Pathwork Lecture 048: The Life Force in the Universe

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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 48
1996 Edition
March 13, 1959

Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I bring you blessings, my dearest friends.

Tonight I will discuss the life force in the universe. The universal life force is contained in every sphere or world, all inanimate objects, abstract ideas and living human beings. Nothing can exist without it. I will not discuss its manifestation in other realms, in high spheres outside your reach and understanding. There would be no point in that since you could not grasp it, my friends. In my discussion I will use terms that you can apply to everyday life.

An inanimate object is petrified life force. A beautiful idea, a truth, is flowing life force. Life force is eternal and therefore all life is eternal. Death is but an illusion. An inanimate object you call dead is only so temporarily. All life, in whatever way it manifests, must exist eternally, for non-eternal life is no life and therefore a meaningless contradiction. The life force contains all divine attributes. It is, it has not come into existence, it does not do, it does not work or have. It simply is. Try to understand the significance and the distinction of these words. Life force is all around you and within you.

A human being living in complete and utter harmony with the life force would not die, yet would not remain in the physical body either. For your matter is petrified life force and exists only where the field of the life force is disturbed in some way. As you have heard from various sources of teaching, death is not necessary in principle and one day death will be eliminated. Fully self-realized people will gradually transform their bodies to a spiritual form. This is so, although its realization lies in a very distant future measured by earth time. But in principle it certainly is possible.

Wherever the life force has not been violated, happiness — that is, complete harmony and peace — can be yours without the trepidations and fear of losing it again that accompany temporary happiness for you human beings.

You all know from the teachings you have so far received that you violate spiritual law constantly within your soul — if not in deed, word or thought, at least in your unconscious emotions. Whenever such violation happens, you twist the life force that could flow through you. You prevent the life force from reviving you. What I am showing you on this path of self-finding is a gradual, slow way — and there is no faster way — to dissolve all the walls, rocks and petrifications within yourself and so allow the life force to work in you. Whoever has experienced even a slight victory has overcome a resistance, found a truth or made a recognition, even an unpleasant one — or rather exactly these — has experienced a feeling of peace, strength, and a sense of being vibrantly alive — until the next obstruction is tackled. These rare moments should be a living proof to you that what I say is not just a beautiful story or a remote and abstract theory without any bearing on the now. It is utter reality, accessible to you any time if you choose to turn inward.

The obstructions within your soul can exist only because you have violated divine law in some way. When divine law is violated, the life force cannot work. Note that the word “law” has very often a wrong connotation for you. Most human beings, when they hear this word, react to it emotionally in a way that has nothing to do with the sense in which I mean it. Law means to you — often unconsciously — something you are forced, or compelled to obey, an authority that is stronger than you. I outlined this in a whole lecture recently. This kind of emotional association with the concept of law is completely opposed to its true meaning. Law in its real and divine sense has nothing to do with force or compulsion; quite the contrary. As soon as force or compulsion set in — whether from outside or from within your own self — at that moment divine law is violated. For divine law is inner freedom.

You can gain inner freedom only by liberating yourself from errors. As the first and inevitable step, you have to bring them into consciousness. Only after that can you free yourself from them. So instead of talking about violating divine law, it might be better to say that divine truth is violated. For truth is life force and truth is certainly divine law. You all know, my dear friends, that the path on which I lead you shows you the truth about yourself.

Life force is regeneration. Petrified life force means degeneration. In your images, your wrong conclusions, your conscious and unconscious ignorance and errors, you do not live in truth, and therefore you prohibit the life force which, though it has many other attributes, is always a healing force — for your body, your mind, your soul, and for your spirit. Thus you will readily believe that all physical sickness is only a chain reaction, a final outer manifestation of obstructed life force.

Whenever you have obstructions within your soul, the only way to cure the malady is first to prepare for the proper reception of the life force. The first step is to encounter the untruth and that, of course, is not pleasant. This leads many people to believe that our path cannot be the right one. They think that because the divine is beautiful, harmonious and blissful, to experience the very opposite is an indication that something contrary to the divine is taking place. What a misunderstanding, my friends! How can you believe that you can simply bypass all the disharmony you yourself have planted in your soul and then directly experience divine harmony!

You have to understand the wrong causes you have set in motion before you can truly understand divine truth. If you have planted a poisonous plant in your garden, spoiling all the good plants, can you get rid of the bad plant without getting hold of it and pulling it out? This work is not exactly pleasant, for the poison may even affect you temporarily while touching it, but this cannot be avoided. It is better than to leave the poisonous plant in your garden.

Pain has to be endured one way or another before you can get rid of that in you which causes and has constantly caused pain. You must learn to distinguish between two basic kinds of pain, my friends, the degenerating and the regenerating. You have that in the physical realm as well. There is the kind of pain of becoming sick, feeling the symptoms of an onsetting illness. One is then on the downward curve. And then there is a different kind of pain, often even more acute, which goes with the healing process: the regenerating pain. This is often — indeed always — necessary before complete cure or healing can take place. Such pain is on the upward curve. Before undergoing an operation, for instance, first you feel the kind of pain of becoming sick, often long before you know what is wrong. And then your physician finds out and he operates on you. In the healing process you endure a completely different kind of pain. You all know the wound cannot heal before the pus has been let out and, in the cleansed state, the tissues can grow together again. That is the regenerating pain.

The same holds true for the soul. You cannot escape this reality, my friends. You have the choice either of remaining on the downward curve, in the state where you suffer from the symptoms, refusing to go to the root of the evil, or of mustering up courage, approaching the problem, cutting open the wound, and thus allowing the healing forces of nature to take over. After letting out the pus — your errors, your wrong conclusions — you need to endure for a while the kind of pain that is regenerating. The operation itself would be the unpleasantness of facing what is wrong with you. It is the high point, or shall we say the low point, before the upward curve can begin.

By visualizing this, it may be easier for you to work your way out of the trap you now find yourself in. You do not need to endure blackness and despair. Turn around, my dear ones, and try to understand what I say here and approach the real affliction, instead of continuously paying attention to the symptoms only. Even my friends farthest advanced on the path are tempted to look at the symptoms of evil, rather than the cause, because of their unconscious fear of the sharper pain of the “operation.” Under stand that once you have the courage to go through the “operation,” the time of pain is very short. If, however, you stay on the downward curve, attaching yourself to the symptoms but turning away from their origin within yourself, the suffering will last. The pain will endure as long as you do not decide to face the real problem and decide for the “operation.”

This advice does not only apply to taking this path as a whole, but should be applied to every step on it. You may be on the path all right and still deliberately overlook certain sick points in your soul, seeking the remedy from the outer world. This again is attachment to the symptoms. The more you dissolve the inner obstructions, the petrifications, by facing your misconceptions, misunderstandings and the untruth that lives in your soul, the more you allow the life force to flow through you. The more you do that, the sooner you will revive on all levels of your being.

As I said at the beginning of this lecture, perfection is limitless and eternal, not only in the sense of time, but also in the sense of scope. You can sense and experience an infinitesimal part of all this, even while on earth. Whoever approaches the stony and steep road of self-finding will experience gradually, little by little, changes that are unbelievable, or would be unbelievable for anyone who does not invest in this. I do not promise you miracles, my friends. Miracles in that sense do not exist. Whoever wants to believe in that kind of salvation does so because it does not entail personal effort. Wouldn’t that be easy! But no, such salvation does not exist. This path is one of utter reality; there are no fairy tales. The reality I show you can be experienced by everyone, provided that he or she does not shy away from the labor and is willing to pay the price. Yes, miracles do happen on this path, but only if earned the hard way. That is the way it should be, the way you can safely believe in because it makes sense. And do not forget another thing, that the subtle changes in the personality manifest first inside, so that they are not noticeable by others or manifest in changed circumstances. The first manifestation must always be that you feel and react differently inwardly. The rest follows later.

So, my dear friends, let the life force into your soul. You cannot do so by simply willing it, by trying to get into a holy mood, though this may help a little. A prayer will give you the necessary strength to do your part. But the work has to be done. That of the living flow which you at one time or another have destroyed has to be regenerated by your own efforts in facing yourself, in overcoming your resistance and sluggishness and self-pity. You should never believe even for an instant that what you experience is unjust and unfair, no matter how much it may appear that way. In the last analysis, in absolute truth and reality, you have caused it. You have to find the cause and find a different way to come out of it than the direction you have taken so far, the state you have remained in too long. Think about this, my dear friends.

And now a little more advice for your work on image-finding. What I have said in the lectures on this subject has surely shown you that various overall general subjects and concepts play a role in the human psyche. Therefore general attitudes need to be investigated. An attitude to a general concept or idea becomes very personal in the human mind and soul because all human beings encounter personal experiences in their lives that apply to these subjects. The method I have presented so far covers, briefly speaking, the various lists which I need not again enumerate, the life story of the individual, and the practice of the daily review. With this material at hand, you can certainly be successful — and have been — in your findings. Now I would like to give you an additional item to add to the method. Some of you have used it anyway, without quite realizing it. But now this should be incorporated as an integral part of the work. It is this: Take all general ideas, concepts, and principles, and make a list of all those that are important in a person’s life. Some I have discussed already, such as love, eros and sex or authority; others I shall discuss in the future. Think of money, work, various emotions, human relationships, plus a number of other general subjects which you can examine successively, according to what is the person’s most pressing problem. Find out what is the attitude of each individual toward that subject. Let people tell you first their general idea, their concept on the subject they apparently have difficulties with. Then begin to question the person about his or her life from this particular point of view, covering childhood, adolescence, young adult life, and so on.

Let that person tell you what his parents’ attitude, or apparent attitude, was on the subject. You may then find out that in nine out of ten cases the intellectual concept is completely different from the emotional behavior and attitude. This should furnish an important clue for the images and wrong conclusions. Incorporate this approach into the overall method and use it whenever the time seems ripe. Make it into a definite program. Yet there should be no rigid system; you know you have to work with your intuition and according to the personality. In one case one subject should be taken first, in another case a different one might be appropriate. And in yet another case it may be better to wait with this type of investigation altogether.

In due course we will discuss many general subjects of this sort from the viewpoint of the wrong interpretation in the unconscious, and what the right reaction would and should be.

And now, my dear friends, before we turn to your questions, I would like to make a proposition which should prove exceedingly interesting to all of you. There is so much friction among you — and this is unavoidable in any human group. You are also all full of goodwill and do not want any friction. The question always is how to eliminate it. There are various ways. Some you have tried, some not, or have forgotten.

Now let me make a new suggestion which should work out very well, if you use it. You all know that lawyers can defend a case from two entirely different sides. They can first represent the case from one viewpoint and be utterly convincing. They can then take the opposite side and be equally convincing. Any lawyer will confirm this to you. Many practice it as part of their training.

If there is friction between you and one of your brothers or sisters, my advice is that you become an advocate in his or her defense. Take the case and try to see how the other one sees it and present the case first to yourself. That will be the easiest. Then go to an objective third person, detached from the conflict, perhaps the person you work with, and repeat this process in her presence. This would be the second step. And if you really want to reach the highest step in this particular regard, go to the person with whom you have the conflict and be the advocate in his or her defense. Perhaps he or she will do the same. It takes courage and humility, the two attributes so inevitable to reach any success on this path. But if you cannot bring yourself to take the third and highest step, try the first and perhaps then the second.

Take up this task in seriousness; do not make a half-hearted attempt. Try to forget yourself. Try to act on your adversary’s behalf as though you actually were a lawyer and your reputation were at stake. By defending badly, because in a corner of your being you still want to prove how right you are, you have not fulfilled your job at all. Play a game, imagine your life depends on presenting a convincing case for the other person. The better you represent him, the better it is for you; and not, as you may continue to believe, the better you defend him, the worse you come out. After the other has heard you first, as your “client” he will give you additional material, so that you can succeed better. Listen to it so as to extend and strengthen the case for your “client.”

Do you know what this will do for you, my dear ones? It will open new vistas of understanding. You are so used to representing only your own case. There you are perfect. There you do not need further improvement and practice. Learn now to see the other side. Be the lawyer for the other one, instead of for yourself. That is my advice. It will be a very good exercise, the surest and fastest way to eliminate friction or to reduce it to a minimum, provided you follow it through. It may also be a good idea for group work. First state briefly your own case and then become the lawyer for the other. Let the others judge whether you are a better lawyer in your own behalf than in behalf of the other person.

And now, my friends, I am ready for your questions. Are there any questions on any of the subjects discussed tonight?

QUESTION: Science says that life is light and consciousness. Does that correspond to what you said tonight? Intelligence and light?

ANSWER: Of course. Only it is much more than that. Intelligence and light are only two details. The life force is everything that exists. Everything good. And everything negative or detrimental is petrified life force: divine truth or divine law that has not been adhered to.

QUESTION: What are the main qualifications and prerequisites for team-workers, and after how long a training and self-purification, generally speaking, should they start working as team-helpers?

ANSWER: This is, of course, quite difficult to answer in general terms. But I will try. One of the general qualifications is a certain psychological talent. That goes without saying. Who has this talent and who does not will show rather quickly. In most cases, even the person himself will be aware of whether or not he or she has this talent. There is certainly nothing to be ashamed of if one does not have it. Not everyone has the same talents. Everyone who is halfway honest with himself will know whether he or she has a number of qualifications that, all put together, are the talents required for this particular work. For instance: insight, intuition, power of deduction, observation, a very warm interest in other people, positive feelings, also a certain basic detachment.

The time element is impossible to fix. It varies. Some people may be capable of doing this work sooner than others. It depends on them. It is not a prerequisite that all images be found and dissolved before one can work with others. That is not necessary, although some discoveries need to have been made, some results of the search for images should have been achieved. But one absolute prerequisite is to have done some successful work on one’s path, felt the relief of the recognitions, and experienced inner changes.

Before this experience and sense of relief, one person would not be able to help another. You must have had that feeling to know what it is like; only then can you do your helping with conviction. As long as a certain relief and victory have not taken place, you would be so much in darkness, so ensnarled in your own difficulties, that you could never have open eyes for another. The necessary detachment and intuition would be missing. So that is the criterion by which you can proceed and judge.

Each one of you must know best whether you are ready or not when you ask yourself, “Did I have that experience? Am I completely convinced? Did I overcome certain basic problems in myself? Do I understand truly what in me is causing my main problems?” I repeat, the images do not have to be dissolved, but the relief that is the inevitable result of understanding certain causes and effects in one’s own life must have been experienced.

QUESTION: On rereading the last lecture, on “the wall,” it seems to me that when we are supposed to find “the wall,” we are also supposed to realize that this wall is almost physically present. Is that correct?

ANSWER: I do not know what you mean by “physically.” I meant that you should visualize it, you should feel it as a concrete something in your soul. After a while you will get to this point. But you cannot see it physically. It is just that you feel a hardness in you, something that prevents you from being completely empty and flowing.

QUESTION: I think that occasionally it can be seen in reverie and before waking.

ANSWER: That is possible. It can also be seen in a dream.

QUESTION: Is it only after “the wall” has disappeared that one’s spiritual rebirth can occur? Does this disappearance occur when you have become conscious of everything that was behind “the wall,” or only after you have actually purified yourself?

ANSWER: The spiritual rebirth can occur after you are completely conscious of everything that was behind “the wall.” Then the regenerating forces of nature can begin to work. But try to realize what it means to be completely conscious. It includes applying the findings at all times to one’s reactions, and that is certainly not so easy.

QUESTION: Can one be completely conscious of all one’s wrong trends?

ANSWER: The time must come. I do not say that it has to come in this life for all of you. Perhaps there are very, very few for whom this is possible, but eventually it must come for everyone. Until that point is reached, you go on and on incarnating. But you can reach quite a distance in this life — and thus you speed up all succeeding lives because your psyche becomes impregnated with the process of self-search. It becomes second nature and will remain in the soul, so that the entity will benefit by this habit in future incarnations.

I will retire into my world and leave all of you with divine blessings and strength. May the new friends who have found their way here take the trouble and patience to find out whether they can find the many answers this path has to offer. Let none of you be hasty. Receive at least particles of the life force that is contained in every blessing. How much you can absorb depends entirely on your own state of mind. Bitterness, anger, self-pity, all these block the life force. Remember that. So try to open your doors. Be blessed, my dear ones, be in peace, be in the Lord!

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

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