Attitudes

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From lecture 161, UNCONSCIOUS NEGATIVITY ENDANGERS SURRENDER OF EGO TO INVOLUNTARY PROCESSES:

The fundamental cause of the condition of predominant ego control is that there is a lawfulness that makes it indeed hazardous for the ego to let go of itself as long as the ego is attached to attitudes which are incompatible with the laws of the greater reality. If you truly understand this sentence, you will have your key. In other words, wherever you pursue and hold onto destructiveness, it becomes absolutely impossible to let go of the ego in a healthy, safe, and life-giving way. An ego is healthy only when its attitudes are loving, generous, open, trusting, as well as realistic and self-assertive. All of this is part of the greater reality and lawfulness of the divine substance. Violation of these attitudes nurtures hate, separateness, distrustfulness, illusion, weakness, the tendency to damage the self and forego its best interests. Such an unhealthy ego is striving for the precise opposite of the lawfulness of the divine within. It is not equipped to take care of itself and, consequently, life must be fraught with fear and insecurity. The longing for escape from the tension of the ego, as well as from perpetual unpleasure, may lead to unhealthy ego liberation and insanity, since the liberated ego is unsupported by anything that can give it real sustenance. This, too, is very important to grasp in its full significance.

Those of my friends who have made sufficient progress on their path to have come face to face with their own destructiveness will perhaps understand a little more of what I am saying than those who are as yet unaware that they are destructive — that they do not wish to be positive, to give their best to life in whatever area they are still unhappy, unfulfilled and in conflict. This lack of awareness makes it quite impossible to step over the threshold. It is absolutely necessary for you to see yourself in your own destructiveness. See yourself in that way for a while, with the detached, objective self-evaluation that comes from deep self-acceptance and determination to do away with self-glorification and illusions about the self. The claim to be more than what one is must be absolutely abandoned before such healthy self-observation can exist.

If the ego — also the unconscious part of the ego-self — is attached to a destructive attitude, it is incompatible with the universal forces. Therefore when it lets go of itself, it is unsupported — it has no hold, no security, nothing to rely on and becomes totally disorganized and disintegrated. An ego that is not sustained, guided, and inspired by the real, universal self cannot cope with anything. It becomes completely disassociated from any intelligence. Therefore, in a way, the ego is almost “right” in not letting go. As long as the destructiveness is not given up, it at least retains a modicum of sanity. The exaggerated self-governing of an aggrandized ego condition is preferable to disintegration, which is inevitable when the outer, ego personality is incompatible with the universal self. If the superior universal forces are not trusted, an ego that gives itself up has nothing else. There is no intelligence, no logic, no lawfulness other than the ego’s when the ego mistrusts the universal forces. No matter how limited the separated ego intelligence is in comparison with the greater self, it still possesses some reason and some grasp of a limited reality. Without the ego, the will cannot function either, if the greater divine will is negated or unconsciously defeated. This is why there is such a deep fear of letting go.

My friends, this is a tremendously important thing for you to understand at this point, for it enables you also to approach yourself from the other end, as it were. Namely, whenever you feel yourself unable to let go, you can now realize that deep destructive forces and attitudes are still rampant in you. Somewhere within you exists a will to be negative and destructive. This will is quite deliberate, once you become aware of it. There is nothing that forces you against your will. This only seems so as long as you deny the destructiveness because you do not wish to admit something so contrary to your self-image. The destructiveness causes fear and insecurity because you do not wish to face and acknowledge it, let alone give it up. Knowing this puts you in an entirely different position toward yourself; self-delusion is eliminated. Thus the destructiveness is lessened, no matter how much you still want to be destructive in certain areas.

By destructiveness I mean the many, often very subtle ways in which the ego-self clings to separating attitudes — perhaps not wanting to expand and love others, or perhaps wanting to be vindictive, and punishing others with one’s own suffering. These are subtle, vague feelings, fleeting attitudes — so elusive they almost seem non-existent, until one catches them and looks them squarely in the face. Then they become quite distinct. Perhaps the destructive attitude is to secretly think, “No one knows what I really think and feel, therefore it does not count.” This is a very prevalent attitude toward one’s undesirable tendencies. One glosses over them and vaguely assumes that their secrecy invalidates them. Any effect they produce in spite of their secrecy is felt as gross injustice, in the sense of “They did not know what I felt, only what I pretended to feel, and if I had felt as I pretended then their reaction would indeed be unjust.” This thinking harbors the illusion that life can be cheated. As such, it reflects one’s most significant and telling attitude to life. It tells the story that one does not give oneself honestly to the business of living but makes appearance and pretense the criteria according to which one wishes to be judged and reap results. Trust in life is impossible under such circumstances.

Catch those moments and see how you do not take life seriously, how you do not lend yourself wholly and fully to whatever you do. This activity of catching one’s little hidden dishonesties is the kind of constructiveness that is compatible with the divine substance. The moment you approach yourself with a sincere attitude that says: “I want to give my very, very best to the process of living, to every aspect of my life, and contribute the very best forces that are within me. Wherever I do not do this and am too blind to be aware of it, I wish the universal intelligence in me to guide me to this awareness. I wish to pay attention to it.” With such a sincerely meant attitude something new is set in motion right at that moment!

Generally and specifically, wherever the problem areas and the daily difficulties lie, it is most important to approach life in this manner. The more you cultivate such attitudes, the more the ego-self becomes compatible with the real self. Therefore fear of letting go of the ego diminishes proportionately, since one then has something much larger and more reliable to trust in. By calling upon and activating the divine will through the manifestation of the real self one cannot help but convince oneself of its reality, wisdom, and utter goodness. One cannot help discovering its all-encompassing love that knows no conflict. Divine will works toward everyone’s fulfillment, bliss and happiness. This undivided intelligence and inexorable fulfillment is deeply safe and trustworthy. But as long as the ego’s aims, attitudes and inclinations are diametrically opposed to the laws of the universal intelligence, how can one trust in the universal intelligence? Therefore, whenever you feel insecure and shaky within yourself, anxious and frightened — when you underestimate your values — it must be because of a destructive attitude, a negativity you are as yet unwilling to relinquish.

When you feel anxious, ask yourself: “Where am I destructive? Where am I negative? Where do I refuse to accept the universal law, so that I do not give myself to the divine within me?”

In the last analysis, my friends, happiness always amounts to the basic virtues religion preaches. In the very last, culminating point it is always a question of love, which, of course, is always the key to the universe. But preaching it for thousands of years has not really helped and has often made people more hypocritical. They deluded themselves that they were loving while underneath they often were not. They covered feelings opposite to love with a superficial veneer that gave the appearance of love. Such cover-up is often mere self-deception, since most of the time others are not deceived.

How often do you claim that your weakness is love, when inwardly you are seething with resentment and vindictiveness? You claim that your possessiveness and dominating will to control is love, but inwardly you merely want to win and have your own way. You claim that an arrogant, unhealthy pride is self-love, when inwardly you merely wish to be better than others and not give an inch to them. These self-deceptions have to be unmasked, my friends. Even among those of you who pursue this path and have made great progress in self-realization, there are still some who are blind to such areas.

Wherever people hold on in blind self-deception to such attitudes, they do not want to give of themselves and thus violate the law of love. The violation of the law of love is that which ultimately ails everyone who is troubled. This is what must be investigated in everyone who suffers from unhappiness. “Where is the violation? Where do I keep myself separated? Where do I impair my integrity — in a direct or indirect way? Where do I delude myself about myself? Where do I not want to give of myself — in some way?” These are the questions that must be asked and answered. The answer often lies in a different direction and is true in a different way than you had thought.

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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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