The Great Transition in Human Development from Isolation to Union

Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 75 | December 09, 1960

Greetings, my dearest friends. Blessings for all of you. Blessed is this hour.

At the very beginning of this path you learned to recognize your faults, your weaknesses and your shortcomings on the most superficial and obvious level. This recognition was not easy, because you were untrained and unused to any kind of self-observation and self-honesty.

From that stage onward you learned to explore deeper levels and find the greater subtleties of your nature. Much ground has been covered since those early stages of finding your faults. You may remember my telling you at one point, when we discussed human shortcomings, that all faults stem from three basic ones:  self-will, pride, and fear. No matter which fault you take, examining it profoundly, you will always find that in the last analysis it comes from one of these.

The second major phase of this path dealt with your complexes, your images, misconceptions, and your unconscious confusions and conflicts. I stressed the necessity of doing this work of self-search without judging yourself, without moralizing, and without evaluating the right and the wrong, the good and the bad from an ethical standpoint. Rather, I told you to evaluate these findings as to how correct your thinking was when you created your images and misconceptions. There are good reasons for such a recommendation, because destructive guilt is in itself such a heavy burden that it generates too much resistance to finding yourself. If you approach your inner findings in a spirit of guilt-producing moralizing before you have reached a sufficiently deep level that transcends superficial awareness, it makes your work harder than it already is.

Now comes a third major phase on this path. For those of you who have already gained an overall understanding about your inner problems, it will become necessary to now evaluate your hidden images and complexes with a focus on your faults that are embedded in them. You may rediscover the very same faults you had found at the very beginning of your work and which you thought you had overcome, or perhaps variations of them, deeply hidden within your innermost conflicts.

When you recognize your misconceptions and wrong conclusions as compared with reality and fact, and when you also understand where they come from and why, you can see what damage the unconscious faulty thinking causes you and others around you. When you can see and thoroughly understand all that without a feeling of guilt and depression, but rather in a spirit of joy, release and victory — which gives you strength and understanding about your own life and life in general — then the time has come for a new evaluation from an ethical and spiritual viewpoint. Look inward to determine where you are selfish and proud, fearful and withdrawn. Search deep within your inner conflicts for these traits, even if on other levels of your personality they may not show. This is a very important step forward, my friends.

There are two basic currents in the universe. One is the love-force, which gives out, communicates, and rises above the little ego, which considers itself the center of all things, yet is only a part of a stupendous whole. Your real self never considers you as the ultimate end. When you reach the height of your potential, you no longer experience life within the confines of your restricting, separating barriers of false beliefs and misconceptions. Then you find union with all people. You feel, experience, and think in an entirely different way. You become a different person, while yet remaining essentially the same individual.

The second basic force is the inverted, egocentric principle by which most human beings still live. In that state you suffer and “enjoy” life alone. No matter how many dear ones may be around you, loving and sharing with you, you experience your life as essentially unique, separate and peculiarly your own, unshakable and untransmittable. You are the only one who experiences this particular pain or joy in quite this way. You may not ever think so consciously. In fact, your outer knowledge may contradict this inner state of experiencing life. Yet, in your real feelings, this is how you experience life as long as you are still in the state of self-centered separateness.

The transition from self-centered isolation to the state of union with all is the most essential step on the evolutionary path of an individual spirit entity. At some time, in one life or another, the transition has to come. When exactly this will occur varies with each individual. But on this path the time must come, sooner or later, and let us hope that you will swing over from one state to the other while you are still in this particular incarnation.

Words will not convey to you what this change really means. You have heard them many times from many philosophies and teachings. You may even be capable of discussing the subject quite intelligently. In isolated moments you may even have experienced what I am describing. But then the experience vanishes, and you are back in the old state of isolation. It takes a lot more work to make the transition permanent, and the most essential prerequisite for permanence is finding and solving your hidden conflicts.

Moreover, it is of vital importance that you understand that the ultimate aim of your spiritual path is to make the transition from one state into another. In order to do so, you must become fully aware that you still live in the old, undesirable state. As long as you have illusions about that, or as long as you are confused and do not even know that there are two distinctly different states, you will have a much harder time.

When you first glimpse the new state of being, you will experience a liberation from the confining wall of isolating self-centeredness. You will feel a deep purpose in life, your life, all life!  You will understand the purpose of all your experiences, both the good and the bad, and will evaluate them from a completely new point of view. You will deeply experience union with all beings and the importance of their purpose as well as your own. A new joy and security will penetrate you such as you have never known. The new security will not be accompanied by the delusion that no more suffering will come to you, and you also will not cringe from such suffering. You will know that it cannot harm you.

A common first experience in the new state is the feeling that whatever you experience at the moment is also felt by millions of other people. It was felt by millions in the past and will be felt by millions in the future. Ever since the world of matter began, all these feelings — good or bad, positive or negative, joyful or painful — have existed and people have experienced them. That you seem to produce a feeling does not mean that you have actually done so. What you do produce is the condition of tuning into the particular force or principle of an already existing emotion. This distinction may appear like hairsplitting, but it is not. To perceive life from the new outlook is an essentially different experience. As long as you harbor the illusion that you are producing the respective emotion or life-experience, you are still unique, alone, and separate. When you begin to feel that you are tuning into what already exists, you automatically become a part of the whole and can no longer be the separate individual you have felt yourself to be.

I do not expect that these words will immediately produce this new state in you. But your work on the path progresses steadily, and if you train your inner perception by meditating and trying to feel these words, you may accelerate the transition. Recognizing your commonality with all others will widen your horizon considerably; it will give you a new outlook on your passing sorrows, and it will help you to make constructive use of any negative finding within yourself. It will also heighten your creative abilities.

Humanity’s fundamental longing is to actually participate in the new state of being that follows the transition. You may obstruct it and fear it in your ignorance, but the longing always remains. For in the state that is natural for all of God’s creatures — the state of union — there is no aloneness any more. In your present state, you are still essentially alone. The best you can occasionally achieve is the realization that others go through similar experiences and feel the same way. But that is not at all what the new state really is.

In the new state you will know deeply that all things, feelings, emotions, thoughts and experiences already exist and that you share in any of the existing currents because of self-produced conditions. These forces and principles work all around and within you. It is up to you which one will affect you.

Visualize all emotional experiences, from the lowest to the highest, as streams or currents. According to your personal frame of mind, state of emotion, general development, character tendencies, as well as passing moods or outer happenings, you tune into one of these currents, while you may simultaneously be partly tuned into another, conflicting one. With this approach, a drastic change is bound to occur in your entire inner and outer outlook. From a separate, self-centered being you are bound to become, little by little, the being you actually are.

You imagine with your limited thinking capacity that only as a unique individual do you have dignity and a chance for happiness. You also feel — often unconsciously — that if you are but a cog in a wheel, you do not count. You are still under the illusion that you are but one out of billions, and therefore your happiness is not important. Another illusion misinterprets the right to individuality; it claims that you are a separate being and therefore essentially separate, alone and unique. At best, you believe that others may be in a similar plight. This is an illusion, but it does exist in most of you in some measure. As long as this misunderstanding is within you, you are unconsciously fighting an unnecessary and tragic battle. You think you have to be opposed to giving up your individual right to be happy and important. If the inner error, that you are fighting for your individuality and happiness when in fact you struggle to preserve your separateness, were cleared up it would make the fight easier.

The truth — and you will experience it one day — is this:  In the new state you will see that being no more and no less than a part of a whole, and sharing with so many others something that already exists, makes you a happier person. You have the right to happiness, and you have more rather than less dignity and individuality because of this fact. Your dignity will increase to the extent that your pride of separateness decreases. The fullness and richness of life will increase to the extent that you leave your state of separateness in which you assume that in order to have more for yourself you have to take away from others. That is the error and the conflict. In the old state, that is the way it works out. In the new state this is not true. The importance of your welfare is infinitely greater just because you are a part of a whole. The moment you gain even a momentary glimpse of the truth, you will never be again torn by the old conflict that either you can have a happiness that is selfish, or, if you choose to refrain from this “selfishness,” your happiness is unimportant.

This inherent misunderstanding causes a deep guilt in the human soul because you don’t know what to do with your desire to be happy. The conflict will vanish the moment you train your outlook to take in the new approach. The instant you have experienced that first glimmer of understanding you will recognize how steeped in separateness you were. The moment the insight comes you will truly see that the old state of separateness was, and still is, your world. Then your conscious desire to leave the old world behind will increase.

When I say self-centeredness I do not use the word in a moralizing, blaming, admonishing way, but philosophically. It indicates one basic state of being as opposed to an entirely different state of being, one world, or one soul principle, as against another.

As you gradually make this transition, your values are bound to change. Your purpose, your aim, and your concept of life are bound to change. This change will not be the superficial adoption of new opinions, but a very natural, gradual, organic, inner growth. The change comes slowly; it is an inner change rather than an outer. Your outer opinions do not even have to undergo a drastic revision. They may essentially remain the same, but you will experience and feel them differently.

People are so afraid of change. But you have nothing to fear. Much of your life and your opinions may remain the same while you change. This sounds like a paradox, my friends, but it is not. To remain the same and yet to change is possible in a good, constructive, and natural way because the call of your life is to grow to the maximum. However, it is also possible to change and remain the same in some wrong and destructive ways. Truly, you have nothing to fear in approaching this great transition, for what is valuable and valid, what is essentially you, will remain the same, only enriched. Only what was not essentially you will gradually fall off, like an old outworn cloak. Creative forces will flow out of you of which you are still completely unaware.

The direction of your innermost currents will be reversed when you attain the new state of oneness. In your present state of isolation, many creative forces, such as love or talents, try to stream out of you, but due to your basic inner state of self-centered separateness they are turned back. After the initial effort of streaming out, reaching the cosmos, and teaching others, they are withdrawn, held back, and made inactive. Your innermost nature rebels against such great frustration because it is against nature, against creation, and against harmony.

This basic rebellion of your inner nature causes many conflicts that can never be solved entirely by recognizing your images and conflicts, which were created by childhood conditions. While the dissolution of childhood conflicts is essential to bring about the new state of being, it is important to recognize that dissolving childhood conflicts is not an end in itself. If your aim is to stop short at resolving childhood conflicts and straightening out psychological deviations, you are bound to fail in fulfilling yourself. You may not even succeed in really resolving these conflicts if their resolution is not a means toward the greater aim:  the transition from the self-centered state of isolation into the state of union with all. This includes the recognition of yourself as an integral part of creation which strives endlessly and ceaselessly toward a greater fulfillment.

Only when you take the greater aim of union with all as your personal goal will you be capable of utterly fulfilling yourself. You will develop all your capacities, and then the great stream of life, of health, and of strength will flow through you. When your ultimate outlook on life is distorted or not clearly formulated, your creative and health-giving forces cannot be regenerated by the great cosmic stream. The cosmic forces are constantly blocked and halted by your ignorance, confusion, lack of awareness, or the wrong perspective on the real meaning of life. With the proper outlook, you are bound to approach and finally make the transition. In the new state, your own creative forces will naturally flow out of you, allowing the cosmic forces to constantly flow into you, renewing and regenerating your entire being. Your outgoing forces will touch other beings who are attuned to them, wherever and whoever they are.

I know that this topic is difficult to understand. It is abstract and not easily put into practice. It needs all your inner senses, your intuitive nature, as well as your sincere desire to really understand the deeper meaning of these words. Through study and meditation, through trying to feel and use your own inner findings with the help of this overview, you will come to the point where these words will be a revelation to you. Then a new door will open through which you will gladly enter. You will then recognize how long you have battled to step across this threshold. The cultivation of this new approach to life will eventually reveal to you an understanding not only of yourself and others, but also about your purpose in the universe and your function in it. Nothing else can give you the real security you still are searching for. All great teachers and sages have spoken, in various ways, about this great transition. You who are on this path should think about it, envision it, and know that its time is bound to come.

How the human soul struggles against this, the ultimate fate of every being!  How afraid it is to leave a state of unhappiness for a state of happiness and security!  How foolish of you to fear, deep within your hearts, that in leaving the old world and attaining the new you have to leave something precious behind. Try to find that unreasonable, irrational fear and resistance. It is right there in you. All you have to do is look at it. You do not have to reach very far or deep to find the fear. The basic resistance to transition is expressed in innumerable little ways in your everyday life. Find it, and you will have found a valuable key. First it is necessary that you become aware of how you are struggling to maintain the isolated life, in which, at best, you want to share your life with a few chosen individuals. If you can give some manner of love to those few, you are already a step beyond many who cannot even do this.

I hope my words will not be misunderstood to mean that you should undertake a drastic change in your outer life. The transition is much more subtle than that. Once you begin to recognize the symptoms of your old, self-centered, isolated way of life, you are bound to see how every impulse related to this outlook creates fear and insecurity and is futile and senseless. The new state is one of continuous joy and deep inner security. I do not mean that difficulties cannot come your way any more. I have said that many times before and I do not ever want to be misunderstood on that subject. No one should contemplate this path and the development taking place on it with the idea that if you proceed properly your difficulties will cease. That expectation is, of course, utterly unrealistic and wrong as long as you are incarnated as a human being. However — as I said before — that which you need to go through will not frighten you anymore. It will make sense to you, and you will go through it courageously, growing with and from it. You will accept it as  part of life, instead of shrinking away from it.

So you see, my dear friends, what humanity is actually struggling to maintain is a state of isolating darkness. It is a senseless struggle from which you reap unhappiness, and this alone proves that the direction is wrong and must be changed. The results of changing your inner direction are freedom and joy, purpose and security. It appears to you as though what you are giving up is something valuable, but once you decide to let it go you will see that you have given up nothing.

The first tentative steps in the transition from one state or world into another are self-knowledge and the understanding of your unconscious problems, concepts, and attitudes. Self-knowledge and self-acceptance are the prerequisites. Everything else arises from that. You also have to realize that there is a further goal beyond the mere dissolution of your inner problems. Or, to put it differently, you cannot truly solve these problems unless you envisage this great basic transition.

If you can occasionally feel what I have tried to convey to you tonight, it may help you to open a little window from which you can glean a new perception.

Now, are there any questions?

QUESTION:  You were speaking about tuning in. How does one tune in from one state to another?  What is the technique?

ANSWER:  It becomes an automatic process when you pursue this work of self-search while also envisaging the ultimate aim. Once you have reached a deeper understanding of your innermost problems and deviations, as you begin to solve them, your concepts, outlook and values begin to change, subtly and slowly, but surely. With a higher degree of awareness the “tuning in” takes place automatically. You cannot tune in simply by forcing yourself to feel or think something, but you can help it along by trying to feel and perceive in a natural and relaxed way, without expecting immediate results, rather than anticipating a drastic change.

There is no magic formula. You can accelerate the automatic growth process by cultivating certain thoughts, by obtaining spiritual nourishment, and by using this lecture as additional material. All of these together are bound to bring a different vibration; you will tune into a different force or current.

As yet, the vibrations emanating from you, with all their disturbances and contradictory feelings, tune into negative currents, which are just as much part of your world as the positive. You automatically tune into that which corresponds to your own vibration, which is the sum total of your personality, character, and your general outlook on life. Your health or lack of it, your constructive and creative abilities or lack of them, your sense of being alive and fulfilling a purpose or the lack of it causes, in the aggregate, your personal vibration. That vibration, in turn, determines the forces or currents you tune into.

Did you expect a particular formula?  That I cannot give.

QUESTION:  In other words, it is a state of mind and emotion. According to my emotional state, I will attract certain currents. Now suppose my state of mind is such that I attract negative forces. My question is:  How do I go about gradually changing these currents?  Because if I start to think and visualize that there are positive and negative currents, it makes me think that I have to be careful not to tune into these negative forces. If I find myself in that state of mind, how do I switch in order to contact the positive?

ANSWER:  What I spoke about tonight should not change your approach to your Pathwork in the slightest. You seem to feel that you are in greater danger and more exposed to forces beyond your control because you now consider that these forces already exist, while the idea that you produced negative emotions yourself gave you a feeling of greater protection. This is all wrong. The fact that you produce the condition that makes you tune into already existent forces does not make you more helpless. On the contrary, that knowledge, if rightly understood, will give you greater strength and insight to become one with the positive currents. Your very reaction is proof of the basic human struggle and unfounded fear of leaving the state of separateness. It is exactly what I was trying to convey:  you erroneously feel that you are safer in your isolation and become more exposed and vulnerable as part of a whole. You feel that you are the victim of other people’s influence on you and of factors existing beyond your control. You will have this wrong impression as long as your inner self-responsibility is not fully established. When that comes about you will automatically see that the truth is not at all the way you see it now.

Your immediate approach to the problem needs to be always the same. First, understand the basis of your fears. When you go deeply enough, and don’t shy away from following through, you are bound to see that you are in error. All fears, with the exception of the healthy instinct of self-preservation, are based on illusion and misconception. When you understand the basis of your fears, you will be able to give them up naturally. You will then have the transcendent insight that your fear is unnecessary, futile, illusory, and completely senseless. In that realization you will again, not abruptly but little by little, cease being afraid. Thus you will tune into a different current. Your awareness and understanding of the negative is the essential part. All fears and other negative emotions are the result of confused and faulty thinking, which can be conscious or unconscious. By deeply analyzing such negative emotions, you are finally bound to reevaluate your thinking, your concepts, and thereby straighten out the existing confusion.

Often the greatest difficulty is that people are not even aware of being afraid. When you know that you are afraid it is so much better. So the first step is to be aware that you have fears. The second step is to pin down exactly what it is you are afraid of, why, and where the fear comes from. This is hard work, I admit. It needs patience and perseverance. It needs the absolute will to find out. Then you will encounter the original fear and its underlying misconception. At that moment the fear begins to vanish. That is the only way. Harboring the fear that you might tune into the wrong current is the most unproductive approach imaginable. Thinking you must guard yourself against it by forceful measures avails you nothing. You cannot protect yourself by isolating yourself even more. The only way to master your fear is the willingness to go through it. It means acceptance of life as a whole, including the necessary manifestations due to one’s remaining imperfections. This is the only healthy approach.

QUESTION:  I was talking about the transition time. It takes a long time to find out where that fear is. In the transition time one automatically attracts negative currents. I am looking for help during this time, because, as you said, it does not come overnight. So how do I go about it?

ANSWER:  Do you mean that the inwardly existing fear of leaving the old state will attract to you new negative currents?  You are mistaken in believing that the transition state produces new fears. The same old fears have existed all along. You merely become more conscious of them now. This battle has been going on since time began. As long as you have not made the transition, you fight against it because you are unconsciously afraid of it. This fear may manifest in many outer symptoms, yet deep down it is the basic fear of leaving the old state.

Human beings always fear that because they are more conscious of a negative condition, they are more endangered by it. It is just the opposite. The more you are conscious of this or any other fear, the less negative will be the effect it has on you. At any rate, you cannot impress yourself enough with the truth that you are never a helpless prey to the influence of others, nor are others to you.

QUESTION:  May I attempt an additional answer to both these questions which ask for specific instruction on how to tune in?  I don’t feel that this lecture was about giving instructions other than to proceed with the general psychological work, to study and think about it. It is rather a projection of what is bound to happen by itself as a result of this work. It is not a matter of tuning into a fearful mood or a joyful mood. There is no such thing. It is gradual work and if one has fear for a while, there is just no help for the time being, other than the work we are doing anyway. If we do the work right over a period of time, then slowly the fear will begin to change by itself.

ANSWER:  That is right. Thinking about it may help create new perspectives. It may help gain new understanding from a different angle so as to better assimilate the findings you make on this path. That is all it can do. That is all any of these lectures can do.

QUESTION:  I would like to ask a question about fear of success.

ANSWER:  Any such question can only be answered very generally. Anyone with a problem like that would have to work it out in his or her personal work because there are many variations, many possible factors.

Broadly speaking, fear of success indicates a fear of not being adequate to the success. You all know that the child in you wants something handed to it on a silver platter, without the necessary responsibility, work, decision, and cost. When mature, you accept all these conditions, but if the child in you does not, then fear of success may be the result. Therefore, an additional fear is created. It is the fear of losing any possible success that may be gained. The deeper knowledge of your soul transmits to you that you can only rightfully keep what you earn with a mature attitude. If this mature attitude is lacking in any way, deep down you know that success will be fleeting. Therefore you try to avoid the shame and exposure, the failure and grief by sabotaging the success at the outset with your fear.

So what creates fear of success usually is:  (1) feelings of inadequacy; (2) lack of self-responsibility, even if only on a subtle inner level; (3) guilt:  the feeling of “I do not really deserve it.”  This too is connected with what I discussed here. If one is unwilling to assume mature responsibility, then one naturally feels guilty for desiring the goal. If a person accepts full adult self-responsibility, is willing to pay the price for anything, and is capable of making a mature decision, there will be no such guilt.

Whenever such a problem exists, one is bound to find the elements discussed here. You may find them in particular personal variations, but basically the aspects covered here are bound to be present in some form if one goes deep enough.

On a yet deeper spiritual level, however, another element enters. This is very closely connected with the psychological causes I just discussed and with tonight’s subject.

You may remember that in a previous talk I explained the fear of happiness that exists to some degree in every human being. Fear of happiness is closely connected with the new state I discussed tonight, the state in which you are a part of a whole, instead of an end in yourself. The blind and ignorant human ego is struggling against the unknown new state of pure happiness. Any real happiness must in some way be connected with the new state of being which will be yours after the transition.

Any success that is more than just superficial, that is not experienced in the spirit of being a part of the whole and sharing the common aim of bringing the entire universe to unity will be shallow, unsatisfactory, and temporary. It will not be rewarding and is bound to be frightening in some way. True satisfaction and safety, which should be the byproduct of real success, is incompatible with the separate state; even when this separate state is not clearly recognized as the subtle and unconscious factor it is. The incompatibility creates the fear of success.

I shall now retire with special blessings for this season. Of course, in our world we do not have or know “seasons.”  But you, in your world, have chosen this particular time of the year to celebrate the birth of one who has come to demonstrate, in the best possible way, the transition I have talked about. He has demonstrated it in symbols. For life itself is a symbol, much more so than your dreams. So with the special blessing of Christ who was love, and is love, and who will always be love, I leave you with strength and our love, and with our wishes that you may continue to struggle on this one path, this path of finding yourselves and developing yourselves to become the person you are meant to be. For there is nothing more worthwhile and purposeful that you could possibly do, as long as you are truly honest with yourself. Self-honesty is the first step toward love. So be blessed, my dearest ones, be in peace, be in God!