifying yourself, ask yourself why you are doing so. Would anyone justify what they do not feel needs justification? If you feel that what you do needs justification, you must condemn, or judge, or moralize. There can really be no justifying without moralizing. Then ask yourself clearly, what is it exactly that you condemn and why you condemn it. It will be easy to see that you condemn not because of an innate knowledge, but mainly because your society and environment condemns; so you do too. Now, it may very well be that you wish to be without this tendency because you feel, for many reasons, that you would lead a fuller and more constructive life without resorting to condemnation. But before you can be aware of your own innate desire, you have to separate your true wish from your dependency on public opinion. Then, in order to resolve the problem that hinders your full unfoldment, you have to first accept and understand it. But you can do so only if you stop justifying and condemning yourself. I have said this so many times, but it is always forgotten. You cannot find the truth about the existence of your problem when you approach it with an attitude of right versus wrong, good versus bad.
The mere fact that you wish to be without your problem would not automatically bring justification and condemnation. That only happens when you wish to live up to superimposed standards and ideals; you do it because you cannot accept yourself as you happen to be now, and want to be different already. You run away from what you are which keeps you from outgrowing your problem. That happens if you accept it as a part of yourself. When you fully accept it, you no longer justify or condemn, because you have given up the ideal, and therefore the outer standards.
If someone wants something, and is not living up to outside standards and preconceived ideas, there will be no need for self-justification and condemnation if immediate success is not forthcoming. Let us suppose that someone wants to write, but cannot. The mere wish will not cause self-condemnation. If, however, society proclaimed that everyone who does not write commits a crime or is inferior, then, in addition to the simple wish to write, this person would begin to condemn himself — and therefore start justifying, warding off the brunt of the self-condemnation. Finding excuses and explanations would be a cover-up for the self-condemnation.
Now, separate these two aspects. Become aware of your dependency on public opinion. Find out why you want to resolve your problem. Then be aware that whenever you look at the problem, you are condemning and justifying. The more you become aware the less will you justify and condemn. And that is the beginning of understanding. As you become aware of and understand your self-moralizing and self-justification, they diminish by the act of observing them. The problem will be resolved by the act of understanding it and observing yourself. But the resolution of the problem cannot come before your dependency on public opinion is out of the way.
So much unhappiness is caused by the compulsive need to live up to what you think exists. If you did not know of these outer standards, you would not be unhappy. Unhappiness often comes from comparison, and therefore is not genuine. Take a primitive example: Let us suppose some people are poor; they are not starving, but they have less than their neighbors. If everyone else were to live like them, they would not be unhappy, yet because others have more, they suffer. Is that real unhappiness? If it is not, then it comes from the mind, from superimposed ideas, from outer knowledge — and therefore it leads away from the real self. It might be well worth your consideration to look at your unhappiness from that point of view. Even though some of your genuine needs might not be met, you would see that your unhappiness is aggravated by comparing yourself to others. Diminishing the urge and the compulsion to compare will leave the genuine wish free and enable you to be open to understanding the obstructions.
The state that might genuinely make you unhappy cannot be understood and dissolved as long as you are driven by superimposed standards. As long as shame and pride induce moralizing and justifying, you cannot grow out of the problem, because you cannot understand it. So, look at all this in a calm way, without haste and the urge to get over it immediately.
QUESTION: I was under the impression that the mind is the builder, but according to what you say, it seems to me that the emotions are the builders. Am I correct?
ANSWER: Both are builders. Both can be builders for something constructive or destructive. If they are used for something they are not organically designed for, then they will be destructive. If the mind wants to build a spiritual state, hiding the actual emotions, it is destructive. If the mind builds on what it finds out about its own distortions, it will be constructive. Emotions of which you are aware, even if negative, cannot build anything destructive. But unconscious negative emotions are bound to build destructive results. Positive emotions build constructive results. If the mind is used for building material things, it is constructive, because this is what the mind is for. You need the mind to form the intent to remove what it has built up negatively. There is no strict borderline between mind and emotion. They intermingle. Both thought and emotions can be of the mind. Another region of your being — the real self — produces a different kind of thought and a different kind of feeling.
QUESTION: I would like to ask two questions, in connection with yoga. Is what you said tonight the same as what yoga calls “becoming the mirror of reality?” Also that the mind should become the slayer of the mind in order to reach reality?
ANSWER: Yes, it is the same, only it is very often used wrongly. It is used as a force, superimposing and forcefully cutting out something. Even the word “slayer” suggests this deep and unfortunate misunderstanding. A wrong process is implied in it. If you try to slay the mind, it merely hides. It can only dissolve by a process of understanding. Confusion is not eliminated by a forceful act of tearing it out. This only makes you repress the awareness of confusion’s existence. But if you look at confusion without compulsion, without haste, without moralizing, without denial, then you can hope for the understanding that is necessary to grow out of it. “Slaying” suggests compulsion, haste, moralizing — so that cannot be the way.
Haven’t most of you on this path experienced this phenomenon already? Whenever you come across an aspect that you do not like and are impatient to get rid of, it always reappears in one form or another, sooner or later. But when you calmly look at it, you reach a deeper level of understanding and, slowly, this aspect truly begins to lose force and impact. Whenever it still reappears and you do not become impatient, but try to recognize more about yourself from the persistence of this aspect, you become calm and peaceful, but certainly not by “slaying” it, which is just another word for whisking it away. That can only produce repression, and repression is self-deception. You think you do not have it because you are not aware of it. But that is not getting rid of anything. Forcing leads only to self-deception and illusion.
By letting an undesirable aspect be, letting it float on the surface, you can observe it and learn to understand it. This is the only way, my friends. Cutting out or slaying would be a shortcut, and there is no shortcut to growth and genuine spiritual and emotional health. When you let it be there, in full awareness, then it ceases to be, after the profound understanding has come to you.
Those spiritual teachers who have made the statements you mentioned have perceived certain truths. But I doubt that anyone who has perceived and experienced the truth can advocate “slaying.” Those who do have adopted someone else’s experience and sell out their own insights. It is also possible, of course, that wrong terms are being used by translators and others who try to give to the world what one person experienced. Such concepts as “slaying” lead further away from the real state of being. They may, however, lead to an illusory, imaginary state of being.
The great spirits of all times have said, and will say, what I have been trying to tell you for a number of years, from different approaches and points of view. They may have used different words, but the essence always remains the same. Jesus spoke of not resisting evil. This is what he meant: If you resist evil, the confusion and the distortions, you only drive them underground. If you do not resist them, you can recognize them. You automatically have the humility to not try to be more than you are, and thereby you have the basic prerequisite to outgrow the evil and be reborn into your real self. Cutting out, forcing, disciplinary action, slaying, are all forms of resisting. When you judge, you resist. When you justify, you resist.
QUESTION: What then is the right self-discipline?
ANSWER: I believe that this lecture, as well as all previous ones, amply answer your question. One of the points I make again and again is that disciplinary action is force, and therefore leads away from self-knowledge. The intent to look at yourself as you are, and not as you want to be does lead to self-knowledge, yes. But discipline connotes compulsion, suppression, repression, and forceful action — all shortcuts, all illusions, all measures to strengthen the idealized self-image.
As I have said in this lecture, intellect, will, and discipline are necessary for your outer actions, for your physical life, for preventing destructive impulses to manifest. But when it comes to the growth of your inner being, discipline is very harmful. If you discipline your thoughts and emotions, you force them to be something other than they are. If you intend again and again to look at yourself in truth, this is not discipline. It is an intention which you follow through. If you use your will for the purpose of “I want to know myself,” that is good, constructive, and realistic. But when you use your will to be something you are not yet, how can that be real? If you look at yourself calmly without moralizing, without justifying, without complaining or resenting, then you do not discipline yourself. You simply look at what is there. Do you understand?
QUESTION: I don’t know how a person can live without self-discipline.
ANSWER: That is something completely different. I made this so clear in this lecture, as well as in previous ones, for that matter, that I believe if you calmly reread what I said and open your mind, you will see what I mean. Of course the immature soul has many destructive impulses which can only be checked by self-discipline. But I do not speak about that. I speak about the inner life; about growing out of these very destructive impulses. I talk about the birth of the real self, of love. Can love come into being by discipline, by an act of will? Can any creative process come into being by discipline? Can you be a good person by discipline? Certainly not. Do you understand a little what I mean?
QUESTION: There are many different ways of discipline, and this is not what I had in mind. I meant channeling.
ANSWER: What do you mean by channeling?
QUESTION: The channeling of emotions.
ANSWER: When you channel your emotions, you force them to run according to what you decide with your mind. Is that genuine? Can that lead to reality? When you are off guard and do not tell them how to run, do not channel them, they will run as they are — and you will be disappointed because you thought your channeling disciplinary action has made them into what you want them to be, has made you into what you want to be. But you are not. If you were truly changed, you would not have to channel anything. Your emotions would automatically flow in a constructive way. The moment you have to channel them, you distrust them — and rightly so, for they are still immature. How can they mature by being channeled? Do you channel any living organism, a growing body? If you did you would cripple it. And this is what happens to emotions if they are channeled. They may outwardly “behave,” but that does not mean they have grown out of the immature state.
I have discussed this at such length in the past that I really do not have to repeat it here. I only want to add this: Channeled emotions are negative emotions manipulated. Only by letting them free will you be able to transform them through understanding them. Innately, your feelings are constructive, but how can you come to them, as long as you do not understand their negative distortions? By channeling your emotions, and thus yourself, how can you be free? Selfhood is freedom. Discipline and channeling lead away from freedom.
QUESTION: If one is in the state of being, which is the real self, and is functioning on a positive level, and then one discovers a neurotic trend on a deep level, the real self seems to disappear. Why can one then not pursue any creative work?
ANSWER: Creativity comes from the real self. To be wholly your real self takes a great deal of understanding, of observation. Yet this understanding and observation are constantly interrupted by your ingrained habit of hiding, moralizing, and justifying. You may succeed once, but then you forget again, and the next time you come across a disturbed area you again repress, judge, and strain away from what is.
This is the difficulty one has to be aware of in order to take on the habit of looking, seeing, and trying to understand while staying completely free of all preconceived ideas. Perhaps also the past experience of the real self causes one to take it for granted, thinking it will be there again just as before, and strive to attain it again. Yet, striving is the very opposite of what brings out the real self. Past experience cannot be duplicated in a direct way. But your manner of going about it — namely, being free from repression and having the willingness to calmly and unjudgingly see what is, without being in a hurry about it — that can renew the experience.
Your real self is covered by false layers of superimposition. You may have begun to remove one area, and thus have reached a certain plateau, but other areas now come to the fore. Here the breakthrough has to be accomplished all over again by the same process. Having had that experience of the real self a few times will give you great strength. But do not expect to have it all the time yet. Such expectations will have a very negative effect.
QUESTION: But what if you are engaged in creative work and then, suddenly, you cannot do it any more?
ANSWER: That is because there are still certain obstructions in you which you have not fully understood. When you attained the experience of the real self you were not yet expecting it. Because it came unbidden, inadvertently, as it were, you had the right attitude. Without it this experience is lost again. Instead, there is an expectation and therefore a striving away from what is.
QUESTION: You were talking about superimposed standards. How should we educate our children? At this stage, every standard we give to our children is superimposed.
ANSWER: Well, my dearest ones, this is a chapter that goes too far for an answer now. All I can say is that human education, at this point, is so wrong. It could be so much more constructive if the child could be educated according to teachings such as this. If self-knowledge and self-understanding, and the honest facing of what is, were cultivated in the child, there would be no conflict between two unsatisfactory alternatives: either letting all destructive impulses loose, or incarcerating the living spirit of truth for the sake of right behavior. The child could be encouraged from the beginning to develop inwardly by facing the truth. Outer, superimposed standards would only be a structure for those who are incapable as yet of directing their behavior into constructive actions.
Because education is so far behind what it really could already be at this time, moral laws become a whip and a prison, so that the living spirit of love cannot grow. I think it will take some time before humanity will change the educational system, although some tentative beginnings have already been made. Perhaps first only in individual homes, by individual teachers, but gradually change will become general. Until such time, many more people will have to find themselves in truth and reality, instead of pretending to be something different. That is the only way confusion, pain, and suffering can be removed. That is the only way God can come into being. Light, love, joy — all these are the outcome of truth; not truth far beyond your state, but truth as it happens to be now within yourself.
Blessings for all of you. May these words sink in, and even if the effect is but small, they will prove tremendously helpful. Think and feel these words. Pursue these thoughts on your own so that you can accept them as truth. Separate yourself from ideas you cling to merely because you have done so for a long time, and because you still struggle against recognizing yourself as you are now. All this brings nothing but strife. Be blessed, my friends, all of you. Be in peace. Be in God!