Complete Lectures of the Pathwork 1996 Edition Vol. 1 by Eva Pierrakos by Eva Pierrakos - Read Online
Complete Lectures of the Pathwork 1996 Edition Vol. 1
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This volume contains lectures 1-50 of the 1996 edition of the Pathwork Lectures given by Eva Pierrakos between 1957 and 1979 to Pathwork Communities worldwide. The teachings, profoundly concerned with self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and self-responsibility, are full of wisdom and love.

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ISBN: 9781931589413
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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 1

1996 Edition

March 11, 1957

THE SEA OF LIFE

Greetings. I bring you God's blessings, my dear ones.

From the wider perspective of the spirit, human life appears as a tableau representing the form and substance of earthly life as a sea, an ocean, on which each life is a boat. You often experience this analogy in dreams. The picture presents various aspects of life: the sea can be stormy, the sky grey, and then again the sun will shine and the waters be calm until the next storm comes along. And so it alternates until the journey reaches its destination. The destination is the firm land, the world of spirit, your true home. Thus all depends on how well you can direct your life.

One person is a trained, experienced, skillful captain and as such is not afraid of danger; he directs his little boat well through the elements, and in the calm and good periods gathers strength for the next storm. Another gets nervous and loses inner control when a storm is brewing. Yet another is so scared that in his extreme fear he does not steer his boat at all, but lets it drift through the storm of life — and thus does not gain anything. You are aware, of course, that the atmospheric disturbances, thunderstorms, the hurricanes, the clouds that gather, are the tests that life brings to you. Human beings who have already been through some spiritual schooling and are a little more sensitive can use their intuition to recognize where their little boat is at a particular time.

I would like to talk about the tests. There is hardly any group of people, be it a family or any other community, where at least one human soul will not be still so low in its development that that person becomes the plaything of the forces of darkness. This does not mean that he or she has to be an evil person. No, it is enough if such people do not accept the validity of certain spiritual laws in their lives, that they do not apply them to themselves, or that, in spite of certain very good qualities, they will not cultivate self-honesty. This alone is sufficient to become the plaything of the forces of darkness. The dark world takes its material from these currents, from the lack of self-discipline and self-awareness, from all the formations that manifest when a human being does not follow divine law.

Spiritual material resembles threads, fine, ray-like threads — in this case of somber color and texture — which are spun, knotted, and entangled, until there is such a tight ball of confusion that one can disentangle it only with the greatest difficulty. However, it is not only this one person who furnishes the material for the confusions, but all the other people involved in the group contribute their share, which arises from their own mistakes and weaknesses in those areas where they violate spiritual law. Thus more of the same kind of yarn is spun, until truth is no longer discernible — at least not easily — even for those whose sight is already sharper, and often it takes a great deal of effort to find the truth at all.

For a person who strives toward a higher spiritual awareness it is often extremely difficult to know how to behave when such tests come along, for the dark forces know only too well how to make untruth appear as truth, truth as untruth, good as evil, evil as good. And so humans get confused — they who actually want so much to be in truth. They no longer know how to act in the right way. Often their own inner sick currents, of which they are unaware, contribute not only to darken the situation further, but also prevent them from perceiving it with clarity and thus from knowing how to deal with it.

In order to part the dark clouds and see the truth it is important for everyone to be schooled in spiritual awareness and, according to your level, undertake to develop yourself to your utmost capacity. Otherwise you too will, in a different way, again in unawareness, become a plaything of the forces of darkness, your boat will be blown hither and thither, and you will no longer be able to steer, or steer it as well as possible. Neither can you, when trying to see the truth and perceive the core of the problem, dissipate the heavy clouds by yourself.

You can know what to do or not to do to contribute your energy to the service of the good only when you go on a path such as this. Then you can learn the discipline to go into your inner stillness at any time — especially when the wild storms are raging — and make contact with God and His divine spirits. Then you can open yourself to the inspiration of truth by observing yourself with all your faults, conquering all resistance.

The spiritual laws can, and should, be made a living reality on three different levels — and the higher the person's development, the deeper it is possible to penetrate into these levels. They are: Doing, thinking and feeling.

The most difficult task is on the emotional level. This is the highest level, because, first of all, many feelings are unconscious and you need work, willpower, and patience to make them conscious, and furthermore one cannot control one's feelings as immediately and directly as one's thoughts or actions. It requires laborious work on the spiritual level, self-analysis, and the thorough absorption of spiritual laws before the emotions can even begin to change.

The less developed a person is, the more superficial his or her understanding of and adherence to the spiritual laws must be. This is why God gave humankind first the Ten Commandments. They deal with actions. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not lie, and so on. This was already a lot to take in for the average person of that time, and still is for certain groups of people who are incarnated from lower spheres.

The next stage is to cultivate one's thoughts. Quite often a person acts rightly, but the thoughts run another course; people act rightly because they comprehend that otherwise they would get into trouble with the outside world, but it is still difficult for them to control their thoughts, and they often desire things which are not in accord with the divine laws. They have not yet understood that the impure thoughts and feelings must lead them into the same conflict within themselves since all thoughts and feelings have a form and a substance in spirit and thus bring about outer effects and chain reactions, even though they are unable to perceive them as such right away. Such an overview requires a spiritual awareness that can come only through higher development. Thus Christ brought you an expanded understanding of the divine laws and commandments and taught that you can sin also in thought. At his time humanity was beginning to become ready for this expanded awareness and depth of perception. And today humanity begins to be receptive to an even deeper spiritual understanding.

People in the second stage, who are doing their utmost to work on the level of thoughts and are purifying them, are well ahead of those who have only reached the stage of keeping the laws to the extent of outer actions. But you, my dear friends, must learn to reach deeper than that and come to your real feelings, to those which remain so often in the unconscious, which are so readily covered up by pretexts, and about which it is so easy to deceive yourselves, so as not to have to look at what is really there. Such self-deception must inevitably bring you into conflict with yourself and often also with your environment; this is so, even if you refuse to acknowledge the true origin of the conflicts. It is difficult enough to purify one's thoughts. Therefore, to have to recognize that many of your feelings still deviate quite a bit from your thoughts or conscious intentions is rather painful.

It is just this extra effort that God wants everybody to make. The last stage and deepening of consciousness is of course the most difficult to reach, this is the goal to which you all aspire: it is the true purification. Those who can bring their innermost feelings into their consciousness and are willing to recognize that these feelings do not always run parallel with what they have accepted as right in their thoughts, have already accomplished a great deal. If you work on this continuously until you slowly acquire mastery in it, you can penetrate not only into your own truth, but can then find, at times of trial, in difficult situations, the core of truth. Then you can scatter the clouds, then you can untangle the ball of threads, knot by knot. For only those who courageously face themselves again and again — and here vanity is an insurmountable obstacle — can gain true perspective of another human being or of any outer situation. Those who are blind to their own truth must be blind to the truth of others.

The knots and tangles are also spiritual forms which are a reality, my dear ones. We can always observe them around each group of people. Everybody adds his share to the tangle of threads, woven by the dark forces; and often one person contributes especially much to create tangles and achieve greater and greater confusion. But if there is one person in a group who takes the direct and spiritual high road, who truly confronts himself day by day, he or she is the one who will eventually — I repeat, not from one day to the next — succeed in loosening one knot after the other, until there are none left and everything becomes clear. Then the weak person will not be able to deceive himself any longer either, which anyway was most detrimental to himself and had burdened his progress. Of course, at first he will put up a resistance, because confusion feeds the lower self that prefers the road of least resistance and vanity, practices self-deception and thrives on discord. But, in the long run, even a weak person will feel liberated as the clouds disappear from his or her life. When truth illuminates with its clarity a previously obscure situation, there will be no more questions left as to what is the right attitude, what is just, and what is the right action.

Everybody has enough self-knowledge — or should strive to reach this point — to ask herself or himself, What am I able to do to contribute my share to God's Plan of Salvation? Many do not have as their task anything that would create public attention. But quietly, for their own sake, everybody can and should start to fulfill their part. For all have their tasks within the plan, even the weakest. For them it may suffice and perhaps mean the maximum of achievement to cast off a particular fault, to set something right with a fellow human being with whom they were incarnated for that purpose, to align their actions with God's laws, and to refrain from giving in to their lowest instincts. More is required of others; of everyone always what is most difficult, what needs the greatest perseverance; all purify themselves and develop within the capacity of their level and strength.

For those who are more advanced in their development, this process of purification automatically leads to the ability to disentangle the knots in their surroundings and to clear up confused situations. Thus they accomplish something they were meant to do and contribute to God's Plan of Salvation, in which each act of cooperation counts so much. And then further tasks will be found.

You human beings want to be happy, all of you, and of course we understand this. Without the yearning for happiness and perfection in the human soul, there would be no spiritual development. But there are only very few who ask, What can I give? What can I contribute to God's Plan of Salvation? You are always demanding something, not necessarily in direct prayer for the fulfillment of this or that wish, but with your self-will, your feelings, and often even in your thinking. You want the best for yourself and are unhappy over the difficulties of life.

Have you ever asked God, What can I do for you? For those who claim their own happiness as the ultimate goal — which is usually the case, even if you are not conscious of it — break the cycle of the living flow of energy which is the basis of everything that is spiritual. And the moment the cycle is interrupted, it is also dead. Let us suppose that a particular wish of yours has been granted. If the good you have received has its ultimate goal in yourself, it cannot remain alive in you, and therefore your happiness will be of short duration. Only those who keep the cycle actively flowing by being constantly conscious of and inspired by the desire to put to spiritual use and into the service of God's Plan of Salvation all that they have received in help and grace, in happiness and fulfillment, in divine intervention and guidance, and act and feel accordingly, will also be able to sustain and keep alive their own happiness.

You can and should allow God to guide you, so that you can achieve this goal. A person who does this is indeed a participant in the divine order and his or her happiness will never become shallow, or dry out, or die, but will always be alive, pulsating, forever regenerating itself. And only a person with this kind of intentionality is worthy of special guidance and divine help.

Yes, my dear ones, few people think this way. They go to God and make wishes and demands, but they are not willing to give anything to God's world, to the great struggle which is so crucial. Think about this, all of you. All who approach God in this way can be given more light and help to disentangle the knots and to have the strength to steer their little boat well, even through a storm, so that they come through it strengthened and enlightened, as is the will of God.

Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 2

1996 Edition

March 25, 1957

DECISIONS AND TESTS

Greetings in the name of God. I bring you God's blessings.

My dear friends, God's love penetrates the entire creation. It is a living force, a beam that meets itself in an eternal round, as everything spiritual must move in circular completeness. All creatures are in search of this powerful beam of love, whether consciously or unconsciously. The longing to feel this love drives, pulls, spurs humans and spirits. They will have an understanding of the yearning according to their state of development, will draw conclusions, and follow through with their will and their thoughts. Or they will not interpret these feelings correctly and will allow this driving force to act through them and even lead them into mistakes. Not realizing the real nature of the feelings and the search, the person will look for false goals and false fulfillment. However, those who reach the stage of development where they already understand what these hitherto inexplicable feelings of longing really are have taken a great step. They will also know in what direction to go. Thus there will be fewer errors and misunderstandings about one's own soul forces, and their messages will be translated correctly.

The love for God, the longing for God, is the driving force in every human being. Even those who have not yet found God, or who believe that they do not believe in God, harbor these strong currents in their soul. Those who experience a complete turnabout in their spiritual development and recognize God in consciousness enter into a new life. This can happen within one and the same incarnation. Whoever steps through this door will already live in a much lighter world, yet there are many more gates to pass through.

Most people find life on this earth incomprehensible. They cannot recognize its meaning and purpose because they see only through their physical eyes. The contact with their spiritual eyes has not yet been established. Therefore everything seems meaningless — their sorrows, their trials, their loneliness. But when you understand that this life is one of many learning periods, one link in a long chain, you will at first sense and later comprehend more and more fully the connections. Then your goal will no longer be immediate happiness through the fulfillment of every single wish in this existence. You will instead direct your vision toward the whole. Thus you can bear the deprivations of this life. And thus you can pass the tests and fulfill the conditions necessary to enter a higher state of existence, a permanent happiness that cannot be taken away by any outside force.

Now I would like to talk about the group of people who have passed through the first gates, who have already recognized these fundamental truths. Such people often do not progress as well as they could. After all, how fast each individual will proceed is up to his or her free will. One person may just drift along and have to reincarnate many, many times to overcome or fulfill one thing, experiencing it again and again. Others, who have recognized these basic truths, will act differently and direct their aim toward spiritual progress — which does not mean withdrawing from earthly problems. On the contrary: for earthly and spiritual problems are very closely connected. An earthly problem is actually the expression of a specific spiritual problem. The difference is only in how the solution of a problem is sought, from what vantage point. Only if you solve the problem on the spiritual level can you find its true earthly solution.

We often see that people know this or that, but they still do not perceive the connecting links within themselves. They still look for God and for knowledge somewhere outside of themselves, for instance through increasing their outer knowledge — which in itself is good, but not enough. There must be a continuous balancing. The acquired knowledge must always be applied on a personal level, digested and evaluated within, so that harmony is established. To achieve true progress, you have to grow from both sides. New outer knowledge has to be acquired when the old has been integrated and assimilated within. Knowledge must never remain theoretical. It must be put into practice and take root in your personal life. Thus every person needs to widen his or her knowledge of the true nature of creation and of the spiritual laws. But the outer knowing is only one part, which must not be taken as the whole. Without the other part, the inner assimilation, there can be no harmony in your progress, no real fulfillment, and thus actually no progress.

You have to get acquainted with yourself, attend to yourself, examine yourself, and acquire the discipline to overcome the resistance which is so difficult at the beginning. You have to observe all your notions about yourself which flatter you and with which it is so easy to deceive yourself. Then you have to cast them off or revise them. This work is something special, something different for each one of you, yet most of it is similar, or can even be the same. When we talk about the spiritual progress of the human being we mean something very individual for each one of you. And you, my dear ones, should search yourselves and ask: What hidden part of me still does not react according to the sole reality, the spiritual laws, even if only on a subtle, inner level? Where do I lack clarity about certain things in myself?

Such self-examination should go on at all times. Then you will be able to slowly eliminate that which is not yet right within you, so that you become happier. You have to be clear about what obstacles are in you, and to gain clarity you need inner search and also true inner will and effort. For if you lack happiness in any area, you can be sure that the lack is directly connected with a specific inner block. Were your wishes simply granted without your first eliminating the inner obstacles, that could never make you really happy. You could not build lasting happiness; it would have to dissolve. Only when you have established inner harmony, a relationship to God in which His laws are accomplished within you, is your soul mature enough to encompass happiness.

People often wonder about communication with God's world. Yes, they say, I can quite believe that such communication is possible, but what can it mean to me? What do I need it for? My answer is that such communication can give you one of the parts necessary for your further development, namely intake from the outside. Furthermore, it gives hints, help, and direction for searching, discovering, and applying the outer knowledge to the inner problems, which is the second necessary part of development. For this, you need constant encouragement, strength, and blessing, apart from very specific, concrete help. Yet even that can be given through spirit communication. There have always been some exceptional, wise humans to whom others could be guided. In these cases too, just as with a medium, God's world is directly active. The particular person is then an instrument of God's world. In one case the influence is through inspiration, in the other it operates directly. But the help from the outside, in whatever way, is an important element without which you cannot grow. You can use the knowledge thus acquired as material, as the building blocks, with which you build your life in your own way.

In my last lecture I briefly touched upon the subject of decision-making. I was asked how it is possible to always know what the right action is. It is one of the things that you have to learn, even though it appears difficult at times. Many people can make decisions on the outer level, though some cannot do even that. A great number of people cannot make the inner decisions, however. Their emotional currents and inner, emotional reactions make them completely incapable of deciding inwardly, and they do not even know it since the process is covered up. Only when they start weighing their innermost motives and emotions do they come to realize what has been going on. Then they can begin to make inner decisions. The inability to make inner decisions expresses itself not only in problems that seem to have directly to do with other people, but more so in one's inner attitudes, feelings, and reactions.

Those who will not make a decision are often the same who most sincerely strive to follow their soul's yearning. Although they truly want to do what is right and just, they shy away from doing something because it may not please God. They are afraid of doing wrong so they do not do anything. They do not understand that by not making a decision they also make a decision. The world, and what you call time, never stands still. Everything is in the stream of life, and whatever you do, including not doing anything, must have a consequence. When you shy away from making a decision, it means you have not yet found a key to your soul. You live, possibly without being aware of it, in fear. You do not take command of your ship, believing and hoping — again unconsciously — that God or fate will make the decision for you. Once in a while this may even happen, but, in general, God's world is not permitted to interfere, since one of the things you have to learn is to take responsibility for your decisions. You have to learn to pierce the dark cloud which obscures the truth and creates confusion. You must do so by your own effort, by your personal spiritual endeavor, by your increasing self-awareness.

Striving to overcome your resistance is the only way to sharpen your spiritual vision. Only in this way can you perceive what exists in your own soul as well as around you. You must learn to evaluate even very complicated situations, and understand what is at stake both for you and for others. You must learn to achieve the utmost for your spiritual development and purification through solving hitherto unresolved problems. You need to confront a problem instead of avoiding it like an ostrich that buries its head in the sand.

If, after taking on the problem, you come to the conclusion that you are not yet capable of making a decision because you are not yet able to perceive which direction to take, you are in a totally different state. Then you can ask God for inspiration and knowledge and thus be ready to receive it and act accordingly. The needed recognition will come to you when you have prepared yourself through your own endeavors. It is one thing to avoid a decision, cover up everything that relates to it, and turn away from the problem altogether. It is quite another to strive for truth and knowingly and willingly decide not to make a decision until, after more personal effort, you are ready to take the right course. And when the decision is truly the right one, no shadow of a doubt will be left in you. The result will be ever-increasing inner peace and harmony in your soul. Only in this way can you become the captain of your ship.

You can recognize the pure truth of a situation and know what the right action must be for you, but only if you discard all self-flattering disguises, everything that nourishes complacency and lures you toward the road of least resistance. When people live their whole lives avoiding decisions, reactions and chain reactions will ensue. A spiritual form is created which will make it even more difficult in their next life to disentangle the knots and learn to make decisions. Therefore you, who receive these words, should contemplate them well. Understand that avoiding decisions will cause great harm, not only in spiritual, but also in purely earthly matters. This is so even from the point of view of your selfish ego, as you will see once you go beyond your short-sightedness. You must build your own happiness by following the spiritual laws to the full. Without this decision there can be no benefit.

Now, are there any questions?

QUESTION: The souls in the lower spheres are supposed to suffer much pain. How is it then that Lucifer, who is the worst of all evil spirits, does not seem to suffer? Is this just?

ANSWER: You human beings always think that there is nothing worse than pain. Yet there is something worse, namely the stage before a soul is able to feel pain. When you feel pain, you are already a step closer to God. I should like to explain this to you, so that you can sense the magnificence of creation, and see how the dark forces must ultimately play into God's hands.

I will give you this example: Lucifer has his henchmen; in his realm too there is a hierarchy of very powerful and less powerful beings. If such a powerful henchman fails to fulfill a task that has been assigned to him — possibly to deter a human being from following his path to God, because the human being used his free will to resist temptation — he will lose more and more of his power, until he himself will be tortured by his fellow evil spirits. And he who finds himself in extreme pain must come closer to God, since it is then that his need for God is greatest. Thus, the lower he sinks in the dark spheres, the higher he actually rises. The farther removed he is from pain, the greater the inner disharmony; and Lucifer is in the greatest disharmony. The greater the disharmony, the more strongly the inner currents will need to harmonize. This continues until such beings reach the point where they can increase their inner harmony even without pain. Later, the overcoming of various resistances will replace the pain, until eventually not even the struggle against resistance will be necessary. All of you can get an inkling of this process when you remember how much closer to inner harmony you are when you experience clean pain than when you are not really in pain but feel upset, rebellious, and torn in many directions, possessed by very disharmonious feelings. Therefore, the more the laws of God extend their influence, the fewer henchmen will Lucifer eventually have.

QUESTION: Why is it that one feels abandoned by God, that one finds oneself without assistance from the higher spheres just when one goes through the most difficult times?

ANSWER: This is often so. When you are tested, at first you learn how to attain your goal with the help of spiritual protection. Then this protective influence will step somewhat aside and you are left to yourself, at an equal distance, so to speak, from the divine and the dark forces. You have to stand your ground alone, and act right out of your own will. And then, when you have withstood the test, the dark forces will be periodically allowed to get quite close to you — though divine love is always close by, watching that everything goes well — so that you can stand your ground even better. Only then are you strong enough so that God can fully count on you; only then can you be sure that you have attained mastery over your lower self, over your weaknesses that needed exactly this kind of testing. This is the process. Then, in the so-called favorable periods, you gather new strength for the next period of testing, and can enjoy the fruits of what you have already achieved.

It is up to every human being to avail themselves of the weapons of spiritual law and fight with them. No evil spirit, be it the most powerful, can do anything to you unless you allow it. The moment you fight your lower self, you protect yourself completely. This is what you must do: fight the battle! This is not too much to ask of you. The times when human beings feel alone come only when they are ready to use their will to stand up for themselves without help. Your inner will is always a most important factor, but never will more be expected of you than you are able to accomplish.

QUESTION: But there are many people who suffer so much that they cannot summon up this strength. For instance, someone who has a disease of which he knows he must die. What should such a person do?

ANSWER: It is exactly then that one often experiences that one meets the tests, more so than just living an average life. Those who are marked especially heavily by destiny are often much more capable of meeting their tests by accepting them for what they are and learning from them what is necessary, and by taking up their cross willingly instead of quarreling with their destiny. I have to emphasize again and again that God never gives anyone more than they can, or could, bear and fulfill if only they are willing. You human beings are not able to judge the inner resources of others and what they do with these resources, whether they let them lie fallow or direct them into the wrong channel. Moreover, you always cling to the false belief that death and pain are the worst things that can happen to you. I refer here to physical death, which must certainly not be considered as punishment. Spiritual death is the worst, and it stands at the end of the road of least resistance.

QUESTION: What is spiritual death?

ANSWER: Spiritual death is to give yourself over to the forces of darkness, consciously or unconsciously, that is, to cut yourself off from God's world. Thus there are not only spirits who are separated from God, but also people. They will not join His ranks because they prefer to walk the road of least resistance and to give in to their weaknesses. Thus they belong to the land of the dead. This is spiritual death. But in no way is this state eternal.

Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 3

1996 Edition

April 9, 1957

CHOOSING YOUR DESTINY — THE WILL TO CHANGE

Greetings in the name of God. I bring you God's blessings, my dear ones.

When an entity undertakes to incarnate into another life on earth, it brings to it the tasks it has to fulfill; the plan is outlined. And in many cases the spirit itself has the right to discuss its future life with those spirit beings whose responsibility this is: thus the incarnating entity can contribute — to a certain extent, according to its already acquired vision and capacity to judge — as to how its destiny will unfold. For in the spirit state the entity has a wider view than in the body and understands that the purpose of life is not to have it as comfortable as possible, but to develop toward a higher state, to reach perfect bliss as rapidly as possible — a state that does not exist on earth. The spirit knows that only through spiritual effort can its spiritual knowledge penetrate its intellect; but as a spirit it also knows that it cannot easily achieve this, and that, once incarnated, difficulties, tests, and even so-called disasters are often necessary to lead one to the right path and the right attitude.

Memory fades automatically the moment matter envelops the spirit. This is essential, for spiritual awareness has to be fought for, and this can happen only when one takes the trouble to search within the self — not only outside and in general terms — for God and the truths of Creation. Only within one's own soul can one recognize the very special meaning and purpose of one's life, together with the individual tasks that one has to fulfill. However, those who constantly allow themselves to be impressed by the outward aspects of life on earth lose this inner meaning, and sometimes they have to go through life after life without much progress, incarnating again and again for the same purpose.

The spirit knows the danger of earthly life, but knows also that if one lives life in the right way from the spiritual point of view, one can develop on earth disproportionately faster than in the spirit world, exactly because it is easier there. The difficulties on earth are mainly connected with matter and all that this implies. This is so partly because the memory has been extinguished and needs to be regained, and partly because matter contains so much temptation. Only those who overcome these difficulties can win and make the best of their lives on earth. The spirits about to be incarnated know that they need hardship to shake them into wakefulness so that they do not get imprisoned in matter and in all that matter attracts to it. Before incarnation, therefore, a spirit may ask the higher beings: I beg you, help me, not only with your strength and guidance, but also, when you see that I am not fulfilling my quota, send me tests and trials, for when these come, I have a better chance to wake up and look at my life from a different point of view than when everything functions regularly and without friction, that is, when all my wishes are always fulfilled within the scope of the possible.

So it is important for you, my dear ones, to recognize that many of the events in your life which seem to repeat themselves were chosen and planned by you when you still had your wider vision, before matter enveloped your spirit. It will be helpful for you to know this. A very ambitious spirit may sometimes even ask for a particularly difficult destiny, knowing clearly in the state of freedom from matter that the pain to be suffered is little and of short duration in comparison to the gain. This should give you food for thought.

I suggest to each one of you, my friends, to think about your life and your trials and tribulations. Ask whether they could not have been chosen by yourselves to make sure you do not remain unaware of something that you should fulfill. Contemplate from this viewpoint what you should still find and solve within you. If you search for it with your entire will, the answer will be given to you, you will sense it, you will be given insights. This, too, has to be learned; it needs practice. Do not believe that the ability to meditate will come by itself. It needs willpower, perseverance; you have to fight your negative currents. But the reward is great and truly blissful; the effort is worth it. When the spirit world recognizes that a person does this with sincere good will, then guidance will be given also from the outside, to help you achieve what you intend.

When a spirit realizes after life is over and it has discarded the material shell that it has not fulfilled everything it had planned, it is often allowed to bring the past incarnation to completion in the spirit state, to finish tasks already begun and to shed some burdens. One can then, as a spirit, continue to be involved with family or whatever group of people one had intended to accomplish a task with, only then it is much more difficult. It is easier in the sense that clear vision is restored, the extinguished memory regained, and one understands what it is all about, but it is more difficult because the possibility of effectively working is much reduced there.

For instance, a living person can influence another especially effectively by overcoming his or her own faults. Indirect influence is always effective and lasting. Example is always more convincing than words, persuasion, or forcing one's will upon the other, no matter how right or well-intentioned one is. To the degree you overcome your own weaknesses, affirm the spiritual laws within yourself, and learn to love, you will get closer to your fellow humans where you need it. It must be so according to spiritual lawfulness. This is indirect influence, but eventually the result becomes evident to everyone. However, as a discarnate spirit you cannot do this, for most people are not open to receive what a spirit is trying to convey through inspiration; even when they perceive it, they often misinterpret or forget it, so it is much more difficult and takes much longer for anyone as a spirit to finish the task begun on earth — if it can be accomplished at all. One may still need another earth life for this purpose.

Thus every human being and every spirit erects the world in which he or she lives. You build your home in the spirit world after your life on earth, and you build your future life on earth. Every act, thought, feeling has its form, which then builds the spiritual home — even though only temporarily — as well as the destined events of the future incarnation. All this represents not only the natural outcome of the person's individual attitude and outlook, but the spiritual forms so constructed indicate exactly what this entity needs for its further development.

Meditate on these words, for they contain much. They again exemplify that the equation must always come out right: hardship is self-created, yet precisely because of that, it contains the only medicine there is. Through this you can fathom the vastness of divine wisdom in its magnificent lawfulness. Whoever understands this, will also understand that destiny and free will are not two mutually exclusive factors, but are interwoven and connected. The events that fate brings to you are spiritual forms which have to manifest in a concrete way. If through ignorance of these laws unfavorable forms are created, each being has to dissolve them himself, and this can happen only by entering a spiritual path of inner discipline, self-knowledge, and self-search.

For all this, my dear ones, you need willpower. Many of you, my friends, will say: That's all very well, but one person is born with a strong portion of willpower, and another is not. So how can someone who hasn't got any willpower make use of it? Let me explain.

Willpower, just as any other quality, has to be engendered and built up by yourself. It cannot be otherwise. A person born with a strong will must have worked to acquire it some time in the past, so he or she could bring this valuable possession — if I may call it that — along, and now it can be put to good use. If this has not happened yet, work for it in this incarnation. The same holds true for all the other qualities, whether it is the capacity to love, to have tolerance, kindliness, or anything else. And I would like to show you how each one of you can acquire willpower. For God never asks for the impossible from anyone, my dear ones, ever.

Willpower is a direct result of understanding, of knowledge, and of the corresponding decision. For every human being has a certain amount of strength, and it is entirely up to him or her in what direction to channel it. Many people waste this strength either in useless efforts which build nothing that is of spiritual value, or they give over to sick, unpurified emotional currents. These use up much energy. It is yet another spiritual law that energy used for spiritually positive goals is always replenished. But when your strength is caught up in negative circles of spiritually unproductive currents, it gets depleted and wasted, because it cannot be renewed, at least not sufficiently.

This is why you so often see that people who do a lot of good seem to have superhuman strength. Those who know what life is all about will channel the energy at their disposal wisely and reset the inner switches accordingly. When one just drifts along, without giving a thought to the true meaning of life, much of the energy will go into false channels and thus be used up without sufficient renewal. Thus the first step toward willpower is thinking, or, as you also call it, meditation, in the right way. Because for someone who has gained a certain understanding, it will be easier to draw the relevant inner conclusions and to make the outward decisions that follow from them.

It is a decision and an inner reorientation when a person can say: Well, I live here on earth for a certain reason. Maybe I lack the willpower to fulfill the purpose of my existence as well as it could be possible by overcoming all my resistances, but I will ask God for this willpower, for basically I do want what is good, I do love God. And I will take the time and the little effort to reflect upon these things and open myself to divine enlightenment and devote regularly, daily, about twenty to thirty minutes to my spiritual life. And when I find that at first I still lack the willpower, then I will take this problem into my meditation, into my dialogue with God and with Christ, who is there to help me, and with my spirit helpers who are also waiting to assist me in case I fulfill the conditions to receive teachings, to gain insights, and thus to help my still weak willpower to grow.

Everybody can do that. This much willpower, this much self-discipline is available to everyone. You do not have to start with what is most difficult; after all, you do not start with the roof when you build a house, but with the foundation. The idea is to shift the energy and the emphasis. When a person finally makes this decision and abides by it — a decision that is not too difficult or too much for anyone — then the spirit world will also help to strengthen his or her willpower, so that the further and actually more difficult steps of development will seem much easier. I can promise this to you, my friends, and some of you can already confirm that it is so. And thus even the person who initially was lacking in willpower will, in due course, have just as much as those who were born with it.

Those who understand what is at stake and to what area to shift their main concentration, and who bring this understanding from a superficial intellectual level into deeper levels, will be able to take the necessary decisive step. It happens through the regular practice of the correct meditation, which of course has to be learned as part of this path. I talked about inner decisions in my last lecture. The decision to develop your willpower is such a decision, which has to be made at one time or another. To summarize: To obtain willpower you have to, first, gain understanding and, second, make the decision that follows from it. Therefore, if you feel that you do not have enough willpower, you lack the illuminating understanding of what it is all about. Yes, you may have a vague sense of it, but your soul is not yet penetrated by it, maybe because something in you resists and clings to the comfortable, undisciplined old attitude. You are then split inside. One part has some spiritual knowledge, yet the other part does not draw the conclusions from what you feel only vaguely — the fact is, you do not really want to know. This is why the first step must be to deepen the superficial knowledge, to work on that first, so that the whole personality is penetrated by understanding. When you do this first — and you can if you take a little trouble and time — you will certainly make the decision and have the willpower to direct your life and your energies toward the spiritual, recognizing and fully understanding that only in this way can you also solve the problems in your earthly life. And this is how a person creates within the self such a powerful energy that all the subsequent steps upward on the path will become easier and easier. As always, and in everything, the beginning is the most difficult.

From our perspective, we often observe that people who believe they do not have enough willpower would have it if they directed the available energies into the right channels, if they only reset the switch. But only the insight into the necessity of this change will make you act. As long as you deceive yourself into believing that you can manage without it, you will not act but amble along as before. The pursuit of a path that seems comfortable, however, means that the relationship to God is not entirely harmonious. Therefore, if you find yourself in this situation, start thinking about God and Christ, instead of shying away from such contemplation. And you will have to admit, regardless of what exactly you believe or not believe — assuming that you are not an atheist — that you owe God some attention. And you can also give thanks to Christ for all that he has taken upon himself for you, out of his love. All those who meditate and reflect upon these things in this way will have to arrive at the right conclusion and will have to make the right decision, so that their lives become living religion and not just a theory.

Do you think that we expect too much of you? Is it too much to devote a little time and effort every day to look into yourself, to find the areas where something is lacking, so as to improve your spiritual awareness? And when the willpower is not there and it is so difficult to muster a daily discipline, then, after asking for help, search into yourself to find what it is that hinders you so much. If you are afraid that you might find something that you would much rather keep buried, then you will benefit from using simple, healthy logic, which will tell you that nothing can remain hidden from God and the realm of spirit — and not even from yourself, once you return to that world. And the sooner it surfaces, the better for you and the easier to deal with. For you know that what is hidden brings far greater conflicts than what is out in the open, recognized, and integrated. Your psychologists know this, too, so that you are quite aware of the fact that you gain nothing when you close your eyes to what is in you. Think about this deeply, so that the knowledge takes root in your soul. It will be to your greatest benefit.

When you have overcome the initial difficulties and have won some mastery over yourself, at least in this respect, then the spirit world will show you the next step on your path, what has to be worked out and fought for. Life will present it to you. When you have learned to meditate in the right way, you will know how to view every event of your daily life with open eyes, so that you understand its messages.

Even those friends who have overcome the initial difficulties do not always use their quiet hour in the best way. They meditate too often in general terms, always in the same way, not only when praying for other people, but also for themselves. Your meditations and prayers must vary; you need to sense the next step of your development, and when you are not aware of it, the insight will be given if you search honestly, turning your eyes toward what has to be recognized, learned, overcome, and accepted. Take the specific problem of finding your path's direction to God and Christ, and to your personal spirit friends who are so close to you and whose task it is to help you with it. In this way your prayers will come alive. Then, after you have asked for help to recognize your problems and for the strength to solve them, be still and listen into yourself, and then think, or rather let your thoughts surface and allow them to lead you intuitively. After a while the connections will become clear. You will know where the problem comes from, why you react the way you do, and the increasing awareness of your inner currents will help you quite a bit forward.

Again and again take the resolution to face your inner truth with courage. Cultivate truthful thoughts; think everything through clearly, independently. Thus your spiritual life will become more productive, because it will be alive, and therefore also constantly changing. It will not be according to a rigid formula which is repeated daily. And so your relationship to God will unfold toward harmony.

Think about my words, which I was permitted to give to you today. They should take you a little further on your path. And then we have also fulfilled our task. When I say we, I want to make it clear that I am not the only one who is involved in this contact, but other spirit friends participate in it also, who have their very specific functions, as it is my task to speak to you. For it is not as easy to establish such a contact as you may think, even when the ability of transmission is present.

We spirits who work here rejoice when we see that these words bring you a little closer to God, to your real self, to your happiness and to your inner harmony. Receive the blessings of salvation, may they penetrate you. Go with God, go in peace. God be with you.

Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 4

1996 Edition

April 22, 1957

WORLD WEARINESS

Greetings in the name of God. I bring you God's blessings.

My dear friends, since some of you are pondering the subject of world weariness — an indefinable longing or melancholy or sadness which may at times take hold of you — I would like to choose this subject as the theme of today's lectures.

The feeling grows from several roots, therefore there are a variety of possible causes for world weariness. Of course the yearning for God and perfection plays a role here too whether consciously or not, as well as the nostalgia for one's true spiritual home that dwells in every human being. For here on earth you are only visitors, it is not your true home. But that is never the main reason for the indefinable longing. Its background is more complex, and this is what I want to talk about now.

When people deviate in their souls from the divine laws in any respect — and the more unconsciously this happens the greater the deviation is — then a vague feeling of sadness and longing can grip them at times; it is as if their higher selves would respond and encourage them to sense that something is not quite right within themselves. For instance, they do not know how to open themselves up to loving in the true sense of the word; they cannot move out a feeling which is vital in the life of a human being. As a consequence love does not come back to them in the right and fulfilling way. Then a feeling of weariness is the answer of their souls.

People often think that they are very capable of loving — and that may even be true — but this capacity does not go into the right channel because distortions in the soul prevent it. The distortions can be of many varieties, such as fear that one's ego is too much in evidence. One can see quite often that human beings are indeed yearning for love and are even willing to give love, yet only on condition that they are loved first. Such a safe bargain not only locks the door, but causes a distortion in the soul which then can elicit the feeling of world weariness, since the person will remain lonely. The fear within the person says: If I give first, without being sure, my pride might get hurt, I might be injured, the other could cause me pain.

Fear of disappointment is a sign of oversensitivity, and the oversensitivity is a sign of a false sense of self-importance. This entire inner process centers around the ego, and that must block the stream of genuine love, having a contrary direction. The blocking goes against divine law and therefore the soul must suffer. The moment you reset the inner switch so you do not take your fear of what could happen to your own self so seriously, you can give your love freely. Then your love is pristine and unadulterated, because the thou, with everything that you miss and long for, will become more important than the I with its vanity and pride. Then the feeling of unfulfillment, of vague yearning, will disappear, since you are fulfilling a vital function of human nature and are thus in harmony with God and your own higher self, at least in this respect.

Do not misunderstand me. I do not want to imply that a person who has this particular misconception is necessarily selfish. He or she may even be less selfish than another who has already found the key to this problem. One should differentiate between selfishness and self-centeredness. Both are wrong, but their effect is not always the same. I do not even want to imply that such a person may be petty and unwilling to give. It is just that, in ignorance, genuine feelings are channeled through the sick lower self into a false direction.

It is not even that individuals who fit this description cannot love at all. There may be a few people around them to whom they reveal all their love. Yet they will not be able to avoid the vague, weary feelings. This is so because if the energy of their feelings were channeled in the right way, even in respect to those few beloved people, their love would not be concentrated on just a small number of people, but would go out toward anybody in their environment who can elicit positive feelings. Then they would reach out with a fully committed love, not afraid of taking risks, even to the extent of lovingly giving just as much importance to the other person's feelings as to their own.

All this cannot be taken for granted, my friends, for no matter how much you may agree intellectually and in principle, the feelings lag behind, except in very rare cases. Naturally, your love would be different toward each individual, because you human beings take it as a matter of course that one indeed loves some fellow human beings more than others — and as long as your state of development still keeps you in the cycle of reincarnation one cannot expect you to believe otherwise. You know also from experience that your love for your mother is different from your love for your mate, that your love for your sister or brother is different from your love for your child, your love for your father different from your love for a friend, and it even differs from friend to friend. There are so many varieties of love currents, and they all have substance and form in the spirit. Their colors, shades, sounds, and fragrances are of a wide variety. And the human capacity to love would be large enough to produce all the diverse energy currents if only the sick tendencies of the ego would not stand in the way.

When you love someone very much, you often have the vague feeling that then you must be taking some love away from someone else whom you may want to love even more, and you have the same feeling about someone else's love for you; it seems as if one person would have to be shortchanged in favor of another as love is being shared. Yet genuine, healthy love is indivisible; it never diminishes. The more love you generate, the more it multiplies itself. I do not want to be misunderstood here either: I am not referring to sexuality and eros. This is according to eternal law, and you have to find the truth within yourself. So it is with God, Who loves His innumerable children, Who always loves more, never less.

How can genuine, healthy love be attained? Not by trying to force yourself to love; this does not work. It can be reached only indirectly, by starting with yourself, that is, by thorough self-examination, without self-deceit. Find the extent of your ego, your oversensitivity, your vanity, your pride, and how they play their part. Whoever has understood this has made the first step toward attaining true, genuine love, and thus also toward lifting the feelings of longing, sadness, nostalgia, or whatever else you want to call them. Only you can look into your soul,