We have occasionally discussed this inner landscape. I have made mention of the inner space that is the real world. The term “inner space” is used quite frequently in your world these days, as opposed to outer space. Most human beings think of inner space as merely a symbolic description of a person’s state of mind. This is not so.
Letting go obviously means letting go of the limited ego with its selfwill, its narrow understanding and its preconceptions. It means letting go of fears, distrust, misconceptions, and suspicion. But it also means letting go of the insistent attitude that says, in effect, “I can be happy only if so and so does thus and thus, or if life responds exactly as I determine.”
Meditation is conscious and deliberate creating. It is one of the most dynamic and creative acts imaginable. You constantly create, whether you know it or not. You create by what you are, by what the sum total of your feelings, your conscious and unconscious opinions and convictions are, by your conceptions, which determine your actions and reactions, by your goals and attitudes.
To really understand the dynamics, the meaning, and the process of meditation and derive the maximum benefit from it, you must be clear about certain psychic laws I have discussed elsewhere. One is that three fundamental layers of personality must be involved if meditation is to be truly effective.
There are various states and processes in material life which afford humans the possibility of replenishing themselves from the universal source. One of the most automatic, generally accessible of these states is sleep. Human beings who are deeply troubled are so because they are too enmeshed in their ego. Insomnia occurs precisely because the ego is too predominant and the involuntary forces of life cannot take over.
The fear of the self is the basic fear behind the fear of life and even the fear of death. Neither could the fear of others possibly exist without the fear of oneself. A number of my friends are now approaching the point where the “big lie” of the mask and the pretense must be given up. A battle rages in the face of this decision. It is exceedingly important now to discuss where your fear of self comes from and what it does to you if it is coddled instead of overcome.
Numbness and insensitivity toward one’s own pain in turn means equal numbness and insensitivity toward others. When examining one’s reactions closely, one might often observe that the first spontaneous reaction to others is a feeling for and with them, a compassion or empathy, a participation of the soul. But
Such a universal mass image is the following: “If I receive attention or approval or admiration, all my worth is established not only in the eyes of the world but in my own eyes. If I cannot get it, then I am inferior.” Needless to say that this is a wrong conclusion and not a conscious thought, but an unconscious emotional attitude. None of you will fail to verify this emotion within yourself.
Tonight I shall discuss one of the vicious circles that is very common among human beings. To some degree it operates in every human soul. Most of the time it lives in the subconscious, although some parts of this circle may be conscious. It is important in this work that you follow the circle until you uncover it in its entirety, for otherwise you cannot dissolve it. My words are not addressed so much to your conscious mind, to your intellect, but to the level of your emotions where this vicious circle exists.
Oh yes, the outer conflicts are always noticed, but you all know the outer conflict is only a reflection of the inner one. Yet people so often have the wrong attitude; in a very subtle way they think if they are trying to advance in a certain way, the outer conflict will eventually cease and they somehow expect conditions to change according to their own ideas, the preconceived ideas they have formed because of this wrong basic attitude. So you overlook the simple fact that first your ideas have to change before the vexing conditions have a chance to change too. Thus you find yourself at a certain crucial point on this path in a vicious circle: you wait for a change in your conditions, while the conditions wait for you to change your ideas.
There is a right and proper kind of self-love. Cowardice is nothing but self-pampering, self-pitying self-concern. Courage ascribes as much importance to a cause, to an issue, or to another person as to the self. Therefore courage and love, in the last analysis, are inseparable. Think about that, my dear ones. You will not only better understand Christ’s life and death, but you will also be able to better understand and evaluate yourself, which means that you will be more successful in the process of purification. In the light of the work you have done so far, it should not be difficult for you to see where you are courageous and where you lack courage. And where you do lack courage, you will always find that you must lack love as well.
Everybody knows that it is important to be a decent person, not to commit so-called sins, to give love, to have faith, and to be kind to others. However, this is not enough. In the first place, knowing all this and actually being able to act on it are two different stories. You may be able by voluntary action to refrain from committing a crime such as stealing or killing, but you cannot possibly force yourself to feel that you do not want to harm anybody, ever. You may act kindly toward another, but you cannot force yourself to feel kindly. Neither can you force yourself to have love in your heart or to have real faith in God. Whatever pertains to emotions is not dependent upon your direct actions or even on your thoughts. Changing your feelings requires the slow process of self-development and self-recognition.
Doubt is the opposite of faith; and faith, my friends, is in reality nothing other than the certainty of all that you may doubt now: it is the inner experience. Inner experience cannot come into existence through outer events. So we are dealing here with two entirely different levels of consciousness. To accomplish something within you, you have to prepare the inner conditions as well as the outer, by finding and conquering your inner blocks and hurdles, in short, everything that stands in your way to faith in its true meaning.
So it is important for you, my dear ones, to recognize that many of the events in your life which seem to repeat themselves were chosen and planned by you when you still had your wider vision, before matter enveloped your spirit. It will be helpful for you to know this. A very ambitious spirit may sometimes even ask for a particularly difficult destiny, knowing clearly in the state of freedom from matter that the pain to be suffered is little and of short duration in comparison to the gain. This should give you food for thought.