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.
What determines the proper function of the life force in the human being, and hence of the energy centers, can be understood only if we gain a view of the entire structure of the human personality. For this, some recapitulation is necessary. The life force is the creative force that enlivens the whole universe. It contains all life elements, all potentials, every possibility for life expression.
The moment you transcend dualism, two opposite and apparently mutually exclusive aspects become equally true. This applies to the ego in relation to the real self. It is true when one says the ego’s predominance, its exaggerated strength, is the greatest hindrance to productive living. And it is equally true when one says a weak ego is incapable of establishing healthy living.
[Therefore,] one of the hindrances to making the universal power available is the inability to seriously and openly question and make oneself available to a new truth — no matter how revolutionary it may be — to a new outlook that seems to contradict previous convictions and experience.
It is not easy to reach an awareness where you can see yourself think, feel, and act destructively; where you are furthermore aware that this causes you misery, and yet are unable and unwilling to give up this way of being. It is a great measure of success, if this word can be used, to be aware of being in this state. But to accomplish the second part of this phase of your evolution, namely the letting go of destructiveness, the nature of destructiveness must be better understood.
This cosmic movement, permeating everything that is, is a mixture of mobility and relaxation. The key of mobility, combined with relaxation, opens the world. It is the state of being, or the unitive principle of being. Only through misconception does duality, or conflict, come about.
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 . . .
All who fulfill themselves contribute something to life. They enrich life not merely by using their vocational abilities but also through their ability to relate to other human beings and have fruitful contacts with them. As self-development proceeds, barriers fall; fear of others, and fear of oneself in connection with others vanishes, and therefore true relatedness becomes possible.
A long time ago, I gave a lecture about the life force. Let us look into this again with the greater understanding you have gained. The life force is a free-flowing energy current, manifest in the entire universe. Wherever an organization fulfills certain essential conditions, it tunes into the life force. The life force permeates and revitalizes it. It lives. A living organism comes into existence.
And now, my friends, I wish to discuss a topic I have not gone into before, identification with oneself, as opposed to identification with others. Last time I talked about humanity’s relationship to time. I said, in essence, that very rarely do people live in the now. They push into the future. They pull back into the past. Often these two contradictory movements happen simultaneously. In both alternatives, you strain away from the now.
An inanimate object is petrified life force. A beautiful idea, a truth, is flowing life force. Life force is eternal and therefore all life is eternal. Death is but an illusion. An inanimate object you call dead is only so temporarily. All life, in whatever way it manifests, must exist eternally, for non-eternal life is no life and therefore a meaningless contradiction. The life force contains all divine attributes. It is, it has not come into existence, it does not do, it does not work or have. It simply is. Try to understand the significance and the distinction of these words. Life force is all around you and within you.
There are three basic types of human personality. The first type governs his or her life and reactions mainly with reason. The second type does so mainly with emotion, and the third does so with the will. In other words, the three personality types are dominated by reason, by emotion, and by will. In your self-search it will be useful for you to find out which type you are. A personality is never completely one-sided; every person is a mixture of types, but one is always predominant. In some cases, the predominance is obvious; in others, the mixture is more complicated, and therefore the predominant type is more difficult to detect.