Pathwork Lecture 211: Outer Events Reflect Self-Creation: Three Stages

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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 211
1996 Edition
May 4, 1973

My dearest friends, I greet you, I bless you, and I welcome you this evening. The time is ripe to give this specific lecture because a sufficient number of my friends on the path will be capable not only of intellectual understanding but also of putting some of its principles to practical use. As always, I do have to repeat certain information in order to make the connections clear and make the topic one comprehensive whole.

The human mind is squeezed into a narrow box, as it were — a box of misperceptions and limited perception. Only as you know yourself do you gradually gain a proper perspective and perception of life and its relation to your inner self-creation. The perception of the human mind is specifically faulty in that you interpret what you see as being the whole, although you only see small segments. This partial vision alters the nature of the perceived aspects of reality, and results in a totally different picture of life, of creation, and of the processes of life and creation. Imagine, as an analogy, a vast picture of which you only glimpse a small part through a narrow opening because the rest of the picture is covered. What you see then is only a part of reality, but if you believe it to be the whole, your entire perception and understanding is faulty. The human mind and human perception function the same way with regard to the real world.

It is also true that the same human mind is capable of infinite expansion and of transcending its present limitation. The specific limitation of the mind must and will eventually be transcended in order to realize its total scope. A lot of human misperception stems from a very one-sided focusing and conditioning. The mind conditions its own beliefs, perceptions, and observations and perpetuates them as long as these self-conditioning processes are not being challenged or questioned. But as long as these conditioned beliefs and perceptions are being taken for granted as truths, the mind remains in a box.

To gain a deeper understanding and a clearer picture of reality, you must first know that you brainwash yourself continually, particularly in relation to your experiences in life. As long as the connection between inner reality and inner conditions or landscapes on the one hand, and outer experience on the other is as tenuous as it is now in most human beings, the nature of life and the relationships between life and self are totally distorted. The box in which the mind finds itself becomes painfully narrow and limited. All perceptions are untrustworthy because the main perception of life and self is off center.

The illusion that outer life imposes experience on you is so widespread that the brainwashing is very difficult to stop. In this lecture I would like specifically to discuss three basic stages in growth and development as seen from the point of view of your life experience.

In the first stage, that which is farthest removed from reality, all events seem totally disconnected from you. Then the world seems a fixed place in which your personal experiences come to you as a result of pure chance, luck, or misfortune. But along the curve of growing a progression takes place. You begin to distinguish events that you have created, perhaps not consciously or deliberately; nevertheless, you know you have caused the results you now experience. However, when it comes to “outer” events which seem to have nothing to do with you, you still cannot see this. When such events disturb your state of happiness and peace, you are still very much removed from your center. The outer event then seems remote from your inner state, only symbolically reflecting aspects of your inner self which you are supposed to deal with but have refused to pay attention to until now. This ongoing refusal and self-imposed blindness remove you to such an extent from the point where you can become aware of self-creation that the results of your creation not only seem but actually are removed from you. They then appear disconnected from your voluntary processes.

This is a very painful state because what happens to you appears undeserved and life becomes very frightening in its apparently unpredictable character. You truly seem to be a victim of circumstances beyond your sphere of influence. This impression causes a great deal of fear and distrust of life. It also perpetuates the greatest human hoax: the conclusion that human beings are victims. No game is deadlier and more painful. Yet no resistance is greater than that which refuses to give up this hoax by taking the blinders off and seeing beyond this very limited vision.

I have discussed this principle many times in different contexts. Some of you who are involved in the pathwork, after much overcoming of resistances and blocks in yourselves, actually begin to occasionally experience that what before seemed to you absolutely and incontrovertibly a fixed outer event you were put into haphazardly, was really a very logical extension of your own inner attitude and explicit intention. Such an event reflects specific distorted ideas which, in turn, engender specific and distorted action, reaction, and volition. When this connecting bridge is established, an entirely different world view comes into being. Little by little the false focus shifts and one’s vision of life moves into a clearer perspective.

As you know, connecting inner attitudes to outer events requires courage, humility, and honesty. It demands the utter integrity of self-responsibility. But the relief, safety, new energy, and creative strength that accrue from such a connection between the outer and the inner cannot be measured in mere words. Many of you are moving continually in this direction. As you go on, the resistance to making these connections lessens. The stake you have in maintaining the fiction of being a victim of life diminishes in the ratio in which your self-responsibility increases and becomes so pleasurable that you would no longer exchange it for the untruth of victimization.

The more you enter this new state, the less will outer events occur that are so far removed from you that the connection between you and the event can only be symbolically interpreted. Later they will be incontrovertibly recognized as your own creation. The more often you establish these connections and thus see your own hand in the shaping of your life experiences, the less will events occur that are so far removed from you that you can only draw the connecting link by using the event as a symbolic outpicturing of an aspect of your inner landscape. This brings you to the second stage in this progression.

In the second stage you can relatively easily see the outer event as a result of your attitudes. This does not mean that you can immediately cease producing these particular creations. You need to gather a great deal of self-understanding and need to expose and release a lot of pent-up energy and stagnant feelings before you begin to recreate your life. However, it is mostly obvious to you that your experience is a result of your attitudes, intentions, beliefs, and feelings. You can see how this or that experience is a specific result of commensurate desires, defense mechanisms, destructive actions, negative behavior patterns, and so on. Needless to say that in this stage it is impossible to feel quite so helpless, anxious, afraid, victimized, and hopeless. Even if the personality still doubts, at this point, its own capacity to change these specific attitudes and patterns because a still deeper level of negative intentionality, of not wanting to change them, has not been uncovered, at least the world no longer appears such a chaotic place. For you this represents a great step forward on the evolutionary scale.

In the third stage of this progression, your attitudes, actions, intentions, and feelings have become sufficiently purified, realistic, and productive for you to now create a mostly positive life experience. Outer events fall more and more into place. As I discussed in the last lecture, you are moving into a new self-generative process of positive creation and experience. But in this stage you are not yet completely purified. Your mind is now much more aware of its own pitfalls and is thus capable of quickly penetrating the veil of illusion. However, some clouds still remain, and you will occasionally suffer from your own fluctuating moods which sometimes seem to come and go without any outer reason. Yet now you can no longer deceive yourself that someone or something else is inflicting suffering on you. You know it comes from your mood. Of course, sometimes you may say that your dark mood is a result of so and so having done this or that to you, and this may well be true. But then such an occasion does not belong in the third stage. It belongs to either stage one or two, depending on your vision of it. Stage three means that you already know your mood is not caused by any outside factor, but simply occurs in you without outer provocation or reason. It is as though a cloud has come over the sun and you do not yet know why, but you do know the cloud is in you. Yet you are still a victim of the fluctuations of your own moods. This third stage is the least removed from your direct contact with your inner reality, but it is still removed. I mean that the manifestation moves steadily closer to an overlap with your inner state as a result of your having established the links in the previous stages.

Whatever causes those inner clouds to suddenly cover up the inner sun may vary, of course. It may be that you repress a certain feeling, a certain perception of those around you because you are unwilling to deal with pain or frustration. Or you may simply experience the inner movement of your path which inexorably reveals deeper material for you to deal with as you go on. Those moods are then signposts for you, enabling you to pay attention to something in you that could otherwise never become known to your conscious mind.

When I speak of inner reality, in this context I do not merely refer to a psychological or emotional state. The inner reality is the wide, vast universe, and you as a personality stand on the borderline between this wide, vast, endless, infinite inner space of creation, in which every conceivable state of consciousness, expression, and condition exists, and on the other side the outer void that has to be filled with consciousness and light, with love and life. Your material body is the boundary, the border state. The consciousness behind the body is the carrying agent whose task it is to bring one’s inner reality into a void. The only difficulty is that those in this border state often forget that the inner reality is the real world, or even that there is such an inner world.

The darkness of the limited mind makes it almost impossible to conceive of an actual world existing within or through you that leads to infinite spaces. You can conceive of space only in terms of the outer, reflected reality. Only the space of the three-dimensional state of consciousness appears real. Yet even your physicists today know that the relationship of time/space/movement is of an infinite variety, and therefore the time/space/movement continuum of your world — your state of consciousness — is relative and only one of many possibilities, rather than a fixed, exclusive “reality” applicable to all inner states. When a human consciousness “dies,” as it were, what actually happens is that it withdraws from its shell into another time/space/movement continuum, which is the inner world.

Just as time, space, and the relationship of movement to time and space within your specific space-reality are results of a corresponding state of consciousness, so are landscapes, objects, conditions, natural laws, the atmosphere, the climate, also results of specific states of consciousness. Your inner world is thus a total product of your overall state of consciousness. In this inner world you connect with others whose overall state of consciousness approximates your own, so that you share a commonly created sphere of temporary reality. This same rule applies of course to this earth sphere, with the only difference that the inner states are externalized on earth in a way that is often more difficult to discern.

You also know that your own consciousness is not just one unified state. You consist of many aspects of consciousness which may often be in total disagreement among themselves and whose state of development may vary widely.

When the real self takes on a task before it goes into an embodiment, it chooses to take certain aspects of consciousness along with it, if I may put it this way. On the path you are helped to fulfill this task which your real self understood, which is to bring unification between the disconnected aspects of your consciousness, and also to refine, reeducate, and purify these divergent aspects. Your ego, which is your active, determining outer consciousness, can choose to seek an understanding of these connections, or to evade it. Your ego consciousness is the borderline between the inner light world and the outer void. As I said, when the human mind becomes entangled in the partial reality of three-dimensional consciousness, it can easily forget the task. Only through a struggle can it be reawakened to the greater consciousness. I might also add here that human beings receive a great deal of spiritual guidance in this struggle if only they are willing to perceive the help.

When the disconnected mind forgets the greater truth of being, the conscious ego self temporarily identifies with the aspects needing re-education and purification; it then loses a sense of its real identity. This extremely painful state comes about only when pride, selfwill, and fear are allowed to rule the consciousness. The moment you have exposed, owned, and realistically evaluated those negative aspects you had exclusively identified with and therefore struggled against seeing, this shameful isolation ceases and the aspects are seen exactly for what they are: simply aspects of the total self.

It is therefore extremely important in your pathwork that you explore yourself and stop hiding the negative part of yourself. For the more you hide it, the more you lose yourself in it and the greater the desperation of the illusion becomes. Only when you take the courage and adopt the humility to again and again acknowledge and expose the negative parts of yourself does the miracle occur: you will then no longer secretly identify with those parts of you which you wish to hide. Paradoxical as this may seem at first glance, the more you expose your destructive part, the more you know of your true creative self. The more you expose the ugliness, the more you know your beauty; the more you expose your hatred and all its derivatives, the more you know of your already existing state of love that can then shine through.

Just imagine, my friends, the incredibly painful predicament you put yourself in when you hide that which you are most ashamed and afraid of. It is precisely because of this hiding that you compound the very attitudes you most hate in yourself. You make them infinitely worse through the concealment and then become more and more convinced on deep levels of your consciousness that they constitute your real being. This vicious circle makes you more determined to hide and therefore feel more isolated, more negative, and more destructive just because of your methods of hiding. For hiding always requires projecting your real guilt on others, blaming, self-whitewashing, hypocrisy, and so on. Therefore you become more convinced that the hidden part is the ultimate you for whom there is no hope. Your true task must begin by exposing all of you. I have said it so many times, because there just is no way around this aspect of spiritual development. All the seekers of spiritual growth who avoid this delude themselves and must at one time or another encounter a rude and painful awakening. You must go through this process; you must expose all parts. Yet such an exposure also brings in its wake the awareness that the worst opinion of yourself is never justified, no matter how ugly the traits and attitudes may be that you have hidden. They are never justified because these parts are only isolated aspects of the total consciousness which your real self has taken charge of.

As you go through these steps, you become aware of your higher self, not as a theory or a philosophical premise, but as stark reality, right here and now. You experience yourself as the real entity you are, have always been, and will always be, no matter what the isolated aspects of consciousness fabricate in the way of delusion and folly. This is indeed a great and wonderful task! In the process you learn about your inner reality and all its various aspects and levels of consciousness. You see the outer event in relation to your inner landscape. The inner landscape is then no longer some symbolic or colorful analogy. It is indeed stark reality.

Now let us return to the three basic stages in this specific respect. As you work along with the precepts of this path and establish the connections between yourself and outer life events, no matter how remote from your volition and your responsibility they may seem, a curious reversal begins to take place in your vision of self and life. The outer event which first seemed cause now becomes effect, and vice versa. What first seemed merely a symbolic analogy, namely the inner landscape, is now stark reality, while the outer events become symbolic representations of this inner condition. This new perception brings about a whole gamut of new reactions to life. A deep inner sense of security arises because now one’s thoughts, desires, feelings, and attitudes are seen as the creative agents. Thus thoughts, opinions, beliefs, feelings, attitudes are no longer handled irresponsibly on the delusory premise that they do not count and are of no consequence. This new awareness brings with it a sense of your being a creator in the scheme of things.

If you do not resist going beyond the faulty, limited logic of materialistic consciousness in which life appears a given fixed thing into which you are put, you will experience the cohesiveness between outer events and your inner life. The peace, joy, security, and sense of oneness with all of life that are the inevitable result, make former resistance against this state seem utterly ludicrous. Yet you human beings struggle against this awareness more than against anything else. You seek all sorts of explanations. Throughout history humanity has created different answers to explain away the results of inner creation, in order to avoid taking responsibility for them. You refuse to relate outer events to your own inner state. You have such a strong stake in ignoring this truth and not putting it into practice, yet nothing could be as liberating as this new approach to yourself and your life.

Nothing else can give you the true means to create your life anew, to recreate it. Once you have seen your negative creation, you have the tools to institute positive creation where the same principles prevail. You have conditioned yourself to gloss over the negative thoughts and interpretations you harbor, to ignore seeing the deliberately built up stake you have in seeking justification for your faults, for your spite, and your malice. You would rather do anything than see that you deliberately choose an unhappy experience for nefarious reasons. You produce and create, often on a vast scale, painful, debilitating, and frustrating experience. Then you use this fact as a justification to become more bitter, resentful, punishing, and withholding of the best of your being. You lose track of the volitional element of these creations and your suffering becomes very real. The more you lose the connection with self-creation, the more bitter and hopeless the suffering becomes. Then you pretend to yourself that your thoughts and your intentions have nothing to do with your experience. You try to convince yourself that they can have no real power. But eventually you begin to see that they do have power.

Often the creative power of thoughts, intentions, or emotional attitudes is ignored because of the time interval between cause and effect. The childish mind sees effects of causes only in an immediate, obviously apparent, closely-knit unit. Only the more mature mind can discern an effect removed from a causal agent. Where negative intentionality exists the mind remains proportionately childish and blind and its perceptions are commensurately limited.

Once you have reached the second stage in which you begin to recognize experiences as products of your attitudes, you will soon have more and more experiences where this is easy to detect, and fewer and fewer experiences that are a total outer projection and symbol of inner reality. At this stage you may still be stuck here or there and find yourself consciously resisting positive creation. Nevertheless, this affords you the opportunity to focus your efforts, attention, and energies on becoming conscious of further buried material that causes this blockage. Now at least you know where you are stuck and why. You can choose and direct your focus in a meaningful way. You can reverse the course of what is now a meaningful sequential chain: thought, created intent and action or the lack of it.

I advise all of you, my friends to specifically commit yourselves to seeing your lives more and more in these terms. What is lacking and how do you create it? How much are you willing to be in truth with yourself? All the way? That is the great question.

Take now the third stage in which you confront your moods. You all have been in situations when suddenly without reason a mood has changed from sunny to rainy. This may at first appear more frustrating than a case when you can pin this fluctuation on some outer reason. At the same time, it leads you more directly toward your nucleus. You can no longer blame it on others and thus escape from your truth. As long as other people can be used as scapegoats for your bleak moods, you are much farther away from the truth than in the instance when nothing untoward has happened and yet your mood changed. This seemingly causeless change is so frustrating that you inwardly start rebelling and objecting. This occurs to the extent you still have a stake in blaming others for your state. You then must struggle against the flow of your inner movement. The childish part in you declares that nothing pleasant should ever change. If you feel good now, it should be final. The demand of and belief in the finality of the present favorable mood also creates the other side of the coin: When you are in a difficult, depressed, and bleak mood, you despair because then, again, you must think this mood also final. You do not allow yourself to connect with the inner movement of the flow. If you learn to listen into and follow the inner lifestream in a very focused and attentive way, using your finest inner perceptions, you cannot fail to perceive that within you there is constant movement.

The analogy often used in dreams as well as in other symbolic language is that one’s sojourn in a human body is a journey. This analogy has often been made throughout spiritual history. It reveals a profound truth: The inner path is in constant movement through the stages of soul matter that have to be traversed. This journey is indeed not just a word. It is a constant flowing movement. And so is your own personal path. It is a movement. It carries you through your landscapes. It carries you through the landscape of your higher self, which is beautiful and brilliant. But if the task you have come to fulfill is left behind, you will not experience this beautiful landscape too often, because then you get stuck and stay in the landscapes of those other aspects of your consciousness which you have not yet united and integrated with the real self.

What happens when you withdraw after a lifetime into the inner universe with these various aspects of your personality? You live in them alternately. The aspects you have not succeeded in unifying with the higher self remain separated fragments in their own self-created worlds. You must occasionally reside in these separate worlds; the amount of “time,” for lack of a better word, depends on the intensity of each state. Each will indeed be a world like this material world, for example, but with different conditions, dimensions, and laws which will appear to be the only reality for as long as your mind is fixed on them, just as this sphere seems the only reality while you are exclusively focused on it. All these worlds are worlds of consciousness and action. Since you have many different aspects, you will reside in many different worlds. But only in the highest world of your developed consciousness will you know that the other worlds are not your ultimate worlds nor the only worlds. While your consciousness is focused on any of these other worlds, you forget your real identity; you function just as a human being does, not knowing your real divine identity as long as you only identify with the less developed aspects of your being. Then indeed the sojourn in the lower worlds of those aspects seems final for as long as it lasts. This finality is an illusion, but only when you are in the greater reality of your light world do you know that the only final reality is beauty, love, truth, light and bliss. All other states are temporary.

Now when your mood clouds over and you fall into despair and struggle against the mood, you do not follow the inner movement and continue to believe that you are in the only final world of darkness. I say to you, my friends, the mere fact that you consider these thoughts of truth — without struggle and panic, without fearful ideas of finality — will make you aware that there is a movement taking place. This will make an enormous difference for it will lead you to explore and find out what the movement into the cold means for you. Instead of struggling against the darkness, accept it as a temporary state and move with it. By fighting it, you only stop the movement. By accepting it, you follow the movement, and it will carry you through. If you accept the pain and consciously connect with its meaning, it ceases to be pain. And so it is with the bleak or dark or negative mood. See it as a cloud and follow the movement that carries you, with the aim of comprehending its meaning. Each cloud is a meaning. Commit yourself to comprehend the meaning of the mood, and your inner path will reveal the answer.

I have advised you again and again, as a tool of the pathwork to use what I call a daily review. Go through the days in terms of the various moods that “overtook” you during this specific day. Now I say “overtook” in quotation marks because this feeling is again an illusion, as if you looked through the wrong end of a telescope. You produce the mood, but you do not know it. It is a movement in you, an aspect in you; it is your own landscape. The mood expresses a specific meaning and it is up to you to allow your inner self to produce the answer, to bring these various moods into your pathwork and follow through these patterns. If you observe them, you will derive tremendous meaning from them. Your disconnectedness from the meaning of the mood makes it appear as if it “overtook” you, just as the outer event appears to you to be independent of anything you have within you. As long as you do not know and do not want to know that part in you which is compatible with the mood that created and attracted the energy field which inevitably drew this outer event to you and you to it, you will feel disconnected from it.

Perhaps as a result of my attempt in this lecture to bridge the gap between psychological and spiritual reality, it will now become possible for you to use spiritual reality as a practical guideline. You all know that as a rule psychological reality stops short at the self-creating aspect of your inner being and ignores your self-responsibility for anything but outer, conscious actions. You also know that, as a rule, spiritual reality in the way it is mostly spoken about on earth does not provide you with the psychological means to make practical use of the truth that your reality — both inner and outer — is your creation. Spiritual activity then becomes an escape from psychological factors. But it is equally true that the way psychology proceeds today it too becomes an escape from one’s deepest self-responsibility and thus robs one of the conscious capacity to create and recreate. I attempt to unify the two as two sides of the same truth. By leaving out one facet, the other becomes in its own way an escape and an incomplete approach to humanity’s struggle on earth.

Before concluding this lecture, I would like to speak about a historical progression in terms of self-responsibility. In ancient times, human beings experienced themselves as completely dependent upon the gods. In centuries not so far removed from your own, a religious counter-movement had taken over in which human beings’ failings, poverty, illness, and insanity were chalked up against them. They were ostracized as sinners and outcasts and judged by others. This was a distortion of the reality that everyone indeed creates his or her own state and experiences. However, if such a reality is misused in a separative, loveless, judgmental spirit, the truth becomes a dangerous half-truth. It has to be temporarily left behind so that a new and better balance can come about. Thus the past century, whose spirit is still prevalent now, negated the concept of self-responsibility. In broader terms of evolution, this century’s attitude is a counter-balance of the previous distortion and half-truth. The present tendency is that the suffering person is seen as an innocent victim. The call for self-responsibility is still confused with the previous blaming, arrogant, punitive attitude. Thus human beings are weakened and misled about their own potentialities. Psychology ignores the important factor of real guilt that must be recognized for what it is behind every so-called neurotic and unjustified guilt.

Only now, in the evolutionary spiral movement of humanity as a whole, do people become capable of assuming responsibility without the distortion that is blame. Now you can find the way to own up to your negativities without despairing because you can transcend the limited consciousness of this stage. Your journey has taken you sufficiently far so that you have spiritually matured and are ready to find the balance, the love, and the truth of creative self-responsibility. Now the truth of self-responsibility can be regained on a new level. Instead of using this truth against others so as to set your little ego above them, the truth can be used on your own self. The truth of self-responsibility can be practiced not as a punitive accusation, but as the highest form of human dignity. So only when you want to be in truth about your negativities and destructiveness can you find the grandeur of your creative self and know that you are a creator and a “God-carrier” as it were. The pendulum must swing until love and self-responsibility are no longer split into apparently mutually exclusive opposites, but become one comprehensive whole.

My dearest friends, I bless all of you from the world of love, truth, and vital energy. Use this energy, as you so often do, to go deeply into yourselves and become one with one another. Be in peace.

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