Anyone developed enough to be capable of pursuing such a demanding path as this is also capable of immense fulfillment and joy—and of leadership! In this path we are creating new leaders in many fields, in many directions, in many ways.
In this lecture I would like to discuss a very specific chain reaction—both in its natural, unhampered, and therefore positive manifestation, and in its distortion. In its positive, natural version, the links of this chain are the following: life’s basic abundance and generosity; its overwhelming “givingness”; humanity’s similar and hence compatible attitude; self-possession; the ability to deal realistically and constructively with frustration; being true to the issue, the self, the moment.
The opening of the centers creates a full capacity for living and feeling. Their closed state is responsible for unhappiness, negativity and lack of feelings. How closed the centers are determines exactly the degree of living in unreality and therefore in a state of strife and numbness. Joyful, fruitful, meaningful living implies a commensurate degree of openness of the centers.
The life force therefore consists not only of the pull toward others, but also of pleasure supreme. Life and pleasure are one. Lack of pleasure is the distortion of the life force and comes from opposing the creative principle. Life, pleasure, contact and oneness with others are the goal of the cosmic plan.
Let us first define the difference. In sadness you accept without self-pity a painful fact of life as something beyond your power to change. When you are truly sad, without depression, you not only feel it as a healthy growing pain free of hopelessness, but you are sad due to an outer circumstance, knowing it is going to pass. There is no superimposition, no hiding, no shifting of emotions. In depression the outer circumstance may be the same, but your feelings of pain are, to quite an extent, due to other reasons than the outer occurrence.
Let us first understand the human struggle as such. The very state of being human is a problem because you find yourself in an in-between state. You have awakened from a lower state, a plant or animal form where you were in a state of being and in harmony, but without awareness. You have not yet reached a state of being in harmony with awareness. This in-between state is the human struggle, . . .