The path I have the privilege to bring to you and help you on prepares you for this process. Little by little you deal first with the personal, individual violations of integrity and truth, level by level. The more open you are to this process, and, consequently, the more you recognize and loosen up your defenses so that a state of open flow is established, the easier it becomes to lift out the existential fear that grips all humankind.
When you go deep enough and look astutely enough, you also find out that what really obstructs you is the sum total of everything that is negative and destructive in you. The mind does not want to accept this. The mind has concocted all sorts of other explanations for unhappiness.
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.
Whatever is hidden from awareness continues to govern you without your being able, through your reason, to change it. Hence it is of utmost importance to detect such hidden erroneous outlooks.
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.
When a new child enters this earth, its soul-stuff is very malleable, very soft. Within this soul-stuff lie all the potentials — the talents, qualities, tendencies, characteristics, and also the unresolved problems. It is according to these potentials — positive, as well as negative — that the entity grows.
From our vantage point, we see you barricading yourselves behind a wall of separateness. This wall is a useless and illusory form of self-protection. In the last analysis it is simply a barricade against happiness and freedom. So, my friends, realize for all time that the goal of dissolving your obstructions is to enable you to enter the great flow of the eternal current. The ultimate reason for living is to make your life meaningful, but without being merged into this current this cannot happen.
At times I have described the path you are taking by depicting landscapes as you know them on earth. There are shrubs and thickets, narrow ledges and cliffs. At times the going is rough and tedious, the way steep and stony. At other times you find yourselves on a meadow of rest and light until you are ready to tackle the next hurdle. All this is not merely symbolic. These forms truly exist. They are the product of your inner attitudes and convictions, thoughts and emotions. Many of these create obstacles through which you have to grope your way.
Your unconscious desires often deviate from your conscious ones. I think you all understand by now that this is one of the main reasons for your conflicts and frustrations. You often create similar conflicts and unfulfillments, while ignoring their full significance. The fact is that your conscious desires and aims that guide your actions are in accord with the goals of your higher self, but simultaneously lower and selfish aims are also present in your motivation. These lower aims find justification in the higher aims, which serve very well to hide their existence. It is very important to find this fact out, my dear friends. Although your actions are worthy and good as such, although the high and noble motives truly exist in you, they lose their splendor if you cannot see the lower motives coexisting with the higher ones in the very same goal. Even long before you can purify yourself to such an extent that these selfish, proud, vain, and fearful motives cease to exist in you, the fact that you simply recognize their existence purifies you to a considerable degree and therefore also purifies your right action.
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.