In your daily life many possibilities are offered to you to see yourself as you are; to verify what you really feel, rather than what you try to feel. All you have to do is to remind yourself constantly to be alert to this reality in you; to cultivate the awareness.
Once again, let us talk about love. Let us remember that anyone without love is withering away. The love you receive is not the most important, you need the love force in your heart; it is your spiritual life-blood. This is the driving force — in a good and healthy sense — that gives meaning to life. Without the love-capacity your life will be empty, meaningless, shallow.
Among the needs of the idealized self are, for instance, the need for glory, the need to triumph, the need to satisfy vanity or pride. In order to understand this particular process, you have to review how the idealized self-image came into existence.
But why is the emotional nature generally neglected? There are good reasons for that, my friends. To gain more clarity, let us first understand the function of the emotional nature in human beings. It includes, first of all, the capacity to feel. The capacity to experience feeling is synonymous with the capacity to give and receive happiness. To the degree you shy away from any kind of emotional experience, to that extent you also close the door to the experience of happiness.
QUESTION: What is the difference between an emotionally mature and an immature person? How can you recognize it?
QUESTION: I have two questions in connection with the last lecture. The first is: I understood that the inner will you spoke of stems from the super-conscious. It was not clear to me whether the outer will then comes from a combination of the conscious and the subconscious?
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.
I promised you that tonight I would continue my discussion of image-finding. A few facts are important for pursuing a diligent search. What I say here will not mean very much to those who still feel reluctant about embarking on this path and who merely listen to these words. Perhaps they will gain a little more understanding of the Pathwork principles. These glimpses may eventually open the door for the active, personal search so necessary for complete purification, to voluntarily step across the threshold from the darkness into the light. I beg any of you who has not started yet, but is willing, to ask one of the people of the inner group to work with you, for it cannot be done alone. Arrangements will be made; guidance will come. Anyone truly desirous of spiritual growth will find help; of that you can be sure.
Now what is prayer? Many people have no questions about it; they just take it for granted. Many others cannot understand prayer. They say—in their own way and not without logic—why should God grant a human being help or grace simply in response to prayer? Why should someone else who works but fails to pray not receive it? This argument seems, at first sight, logical. But the simple fact is that a person who does not pray will never be able to act or experience fulfillment like the person who has learned what proper prayer is and practices it. I will now try to explain this to you.
Many people seek God in the wrong way. I will try to explain what I mean. On this earth sphere there is a considerable amount of disappointment. Sometimes human beings turn to God only because contact with other human beings proves to be unsatisfactory. Perhaps not enough love is forthcoming; perhaps fear and caution cloud the expression of the innermost divine spark. Contact with other human beings can be experienced as hazardous, not bringing the blessings you seek. You may be hurt. The person in frustration often turns to God. The feeling is, “God will not disappoint me. God has enough love. God is far away and intangible: I risk nothing by loving Him. From human beings I experience only disappointment and hurt.”
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.
There are many of you who admit God exists. God or this Higher Intelligence—or whatever you choose to call it—is of course one and the same. Yet you do not believe that it could be possible in this wonderful Creation for an entity of higher intelligence than human beings to manifest to you through a human instrument, if preparations are made and certain conditions fulfilled. This, you think, is incredible. This is something you cannot believe. But why not, my friends? Why is it so hard to believe? It is certainly not unimaginable that creatures of higher intelligence, of greater wisdom, endowed with more love than human beings should exist! If so, it should be possible to communicate with them.
Those who have made the decision and given themselves into the hands of God immediately sense what is happening within. The first reaction is a great relief and an inward joy that for a while completely takes possession of one. This wonderful feeling, though, does not stay with you forever. Hearing this, you could easily conclude, at least in your feelings, that if the heaviness and unpleasantness is likely to return, there is no point in making the decision in the first place. But I say to you that this is not so. After having crossed the first threshold, you are only at the beginning of the path. I have told you before that the spiritual work only begins after this crossing, and that being on this path consists in not giving up, but continuing to press on steadily. That has to be the price.