Pathwork Lecture 223: The Era of the New Age and New Consciousness

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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 223
1996 Edition
September 25, 1974

Blessings, love, and greetings to all of you, my dearest ones. With immense joy do we resume our contact for the coming working period. The rejoicing in our world is great. This rejoicing can communicate itself to you if you open yourself to it. It has to do with what many of you have accomplished individually and together. But the rejoicing is also about what is to come. For more growth and liberation, peace, and joy will come to those of you who really devote yourselves to your own innermost path.

Now, my dearest friends, you have often heard from me and from many other sources that an immense new cosmic force that will sweep the planet earth has been released into the universe. A new surge toward spiritual truth is spreading throughout your world. New values are seeking to push through old resistances. I will speak in this lecture about the meaning of the new cosmic force in terms of your community, your individuality, and your growth.

The planet Earth is an entity of which each individual inhabiting it is a cell, not unlike the cells of your body. Each of these cells is a consciousness and energy center, just as you are a consciousness and energy center. Now the entity Earth is growing up. It is coming to an inner crossroads just as a growing person comes to an inner crossroads.

You have all experienced at some point on your path that one part of you is ready to expand, to risk exposure of its hidden secrets, to move toward a new vision of life, self, and a new mode of being. The new modality does not shed the old, but transforms what is not compatible with the new, pure, and great influx. It incorporates the pure substance of the old self into a new, expanded version.

You also know that at the same time the part of you we call the lower self obstructs this movement. It fears, distrusts, and resists such growth. Which part you ally yourself with depends on your ego consciousness. In such a conflict crisis is inevitable. The resisting part creates the crisis by obstructing the inexorable evolutionary force. The less you recognize this struggle for what it is, and the more you deny and rationalize its true significance, the greater an upheaval it will cause and the more frightening the upheaval will appear. Conversely, the more you recognize the struggle for what it really is and the more you act in accordance with higher self principles, the shorter the crisis will be. In fact, the crisis will transform itself into undreamed-of bliss.

So you see, the crisis is healthy and unavoidable. Growth cannot take place without crisis, and to the extent you resist growth, you create crisis. The lower self is not merely devious, dishonest, and selfish; it is also ignorant. This ignorance makes it stubborn, unperceptive, as well as destructive and negative.

Earth also possesses a lower self. Like the individual’s, Earth’s lower self is not only negative, selfish, greedy, and dishonest; it is also ignorant with a vengeance. It totally resists the new consciousness the soul is ready for. Thus there is crisis on this earth. You see the crisis as much as you see, here and there, expanded new ways of being, new understanding, deeper vision of life, and deeper perception of spiritual reality. The new expansive movements are not always without their distortions and exaggerations or without their fanaticism and misunderstandings. They sometimes miss the point of the great new influx of consciousness and avoid confronting unpurified matter in the soul. Such abuse will turn out to be particularly costly and disappointing to the individual. The new cosmic force has made many attempts to come through, but its meaning is poorly understood in many quarters. So there are many spiritual movements which seek to follow the pressure from within, without devoting themselves to the work that needs to be done within the soul. The spirit world has been preparing for this new expansion for many centuries with a great deal of investment and energy. Many are called but not all follow. Not all are sufficiently willing to heed the inner call. It is best to clearly acknowledge this, to leave open the possibility for later following the call. If, however, it is explained away and illusions and delusions accepted as if they were valid reasons for the decision, then the soul will remain in confusion.

Now the earth as an entity is going through such a struggle. Those who resist the light of the new consciousness have a stake in making themselves deaf and blind to it. Many of them have the mental and spiritual equipment to follow the movement, but choose, out of pride, fear, and selfwill, not to follow or even to notice it. There are others, of course, who are not yet ready in their spiritual development even to know that levels of reality exist that cannot be seen with the eye. And then, of course, some do follow the movement even though they do not quite understand what is at stake.

Those who follow it will find the deepest joy and blessings and need not fear anything. They need only to rejoice. In following the influx, they keep in harmony with the universe; they flow with the process, rather than obstructing it. They are also needed as physical channels for the further penetration of the Christ consciousness into the new era. Their ever-renewed decision to devote all of themselves to the process that has encompassed them will make their life as fulfilled and glorious as it will be useful and meaningful to the entire cosmic evolution.

My dearest friends, the fulfillment of this surge cannot come about unless the most profound purification process takes place. With this particular community, an emphasis on personal purification has existed, as you very well know, for all these years. Until now, the emphasis was directed exclusively toward your individual fulfillment. Now a new phase has arisen where your own inner expansion has readied you to realize that individual fulfillment is the basis for the cohesive fulfillment of the total movement that sweeps your world. In other words, more is at stake than your individual fulfillment.

When I say “more,” it may sound as though your individual fulfillment were not important, and that may indeed appear to contradict what I have just said. I always emphasize the importance of your individual happiness, wholeness, and freedom from obstruction. This is not a contradiction. Your individual fulfillment, which cannot exist as long as you are unpurified and alienated from the truth of your inner processes, is the most important thing. At the same time something much larger is at stake. Perhaps I can put it this way: You can find total individual fulfillment only if you serve a greater cause. Many of you, in this work, almost inadvertently found this to be so. The guidance of events has brought you to realize, some more intellectually, some more intuitively, that you are involved in a great task which you are simultaneously serving while you fulfill yourself. You have found that this very service enhances your fulfillment, just as this service requires you to be a fulfilled and happy person. You are beginning to experience that fulfillment of the self lies in service. And service can be executed only through self-fulfillment. In other words, the apparent contradiction proves, once again, to be a faulty perception. What appear to be opposites coexist in oneness. Therefore the individual is only apparently opposed to the whole.

You will learn to perceive more consciously and deliberately the importance of service to the entire Christ consciousness that is infiltrating your universe. This will very drastically change the life, the consciousness, and the values of those who are willing to follow that movement. In my coming lectures I will increasingly concentrate on helping you comprehend the difference between the old values and the new; the old consciousness and the new. You will come to view your personal fulfillment as exactly what it is: a necessary tool with which you can serve. For unhappy and frustrated people cannot serve, cannot undertake the task of enriching life, enriching others, and setting a desirable example. For how can the poor enrich? Nor is it possible to pretend, for followers do know, in a deep inner place, whether those who lead are genuinely fulfilled or are just pretending.

Only those who are fully centered in their own God-consciousness, thus able to create their lives according to their needs and wishes, can enliven their surroundings and teach their consciousness to others. Many different tasks exist, but all who serve in this cause must teach and lead, representing the new consciousness and the new values in their own lives, whether through instruction or through example, transmitting joy, love, or the capacity to be one’s best.

Now, my friends, I would like to explain another dichotomy you have experienced in the course of this work. Most of you who are starting this work have a compulsion to be good, like many other human beings. You may fear your selfishness. But your mask has put a cloak over your selfishness and your little meannesses. That mask makes you comply with higher standards and appear to be a very good person. Often the real surge and message from the higher self is interwoven with the masking cloak, the false good ness. In your pathwork many of you have already dealt extensively with the part of you that sells out your genuine self-interest, your real rights, in order to please some imaginary authority. You have also found that you do this not out of the pure spirit of service but by design. You always wanted this authority to do something for you that was not fair to expect and what you really have to do for yourself in order to become fully yourself. You work through these issues again and again until you find the strength to relinquish the secret hope, to cease the false service, to become more self-responsible and consequently more self-assertive. You find a balance: The more you stop cheating in ways which you pretend do not exist and the more you stop the false goodness, the more you assert your right to have the best in life. The guilt ceases because you live honestly. When dependency and the consequent submission and lack of selfhood exist, service to a greater cause is premature, because you misuse it and perpetuate the pretenses of the mask self. So you had to learn to be selfish, my friends.

As you know, there is a right kind of selfishness and there is a wrong kind. The right kind of selfishness preserves the right to unfold in the best way for you, regardless of the opinions of others and their possibly covert reasons to exploit you. This selfishness rooted in independence can easily recognize and refute other people’s exploitative demands rather than submitting to them because of your own hidden agenda. People with the right kind of selfishness feel deeply deserving of happiness because they never want it at the expense of others. The distorted form of selfishness splits the interest of self and others; the right kind unifies them.

At first, sorting out the misunderstandings is complicated, but once you have accomplished this along the spiral movement of your path, there is no longer a dichotomy between the self and others. When you free yourself of the real guilt of your hiding and your pretenses, of disguising your hidden agenda and the negativity it perpetuates, you will not feel unworthy of becoming the best, the happiest and most fulfilled person. Then service will no longer be compensating for guilt.

On this path we want to prepare as many human beings as possible for the great event that sweeps your universe. This requires strong and guilt-free souls who act for real, not for false reasons. So your path had to first bring out false and real selfishness in order to help you become unselfish without sacrificing personal fulfillment.

The lower self with its lower aims must often be sacrificed. But is this really a sacrifice? It only seems so. What ultimately emerges is a real fulfillment. Your outer ego-self will no longer contradict your Godself. This state, however, comes only after you have learned to let go of the mask of false service and to expose the short-sighted selfishness of the lower, little self. Then you learn healthy selfishness, and from there you come into true selflessness that is not at all contradictory to it.

When people follow spiritual teachings which emphasize service too soon, there is a danger that they will use these teachings to escape from their hidden inward selfishness. Thus they will cultivate a service through martyrdom that is not wholesome for the soul. When people refuse to become truly independent and self-responsible, they do not under take to meet their hidden selfishness, and therefore their service will also be distorted.

In this light, you will see more clearly the overall dynamic of your own pathwork. A figure you have used in many other instances because it is a recurrent thought form in symbolic spiritual expressions might be useful here also: the three circles, the mandala-shaped design. In this figure the higher self is surrounded by the lower self, which is surrounded by the mask self and the defenses. Individually you have dealt with this configuration again and again. The same applies to your community, as well as to humanity as a whole.

Let us now look at your community. Those of you who are most involved in taking responsibility for the community, who have most deeply worked and exposed themselves and are thus beginning to reap tangible fruits of fulfillment, represent the higher self of the group. You have traveled through the outer layers. You have learned more and more not to fear any part of yourself and you have come to accept all of you, thereby uniting what was once divided. You can identify more and more with your higher self, since you are increasingly able to differentiate between it and the wishful thinking of the mask self that hides the distortion and the untruth of the lower self. You thereby come to hear the true voice of your higher self, which you can increasingly trust. Your community as a whole has come to this point, and I daresay you cannot help but notice it. The evidence is in the growing numbers of new Pathwork members; in the nature of these newer people who are more ready to understand and follow the new cosmic force; in the deeper feelings of genuine love and joy among all of you; in the increased removing of blocks and obstructions, resolving of problems and conflicts, so that fulfillment occurs on all levels for more and more of you. This fact can no longer be ascribed to coincidence but is obviously the natural expression of your development.

So a good number of the inner nucleus function as the higher self of the community. This does not mean that they are perfect; of course not. But you are sufficiently capable of establishing the channel to the higher self. You are increasingly capable of totally committing yourself to the will of God and of perceiving the importance of the Christ consciousness that sweeps your planet and to serve it. As such you protect yourself in an incredibly efficient way against the onslaught of the countermovement. You immunize yourself against the countermovement from within your own lower self, and therefore from without, against the lower self of the planet.

Then there are those others working diligently on the path, still struggling, who are in the phase of owning up to the lower self, laboriously getting to know it by penetrating the concealments of the mask self. In this struggle the temptation to hide, as well as the habit of doing so, are strong obstacles; so are guilt and the fear of exposing the truth. And the illusion of this fear can only be eliminated gradually by testing it until you learn sufficiently to trust the process. There are those of you who at first cannot find the channel to your higher self, and thus do not even want it. You fear it; you do not trust it. You trust your old, destructive habitual defenses more.

Then of course there are always those who are still strongly identified with their mask self. They have the most difficult time, and they seek reasons to discredit the process and judge it. But this does not make them any happier; on the contrary. Their stake in not growing is strong; their fear of growing is equally strong, so they do not want to find out how unjustified the fear is. They are not necessarily new friends, for it is not always a matter of time. These friends have to recognize that they identify with their mask self and must begin to travel through the layers.

The purpose of my saying this here is that you should experience yourself where you are and be aware of it. As you have learned to take responsibility for your lower self and overcame the shame to admit it, so must you now learn to take responsibility for and not be ashamed of your higher self. Admit where you have indeed already arrived. Then you can give yourself even more fully to it. Then you can fully commit yourself to be a part of the great movement and feel the privilege, the honor, the beauty and the excitement of it. To give service to a greater cause will cleanse the residual little selfishnesses that make you fearful. You believe you cannot give all of yourself to a greater cause because you fear to do so. But I say to you once again: It is the other way around. You are afraid because you still cling to a little selfishness here or there. Consciously giving yourself to a greater cause that sweeps the entire planet is in itself a cleansing process.

We will discuss the new values of the new consciousness in the lectures to come. We shall share these new and old truths. What I have just said is one of the most important differences between the old and the new value systems. I say “new,” though they have always existed in isolated, highly developed individuals who have incarnated for a specific task. The great difference at this time is that the entire planet is growing up, coming into its own divine consciousness.

The first thing for all of you in this respect has to be a very conscious understanding that your life must consist of much more than the immediate little personality. And you must also understand that this expansion will lead to happiness, even though happiness is also its prerequisite. There is no division between expansion and happiness. To follow the will of God cannot deprive you, so in the years to come you will become proficient in trusting total surrender to the God within every day of your life, in every issue, in every venture, in every decision you undertake, even in the opinions you choose to adopt.

With the new consciousness you will not make superficial decisions with your head, wanting the immediate fulfillment of your desire. The new consciousness makes decisions in an entirely new way. It is aware that the outer self does not know, that it is not trustworthy and is full of subjectively colored distortions and prejudices. The new consciousness always consults the higher self and learns to wait quietly and patiently for the answer. It is never opinionated. It accepts that it does not know yet. It keeps itself open. It has no stake in a certain answer. It makes room for an answer that may be anything, be it what is most desired or its exact opposite, but it trusts that what will come will be good. Such an approach has no fixed opinion; it empties itself. That is one of the hallmarks of the new value system that has already begun to sweep the planet.

This clashes, of course, with the old value system, which functions merely from the surface, from immediate little emotions, from the narrow view that has a stake in not even wanting to widen one’s perception and consider other possibilities. The old attitude clashes with the new in you, and in your environment the clash is between those who represent the new and those who represent the old consciousness. In this process it will become increasingly clear where you belong. It does not suffice to say, “I belong in the new” while you continue acting in the old ways. You can say anything, but your actions and your approach to decisions prove in which camp you belong.

More and more of you have already made the commitment and are already caught up in the tremendous surge of the new golden light that sweeps the earth, unbearable only to those who refuse it. They are the ones who perceive only the negative countermovement and are blind to the light itself. When the light comes near them, they feel strong discomfort and they misinterpret it. It brings the greatest joy to those who want it, who give themselves to it, who fight for it and serve it. This is my message for this time.

We shall continue all future lectures from this wider vision: How you, as an individual, fit into the scheme of the whole; how you can become happy only when you are part of the force that fights for the growing and purification of the planet to reach its own divinity.

Your purification work on the path begins to acclimatize you to the joy and the light of what is to come. But you must now also begin specifically to aim for this, to meditate for it, to want it.

I have truly given you what you need in this first lecture of the year. It is the kind of map I always give at the beginning of a new working season. Be blessed, my very dearest ones. You must and will increasingly feel how guided and protected you are, how important your venture is, what a privilege it is to be involved with it and give your all to it. For this is not only important for the little outer life. It is important in terms of evolution. Be blessed, my dearest ones.

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