Let us recapitulate certain aspects of the life force. The life force is profoundly intelligent. Its intelligence is always available, always present and ready to be applied not only to great, important issues; this super-intelligence “deigns” to express itself . . .
First, let us briefly recapitulate. To begin with, the child suffers from imperfections in the parents’ love and affection. It also suffers from not being fully accepted in its own individuality. By this I mean the common practice of treating a child as a child, rather than as a particular individual. You suffer from this, although you may never be aware of it in these terms or in exact thoughts. This may leave as much of a scar as the lack of love or attention. It causes as much frustration as the lack of love, or even cruelty.
There are many indications of true selfhood. Take for instance the capacity to experience and to give joy. You cannot give joy if you are not a joyful person. How can you become joyful living in a very imperfect world?
A spiritual teaching, often misunderstood, says that one must rise above pleasure and pain. This is of course true in the ultimate sense. However, it cannot come about by flight from the unpleasantness of the duality. Instead, the transcendence of pleasure and pain happens only by accepting and fully facing the duality: life and death. Those who misunderstand the meaning of rising above pleasure and pain do so because they wish to avoid rather than go through those deep experiences.
Tonight we will discuss willpower. One often hears that with the proper application of willpower practically anything can be achieved. Yet you all have had the experience that you wish very much for something, but in vain. This is due not only to unconscious contrary will-currents that divide your will, but also to something that is vastly overlooked. It is the fact that two different kinds of will exist: the inner will and the outer will. This is very important for you to understand.
The desire for happiness is already in existence when the human entity is born. It exists in the small infant. The infant’s idea of happiness is fulfillment of all its desires instantly and in exactly the way it wants it. Regardless of how adult a person may be, a remnant of this infant remains with him for the rest of his life.
How far along is any individual in this respect? Is anyone willing to give something up for the sake of another? Ask yourself: “Do I want happiness for my own sake, or is this the second consideration?” Can you address God and say, “Of course I cannot fool you, just as I cannot fool myself. True, I want to be happy. But also when I obtain this happiness, I want to maintain it by becoming a connecting link. What I receive from you I wish to convey to others in some form, even if I have to make a sacrifice—perhaps to renounce my ego-gratification. Please show me how I can give out to others all that I have received from you.”