The Conquest of Duality Symbolized in the Life and Death of Jesus

Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 82 | March 31, 1961

Greetings, my dearest friends. God bless each one of you. Blessed is this hour. Today’s lecture is a continuation as well as an amplification of the last lecture, “Conflicts in the World of Duality.”

This day, very appropriately, commemorates a very important event in your human history, which is closely linked to duality, the topic of my last lecture. On this day, Good Friday, Jesus Christ brought his life to a culmination in the greatest suffering and the greatest joy. This is meant not only in an abstract or remote spiritual sense, but also in a very human and concrete sense. Suffering and joy, pleasure and pain are dualities that, in the final analysis, are only subdivisions of the great duality:  life and death — never life or death.

A spiritual teaching, often misunderstood, says that one must rise above pleasure and pain. This is of course true in the ultimate sense. However, it cannot come about by flight from the unpleasantness of the duality. Instead, the transcendence of pleasure and pain happens only by accepting and fully facing the duality:  life and death. Those who misunderstand the meaning of rising above pleasure and pain do so because they wish to avoid rather than go through those deep experiences.

However, it is only when you accept death in its undisguised nakedness without running from it that you can truly live; only then will you find that there is no death and no duality. You will accept this, not as a consoling faith to which you cling out of weakness and fear, but as actual experience. And you can experience this only in the infinitely great and ultimate issues when you learn to experience it first in your daily little “deaths.”  When your will is not done and you cringe from suffering in the wrong, unhealthy way, you increase the tragic duality. You reject death and, therefore, in the ultimate sense, you reject life.

The flight from death and suffering causes flight from life and pleasure, often inadvertently. No matter how much one may strive for joyful participation in life and pleasure, when one consciously or unconsciously avoids facing and meeting death and suffering, the escape will also be a flight from life and pleasure. The truth is that these two escapes always go hand in hand, and this naturally has a very damaging effect on the soul.

Jesus’ saying, “Become ye as little children” has meanings on many levels. One is that children live and experience very acutely. All their senses and faculties are new and fresh, and every life experience, on any level of their being, is much more acute than the impressions, reactions, and experiences of the adult. This is good, for the soul who goes through life rejecting the experience of life with all its meanings, deadens its faculties for living. It is much better for the development and growth of an entity to go through many heights and depths than to falsely construct a serenity that is rarely a true detachment. Detachment is achieved only after one has accepted all that life has to offer, including death. Some people believe they have risen to genuine acceptance, when in reality they simply reject pain and suffering, and therefore also pleasure and joy. Such persons will find at some juncture in their evolution, be it in this life or later, that they have to come back to the point at which they fled from their soul-experience, so that the experience they have avoided can be learned by fully going through it.

Only those who have gone through the feared experience will arrive at true serenity. The soul whose serenity is not real, or is artificially cultivated, is much less developed than those who are courageous enough not to flee from the life experience. But it often happens that the former believes to be above the latter, whom he or she despises for their ups and downs. These ups and downs indeed indicate that those people are still deeply involved in the illusion of opposites and duality; nevertheless, they meet the illusion and grapple with it, which is honest and growth-producing.

Courage and honesty are perhaps the most important assets in one’s development. If you face your suffering and your joy, you will grow. The person who cringes away from suffering — denying, never facing it, and irrationally fearing it beyond its true proportions — is inevitably equally afraid of happiness and fulfillment.

A few times in the past I mentioned fear of happiness and fulfillment. Many of my friends have since found this to be true. When happiness is far away and seemingly unattainable, you can safely long for it. However, if you observe yourself closely you will see that when you get near it, you cringe from it, just as you cringe from suffering. And since suffering and pain, or death and life, are connected and are in reality one and the same, your happiness and pleasure are also connected to your attitude toward death and suffering. As you accept the one, so will you also accept the other. And as you rise and grow through the one, so do you rise and grow through the other.

Your attitude toward suffering determines whether or not your soul benefits during the experience or only much later. Even a blind and rebellious attitude toward suffering will eventually benefit the soul, and is better than a flight from suffering by paralyzing and deadening the capacity to feel and experience. However, a blind and ignorant attitude toward suffering will make you suffer more and longer than necessary; the process of growth can commence only when your consciousness has learned not to avoid it. Conversely, a healthy attitude that retains awareness will obtain immediate growth and liberation. That which formerly made you suffer ceases to be an element of pain the instant you recognize the lesson it can teach you.

By no means does this imply that you should deliberately choose suffering and reject happiness in the false belief that pleasure and joy are contrary to the will of God. Many religions teach this error. The healthy way to meet suffering is perhaps the most important key in life. If you meet it openly and whole-heartedly, willing to learn from it, keeping your reason and faculties intact — although emotionally you may be plunged in darkness, rebellion, cowardice and self-pity — the outcome will be happiness to the degree you have grown from the suffering you have gone through. If suffering deadens your soul, more suffering — although perhaps in a different form — must follow until you no longer allow your soul to be deadened by it. Then your entire personality will be revived by increased self-awareness.

A particular confusion confronts a growth-pursuing spirit in its approach to suffering. Many self-aware people understand that suffering is self-created. Your realization of this, whether vaguely or fully, causes you to become frantic whenever suffering comes your way if for no other reason than the frustration of not knowing instantly by what particular attitude or action you have created it. Not having this knowledge makes you fearful that more suffering may come from this hidden cause. Since you are impatient, either consciously or unconsciously, to find out, you sabotage all your attempts to get to the cause. What is done in impatience, haste, frustration, or fear inevitably slows down the process of activity. Those who believe that God caused their suffering, which they have to accept without understanding the reason, often fare better. They may not discover their self-created underlying causes — and this is a pity since this, too, has to be done — but their attitude is much more relaxed and open. However, the belief that God causes suffering is shaped by a lazy fatalism and leads to the logical conclusion that God is cruel and sadistic.

The best way of dealing with suffering combines the active spirit of searching for one’s own inner hidden causes with the relaxed attitude of accepting, for the moment, the unwanted pain, and fully understanding that the self-produced misery is of therapeutic value. Here again, a right combination of healthy activity and passivity is needed, as opposed to a mixture of distorted activity and passivity.

You cannot truly solve the seeming mystery of suffering in life if you do not solve your own problems brought on by a faulty attitude toward life and death, pleasure and pain. How can you meet life’s conditions unless you meet yourself face to face in your innermost, hidden conflicts, attitudes, and beliefs, and comprehend the real meaning of your reactions. Any time you are disturbed, find out what it is that you want, and what it is that you fear. Go beneath surface reasoning, surface desires and fears which are, in reality, but a symptom of your particular way of fleeing from death and suffering, and therefore from life and happiness.

To begin by tackling the big general issues will never get you anywhere. True growth happens only when you tackle your seemingly insignificant daily reactions of desire and fear. Only then will you learn the right attitude toward life and death. See how you run from death in the little things and recoil from suffering in the minute details of life that could in themselves seem unimportant. First question yourself about the most mundane, insignificant issues which cause you the slightest disharmony.

When you pursue this self-questioning to the point of asking, “Why do I want this?  Why do I fear not getting it?”  you will come to the love you desire and to your fear of not getting it. When you flee from love, fearful that you may not get it anyway, or that you may lose it again, you are caught in the wrong attitude toward death I have outlined in the last lecture that manifests in your courting death because you fear it. In a similar way, you reject love, fearful of being hurt, not getting it, or losing it again. You try to convince yourself that you do not want love. The same happens when you inwardly try to convince yourself that you do not want life because you know that one day life in the body will cease.

All little issues ultimately lead to the question of being loved versus not being loved, and therefore to life versus death. When, from your fear of not getting what you really want, you deliberately choose what you don’t want, you create an unhealthy, deadening condition within your soul. It is unhealthy because you do not honestly acknowledge to yourself that you really want love and life and that you really fear not getting love and life eternal. This condition is unhealthy because you deny yourself what you actually could have, although it may not be to the degree you wish it. You may not get the kind of love you desire — exclusive, limitless, guaranteed with absolute certainty that you will never lose it again. But because any limitations of your wish would create unbearable frustration of your exaggerated belief that the nonfulfillment of your wish is unbearable, you forfeit the love you could have by rejecting it altogether. So you make it worse. In the same way, your desire never to die makes you reject life.

All of your everyday reactions and problems can be traced back to these basic issues. Therefore these basic issues will have personal meaning and application for you. This is the important step you need to take in your development.

Most important in this respect is that so often you are unaware that what you fear are death and suffering. Rejection of love signifies both. You run away not only from death and suffering, but also from your fear of both. And this is what you have to uncover first. Only then can you adopt a healthy attitude toward death. Outwardly, you may not be aware of this fear, but deep down it may still be there, if only to a small extent. Face in yourself that place where you still fear. Become aware of it, and then you can learn to die — and thus to live!  As you become aware of your real fear of death in any form — physical death itself, or a negative occurrence — you free the life force in you, which will then invigorate you to meet that which you fear.

The life of Jesus Christ symbolizes this age-old truth in a very wonderful way. It has been known by all the sages and great truth seekers of all times. It is represented in many philosophies, religions and myths. Through Jesus Christ it has been symbolized in his actual life and death, for Jesus met his death in the very spirit I have stated here.

Many of Jesus’ sayings and utterances were not recorded and passed on to posterity, especially those not understood by people because, in humanity’s limited understanding, they seemed to contradict his other teachings. It is not mere coincidence, however, that his last utterance was recorded, and passed on to humanity, in spite of its seeming so crassly contradictory to what people believed of, and wanted to see in, Jesus Christ. Jesus’ last words on the cross expressed his doubt and fear that he was forsaken by God. This has puzzled many people. How could that great spirit doubt and fear?  Human illusion and idealization would have preferred that Jesus died in a glory of faith without the human doubts and fears he expressed in the hour of the culmination of his suffering. It was very important that this utterance be transmitted to humanity. Since every single facet of Jesus’ life and death has deep symbolic meaning for humanity’s personal problems, so this utterance, too, must have significance. It can be fully understood only if you grasp the meaning of this lecture and the previous one.

In his last hour, Jesus forgot all he had known, all the revelations and insights he had gained. Has it not happened to each one of you to some degree, in hours of depression and anxiety, that even though your intellectual memory retained what you have learned and known, you were not in command of this knowledge?  Your soul was in a dark night of unbelief and doubt. Deceiving yourself about this state of mind, and not acknowledging how you really felt, is not the right solution. To feel guilty and proud as you think, “I should not feel and think this way” leads only to a self-deception that delays your coming out of your darkness.

Jesus illustrated this most clearly. He, the greatest of all created spirits, was in doubt too. He too had lost faith for a moment. But he acknowledged it, and did not hide it from himself or from others. What does that mean?  It means the stark, naked fear of the unknown — death — and the acute suffering of physical, mental and spiritual pain. Jesus met it squarely, without pretense, without self-deception, without deceiving those who had faith in him. He was truthful to himself and therefore to all who believed in him. He was truthful even in his last moment. Many a spiritual teacher or authority would hesitate to admit moments of fear and doubt, would feel ashamed and afraid of losing face with the disciples.

This basic fear is often rationalized by “acceptable” explanations. The teacher may excuse this untruthfulness by the seemingly commendable attitude that does not want to let down or weaken the disciples. But in fact it is the lack of truthfulness that lets others down. Jesus’ truthfulness had not let anyone down, even though they could not understand how it was possible that the master experienced doubt in his hour of death. Most did not know that in this very doubt and fear was an important directive and lesson for all. But even though they did not consciously understand, inwardly they felt more strengthened than ever, because truth goes directly to the heart and soul, even if, at times, it bypasses the brain.

When intellectual explanations do not obscure what the heart and soul perceives, and the personality allows the intuition to function in spite of seemingly contradictory intellectual considerations, the person has a deep purity and innocence that has nothing to do with the words “innocence” and “purity” as used by bigoted religionists. The person who has this innocence and purity adopts the childlike attitude Jesus recommended.

Jesus’ advice to become as little children praises children’s willingness to experience life intensely. Jesus’ disciples have this quality; they too experience fully. And Jesus Christ himself showed this amply in his life as well as in his death. He went through his suffering to the full extent, without restriction, without shame in admitting his doubt and fear, pain and vulnerability. Only those who have this great childlike openness can experience true joy. This he demonstrated not only during his life, but also by his reappearance in spirit — but of that, very little is recorded.

Again, as it occurs so often, this factor is misunderstood, or not fully understood. Even those who understand that Jesus’ resurrection and appearance indicate the continuation of spirit life do not go far enough in understanding this phenomenon from a worldly point of view. They think simply that Jesus showed only that life goes on, and that is all there is to it. This phenomenon was not meant to prove just that life does continue in the spirit. It will mean something more to you right here and now, while you are still in this incarnation. If Jesus Christ in his hour of despair forgot what he had known, it is even more certain that other people will do the same when going through hardships. Intellectual conviction can only do so much in such times; Jesus knew this better than anyone.

Jesus’ reappearance could not be more than theory for those who were not present, and for the succeeding generations, if it did not bear a deeper meaning. His reappearance clearly states:  “After having met my ordeal fully, without pretense and self-deception, having gone through it to the ultimate end, I now live in the true, full sense of the word. You, too, can do it. You do not have to wait for physical death, because you die many deaths every day, in all your little ordeals and struggles. The manner in which you meet these determines the subsequent life and fullness of joy that can be yours. If you meet these ordeals and struggles in a similar spirit of truthfulness, you will experience life and joy while still in the body to the same degree.”  This is the message, the ultimate meaning of his reappearance, apart from all other meanings. Here is the greatest lived symbolism ever demonstrated.

Life on earth is a symbol of reality, and not vice versa. And so it is with Jesus’ life and death. It meant much more than a lesson to each individual about the history of evolution, life after death, and the promise after death. To find out what it really means you do not have to wait until the time when you leave your earthly body. You have daily opportunities. Whether you can now believe in a life after death does not even matter. Every day offers an opportunity for everyone, whatever he or she may or may not believe, to make the best of life by realizing what the everyday little “death” is, meeting it, and in so doing, learning to discriminate between that which is inevitable and that which is not. If you meet that which is inevitable — physical death as well as the results of your past wrong attitudes — in a spirit of relaxed passivity, while at the same time wanting to grow and learn from the experience, you will recognize where and in what way you choose difficulties that are not inevitable. For the more you choose the latter, the more you invite and court extremes that should be avoided.

Only by a very personal self-search can you determine how you react to both that which is inevitable and that which is not. This question poses a problem similar to that of independence and interdependence. Only personal self-analysis can provide the answer to each individual. There is no other way, no general rules to which one can rigidly adhere.

I recapitulate:  Since isolation and loneliness come from an inner, unrecognized dependency, as opposed to the healthy interdependence which results from reliance on the inner self, so it is with the question of inevitability. By running away from that which is inevitable, you bring upon yourself avoidable handicaps. You are so afraid of the inevitable hardship that you take onto yourself more hardship. Find this pattern and you are bound to discover that inevitable hardship ceases after you have acknowledged and gone through it.

Now, are there any questions?

QUESTION:  How can a hardship not be a hardship?  Take torture, for instance. I’m not afraid of death, but of the agony of dying.

ANSWER:  As long as one has not gone through it, it is a hardship. You are not expected to tell yourself the opposite. Quite the contrary:  to deny your fear would be one form of running away from or negating death and, therefore, life. Only they who have gone through death have the certainty that there is not death. To find this out, they must go through it. The lesser degrees of death, such as all forms of suffering, must also be experienced in order to discover that they are not the extremes of death or suffering that were feared. Often they are not painful or annihilating at all.

You will find many instances of this if you look back on your life. When you review certain of your life experiences, you will find that what you were apprehensive about, and what seemed disproportionately horrible as you stood before it, ceased to be dreadful once you were through it. Ultimately, you were untouched by it, except in the positive sense, because the experience caused you to grow. It added to your whole personality, not only to your thinking process, but also to your emotional life. If you very truthfully question yourself, in looking back you can admit that the experience is no longer a horror. The horror therefore must have been unreal, for a reality is permanent and unchangeable. Only an illusion loses intensity as time goes by.

Yet as long as you experience something that is unreal as a reality, the remedy is not in talking yourself out of it. Trying to avoid the inevitable is useless; what really helps is to acknowledge your fear and suffering and relax into it. You cannot avoid the illusion of suffering by telling yourself it is illusion; for you, it is real, and therefore you have to go through it. Remain conscious of your intellectual knowledge all the while, without forcing it on your emotional reaction. Allow both to exist freely, side by side, as you observe your thoughts and feelings. This may make it easier for you to go through the suffering and really experience it. For only a wholehearted entering into the life experience with all its components will help you to rise above the dualities.

QUESTION:  You said one could let people down only by untruthfulness, and not by any other way. Could you explain that a little more, please?

ANSWER:  When I use the word truth, I do not mean the little truths people often express in a thoughtless and cruel way, which have nothing to do with truth. At times the great truth may not contradict the little truth at all. The little truth however may at other times be very much opposed to the great truth. There is no rule or regulation you can lean on here. As with all truth, each case stands for itself. Discrimination and an active thought process are necessary all the way through, in order to realize when a little truth corresponds with the great truth, or when it does not.

One’s own motivations furnish the real answer to this question. If one is honest with oneself, one can detect that little hurtful truths come from a personal fault or weakness, be it pride, vanity, self-will, rebellion, insecurity, frustration, or whatever. Even if these inner motives are covered up by more valid reasons, that does not eliminate the existence of the underlying current, which determines the result. But when you are truthful with yourself, you cannot, in the ultimate sense, let down anyone else. Gaining this truthfulness with the self is, after all, the goal of your self-search on this path.

QUESTION:  I would like to ask you about the emphasis the church places on the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. What is your comment on that?

ANSWER:  There are two aspects involved, one of which I have commented on in the past. About the first aspect I repeat, briefly, that it is a misconception that stems from the inherent fear of physical death. People want to believe in a physical continuation of life. Therefore, they need to interpret Jesus Christ’s reappearance as a physical resurrection.

The other aspect has a much deeper and wider significance. It contains the deepest wisdom and truth, but in symbolic form. This symbolism I explained extensively in the previous lecture. Jesus Christ’s resurrection teaches symbolically that if you do not flee from your fear of death, suffering, and the unknown, but go through it, you will truly have life in its deepest sense, while you are still in the body. Pure, unadulterated life can be had only if death is met squarely. In using the word “pure” I do not suggest what is generally understood by purity:  an insipid state that rejects the body. The body is part of the spirit, and the spirit part of the body. Both form one whole. That is why Jesus Christ appeared as a human body, to show that the body is not to be rejected or denied. If you accept death you will be resurrected in life — in the body — by the flowing life force which will truly make you experience pleasure and joy, on all levels of your being, including the physical level. Is that clear?

QUESTION:  Yes, but your statement as to the error of this thinking would lead one to conclude that the parts of the Gospel which describe the disciples’ arrival at the tomb as a story of promise are entirely false, and not a factual account.

ANSWER:  No, not at all. When Jesus appeared to his disciples, his dear ones, a phenomenon occurred that has always been known and will continue to be known, if certain circumstances prevail. In your time and age it is called, I believe, a materialization of spirit substance. It is condensation of spirit matter, as all physical life is. But the fact that this happened contains a deep philosophical and psychological meaning, which is generally ignored. The meaning is, as I have explained, that if you meet both life and death, you cannot die. You will then live in the true sense of the word. Therefore, what the disciples saw was real, although most of them did not understand the meaning and purpose of the event even though Jesus tried to explain it then, as he had often done before. There were a few who understood, but not all of them. Those who did not took it simply as a phenomenon, which in itself was not unique.

QUESTION:  Now, those of us who do not consciously believe in existence after death, and do not consciously desire existence past death very much, like to enjoy and take pleasure in this present physical life — meaning the body and the pleasures and sensations of the body. I would like to ask a question concerning such a person:  Given talent and a certain personality, including the need to sublimate, is the desire to produce art, and by that creation become immortal, the same thing as a belief in life after death?  I’m not asking about whether there is life after death.

ANSWER:  I know you aren’t, and I am not going to attempt to answer that, for whatever I or anyone else might say would not make any difference. You can arrive at it only through your own experience. If you superimpose a belief that is not genuinely yours, it is much more unhealthy than admitting an unbelief. That is just one of the points I stressed in the last lecture. Now I will answer other aspects of your question.

In the first place, let me make it quite clear that real knowledge and experience of the continuation of life after physical death — if it is genuinely arrived at through development — and the right and healthy attitude as described in these lectures, does not, cannot, and will not sacrifice the bodily pleasures for the sake of a spiritual life to come after the physical one. It is quite the contrary. Only those who cling to religious faith out of fear and weakness will come to the conclusion that one opposes the other. In fact, if these two lectures are really understood, this will become quite apparent. Since the freed-up life force must flow through the body, it makes the whole person more receptive and capable of pleasure on all levels, including the physical one. However, this complete pleasure can be experienced only if the soul is healthy. An unhealthy soul is incapable of experiencing pleasure.

At the same time, if a person heals unhealthy aspects and attitudes of the personality, that person not only becomes capable of experiencing greater pleasure, but also leads a fuller life. Almost as a byproduct, there is also an increase of creativity. People like that begin to experience the reality of the spiritual laws and truth. It is no coincidence that people who go through a successful analysis often come to believe in the reality of spiritual laws and truth. This rarely indicates acceptance of a denominational religion, but, rather, the presence of their own private realization, experience, inner proof and knowledge. These are all byproducts of healing the soul of its misconceptions, distortions, and deviations. The true experience of pleasure on all levels, the unfoldment of creative abilities, and the inner knowledge of spiritual truth all result from inner health.

At the same time, the sicker or more distorted a soul, the less it is capable of real pleasure, and the more will its inherent creative abilities be paralyzed. The fact that some people are very creative in spite of tremendous inner conflicts does not contradict this statement. In these cases, the creative talent is so great that it is expressed in spite of the soul-problems, and shows how much such a person is cut off from reality on all levels. This means not only that cosmic laws and spiritual truth are disregarded, but that reality as it manifests on this earthplane is also ignored.

The desire for immortality through art is just another variation of the human entity’s longing for life eternal and its struggle against death. One person will be a religious fanatic who has accepted a belief out of fear and weakness, and not through inner knowledge. Another believes to be stronger than the former because he or she does not “need” such faith. But this form of expression, through the work produced, emerges from the same root:  the desire for immortality. Neither wants to let go; they want to hold onto life. They cannot give up. This holding on, this inability to give up, whether manifest in the big question, or in little everyday issues, holds the soul imprisoned. It prevents growth, produces some form of stagnation on all levels of the personality. Only the generous freedom which comes from giving oneself up and going into the unknown, without any assurance of retaining what one cherishes, can produce true growth.

So the wish for immortality through art, or science, or any other expression is, in essence, not that different from the way of the religionist who clings to faith out of fear. As I explained in the last lecture, the atheist, too, goes off the path and meets death in the wrong way, just as the ungenuine religious person does. The latter says, “I want to believe because I am afraid of death. I do not want to let go, to give up.”  And the atheist says, “The person who believes is just weak. I am so much stronger, I do not need all that.”  But this person, too, wants immortality and thinks it is a show of strength to seek immortality through creation. It is another way of clinging to life and fighting against death. This type of person is so afraid of ceasing to exist that he will not risk believing and then being disappointed if the religionists are wrong. Both types are incapable of admitting that they do not know and that they have to accept the unknown.

Now, my friends, the many people who outwardly admit this ignorance do not necessarily mean it, feel it, and live it. They, too, may manifest the flight from death in their innermost attitudes. It is not what one professes and thinks one believes that determines a healthy attitude; that is only an indication. So you must beware of evaluation based on a person’s professed belief and attitude. The desire to die, for instance, does not necessarily indicate a true belief in the life after death, or one’s reconciliation with non-existence. It may merely be an expression of being tired of coping with life, which is, of course, the result of not knowing how to cope with death.

Now we come to the matter of sublimation. Sublimation can be, and very often is, entirely misunderstood and is a very unhealthy phenomenon. It can be a distorted and harmful process in the religionist’s as well as the psychoanalyst’s concept. The religionist sublimates when he says, “The life of the flesh is sinful. It opposes the spirit. It represents the devil and therefore I must sublimate my fleshly impulses and spiritualize them.”  This leads to repression, and when you view repression with a fresh outlook, you will see that it is nothing more than dishonesty, self-deception, an “ostrich” attitude, and a lack of self-awareness.

On the other side, the psychologist asserts that “reality is so dismal, so hopeless, so despairing, and stands in such contradiction to my pleasure drives, that I have no choice other than to sublimate. I choose it out of compromise, as a lesser evil. On the one hand, I would have to live according to the most unchaneled and primitive instincts if I wanted to realize my pleasure drive. But, on the other hand, this would bring me into conflict with my environment and therefore I would be stopped from pleasure a priori. So the situation is hopeless.”

These unchaneled, primitive instincts are not more conducive to the pleasure principle than is the “spiritualized” rejection of bodily pleasure. In a mature and healthy soul, the pleasure drive can never interfere with one’s environment. This is not due to sublimation, resignation or repression. It happens because the instincts grow within the rest of the personality and therefore become, as development proceeds, all the more receptive to pleasure in a much higher form than the primitive, unchaneled instincts. This heightened pleasure includes the physical level. Such inclusion comes, in turn, from facing death and suffering. It happens through eliminating negation and slowly, bit by bit, melting away the duality. In doing so, reality, as you know it on earth, begins to change, first subtly in your own inner world, and then slowly in the outer world.

It is entirely wrong to say that creative ability is the product of sublimation or, to put it in a different way, that it comes from shifting the pleasure drive to another area of the personality. The healthy human personality, as it was meant to be, is rich enough to contain both, as well as many other modes of expression in life. Only the limited and distorted soul has to make such choices. It is quite true that if you repress your pleasure drive, it must still express itself somewhere else, and often does so in the area of your creativity. But that does not mean it could not be expressed more clearly and powerfully if your personality were whole and integrated, functioning healthily on all levels. It would manifest in a more constructive and full way, not as a substitute for, but as a completion of life.

My dearest friends, on this very special day I have tried to show you how the present phase of our work, of your inner development, fits in with the great events of the history of evolution, cosmic and human. Be blessed, all of you. Receive our strength, love, and blessings. May you take this strength and utilize it as is best for each of you. Be in peace, be in God!