Affirmation, Impression and Expression

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From lecture 131, INTERACTION BETWEEN EXPRESSION AND IMPRESSION:

We have, in our pathwork, two fundamental approaches, both of which are necessary. One is finding, expressing, and emptying out what is within you, so that it can be reexamined as to its truthfulness and reality. The second is impressing, molding and directing the powers within yourself, so as to create favorable, or more variable, circumstances.

No matter how important each of these two approaches is by itself, using one instead of the other makes the fulfillment you seek unattainable. It is not easy to know when one and when the other activity is appropriate.

From our past endeavors you all know the importance of examining your unconscious thoughts and reactions. You all know that taking a truthful concept and impressing it over as yet unrecognized, untruthful ideas is merely self-deception, superimposition. It cannot create a genuine constructive attitude. Your psyche is like a vessel. If it is filled with muddy water and you pour clear water into it, the clear water becomes muddy too. So the muddy water must be emptied first. When I say it must be emptied, this means you must understand its contents. You must understand that particular misconceptions make the water muddy, what these misconceptions are, and in what way they are misconceptions. This is the expressing, the emptying out.

Let us first examine expressing. One of the most important aspects to look at is your struggle to resolve problems on false premises. The question slumbering within yourself — the question you unconsciously pose regarding a certain attitude toward life — is based on an utterly false premise. It is often a nonexistent problem in itself, or it exists in an entirely different way than you consciously, or unconsciously, consider. When you build defenses against a nonexistent problem, no matter how you struggle, no matter how you defend yourself, you must entangle yourself deeper into a web of confusion. This is the general difficulty confronting all humanity, even those who are already on a path of self-realization. For each one of you has yet to get disentangled from such predicaments: struggling and defending against false assumptions, nonexistent dangers.

You have already made such discoveries and some of you have already liberated yourselves from some of the false struggles. You have understood them to some extent, but I venture to say that every one of you here — and every one of you who reads these words — still struggles against a problem that does not exist.

Let us take a very simple common example so as to make it easier for you to follow me. Every one of you is constantly afraid, in one way or another, of being inadequate, of being rejected, of being looked down upon or not taken seriously. Whether or not you consciously consider this as a problem in you, you battle against it, trying in your own way to solve it. Trying to solve a problem that does not exist must create real problems. The predicament against which you battle is a nonsensical idea, for others are not out to reject or diminish you, as you often emotionally perceive. Whether or not you are aware of it at this moment, nine-tenths of your attitudes to life — to yourself and to others — are a struggle against this false premise. To defend yourself against this dreaded happening, you build an elaborate structure.

When you enter upon such a path — and often when you have already been on it for some time, without thinking about it specifically — your endeavors are geared to make this dreaded event not come true. In other words, you hope to make your defenses more adequate so as to be better equipped to solve your problem of rejection and inadequacy — a problem that does not exist. As long as you move in this direction, real relief cannot come. You must first recognize that all your energies, all your aims, are geared in a direction that has no realistic justification. You focus on illusion, not on reality. When this recognition dawns upon you, you will not project into the future a perfection of yourself and a perfect life experience. You will no longer need to strain toward being something you are not. The now will then be fully satisfactory. Wherever you stand at that moment, this emptying out must occur.

The emptying consists of recognizing that the problem you struggle against is not a real problem, but an imaginary one — an image! Out of this imaginary problem arise a number of general and particular misconceptions and destructive attitudes. You will find the following factor connected with it, which I have discussed in the past but which needs to be discussed again in this context. When you have a desire or aim which is legitimate and realistic, yet remains unfulfilled, what blocks it is the struggle against the nonexistent problem. As a result of the struggle, a no-current works against your conscious wishes. It is essential to become specifically aware of this connection.

Whenever an aim for self-expression and fulfillment stubbornly remains unfulfilled, a denying attitude that does not want it, that holds back from it, is overlooked. There is an attitude that — even without saying an outright no to it — refuses to reach for it, for whatever motivations and reasons. If you persist in denying the fact that you reject your very wish, you cannot eliminate hopelessness which is always a byproduct of such an inner situation. As long as you are only aware of your conscious desire and do not see the unconscious withholding of yourself from the desire, there must be hopelessness. The only way you can dissolve the hopelessness is by directly going toward that side in you which says, “No, I do not want it.” This still has not occurred to many of my friends who linger and dwell in their hopelessness. Instead, say: “If I feel hopeless because I do not get what I want, what is it in me that says no to it? I want and intend to find this denial.” Then the hopelessness will dissolve.

The negative attitudes toward the fulfillment must be unearthed, as well as the nonexistent problem that you battle against. Then, and then only will your blocks dissolve.

Now I come to the second approach, the impressing, the putting in. Where you are in untruth, truth must be understood. Behind every untruth, truth exists. It cannot be blotted out, or dissolved, or made to disappear by erroneous assumptions on your part. Understanding the truth is extremely important. When you discover an untruthful concept, you must understand what the untruth about it is. In what way is it untruthful? What is the truthful concept that exists behind it? I once compared this with the sun behind the clouds. If a person lives in a climate where the sun rarely comes out and they forget that the sun exists, they will become hopeless. By realizing the sun exists behind the clouds, there is no hopelessness, even while the clouds prevail. It is the same with truth and untruth. Realize that no matter how negative, how hopeless, how unhappy your momentary moods are, the truth is the opposite. Truth is happiness, even if you cannot experience it at the moment. This knowledge, the understanding of this principle, will bring you nearer to understanding your particular momentary untruth and the truth behind it.

You cannot impress yourself with a specific truthful concept before you understand your particular untruthful concept. Only then is the impressing of your psychic substance feasible. As long as you are confused, you do not know in what way you are in untruth, in what way the problem you fight against is imaginary, and why this is so. As long as you ignore the fact that the particular problem you struggle with does not exist in reality, how can you impregnate yourself with the corresponding truthful ideas?

The constant interaction between these two approaches is of great importance, my friends. It would be a mistake to assume that these two activities follow each other consecutively on this path — first expressing, then impressing. Up to a certain point, a person’s pathwork concentrates on bringing out what is inside. Only then does the examination and analysis of this material begin. Both expressing and impressing must exist throughout, from the beginning onward. Both activities are always necessary. At the very beginning of such a path the personality is still filled with misconceptions and utterly unaware of its confusions. Then all this material needs to be expressed. In order to succeed in such expression it is necessary, at the time, to comprehend and impress the self with truthful statements. This impressing has the power to gather inner forces and direct them into the proper channels. Your intent must be clearly formulated to activate the necessary inner powers. This will prevent stagnation and the possibility of giving up in despair and confusion. In order to accomplish this, even at the early stages when the inner vessel is filled with unclear substance that needs to be emptied out, constant interaction between impressing — stating truth and formulating constructive intent — and expressing must prevail.

As you advance on the path and make progress, the inner vessel brings forth the false ideas, wrong conclusions, problems that do not really exist and against which you fight on wrong premises. Then it is even more essential that a harmonious interplay between the two activities exist. The correct timing of when one or the other is appropriate must be found.

There is no rule, my friends, as to when to emphasize one more than the other of these two approaches to the self. The only way you can discover this balance is by feeling into yourself and listening to your innermost soul movements. By doing that you will not only come to be sensitively attuned to the need of the moment in this respect, you will also strengthen your selfhood. By honoring the individual rhythm of your personal path, you assume self-responsibility instead of trying to fit into prescribed rules. Your own cosmic attunement can unfold only when you reach for it consciously and deliberately. It cannot reveal itself if you ignore its existence or pursue blind, rigid practices.

Instruction may also be necessary when it is important to empty out, but its character is completely different. Impressing the need for expressing — for facing what dwells inside, for overcoming resistance and the unreal fear to do so — means using impression in order to be more capable of expression. When you have sufficiently expressed what is inside, the nature of impression becomes that of stating the truthful concept as opposed to the false one.

To recapitulate: impressing has two distinct facets. One helps to overcome resistance to expressing. The other reorients and rebuilds the inner personality by deliberate formulation and profound understanding of truth, as opposed to untruth.

Reorientation of negative, destructive consciousness can take place only after you understand that there is an inner struggle against a nonexistent problem and that struggle is finally given up. Whenever you come to this understanding, the second type of impressing is necessary. Without it, the understanding fades away after a while and your old, habit-bound emotions revert to their fearfulness of long standing, in blind automatism. Only knowing the truth will prevent this. To know the truth, you must fill the now empty vessel with truth, so as to prevent its being refilled with untruth.

The aim of this intercourse between your outer mind and your innermost self is finding the proper rhythm and balance between impressing and expressing, finding which kind of impressing is to be used at what juncture. When you go into your periods of meditation and concentration in this work, listen into yourself, into your soul movements. Instruct the deepest strata of your psyche that you want to properly express and that you also request and wish awareness of when to impress and when to express, and how to do either. Request inspiration to know to what extent your volitional mind has to function and when you must let go of your volitional mind and let yourself float, observing what is coming up. This selfhood, trusting your soul movements, will exist in the measure that you overcome sluggish soul movements that want to prevent you — in false fears, under false premises — from doing just that. This is why the imaginary problem that you fight against, with its concomitant false fears, keeps you from the dynamic living that results from this path.

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Thanks:

To my teacher Marieke Mars who taught me self-honesty. To my courageous and loving pathwork helper Dottie Titus.

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