Pathwork Lecture 242: The Spiritual Meaning of Political Systems

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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 242
1996 Edition
June 2, 1976

Greetings, my beloved friends. May the blessings given touch the deepest part of your being so that you will know forever the glory of your innermost truth; so that you will lose the fear of your innermost truth; so that your commitment to all of your being will be ever more anchored in your total devotion to your path.

Increasingly you find that the pain you wanted to avoid makes room for joy — a joy that could have never come if the pain had not been met. Increasingly you find, my dearest ones, that when you do not fear and do not avoid the negativity, the distortion and destructiveness that are a part of your being — be it only a small part — a divine alchemy takes place and produces the true integration and transformation of your total being in an ever deepening process. Individually, more and more of you have found this to be so, even though the hurdles seemed great at times. They always seem much greater than they actually are. As more of you individually overcome the inner obstructions, futile fears and unnecessary resistance, so does your community grow in strength, in realistic groundedness, and in joyousness and abundance.

For this lecture I have announced a somewhat unusual topic, but you will see that it fits into the sequence of lectures and has its integral meaning in your own process, both as individuals and as a community. The topic is the spiritual meaning of political systems. I will speak about the best known political systems on your earth plane at this point in your evolution. I shall explain the divine origin of each of these systems and the distortions in each. I will then show you how every one of these systems, in their divine as well as in their distorted manifestations, is a reality of your internal world. From there we shall proceed to perhaps gain a clearer vision of New Age politics.

Let us take first of all a by now already obsolete, but still known system in your world, and let us classify it in one category as monarchy and feudalism. What are the divine origins of this format and what are its distortions? The divine meaning and origin, the inner truth of these systems is in certain highly developed human beings who are fully aware of their responsibility. Development always carries responsibility, and those who are willing to shoulder it can, according to divine eternal law, and commensurate with their commitment to their task, feel it their right to enjoy the accompanying privileges. A person who is unwilling to assume such responsibilities has not rightfully earned these privileges; he either feels too guilty to even really want them, or is so rebellious that he wants to steal them and justifies this by claiming that those who have earned them are unfair and abusive. Now, even if authority is being abused, those who are unwilling to assume the demanding task of leadership are not right to rebel. They will not need to rebel if they fulfill the conditions that entitle them to the envied and coveted privileges. These are envied only when the price is not being paid.

Those who fully give to their tasks as leaders of nations and of governments, discharge themselves of their responsibility according to divine law. They lead and guide those who do not wish to take on the chores of such a task, which consists of many hardships, as well as of the privileges. Leadership requires a lot of self-discipline that the self-indulgent do not desire to exert. The often necessary and voluntary giving up of an immediate gratification is totally rejected by those who follow, but who often simultaneously resent those who lead. Nor do they wish to assume the risks of exposure, criticism, slander and hostility that those in the limelight must be strong enough to endure. It is certainly easier to follow than to lead, to be an ordinary citizen than the leader of a nation. The follower can afford to be lazy, even if the laziness is not necessarily physical. It can be laziness of mind, laziness of spirit, laziness of courage, laziness of heart.

Leaders create a following and, in total devotion to their task, give of their best. They use their power for the good of all. They do not shun personal inconveniences in connection with their task. This is, broadly speaking, the divine reality contained in the regimes of monarchy or feudalism.

It is easy to see how this can be distorted by ruthless, selfish or irresponsible human beings who abuse the power, and use it for their own material or power gain, and obstruct the unfoldment of justice, of law, of beauty, of fairness and of divine intercession. The true leader, the monarch if you will, who is at the helm of the ship, is always a channel of divine inspiration. If that inspiration is not sought and put above all else, then abuse is the result.

When these systems appeared in your earth world, this was their innate message. They appeared when humanity in general was not able or willing or developed enough to assume the responsibility of true self-rulership. Therefore people needed guidance. Obviously, I do not have to go into much detail to show how these roles were not always fulfilled, even though at first highly developed beings often incarnated to fulfill such tasks. Sooner or later the temptations proved too much. Others followed who took the rulership by power or manipulation and then abused their position and took advantage of their power.

How does this political system exist in the inner world of a human being? Again, this is not too difficult to see, my friends. You have all discovered that there is in every human being some talent to be a leader in one way or another; a talent to assume responsibilities and to serve a cause. No matter how buried these talents may at first be, they can be awakened from their dormant state and eventually always bring the individual to such a path. If you do not cultivate this talent, then you will be a follower who has much fewer rights and privileges. It is as you wish. If you do not wish the higher task of assuming the responsibilities to lead, to stand in an exposed place, to risk everything that goes with it for the purpose of truly serving a higher cause, then you have no right to complain when others do this job. And I emphasize once more that this might apply to very subtle expressions and not necessarily manifest in overt outer leadership or statesmanship. You can be a school teacher, you can supervise others in an office, you can do any task on earth and be, within its own framework, a leader, a “monarch,” or simply a follower. Both roles have their value and carry their distinct differences. But when the follower resists his — or her — talent to become a leader in his own right, wherever his place may be, and then rebels against the leadership he refuses to assume because he is too lazy, too fearful, too selfish, too self-indulgent, he commits as grave an injustice and dishonesty as the ruler who abuses his power.

Wherever your talents lie, you contain the possibility of higher rulership in the best sense of the word. Rulership is not just a political expression. It can be expressed in every area of life. First of all, this natural talent of leadership or rulership must be assumed toward yourself, as an expression of an integrated process. This means the ability to exert a certain amount of discipline, of firmness, of strength, of not succumbing to the temptation to indulge. The weak ruler who does not wish to be bothered and dispenses with this necessary, healthy discipline, is as much at fault and does as much damage as the one who is over-severe, hard, and closed to the feelings of the heart, to compassion, and who never relaxes his or her domination. Neither can find the balance between discipline and relaxation and the intuitive knowing of when one and when the other is appropriate.

Discipline cannot be used toward others in a fair and balanced way if it is not first and primarily used toward the self. If it only exists toward others while the self indulges — as many rulers have done and still do — then a hurtful imbalance comes about. This is why your path teaches primarily, and with an apparent overemphasis, self-discipline. True self-purification and transformation on this path is impossible unless self-discipline is acquired and used constantly against the ever-lurking resistance to moving and to overcoming. Only when you have mastered this resistance to a considerable degree does your leadership of others organically evolve — such as helpership, teaching, or any other responsible role in the community.

Within your own soul system both aspects exist — the monarch and the follower or citizen without responsibility. The one is rich, the other poor. The one has rights, the other does not. How do you apportion your energies and direction in choosing what to cultivate on your road to unfoldment? Do you abuse this double principle in you? If one is abused, then the other must be too, for they are two parts of one whole. How do you react toward those attitudes in you that wish to cheat, that want to get the results without earning them, that wish to have it as easy as possible and get free gratifications that are not earned by honesty and by everything a human being is capable of giving. If you follow that discipline within yourself, then you earn authority in the best sense of the word in your immediate environment. Then the “monarch principle” within your soul is acting harmoniously, meaningfully and appropriately toward the “responsible citizen principle” within you.

This attitude can then unfold toward the outer environment and will rest on a very firm ground. This is monarchy and feudalism in the divine sense, not in the abused sense. It must proceed, as all cellular growth does, from inside outward. You start with yourself; later, when sufficient self-rulership has been established, a small sphere of leadership arises naturally, almost without your outer intention, as it were. It grows as a tree, in whatever field you activate your innate talents and fulfill your task. As your stature grows due to your ongoing development, so does the sphere of your influence and positive power widen and encompass more “followers.” A beautiful, harmonious, organic monarchy is then a divine expression in your personal life that can, in some cases, extend into public outer life, if it is so ordained. This is then the model for the feudal and monarchical political system, which is part of the scheme of all things.

But so is the second category which I wish to discuss, a part of the scheme of things. Let us take socialism and communism as one category. What is the divine expression and meaning in these systems? It should not be too difficult for you to see that the idea here is equality, justice, and fairness for all. It may seem a contradiction if I say at the same time that all entities are not equally developed, some are stronger, some are more courageous, some are better equipped for and more deserving of the privileged position of leading a country, a society, a civilization, a group of individuals, a business, or whatever. In that sense people are not equal, of course. Is this really a contradiction? I should say not. Owing to the dualistic spirit of human consciousness, things often appear to be in contradiction which are not. So it is simultaneously true that people are created equal, and also that they are not equal in their expression, in their development and will direction, in the choices they make every day and every hour of their lives. People are unequal in their feelings, in their thoughts, their decisions and their actions. You would say that an adult and a child are equal as far as their innate value is concerned. But they are certainly not equal in their life expressions. So we can say that there is no contradiction in saying that they are both equal and unequal.

The form of government in which all are equalized was clearly a reaction to the abuse of monarchy and feudalism. The inequality which is a characteristic of monarchy and feudalism was being abused. Another facet of divine truth had come to countermand the abuse of truth, the distortion of the truth. But with the second system, too, abuse set in, as it is bound to when one truth seems to be a contradiction to another truth. With such exclusiveness the dualistic mind destroys the inner unity that exists in all your contradictions. A tightrope of infringements diminishes the new truth. Now the equality becomes abused and a uniformity sets in that is no longer in keeping with the vitality of the human unfoldment and the divergence and varieties of human expression and development. Fairness, uniformity, conformism supersede free unfoldment and expression of choice, of talent, of development.

Now how does this appear in your soul? What is the inner reality of this form of government? In its divine expression the human soul deeply knows that no matter how distorted and negative another human being may be, he or she is nevertheless a divine manifestation and as such truly equal — on that deepest level. If you can perceive this, your commonsense and love will make it possible to also perceive and determine the differences of expressions. On that outer level of expression there is obviously no equality. For those who responsibly fulfill their tasks in the universe and live according to the spiritual laws are not equal in expression to those who abuse the laws selfishly, distort them according to their own, self-serving purposes — individually or in political life — and who do not care if their actions and attitudes affect others adversely. The abuse of the laws may be on a more obvious level, or it may be a subtle, but nonetheless insidious attitude with possibly worse effects than the obvious manifestation. It would be absurd to claim that an individual who denies divine reality, within or without, is equal to those who nurture and uphold divine truth and love.

This inequality can be known truthfully and creatively only when one also knows the underlying equality of all divine life. And that is the inner expression, in its purity, of the outer political expression of socialism or communism.

Now let us look at a third, by now popular form of government, which is capitalistic democracy, as you know it in this land. Its divine manifestation and meaning are total freedom of expression and the use of divine abundance according to personal investment. Yet, at the same time, in the divine manifestation it makes room for caring for those who are not able, or, on a deeper level, not willing, to undertake responsibility for themselves. This system does not sentimentally proclaim that such people should reap the same benefits as those who invest their whole being into life. Nor does it exploit those people in order to justify the ruler’s own power drive. In that sense, this form of government is the nearest expression of New Age fusion of duality. You can sense here the fusion of the two other systems I was talking about, at least to some degree. It is a much more mature form of government than the other two. All categories, of course, have sub-categories.

The distortion of capitalistic democracy is again very obvious in that the abuse of power by the few stronger, more willful individuals may then impose disadvantages on those who are not willing to stand on their own two feet. These disadvantages would surpass the natural, cause-and-effect result of their refusal to fend for themselves and instead take on a parasitic role at the expense of others. But in this distortion of the third system the exploiters become parasites in another sense, using those who want to use. Rather than helping them to awaken through really fair and appropriate dispositions, they play right into the rationalizations of those who are lazy and cheat, making their excuses valid by giving seeming justification to their argument that it is an unfair world they live in and that they who are less greedy are victimized by the greedy.

Both extremes can abuse this system. The socialistically-minded can become more parasitic and use the power structure as an excuse. The strong and diligent ones, who risk and invest, can abuse the system by justifying their greed and power drive with the actual parasitic nature of the lazy ones. In other words, in this system, since it is a fusion of the former two categories, you also find a “negative fusion” of both distortions. You can observe this in various ways in your political life, if you look at the public expression. Both expressions, of both categories, contain more possibility for abuse in this system, just because this system also offers more possibility for a healthy fusion of two apparent opposites. The other two categories offer less freedom and, therefore, perhaps less possibility for abuse. On one level this may seem untrue — and it is untrue. Yet on another level it is also true. The more development and freedom, the greater are the dangers of abuse and distortion.

Freedom always contains more possibility of abuse. This is a universal reality within the soul, as well as in external expressions. When the abuse reaches its peak, the painful confusion of dualism arises and the pendulum must swing in the opposite direction. So, within your soul, you may swing from being submissive to being a rebel. Political systems swing from authoritarianism of one form or another to over-permissive systems that allow the parasite to sentimentalize his “cause.” And so it goes back and forth throughout the centuries until the margin of the swing of the pendulum becomes narrower and the point of fusion is approached. Democratic capitalism or capitalistic democracy is such an expression, but if the system is based on abstract theories and governed by the mind only, the possibility for error, distortion and abuse will always be present. A channel to perceive divine will and divine law must therefore be established.

It is easy for you to see how this principle applies to your inner world. When you are given the freedom to responsibly run your life, how easy it is to abuse this freedom unless you confront your real, hidden motives constantly and conscientiously. How much maturity is needed to abstain from the temptations to abuse freedom! How much self-discipline is needed not to do so! You also need maturity, strength and fair-mindedness so that you stand responsibly on your own two feet and you don’t become a burden on your fellow-citizens. This temptation always exists, both in your personal life and in public life. When you consistently yield to the temptation, you draw tighter fences around your emotional freedom and you set up an inner system of tyranny in which you no longer feel free. You may for a while find outer circumstances for blame for this self-restriction, but when this is no longer possible, you often keep frantically struggling, not understanding why you feel so constricted within yourself. You do not understand the inner tyranny you have set up by constantly abusing your freedom to create, to choose, to direct your life, your thoughts, your feelings, your will.

Now let us observe, with our knowledge of these three basic systems, their divine meaning and their abuses — inside of you and therefore inevitably outside — how these laws apply to the smallest immediate individual life situation as well as to the largest scale of world government. How can all this be integrated with and become part of politics in the New Age? What is your idea? Some of you have thought about it, have had ideas. So let us be a little more specific.

In the first place New Age politics must, above all, always be carried by those who cultivate a channel to divine inspiration. Those who do not possess such a channel themselves cannot always judge whether or not this is so. The lack of perception may either be due to having a stake in not knowing because of selfish reasons, or it may really be “innocent ignorance,” if there is such a thing. But the more individuals are seriously motivated to choose their leaders according to this consideration, the more such leaders will actually be chosen. How you can be sure with any specific leader is, of course, the question, especially without personal contact. However, inner inspiration can also work to guide your intuitive faculties and your choices.

The choice is easier today than it was in former times. For one, the communication system enables you to gain more contact with and knowledge about potential leading figures. The technical advancements that make this possible are yet another facet of the maturing, the development, of humankind.

It is also easier today to choose inspired leaders because the energy and power of the spreading Christ consciousness creates channels all over the world. It requires courage to claim such a communication and also to own how difficult it is to put self-interest out of the way. For if self-interest comes first, the channel is naturally blocked.

With selflessness as the primary concern and focus, world politics in the New Age will contain every one of these systems — not in contradiction, but as an integrating whole. It may sound impossible to you that a form of government can combine monarchy and feudalism, socialism and communism and democratic capitalism. Yet it is so. For as I outlined here, they all contain truth and they are not contradictory to one another. As you increasingly find out on your own paths, all these systems and apparent contradictions must harmoniously blend in the human personality for fullest expression of creativity, joy and fulfillment.

In fact, if a world government, or the inner government of an individual, does not wisely contain every one of these systems in positive manifestation, complementing one another, it cannot maintain the balance required for harmonious and full living. Such a government must be destroyed sooner or later. Is this not the case, over and over again, within the individual? For example, is not the struggling consciousness always straining to maintain an exaggerated independence and individualism at the expense of others, out of fear of conforming, of losing individuality?

And is it not just as true, on the other end of the scale, that the lazy, demanding personality wants to be taken care of, be given to without the slightest effort on his or her part? Such a personality wants to discharge only the minimal amount of rebelliously executed duty, resenting anything that is demanded by life. Being full of resentment, he will do what he can’t avoid, against his will. This is truly the behavior of an unruly child who needs a parent to discipline it.

Do you not always find an area in your soul that proudly wants to use power and have abundance, and does not care about others? All these expressions exist in the soul of every human being in one form or another. If they do not come to the surface, they lie hidden and therefore have more power to indirectly affect the person’s life and environment. If nothing else, they create a separating wall of loneliness and fear. To break through the wall, one truly needs to face it and to deal with it, so that it is eliminated and the divine channel can unclog itself.

It is so with world politics in the New Age. Humankind has been going through all these various phases and stages of development. Just like you, as individuals in purification, find these aspects inside of you, so does humanity fluctuate from one form of expression of political life to another and work its way through, until it is clear that one system is not all good and the other all bad.

One of the greatest pitfalls for human understanding of universal truths and the cosmic reality of life in which you dwell is the dualistic error of “this is right and that is wrong.” I have said this so many times. Now I bring this principle to this very topic. The New Age politicians must beware of embracing one form of government against another form of government. The nature of New Age politics will be precisely that it will not be partisan, not only within the country, but even concerning outer forms of government. The New Age politician’s task is indeed to represent all forms of government as the world knows them today in their divine expressions. This can and will happen if people open their channels and see the unity within the apparent contradiction.

This has to start, and has of course already started, in your own community, where you combine monarchy and feudalism, communism and socialism, and capitalistic democracy. You combine them all. When you rebel against the one and are in favor of the other, you are already in distortion. And let that then be a reminder that you are in distortion and that you need to look within yourself, to know what part in you wants to create the distortion. Is it the lazy part that resents the authority without wanting to be one and pay the price for it? Is it the envious part that refuses to earn what it envies? Or is it the powerful part in you that secretly wishes to abuse power? Look at that part in you which may want to use one format against the other when this is inappropriate, because of something self-serving and negative that is hidden.

When the format is appropriate, there will never be a contradiction. Whatever problems arise will not be ascribed to the outer format or expression of eternal inner divine principles, but you will look at other levels of reality to seek the solution — levels that contain very personal violations of truth, no matter how “public” the issue may be. Then one format will always have room for the other. The only way to attain this harmony and unity of spirit in the government of your community, as well as in your self-government — the government of the intricate and manifold personality that you are — is to totally surrender to the will of the highest. Look at that aspect in you that holds back from this surrender, that blinds itself so as not to see that in a specific issue surrendering would be the appropriate choice, and that refuses to surrender to the divine will. You will then understand your obstructions.

Your community is growing very fast. It needs more and more responsible pillars who know of this principle and who devote their total life to being a divine channel. So those of you who wish to do this in every issue that comes up, that presents a problem inwardly or outwardly, in your feeling reactions or in the outer manifestations, or in both, go into yourselves and ask: “Is there God in this or that specific issue?” If you honestly question yourself, you will get the answer from the way you feel. And those of you who are more responsible for the government of your community will then also become, directly or indirectly, influential in creating New Age politics. This will perhaps disseminate the truths I speak about here, and eliminate the unnecessary division of one party, or government, or format going against the other and thereby overlooking what the real issues are that create the problem. Only then will the divine reality be experienced in all those formats. And you will also understand how every single divine reality can be distorted and abused.

When humanity reaches this approach to human problems, a giant step in maturing will have been made. At the present time the number of those who see life in these terms is comparatively low. The majority of human beings still tend to say, “This attitude or principle is right, the other is wrong. One format is good, the other bad.” The general majority of human beings, especially in political life, still operates on the mask-self level. In one sense this is progress, in that in former times the general level was the lower self that was crassly acted out — by leaders as well as by followers. Nobody bothered to even conceal it. The individual, as well as the entity humankind, has to go through the curve of evolution. The creation of the mask is the first facet of the realization that the lower self is unacceptable and “does not pay.” Although it is self-serving and hypocritical, this phase is temporarily necessary, until more maturity is reached. Then the lower self can be identified and evaluated, which makes the mask-self superfluous. This is the only road to the higher self.

You, as individuals, are already beyond that and are struggling to eliminate the mask self that is now the generally accepted rule and pretended “necessity” for political life and politicians. You do not need to be in this frame of reference — the mask self and the dualistic good versus bad — any longer. And what a relief and liberation it is to find and to discern — not only in your world view, but in your whole approach to life, to yourself, and to your relationships — the beauty, the truth, the reality, the love, the rightness in each system, and to see where and how each is distorted. That is the revolutionary way into the New Age, which will reveal much greater truths than you can yet dream of. But as long as this vision is not cultivated, these truths cannot reveal themselves to you.

Perhaps you feel, my dearest ones, the immense currents of powerful energy that you have created and with which you build a beautiful new world. Every one of you is contained in the deepest of security, in the guidance of the world of God. You are blessed.

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