In this dualistic approach you become split within yourself, for you reject a whole part of yourself that is the source of essential, potent creative energy without which you can never be a full human being. Your sense of awareness dims as you repress the undesirable part of yourself. The less aware you are, the weaker you become, and therefore more confused and less able to solve this, or any other problem.
A very deliberate, yet relaxed attempt must be made to feel the underlying causes of the outer results in your life. All sorrow and unhappiness, all emptiness and unfulfillment, all frustration and suffering are caused by being disconnected — as you know and I so often say — from the causes within yourself.
To the degree you are unaware of what goes on within you, you will fear the passing of time and the “great unknown.” When one is young, these fears may be assuaged. But sooner or later every human being will be confronted more directly with the fear of death. I want to emphasize it again: to the degree that you know yourself, you fulfill your life, yourself, your dormant potential. And to that degree death will not be feared but experienced as an organic development. The unknown will no longer pose a threat.
. . . little and unjustified guilts substitute for the real guilt of withdrawal, unlovingness, and isolation. In other words, these little guilts are supposed to atone for violating the great cosmic inner forces, breaking the flow, as it were. This very deep-rooted guilt prevents you from claiming your freedom, asserting yourself, feeling that you deserve to be happy.
The first cardinal sin is PRIDE. I have discussed this in the past.* You all know its origin, reason, effects, and side effects. Briefly: pride is always a compensation for feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. That the effects of your pride must lead to separateness is self-explanatory.
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?
There is a right kind and a wrong kind of shame. The right kind of shame is true repentance. Without this kind of shame, there could never be an incentive for self-development. Without it, no one would ever undergo the noble fight, my friends, against one’s lower self; no one would take the path of purification if this shame did not exist within. True repentance is therefore constructive and very positive. But there is also shame of the wrong kind. Human beings so often confuse the two kinds of shame that now I want to devote some of our time together to this subject.
In the first place, we may again clarify that there is a distinct difference between self-will and free will. To make sure that you understand it clearly in this connection, I will repeat that free will can be used for good or for bad; this is important.
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.