Transition to Positive Intentionality

Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 198 | February 11, 1972

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Greetings, and God bless everyone of you here. Focus on the dimension which now wants to communicate its fullness and richness to you. You can be enriched by it if you so choose. It is a question of focus and intent. Ask inner guidance to help you in this endeavor so that tonight’s lecture will again be helpful as a further step in your search.

I would like to discuss again—this time on a deeper level and with a new approach—your attempt to change negative intentionality into positive expressions. Many of you who are doing this pathwork have found out quite a bit about your negative intentionality. You are finally aware of a lot of what you previously ignored, denied, or repressed. Needless to say how important and vitally essential this is on any path of self-knowledge, self-confrontation, and purification. The majority of humankind is totally unaware of what is behind apparent or even actual good intent, as well as behind apparent helplessness. The attitude of “I cannot help but feel this way” is the expression of a negative intent. Those who are conscious of and admit their deliberate choice of a negative attitude are indeed significantly ahead of those who are in this alienated ignorant state about the self. But it is not enough, my friends, to be aware; more must come.

I have also discussed in a recent lecture that a fundamental reason for the difficulty in changing negative to positive intentionality is that secretly the self identifies almost totally with the destructive part. Hence, giving up this part of the personality appears hazardous, dangerous, and annihilating. The question then is how to proceed in order to shift that subtle, inner sense of identity. When negative expressions are not admitted to the self they congeal into a festering sore of guilt and self-doubt which, translated into concise words, would mean:  “If only the truth were known about me, it would be that I am all bad. But since this is the real me, and since I do not want to cease existing, I cannot want to give up me. All I can do is pretend that I am different.”

This is a devastating soul climate in which confusion grows and the genuine sense of self gets more and more lost. Theoretical correct knowledge in the intellect does little to alleviate this painful and disturbing condition. In this lecture we shall deal in more detail with the process I recommend in order to create a change.

The first step is to realize that your negative intentionality is really not unconscious in the strict sense of the word. It is not at all deeply repressed material. It is really a conscious attitude and expression, only you have chosen to ignore it, until you have finally “forgotten” that it is there. Sustained, deliberate looking away from something eventually results in really not seeing what has been there all along. The moment the eye begins to focus again, the material immediately becomes discernible. Such material is not truly unconscious. This difference is quite important.

By now, most of you accept, face, and admit some of this negative intentionality, but not all of it; you still choose to ignore some. In order to make the remaining aspects completely conscious, and also in order to bring about the change from negative to positive intentionality, it is necessary that you peruse those “little, unimportant” everyday thought patterns which have become so much part of you that it hardly occurs to you to pay attention to them. Yet all the thought processes have tremendous power and must be checked out. So many thoughts and automatic reactions are taken for granted and glossed over as their significant power is ignored. Thus you can ignore a reaction of ill will, envy, or blaming resentment in yourself in spite of being aware of your negative intent in other respects. But it is those little habitual reactions and thoughts that must be explored.

For example, you may admit an irrational anger or hate. You may outwardly assert that these reactions are irrational, but a part of you still feels entitled to have these feelings because that part feels unjustly treated. You still react to the past and bring your reaction into the present. The past pain and anguish may really be repressed in the true sense of the word. In order to make the real direct experience accessible, it is necessary to deal with the defense in a most thorough way. The defense is always a negative intentionality in one form or another that is not truly unconscious. Your past pain, the experience of which you deny to yourself, becomes a present distorted reaction. And these reactions must be seen for what they are.

Let us assume you find yourself angry and resentful in a present situation. As I said, generally you may know and admit that this is your negative feeling, but emotionally you still feel right about the issue. There may be a painful confusion here:  one part of you senses that your demands and responses are unjustified; another part feels so deprived and demanding that it reacts as though the world ought to revolve around you, and prevents you from seeing the entire picture objectively.

What is necessary at this stage is to draw out the thought that festers in you, and examine it with that part of you which is mature. You have to follow this confused thought all the way and use all your resources and attention to go further in your self-understanding. Then your negative feelings with the distorted thoughts behind them will be met by truthful, mature and realistic thoughts. The latter must not push the former into hiding again. This ought to be strictly avoided—and you on this path know enough by now not to be tempted into this pitfall. The process must be a conscious dialogue, as I have explained in the lecture about the general process of meditation and purification.[1] It is an integrative process that will eventually unite the split and establish an identification with your mature, constructive, genuine self.

It is necessary to admit the existence of the mistaken, destructive, mean and unrealistic attitudes, but it is not enough. The next step is that you must know exactly why these attitudes are negative, and in what way do they distort truth. You then can intelligently consider the realistic situation instead of your childish, distorted view of it. If you can first express the totally irrational desire and intent behind the totally destructive attitude, and then express in what way this intent opposes reality, fairness, and truth, then whatever the negativity, you will have made another major step toward changing it into positive intentionality. You will have removed an unnecessary defense or brittle wall, which keeps you from experiencing life.

Your adult thinking has to express itself alongside the childish destructive thinking about the issue in which you are so emotionally involved. This you can do, if you really want to. Your thinking processes usually function quite well if and when you so desire. The thinking processes are usually the most highly developed and can be put into the service of the purification process. Only then can feelings begin to change so that the real and already existing feelings can be allowed to manifest.

It is absolutely necessary for you to know the ramifications and the significance of your faulty attitudes; for instance, why your anger, your hostility, your jealousy, your envy, and your unfair, one-sided demands are truly unjust. Only then will you also understand that healthy anger can be justified. When this is understood, you can experience it cleanly, without guilt, self-doubt, weakness, and lingering ill-effects. Jealousy and envy, however, are never justified, and are never healthy reactions. Though feeling anger and hurt can be justified, as long as you do not clearly know whether your anger is justified or not, you will always be confused. You will always fluctuate between guilt and resentment, between negation and rejection of self, of others and of life, and between fear and blame. You will, on the one hand, attempt to assuage your self-doubts by strenuously building cases; on the other hand, you will be paralyzed by fear and weakness and unable to assert yourself. You will be equally weak and confused in situations where you express your irrational, childish demands, and then your destructive intent once those demands are not met, or in situations where you should protect your rights for the sake of the truth. Often both these expressions exist in one and the same situation, which makes it all the more confusing. Your mind alone cannot solve such conflicts. The destructive elements must be admitted first; but then the mind must confront and counter them, understand and correct them.

If the adult intelligence is used merely to rationalize the painful confusion, to build defensive cases, to justify one’s own situation, or to protect oneself from admitting the destructive intent, then nothing is ever gained. But if the adult mind is used to shed light on the irrational demands making it clear that they are unrealistic and unfair and showing that the resulting emotional reactions prove destructive for all concerned, then a lot will be gained and the truth of the situation will emerge.

This is the work that awaits you for your next phase on the path. You have made good progress in admitting partial negative intentionality. But every so often, such admission becomes in itself a subtle escape. By merely admitting a destructive feeling over and over again, without going further and examining it to find out why and how it is wrong, you merely open yet another little back door. You seem to do the right thing, but you refuse to really go further, to go all the way.

The temptations of evil are so very subtle. Every truth can be put into the service of a distortion. This is why so much vigilance is needed. This is also why doing the right thing is in itself never a guarantee of being truthful and in harmony with universal law. This is why the rules and the theory of truth and law have always been distorted by the forces of evil. There is no one formula that can protect you from evil:  only sincerity of heart can do so. This sincerity of the heart and this good will must be cultivated again and again. It comes from the spiritual cleansing of doing daily review and meditation and from commitment to God’s world of truth, love, honesty, and integrity. When the willingness exists to honor decency, truth, love and fairness more than the apparent advantages of the fearful, holding, vain little ego, your liberation will truly proceed in no uncertain way. When this is being done on the inner levels you are now contacting through this work, not just superficially on the level of the outer being, purification becomes very deep.

So often you are free and honest in admitting destructive and hateful feelings, but you still do not know why they are so destructive. Any feeling is destructive that is not an expression of the whole truth of the respective situation. This is why all the issues and effects on hand have to be evaluated and understood. You must be clearly aware of where you are off center in your feelings, reactions and your inner, often secret, reasoning. The admission of negative feelings can be an escape if the admission is made glibly, perhaps just because this is now expected of you, without your truly knowing what they are all about.

Let us now return to jealousy, envy, and competitiveness. Why are they absolutely never true and justified feelings or emotional reactions?  To some extent almost all human beings suffer from totally unrealistic feeling experiences. Children suffer from them with one of their parents or with their siblings and peers. Adults suffer from them with much of their environment; whenever someone else has or experiences something that they do not, jealousy, envy and competitiveness come in. Why are these feelings unrealistic?  They are unrealistic because the underlying thinking derives from the assumption that the universe has only a limited supply of desirable things and experiences and that therefore what someone else receives is being taken away from you.

This is not at all obvious and clear in your mind, not even in your adult mind, let alone in those vague, confused emotions that you experience without knowing their meaning. As I mentioned before, it is already significant progress if you can admit such feelings, which you never would have done before. But this is not the final step. Now you must clearly learn why and in what way these feelings are illusory and destructive. You may know some of the words of truth, but you do not truly contemplate these words and bring them directly to bear on those negative feelings.

The moment you believe in the premise that you have reason to feel deprived because someone else has something that you do not have—this is the case with jealousy and/or envy—you also negate the fact that it is you who cut yourself off from what you could have. It is not others who do this to you. You may even know in a different compartment of your mind how you act, think, and feel so that you wind up feeling deprived. You may have reached this awareness on your path. You may admit that you are not willing to take the risk or to pay the price necessary in order to have what a part of you longs for and another part of you negates. But you still do not bring this knowledge to bear on your envy, on your anxiety that others may have more, or on your resentment that they do.

It would therefore be wise if you first examined your areas of jealousy, envy, and competitiveness very closely; second, if you admitted that whatever it is you envy, you also push away; and, third, if you examined how you negate it, how you reject aspects of the very thing you envy which are necessary for acquiring it. This would lead you to the realization that others whom you envy must obviously have fulfilled the natural law inherent in all creative experience. The more you do so, the deeper will be your under standing that the universe yields unlimited good to all entities who are open to receive it. Therefore nothing needs be begrudged.

When you envy, see how you deliberately destroy your chance of realizing your happiness by a particular attitude which leads to specific behavior. See how you close yourself off and stay with the negative attitudes which deny fulfillment. You do not make the bridge between these attitudes and your emptiness or unfulfillment. Therefore you become more embittered and feel more entitled to be resentful and negative.

The realization of your own responsibility for the unfulfillment of your needs should not, and must not, drive your destructive intentions into hiding again. One of the most important attitudes to acquire for proper self-respect and self-acceptance is the ability to admit being wrong without feeling unworthy and unlovable. This is the great struggle. People believe that in order to be lovable and honorable they must never be wrong. This belief brings so much havoc and confusion. It is in fact possible to admit destructiveness without feeling hopelessly worthless.

When you are jealous and envious you lack the faith in universal reality. This reality is unlimited abundance if you but open your heart, your mind, your consciousness, and your receptive faculties. However, when you are hooked on negative intentionality, it is impossible to be receptive. Receptivity is part and parcel of positive intentionality. Negativity and receptivity are therefore mutually exclusive. The negative person is thus constantly deprived. To one who is negative it appears that the outside world does the depriving, but in reality that person cuts himself or herself off from the reality of the world’s ever-available abundance.

Competitiveness—a variation of envy and jealousy—also departs from the wrong premise that self-value is determined by measuring and comparing the self with others. This, too, is a total distortion of reality. No human being can be measured and compared with another. No matter how accomplished and adequate, or creative and fulfilled other people are, they are not better or more, not more favored or privileged. They have simply utilized their creative faculties more than you who envy them. They have possibly found their niche in life, their fulfillment, and their center, while you still negate and struggle against being in your center, against realizing your potential.

So you put yourself in the most preposterous position of negating the riches of the universe, and then doubting the universe and its natural laws which want nothing more than to bestow upon you the greatest fulfillment, expansion, and joyful self-expression. You willfully doubt and negate abundance under the guise of intellectual considerations, and yet inwardly begrudge what others have.

I cannot emphasize enough that your understanding of the destructive and contradictory attitudes contained in envy, jealousy, resentments, competitiveness, blame, and so on, should not drive these feelings underground again. They must remain on the surface and be seen for what they are until you genuinely change these energy currents. Do not forget for one moment that every such feeling consumes energy. This wasted energy cannot work for you, but must work against you in a way that will hurt and deprive you, for you are driving a separating wedge between yourself and the richness of creation.

This lecture is meant to motivate you to very calmly observe, probe, measure, examine, and evaluate your destructive intentions and understand why and how they are such. Do the same with the truthful and realistic attitudes in comparison. Ask for guidance and inspiration for this process. Ask for help in experiencing increasingly the abundance of the universe. Then you will not have to struggle with the little mind and push and grab and grasp on the one hand, and deny and negate on the other. Denial and negation express distrust. The energetic movement of denial and negation are a closing-up which makes it totally impossible for the universe to come to you and give you its riches. Only when you are open and receptive can the universe give you its riches. The universe is so rich, so fertile, so malleable with the creative mind power that it will give you anything that you allow yourself to receive, provided this giving does not violate the law of love.

When you first open up to a receptive state, you must also be prepared to let out what is in you. To be open and receptive means to be undefended, inwardly relaxed, unafraid of whatever may come, whether from inside of you or from outside. If you fear and ward off pain, for example, or if you do not know that you can experience pain without falling apart, you cannot possibly be in an open, undefended, relaxed state of soul and mind. If you defend against an undesirable feeling or experience, you automatically acquire evil, that is, negative attitudes.

Hence, the first step toward establishing a receptive attitude is to let out the evil that is in you, to no longer deny it, to lose your fear of the destructive self. Then you can experience pain. And as you lose your fear of self, of pain and of evil, you will be in the appropriate state of receptivity. If your consciousness then actively prepares for the riches of the universe and conceives of whatever it contains, you will see that you participate in the abundance of the universe to the exact degree you desire.

Know that the abundance of creative power at your disposal must transcend every limitation you seem to encounter. Whatever hurdle you come across, if you can believe that the creative divine force can eliminate it, it will be done. This is not a magical power that works for you without making you deeply responsible for the process of creation. On the contrary, it is a lawful process that involves you totally and makes you totally self-responsible. For example, if you doubt that you can overcome an ingrained negative attitude, this doubt must create an apparently unsurmountable obstacle to your purification. But if you assume responsibility for this evil while also knowing that you are an expression of the divine power which can create anything you wish, your purification will be accomplished. The more you know that, the faster it will be done.

Open yourself up to let out what is in you, and let in what the universe is ready to give you. This means that what comes out of you must also be pursued further, as I explained in this lecture. Bring the level of feelings and the level of mind together. Probe the meaning of your feeling experience, and the validity and reality behind the feeling. Find out if the assumption that underlies a feeling reaction is valid. It is not enough, I repeat, to vaguely know that a feeling is destructive and unrealistic. Such vague knowledge helps you to maintain an underlying belief which must be unearthed, reconsidered, understood exactly and finally changed. Any destructive attitude is an expression of an underlying value judgment, and these value judgments must be very clear as to their accuracy or fallacy. You must be very clear about interpretations you choose to make when you have certain reactions, and you must know where they are true and where false. Grope for that reality when those little, inadvertent, emotional reactions go on in you which you usually leave unattended:  do not pass them by. Use time and concentration in a relaxed manner to pursue this aspect of the pathwork.

Doubt can only be eliminated when you make room for and try out a trusting attitude. If you merely admit your distrust, without going further to find out what it means, why it is wrong, and how it could possibly be otherwise, you must remain in the status quo. So it is with many of you at this point on the path. You can say, “Yes I have hate, envy, blame, bitterness, irrational demands,” or whatever they may be.  “Yes, I am spiteful; I want to destroy; I am jealous; I want to take everything and give nothing.”  But if you do not examine the deeper meaning of these attitudes, if you do not fully realize how unrealistic your underlying assumptions, beliefs, and interpretations are, you cannot give up the defensive negativity and come to really experience life. You have to examine the thinking and the conclusions inherent within spite, distrust, jealousy, hostility, and so on, because these conclusions are only in your mind.

Human beings have all kinds of little thoughts every day and every hour of their lives. They do not pay attention to them, but these thoughts mean a lot. Thoughts have such power. All thought creates. Your thoughts, just as much as your feelings, create your actions and your experiences. They create your state of body, mind, soul and spirit.

The negative intentionality we have recently discussed and brought out into the open is therefore a stark reality. It is a creative process—negatively creative, but just as creative as when you build positive experience. You still do not wish to see this even though you admit negative intentionality. You admit that you deliberately wish to maintain and perpetuate a negative expression in some area of your life, though not in all areas of course. But when you negate the effect of this negativity on others, you must be blind when their negativity affects you. This is a very painful and confusing state. Such an interaction can be resolved only when you know your own part clearly, when you can see your negativity as a distortion of reality and can see the effect it has on others.

To the extent you negate and ignore the effect you have on others, you will vaguely feel something disquieting:  you will be confused about the negativity of others reaching you. You will not know what it all means. You will sense something and fluctuate between resentment and guilt, as I mentioned before. Lack of clarity about yourself must make you full of self-doubt which, in turn, makes you weak and frightened, as well as wrongly assertive and equally inappropriately unassertive.

In this state you will be unable to distinguish between the  actual negativity on the part of others toward you, and the attitude of others that is not negative at all but merely inconvenient to you. You will feel just as resentful and as unfairly treated and injured as when people are truly mean and spiteful to you because of their own negative intentionality. However, when you know yourself, you will also know the difference between these two possibilities in others, and you will respond appropriately to these two entirely different experiences. As it is now, you are unable to distinguish between these two phenomena. Hence you often try to assert your rights when you really do not allow others to have theirs and you simply wish to be a greedy, demanding, and unreasonable child. On the other hand, you are equally often blind to the negativity in others and falsely placate them, only vaguely sensing that there is something wrong. You may resent them and rebel, but this is not a clean and clear reaction that comes from deep self-knowledge and from understanding your inner unreality.

This confusion in your interaction with others is extremely important for you to understand and use as a yardstick. When you are clear within yourself, you will not be upset about the other person’s negativity and destructiveness toward you; you will know it for what it is. You may become angry, but you will not be confused, weak, guilty, or afraid, nor will you be diminished and annihilated. By the same token, when the other person expresses his or her life, feelings, or rights which may not coincide with your desires, you will be able to accept this. First you will truly know how unjustified your rage is but then, if you truly understand it, your rage must vanish and you will allow others to be, even if that interferes with your desires.

The little infant will then no longer make its claims of “all for me and my will, never mind others.”  These claims must be expressed, but they must be known to be deeply unrealistic and destructive. It also needs to be understood how and why they are so. Only when this awareness is full and clean will you be free and will you liberate yourself from the terribly painful confusion about others dealing with you that I mentioned earlier. You will no longer feel uncertain about what your appropriate reactions to others should be.

This is the way to reach the position of being willing and able to give up your negative intent and negative expression into life:  this is the way to make the transition into positive intentionality. The positive expression is, for example, to give up the jealousy because you can genuinely wish to obtain what you covet and be prepared to pay the price. You wish to examine in what way you grab without accepting the necessary conditions which you refute. When you cultivate the thought:  “There is enough for me. I can allow others to have. Let them have it. Do I really want it?  Do I pay the price for what I envy?  Do I really make my commitment to whatever it is I resent and envy other people for?  If I do not make these commitments, do I have the right to want to take it from them or to begrudge them?”  You can then pray for your ability to love, right in the here and now in this respect:  to let others have their joy.

As you treat yourself, so must you inevitably treat others: this is known to you. But the reverse is equally true:  as you treat others, so will you treat yourself. If in generosity and fairness you let others have, you will suddenly find that you can let yourself have. The great anxiety you still experience when you expand and open up to the universe will gradually, and sometimes even suddenly, disappear. You will be able to sustain your experience of the joyous universe as it constantly vibrates within you and around you. It constantly instructs you. You will recognize the voice of truth and love. You will feel and experience the manifestation of rich joy—but not as long as your heart and mind are small and tight, not as long as you do not want to let others have it, not as long as you contain your positive forces in a fearful, untrusting and spiteful attitude. But when you can risk and trust—trust in God—and express this trust overtly in God’s world, then you will know the joy of reality.

The time has come, my friends, when more and more of you can take these steps of transition, not by negating the evil and the underlying pain, but taking the realistic steps by which the evil becomes transformed. You will allow yourself full experience of all feelings and give the power to your own consciousness to govern the life you want to have. Are you afraid of this or that experience?  You can immediately create a new condition by stating into yourself:  “Is it really necessary to be afraid?  Is it possible to experience this or that joy, creative self-expression, pleasure?  Or, is it possible to first experience pain and anguish, fear and despair, in a safe and wholesome way?  I now claim this ability so I can go through the latter and come to the former.”

This is positive creation at work. This can be done. Request your inner guidance every step of the way to give you alertness and awareness, so as not to push underground what must be dealt with. As you do this, you will not only know in every fiber of your being, but you will feel and experience that what you fear is illusion and that the universe is a rich and joyous place. (At this point the force—a special energy given through Eva’s hands—was given to a few people.)[2]

All of you who have received the special force today, take it in and let it merge with your own power, for it is but one power. The power that comes from here will merely help you to open your own channels, so that your creative power can pour out of you.

I will now leave you with this energy. Meditate with it; work with it; open up, as you have done in the recent months increasingly. Let this energy envelop you and move you to where you have to go. Let the inspiration come, so that all of you who are here tonight will come to express it in your own way. Be a channel so that this energy can help you to the next step of your path—wherever you may be, or whatever this may mean in each case. I say to all of you:  In your meditation after this lecture try to express your trust in the universe; try to think that you can indeed have abundance, joy, and the fulfillment of your life, of your incarnation—and that fulfillment brings deep peace. Be blessed, all of you, my dear ones.

[1] See Lecture #182