Pathwork Lecture 035: Turning to God

Keywords: ,

Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 35
1996 Edition
August 29, 1958

Greetings in the Name of the Lord. Blessings for all of you, my friends.

It is just about a year ago — as humans measure time — that this group was formed. And it has been a productive year, from our spiritual point of view. Since all thoughts, endeavors, and feelings create spiritual forms, such a group striving sincerely to get nearer to God is building a veritable temple in the spirit world.

By temple I mean a house to worship the Lord. I said to you that the temple foundation was laid, some of the walls were erected, but the roof was still missing, as were various other details. The building of this temple has been continued by all of you who contribute not only through the tasks you fulfill for this group, but also through every effort you make toward your own purification process. So the temple construction has advanced considerably. The roof is almost finished. And the coming year promises continued development of this beautiful temple, perhaps finishing touches can be added, all in the honor of the Lord and in the honor of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Occasionally, I will tell you about the progress of your temple. Now I should like to express the joy all of us share in the progress some of my friends have made. I think that I can promise you that a fruitful season is ahead of us, one that will bring much joy. Enough of the basic structure of your temple is secure for such a prediction to be made, though we cannot foresee an occasional individual setback. You will come to feel in your heart and soul the reality of the temple you are helping to build, each one of you. We are not concerned with a large quantity of people who may sit and listen and not really benefit spiritually. The overcoming of a single fault, the full recognition of a single shortcoming, contributes more to the building of your temple and the Plan of Salvation than a large crowd at these sessions. Spiritual progress in one individual means more to us and makes us happier than lukewarm participation by the many.

Now I should like to ask a favor of you. Always glorify God; do not ever glorify me. For I am only a servant of the Lord, happy in my task. When you experience enlightenment as a result of the help I am allowed to give, thank God and only Him! Never forget that it is God who is responsible, that without His strength and grace none of His creatures could lift a finger.

Many people seek God in the wrong way. I will try to explain what I mean. On this earth sphere there is a considerable amount of disappointment. Sometimes human beings turn to God only because contact with other human beings proves to be unsatisfactory. Perhaps not enough love is forthcoming; perhaps fear and caution cloud the expression of the innermost divine spark. Contact with other human beings can be experienced as hazardous, not bringing the blessings you seek. You may be hurt. The person in frustration often turns to God. The feeling is, “God will not disappoint me. God has enough love. God is far away and intangible: I risk nothing by loving Him. From human beings I experience only disappointment and hurt.”

Now this, my friends, is the wrong way to seek God. It is infinitely better than the primitive reaction of blaming God for one’s disappointments and the failures of others; the most primitive reaction is to doubt or deny the existence of God because of one’s personal disappointments. The human being who does so has not even entered the school of life. To turn to God because this is less disappointing and hazardous represents the first grade of elementary school.

The way to seek God is out of the fullness of your life. The fullness of life means to enter life without cowardice, to open yourself to everything life may bring: hardship and joy, unhappiness and happiness, periods of darkness, periods of light, disappointments in other human beings, and unwaveringly trust again and again, with an understanding heart. Most of all, never, never be afraid of your own feelings and of life as it is. That is entering the fullness of life.

But if you turn to God because it is “safer” and because He represents a last resort, or second best, a refuge, He will have to show you that love does not work in such a way. Your tests will be many.

Perhaps you are not consciously aware of reacting negatively to life. Test your emotions and your fears of other people, the hazards and risks of life and love as you know them, and then ask yourself whether your striving for God does not amount to using Him as a substitute. This is not the only motive in your desire to find God. Motives can be mixed; they often are in your state of development. The pure motive will be conscious to you; for the impure motive, you must search within your soul.

“If we are disappointed,” you may ask, “should we not then turn to God?” Yes, you should! But it depends again on how you go about doing it. If you pray to God in your disappointment, asking Him, “Father, help me find out what it is within myself that made such defeat inevitable. What can I learn from it? Help me to overcome my cowardice. Let me meet life with all its pains courageously.” Then you do the right thing. But if you withdraw from other people, if you withdraw in fear from your own feelings while you are trying to believe that the reason for such inner action is that you can find God better by “renouncing the world,” then you are misdirected in two ways: God is really a substitute for you; and secondly, you are lying to yourself.

It is not easy to find out the truth. These are subtle and hidden emotions, and only the most severe and sincere self-testing can teach you the truth about your soul-reactions. Do not be deceived by the part of you that seeks God in truth; look for the hidden part that does not. Do not ever forget, my dear ones, that your emotions are mixed. The conscious part that is right and pure does not eliminate the possibility of a hidden wrong reaction, emotion, and motive. So test yourself.

The best way to find God is always by learning to love other people. As you know, this is a long road. We have begun to work and are continuing to work on this. Nothing but love of your fellow creatures can open you to the fullness of life, which alone is the proper basis for finding the Lord.

Looking upon humanity, we of the spirit world often become sad. We see so many struggling men and women longing to be loved who do not know that what they actually long for is to love. It is just that they do not know it. The coarser matter of their soul, the layer that lies between the divine spark and the physical body translates the longing to love into a longing to receive love. In this layer exists the ego with all its vanity, pride, fear, and ambition. This ego layer believes that the best thing is to receive love without taking the risk of getting wounded; it thinks remaining aloof is a desirable state. In other words, you want to cheat: you want to receive without giving fully. You set limits. You calculate. You extend yourself only to receive love. And then you are bitter — because it does not work; it cannot work. Even if occasionally this strategy seems to work, you are not gratified by the love bestowed upon you. Think about it. Has it not happened in your life that other people loved you as best they knew how, but since you were incapable or unwilling to love, their love was more of a burden than a cause for happiness? Something within you knows that you do not deserve love, and so you feel guilty. The more love is given to you, the unhappier you become if you are not able to overcome your ego, pride, fear, and the cowardice that allows you to cheat.

If you overcome a weakness and begin to give some love, even before you are capable of giving real love, your act of unselfish giving will bring you a feeling of happiness and security that never comes to you when you receive selfishly and greedily. I realize that these are old truths you have heard many times. You have to experience the same truths again and again so that they may become a living reality and do not remain mere words.

My friends, one of the most important practices on this path is the daily struggle to make or to receive enlightenment out of words you already know. “Oh, I knew that already,” you say. “It is nothing new,” and a door automatically closes within yourself. In this way you do yourself great harm. You should understand better. Do you feel and live what you think you know? To know in your brain is only the beginning. You have a considerable amount of knowledge in your brain that from our standpoint we do not consider knowledge. The knowledge you have in your soul, knowledge that penetrates your being through and through, forever a part of you, is comparatively small.

Now I want to say a few words about prayers. We observe you as you pray. You say the right kind of prayers; you are praying ardently, untiringly, even patiently for the things you should pray for. Yet it often happens that when your prayers are answered, you do not know it. You do not realize that events that appear to you as disagreeable tests are nothing less than answers to your prayers. You need to go through these tests before that for which you pray can come to you. But you do not know it; you think that the answer to your prayer should come in a certain way. You fail to consider that if you lack a fulfillment, or if any kind of hardship exists in your life, it is because you have violated some spiritual law. Therefore a block exists in you that does not allow the fulfillment to come to you. God answers your prayer by making you conscious of the specific difficulty standing in the way of your fulfillment. You could not become conscious of it unless the difficulty manifested in your physical surroundings. You could not become aware of and eliminate the self-created obstacle. We have friends here to whom such a thing has happened. But it does not occur to them that the unpleasant experience was the very answer to their prayers. Without this occurrence they could not have removed the obstacle they had planted between themselves and the infinite bliss that God wants all His children to enjoy.

Before I turn to your questions, there is one announcement I want to make: We would be very happy if you and/or your group would start a new activity. Whenever a friend has a problem and needs advice, offer your help regardless of whether this person works privately with me or not; a meeting should be arranged with the friends of the inner nucleus. At this opportunity the friend in need should present his or her problem as honestly as he or she knows how. And the group should deliberate on it, each giving an opinion from the point of view of what it means spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. Ask yourselves what can be learned from it for the purpose of purification; what spiritual laws might be violated by this problem; what might be the best way to handle it; and so on. Essential at the start of such a meeting would be for all to join together in sincere prayer asking for divine guidance, inspiration, and enlightenment.

We have many good reasons to wish for the proper organization of such a service. We spirits of the world of God encourage humans to become independent. We do not like to be asked at the first sight of a problem, “What should I do? What would be the right thing?” Those of my friends who work with me privately will have noticed that I discourage such questions. If I were to tell you what you must do and how you must do it, it would weaken you. What I always do, however, is to show you first how to understand the inner causes responsible for the outer effect. I show you how to go about searching for such understanding. To achieve this purpose, it is essential that you talk openly about your problems. This in itself will shed a new light on the conflict in question and bring you deeper insights necessary for spiritual growth.

To ask and to obey is better than nothing. But to ask how to find one’s own violations and how to change inner currents indicates the true and mature spirituality that we want for you. Only in this way can you remove the obstacles for your independent channel to open to receive God’s will and hear God’s answers. You do not have to be a medium for that. Every human being on the right road can receive answers from God. It is our job to train you, not to make you dependent and have you coming to us with every decision you have to make.

Opening a channel requires training and practice. What I have suggested will afford a very good opportunity for everyone exploring the causes and solutions of the inner and outer conflicts on the path in the right way. It will strengthen all of you. Such activity is another form of “knocking” in order to receive divine inspiration. After you have proceeded as far as you can among yourselves, I shall be willing to give you advice to show you the way. Such an activity will bring the friends in the group closer together, which is very important. The law of brotherhood will be furthered. It is so healthy for your soul to open itself to your brothers and sisters on this path with generosity and courage. Those who listen, advise, and deliberate will gain strength not only from what they themselves are able to learn but also from their helpful attitude and unselfishness. So this will work only for the good.

Not one of you should feel shy. If your shyness stands in the way, a good part of your vanity has not been overcome. If you cannot bring yourself to the point of discussing your problems with friends who are seriously endeavoring to advance on this path of purification and who honestly desire to help, divine grace will not come to you in the measure it would if you were to make the effort to overcome such vanity and pride. All faults bar the way to divine grace; every effort to overcome the slightest fault opens a door to grace. It is pride that makes you shy. I cannot stress it enough, my friends, and I cannot beg you enough to do what I suggest if you are in difficulty. Come to the friends of this group. Convince yourself how much God likes you to do that. You will receive the fruits of it slowly but surely. A great many blessings will come to the group who helps in that way and to the person who seeks this help. Such regular service will strengthen the group as a whole tremendously, my dear friends!

Be in peace. Be in God!

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 creation body life_force higher_self exercises cause_and_effect needs parents time 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 evolution 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 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