Keywords: , , , ,


Another point I should like to discuss tonight is your reaction to your guilt feelings. As I said before, everybody has guilt. Every image is interwoven with guilt. It is important to understand that there are two kinds of guilt — unjustified guilt and justified guilt. Often you unconsciously use an absurd, unjustified guilt as a shield and hide the true guilt behind it. Why? Because deep down you know that the unjustified guilt is ridiculous. It is as though you wanted to say, “You see, I declare myself guilty, but I have no real reason to do so.” You cannot get rid of the gnawing voice of that which should really be acknowledged, faced, and changed. Yet you do not want to face it, hence you look unconsciously for something you cannot be blamed for. Thus you argue with your inner voice of absurd guilt, trying to convince it that it has no reason to bother you. Of course, all this happens unconsciously. Ironically, the true guilt may be infinitely smaller than the absurd guilt you use as a wall to hide behind.

What are absurd guilts? They are most of all the guilts you feel because you are not perfect. It is commendable to want to become perfect. It cannot be recommended enough that you try to replace hatred, resentment, aggression with love and unselfishness. But before you can do that, you must first acknowledge and accept your present state of development — your present inability to feel different than you do — instead of wanting to immediately become more than you are now. If you feel guilty because you are still what you are, you obstruct the very goal you want to attain. I know, my friends, that I repeat many things many times, but I must do so. I want to stress that it is an unjustified guilt feeling when you blame yourself for not being perfect now. Such unjustified guilt extends into all areas of the human personality. If all of you who work on this path go through your images from this viewpoint, you will find where your guilts are unjustified.

Another unjustified guilt — fueled by a mass-image — is your reaction to your sexual drive. Each one of you feels guilty about it, if not on the surface, where you have been affected by intellectual influences, then certainly way down deep in your emotions. Guilt about the sexual drive is unjustified, absurd guilt. It may be true that your sexual energy does not flow in the right channel because it does not merge with love. That it does not is precisely because you have felt guilty about it and suppressed awareness of it as much as you could. Hence your sexual drive could not mature with the rest of your personality and integrate with warm, loving, giving, unselfish feelings. Instead, it has remained childish in its self-directedness and egotism. Your unconscious sexual fault, therefore, lies in the misdirection and separateness of your sexual drive rather than in its existence as such. Its existence is no reason for feeling guilty. You act on a misunderstanding when you attempt to eliminate that which seems sinful to you, and then feel guilty because you cannot do so. The remedy is not to eliminate the sexual drive but to cease to be afraid of love — to relinquish a fear that is selfish in nature. If you allow yourself to love, your sexual drive will merge with your love, and there will no longer be any reason to feel guilty about sex. Try to understand that, my dear friends. Try to understand how confused your unconscious thinking is. You feel guilty about a God-given force instead of feeling guilty about your fear of loving, which is born of selfishness and separateness. Combine your sexual drive with the one and only reality and remedy in the universe — love. You can combine love and sexual energy only by developing your soul by the very path you are taking.

So here we have a few very common unjustified guilts. What, on the other hand, is justified guilt? When you hurt other people in your ignorant belief that selfishness is your protection — whether you hurt them actively or passively, by commission or omission — then your guilt is justified. Differentiate clearly, my dear friends, between the guilt of being imperfect at this stage and the guilt of hurtful self-will. Being imperfect should not in itself make you feel guilty. But the guilt for hurts you inflict on others — no matter how unintentional — out of your imperfection, blindness, and ignorance is justified guilt that you should meet squarely and courageously. There is a world of difference, although fine and subtle, between the two types of guilt I have described. Please think about this. It is so important.

What should your attitude be toward justified guilt? What would be healthy and constructive? It would be to say to yourself, “I could not help it in the past. I was ignorant and blind and selfish. I was too much of a coward to dare to love and forget my own little ego. I admit that I have hurt other people by this attitude and I am now willing to learn exactly how I hurt them. It makes no difference whether I inflicted the hurt by deed, word, thought, or emotional reaction; by what I have done or left undone. I truly want to change. With the help of God I will succeed. In order to do so, I must clearly see the direct or indirect hurts my attitude has inflicted upon others.” Then, think about the hurts you inflicted on other people. Ask God to give you the insight to understand. Have the courage to shoulder your responsibility without the pride of destructive wrong guilt feelings that make you exaggerate your own “badness” and lead you to feel hopeless about yourself.

There are three possible wrong reactions as you recognize the hurts you have inflicted on others: hopelessness about yourself — the negative, destructive guilt feelings that make you despair of yourself; self-justification — the blaming of others for real or imagined wrongs that “forced” you to react that way; or denial — the fearful refusal to look at imperfection which may not fit into the picture you have of yourself. At different times you may experience any one of these reactions. Beware of each! Find the right way: Feel with the person you have hurt, take the justified guilt upon yourself, wish to become different, desire to give up your fear of loving. This attitude is healthy and constructive. The hurt you feel when you realize the hurt you have unwittingly inflicted — unintentional hurt because it was committed out of your wrong image conclusions — is healthy: it will give you the incentive to lose your fear and your selfishness.

My advice, dear friends, is that when you have a basic understanding of your images and image conclusions, for your own clarification separate the unjustified from the justified guilts. Find where you might have hurt others by your wrong conclusions, directly or indirectly, in fact or in intent. If you have the courage to be truly sorry for the hurts you have unwittingly inflicted on others, if you can take that justified guilt upon yourself and face it, it will give you more strength than you realize. It will foster a healthy and constructive attitude. It will set the life force in motion in your soul. For, among many other things, life force is truth and courage. Accepting justified guilt is being in truth and it takes courage. The life force will then seep through all your devious channels and affect them, so that slowly but surely you will dissolve all the destructiveness of the forces of evil that rage in you due to your ignorance and emotional immaturity.


One of the important obstacles to wanting to establish the channel with your real being and wanting to give up dishonesty is your guilt for pain you have inflicted, or are still inflicting. I touched upon this subject before, but the time has come to go into it more carefully.

Over these last years you have learned to open up to the pain you have endured, pain that has been inflicted upon you, first, by your parents when you were a child, and later by others. You have learned to no longer defend quite so much against such pain, and more and more you can feel and experience it fully and thus free yourself. However, your entire psychological movement has turned away from the other aspect of pain: feeling the pain of your guilt for having inflicted pain on others. This is so for partially good reasons. Every truth can be distorted. In the days of pre-psychology, religion had indoctrinated man with a distorted, debilitating guilt feeling: false guilts, fear of a punishing God, a guilt that did not make it possible for human beings to live in dignity and in the knowledge of who they ultimately are. In order to straighten out such distortions, the pendulum must always temporarily swing to the opposite extreme, until the right balance of truth is found.

I make a clear distinction between remorse and guilt: remorse is the deeply felt pain of your wrongdoing, yet without losing sight of your divinity. You become a better, stronger person when the pain of remorse is fully savored. Guilt crushes the self and denies its intrinsic divinity. The current trend, as a result of the pendulum having swung away from the opposite extreme, makes all guilt appear neurotic. In fact, there is a difference between neurotic false guilt and real guilt and one can hide the other. I have spoken of this before.

If you cannot bear pain that others inflict upon you, then you cannot experience in a constructive way the pain of your own guilt either. The guilt of your own distortions must be fully faced, felt, and understood in all its ramifications and chain reactions. Otherwise you can never be clear with yourself and unless you do so, you cannot be whole. You cannot look at yourself with love and respect, which means that you cannot be who you really are. Do this in a very realistic and well-proportioned manner, without exaggeration, hiding, or dramatization. It is possible to recognize the chains you are forging with your negative attitudes and the hurts you inflict with them, either directly or indirectly. The hurts of omission are no less hurtful than those of commission. Have you not been deeply hurt by what was missing in your life as a child? Was it your parents’ inability to give more warmth, good feelings, and closeness? Well, you are inflicting the same on others by your vindictive imitation and perpetuation of the very attitude that hurt you most.

If you are crushed by the pain of your guilt, this is only because you have decided to opt for this reaction, my friends. Whenever you so wish, you can question the necessity of being crushed and listen to your inner stillness for the possibility of a new reaction. Yes, you will feel the pain of guilt, and so you should. But as with the pain others have given you, if you can fully accept it, it ceases to be pain. When you fully feel the pain and are motivated with your whole heart to give up the negative pattern, the pain of guilt will make way for a wonderful new energy: for light, hope, love, and beauty.

Violations of spiritual law can only be corrected when you learn to feel the hurts you have inflicted and still inflict without feeling annihilated or worthless, without crumbling under a load of guilt. Feel the pain of your withholding, of your spite, of your maligning whether in your mind or in actuality. When you hold on to any kind of negative intentionality, you cannot help depriving and hurting others, just as these attitudes must inevitably hurt you. For there is no conceivable difference between yourself and others. Whatever you do to others, you do to yourself, and vice versa. I have said this many times before, but in your mind you still make a distinction, so much so, that you go on being spiteful and hating.

Now, my friends, let yourself feel the pain of inflicting pain: feel it without crumbling, without exaggerating, without doubting your divine heritage. If you can do this, you have found the all-important key that will make you want to open up to your divinity with all its joy and with its eternal reality of love. If you cannot bear the pain of your guilt and look away from it, then you cannot feel deserving, and hence you must block the contact with God in you. So this is one of the most important keys you need.

Facing the guilt for the pain you inflict on others is really not very different from facing the pain you have received. In both instances you can exaggerate it and make yourself incapacitated for life, or you can decide not to feel it at all. Or you can allow the feeling, and say: “Yes, others have made mistakes. I have made mistakes. They were blind and groping, and so was I. They were in darkness and I was in darkness. This is regrettable, but this is what we are all here for. I now lift my head in the dignity of who I am. I know the greater power within me will help me to feel the pain I have given and the pain I have received.” This attitude can now be cultivated and pursued, my friends. You do have the courage; you do have the greatness; and you do have the possibility within yourself to feel this and become stronger and better, not weaker and worse, as you fear.

It is absolutely necessary that you trace all the connecting links between cause and effect, and be totally aware of pain received and pain given. See how one leads to the other, back and forth, in an endless chain reaction. It is in your power, any time you wish, to break this chain. When you decide to go into this area of your being to look at it, express your intent to avail yourself of all divine help in you. Call upon this help. Become so still that you can listen. Feel it and know its presence.

The apparent paradox is that the more you hide from the pain of your guilt, the more ruthlessly you punish yourself. Conversely, it is true that the more you face and feel that pain, the less you will need to punish yourself. The negative attitude of hiding from yourself what you are doing and really feeling creates a negative force field that perpetuates itself in the following way: punishing yourself for your unfaced guilt, you must stay in the very attitude that accumulates more and more guilt. You are truly caught in one of the most tragic of vicious circles: because you imagine that you cannot face the pain of your guilt, you cut yourself off from your heart, your center of being, and from your innermost life. You feel forever undeserving of joy. If you are undeserving of joy your needs must remain eternally unfulfilled. If you feel undeserving and unfulfilled you go on punishing the world for this painful frustration. You dare not turn to the wondrous magnificence of your inner presence to help you out of this trap because doing so would instantly fill you with light and joy. You feel that because you have given pain you do not deserve such an experience. But how can you break the negative pattern unless you avail yourself of the power of God within you? And you cannot experience God within you without also experiencing joy, peace, and light. How are you ever going to break the vicious circle unless you use this key?

Go into your inner stillness right now. Declare that you wish to feel the pain that is held in you, as it was given and as it was received, and that you wish to be the beautiful person you really are. Feel both the pain of your guilt and the beauty of your real self. Thus you alter the course you have set in motion and create a new force field because you demagnetize the old one. This is the way now, my friends. As you do this, as you feel the pain of the guilt and the pain of what has been done to you, it will become one and the same pain. You will then forgive yourself as you forgive others, as it was said in one of the greatest prayers. Then you will be free: free to let go and let God manifest through you more and more in your everyday life. Be infused with inspiration and wisdom, with joy and peace.

Pathwork lectures depth search:

About pathwork:

You and

Site about pathwork in Dutch:

Padwerk: Psychologie en Spiritualiteit


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

Topical keyword click-search:

fear truth experience feelings love God consciousness reality negativity spirituality soul pain spiritual_paths mind attitudes emotions power destructiveness movement ego energy pleasure awareness personality development lower_self divine desires change guilt childhood create conscious spirits thoughts spiritual_laws fulfillment spirit_world death happiness unconscious problems positivity earth give growth images pathwork spirit understand pride evil body life_force higher_self exercises cause_and_effect needs parents time creation prayer center duality reactions New_Age freedom sex life contact beliefs universe individuality control relationships expression meditation discipline values motives doubt reincarnation Jesus_Christ women inner_child wish faults will confusion spheres strength men illusion struggle activity shame faith maturity demands idealized_self self-image self-will authority acceptance hurt selfishness real_self frustration resistance meaning connections soul_substance receive knowledge responsibility conclusions bliss life_task Christ mass_images free_will trust observe lectures know denial intellect pretense decisions conscience perception birth Lucifer salvation religion reason marriage light identification courage laws rebellion words union humanity long receptiveness surrender misconceptions mask let_go vicious_circles communication instinct concentration no-current tension commitment fantasy involuntary_processes opinions secrets contraction expansion difficulties punishment space divine_substance obedience emptiness male female passivity darkness self-responsibility grace inner_will conflicts self-confidence anger suffer groups nature cruelty pulse_of_life unity energy_centers chakras openness negative_intentionality order spiral exposure self-respect universal_self affirmations visualization laziness background_thoughts foreground_thoughts daydreams wishful_thinking superstition appearance_values being_values inferiority assumptions obligations danger defensiveness superimposed_conscience divine_conscience compulsive_conscience universal_spirit divine_spark vacuum evolution self-awareness dimensions rigidity tradition Christianity Judaism automatism reflexes education mediums masculine feminine purification fall subtle_body God_image self-love spirit_language approval unhappiness outer_will fight forcing_current success isolation think self-discipline self-preservation criticism peace relinquish defenses sin self-alienation sadness psyche crisis yes-current intelligence effort chain_reactions perfection opposites error envy existence organism life_substance impress avoidance channel now blame fusion abundance psychic_nuclear_points Christmas leadership eternal_life admit Dottie Titus harm self-knowledge lightforces daily_review immaturity tendencies egoism ideas dependence karma Eastern_Spirituality Western_Spirituality atheism transcendence centeredness attention constructiveness world_weariness war ambition positive_thinking forms ecstasy sacrifice psychology life_plan dignity shock eros guardian_angels inner_wall blindness Eva_Pierrakos homosexuality bondage cosmic_principles static_principle restriction self-importance rulership utopia sickness betrayal weakness rejection progress prove rituals intuition subconscious transition motivations impatience exaggeration myth cooperation serenity defeat safety pseudo_solutions universal_life self-pity Tower_of_Babel false_religion true_religion rules gratification repression compassion inner_split alternatives neurosis unfulfillment imperfection perfectionism joy self-rejection masochism sloth lust gluttony depression blessings restitution hope habits security determination displacement substitution respect unknown moralize intensity self-realization universal_power childishness inner_self numbness relaxation inner_control outer_control closeness vulnerability negative_desires magnetic_fields destruction character transformation false_feelings human_nature unpleasure blocks cosmic_pull self-liking regulate flow spontaneity impulses anxiety universal_consciousness guidance health unselfishness forgive abandonment aliveness self-esteem traits dislike disunity unification interaction fate mutuality stagnation negation terror tricks cosmic_feeling force_fields disorder exchange moods devil greatness richness distortions divine_voice service group_consciousness hate self-forgiveness balance imbalance distrust omnipotence immortality pessimism manifestation self-hate boundaries abuse government political_systems lose inertia acts christians jews injustice justice deficit heal privacy win inner_space autonomy positive_aggression community
This website is not created by, affiliated with, or endorsed by the Pathwork Foundation, Gerard van de Lustgraaf is solely responsible for this website and its content. The Pathwork Lectures are used and displayed on this website with support from the Pathwork Foundation. Pathwork ® is a registered service mark of the International Pathwork Foundation.

Alphabetical keyword click-search:

abandonment abundance abuse acceptance activity acts admit affirmations aliveness alternatives ambition anger anxiety appearance_values approval assumptions atheism attention attitudes authority automatism autonomy avoidance awareness background_thoughts balance being_values beliefs betrayal birth blame blessings blindness bliss blocks body bondage boundaries cause_and_effect center centeredness chain_reactions chakras change channel character childhood childishness Christ Christianity christians Christmas closeness commitment communication community compassion compulsive_conscience concentration conclusions conflicts confusion connections conscience conscious consciousness constructiveness contact contraction control cooperation cosmic_feeling cosmic_principles cosmic_pull courage create creation crisis criticism cruelty daily_review danger darkness daydreams death decisions defeat defenses defensiveness deficit demands denial dependence depression desires destruction destructiveness determination development devil difficulties dignity dimensions discipline dislike disorder displacement distortions distrust disunity divine divine_conscience divine_spark divine_substance divine_voice Dottie Titus doubt duality earth Eastern_Spirituality ecstasy education effort ego egoism emotions emptiness energy energy_centers envy eros error eternal_life Eva_Pierrakos evil evolution exaggeration exchange exercises existence expansion experience exposure expression faith fall false_feelings false_religion fantasy fate faults fear feelings female feminine fight flow force_fields forcing_current foreground_thoughts forgive forms freedom free_will frustration fulfillment fusion give gluttony God God_image government grace gratification greatness groups group_consciousness growth guardian_angels guidance guilt habits happiness harm hate heal health higher_self homosexuality hope humanity human_nature hurt idealized_self ideas identification illusion images imbalance immaturity immortality impatience imperfection impress impulses individuality inertia inferiority injustice inner_child inner_control inner_self inner_space inner_split inner_wall inner_will instinct intellect intelligence intensity interaction intuition involuntary_processes isolation Jesus_Christ jews joy Judaism justice karma know knowledge laws laziness leadership lectures let_go life life_force life_plan life_substance life_task light lightforces long lose love lower_self Lucifer lust magnetic_fields male manifestation marriage masculine mask masochism mass_images maturity meaning meditation mediums men mind misconceptions moods moralize motivations motives movement mutuality myth nature needs negation negative_desires negative_intentionality negativity neurosis New_Age no-current now numbness obedience obligations observe omnipotence openness opinions opposites order organism outer_control outer_will pain parents passivity pathwork peace perception perfection perfectionism personality pessimism pleasure political_systems positive_aggression positive_thinking positivity power prayer pretense pride privacy problems progress prove pseudo_solutions psyche psychic_nuclear_points psychology pulse_of_life punishment purification reactions reality real_self reason rebellion receive receptiveness reflexes regulate reincarnation rejection relationships relaxation religion relinquish repression resistance respect responsibility restitution restriction richness rigidity rituals rulership rules sacrifice sadness safety salvation secrets security self-alienation self-awareness self-confidence self-discipline self-esteem self-forgiveness self-hate self-image self-importance self-knowledge self-liking self-love self-pity self-preservation self-realization self-rejection self-respect self-responsibility self-will selfishness serenity service sex shame shock sickness sin sloth soul soul_substance space spheres spiral spirit spirits spirituality spiritual_laws spiritual_paths spirit_language spirit_world spontaneity stagnation static_principle strength struggle subconscious substitution subtle_body success suffer superimposed_conscience superstition surrender tendencies tension terror think thoughts time Tower_of_Babel tradition traits transcendence transformation transition tricks true_religion trust truth unconscious understand unfulfillment unhappiness unification union unity universal_consciousness universal_life universal_power universal_self universal_spirit universe unknown unpleasure unselfishness utopia vacuum values vicious_circles visualization vulnerability war weakness Western_Spirituality will win wish wishful_thinking women words world_weariness yes-current