Pathwork Lecture 258: Personal Contact with Jesus Christ * Positive Aggression * The Real Meaning of Salvation

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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 258
1996 Edition
January 10, 1979

Joyfully I bring divine blessings that can touch everyone here in a very vital way. You need to raise your consciousness to this reality. You need to remove the barriers that prevent you from perceiving the Lord’s presence in your life, His love for you.

Let me start this lecture with some words on feeling God’s presence. Even though you have strengthened your faith and your realization that this world is infused with God, few have as yet made personal contact with Him. He became human so as to always be close to you in a very personal, loving way. For most believers God is a much less personal, a much more vague and general experience. And you know that you can experience only that which you can conceive of and believe in.

If you seriously long, pray, and search for a realization of Jesus Christ’s personal love for you, the answers will come forth. Perhaps you will not recognize the first answers as such. They may have something to do with specific barriers that prevent you from this experience, this reality. They may bring up new, or again old, material on your path that you need to work on for your purification. These are the answers! Once the barriers begin to crumble, you will experience what it means to feel Jesus Christ’s personal love for you.

You are always involved in a vicious circle here. When you feel unworthy, unlovable, unacceptable, it is impossible to believe that Christ can love you personally, regardless of your present state of development. So you need to forge ahead and reestablish your self-acceptance and self-respect. Yet this can be done only when you recognize and oust real, justified guilt, without annihilating yourself in the process. I have shown you many times how to do this. The self-condemnation that so often accompanies insight into your lower self obstructs the cleansing and liberating process that makes room for self-love in the healthy sense.

It is also true that without at least a slight awareness that you are personally precious and beloved to the personified God — Jesus Christ — it is extremely difficult to accept your guilts and to find your real value. So what you need is a continuous double approach that combines your determination to search for and face all of your lower self and to understand all of your being with compassion and realism, with your direct prayer and deep desire to feel Jesus’ presence near you, His concern for you, His deep, abiding interest in every smallest detail of your life.

As you thus proceed on your path, the glory that will come to you cannot be put into words. Nothing else is comparable to the knowledge that the Lord loves you personally, cares for you, never forgets you and always protects you, no matter what the momentary circumstances are.

However, this total fulfillment can come only as you totally surrender to the will of God, without any reservations, in every large and small aspect of your life and your being. We have discussed this so often, and yet how difficult it remains for a number of you. You keep holding back. You still have your little corners of holding out, of believing that your selfwill knows better than God what makes you happy. Yet Jesus Christ is here to give you eternal life, safety and total fulfillment, if only you trust Him and give yourself to Him. You will be sustained with all the juices of life and joy in a constant flow of renewal.

You cannot eliminate your fears and your distrust of others unless you constantly renew the practice of total surrender to the highest within yourself. For you cannot subsist alone. No creature can. All created beings hang together on a chain of interdependence — physically, emotionally and spiritually. When the weight of dependence is put where it belongs — on God, on His personalized aspect who is personally near you — then you can create a healthy center of gravity anchored deep within your soul, for that is where to find Him. His presence merges with your higher self. You truly become one.

Thus all interdependence with others will be free from neurotic dependency. It will be healthy interdependence that will give you clear vision, the ability to adjudge realistically where your trust is justified and where it is not. Therefore you will have a healthy relationship with your leaders and your followers. Without that proper center of gravity in God, you will always be confused, live in fear, distrust your judgment, become either too distrustful in the wrong place and/or too gullible in the wrong place.

So, my beloved friends, make it your business now to deepen your desire for personal contact with Christ. Strengthen your commitment to Him, to give over all of your life to Him in the total trust that He deserves. Your human fears can never be assuaged otherwise.

I spoke in a lecture about one basic existential fear that all human beings share, whether they are aware of it or not. This is the fear of annihilation of consciousness — which you fear will take place after the body separates from the spirit self. To no longer exist is the most insidious fear that you must meet and deal with. Only through total surrender to God can you do this. Only through removing your impurities can you do this. Only through experiencing rather than denying your various pains can you do this.

The Creator has filled your earth sphere with signs, with symbols which say loudly and clearly that nothing is ever lost, that nothing can ever disappear or disintegrate into nothingness. You will recognize these symbols as you awaken. The awakening depends utterly on your surrender to the Creator and to His personalized presence in your life — Jesus Christ.

One such beautiful symbol is the sea. Just observe the ebb and flow of the sea. The tide flows forward in great masses, only to recede and diminish. Where does it go? It seems to disappear, to disintegrate, to no longer exist. From your vantage point on the shore, where there was water before there is none now. But you know that the water does not disintegrate into nothingness. It continues to be, to exist in the greater pool, never losing its unique quality, and will return.

Could it be different with individual consciousness? Could individual consciousness go through all the painstaking steps of developing and cleansing itself, of growing and expansion, with no purpose? The more you establish your own inner connections between your life experiences and your attitudes, the more deeply you will understand that there are no arbitrary coincidences. Your life experiences stand in direct relationship to you, to who you are now, to what you express and what you deliberately or inadvertently create.

Awareness of these connections in the microcosm of your personal existence inevitably also makes the universe comprehensible in an entirely new way. You must then see that everything has purpose, that nothing is for naught, that there is a magnificent design at work whose purpose is to bring everything to perfection, to bliss, to oneness — and therefore to ineffable peace. You can no longer doubt the design behind events when you explore your microcosm painstakingly, honestly and courageously. And when you see the fabric of wisdom and of purpose in all that comes to pass, you will simultaneously recognize the Great Spirit of the Creator at work.

When you work with the aid of the personalized God, who is always available to you, always responsive when you reach out for His help, you will gradually establish connections that were totally obscure before. Nothing could be more painful and more frightening than the disconnectedness between a painful event in your life and its inner cause. Its appearance seems inexplicable and inconsequential. To establish the causal connection is relief, release, liberation and enrichment beyond description.

There exists a certain rhythm that you need to discover, sense and accept. Again I use the analogy of the sea. Ebb and flow function according to a very specific rhythm, a rhythm that has been established under higher orders. This rhythm is never broken. Only when specific upheavals interfere — such as earthquakes, tidal waves or human destructiveness — is the rhythm temporarily disrupted. The sea is in crisis, so to speak, but the crisis conspires to reestablish its unique rhythm, its harmony with the rest of creation. The sea has the wisdom to follow this pattern. Humans, with their disruptive minds, too often make themselves insensitive to their unique rhythm patterns with which they need to be in harmony.

When you seek a connection between an event and your inner person, when you work to recognize it and pray for help and the answer still fails to come, you may be out of rhythm. The waiting time may then be used to find qualities within yourself of which you can learn only in times of ebb, never in times of flow. The time span of the ebb and flow of the sea, of high tide and low tide, is never exactly the same. Mostly one lasts longer than the other, if measured with earthly time. Time relationships often change. It is the same with the human being’s rhythm. The time of fruition may come sooner in some areas, the time of waiting may last longer in others.

Sense your rhythm in all things. Feel your daily life in accordance with your personal universal rhythm pattern. It exists as definitively as you carry your life pattern within your soul substance. If you work, rest, play, live, move and have your being in harmony with your unique rhythm pattern, you will live a much more fruitful, creative, joyful and peaceful life. Much harassment and restlessness will fall off your burdened shoulders. You need to raise your consciousness specifically to this phenomenon. Think about this concept, to begin with. Meditate that it exists. Stir up your imagination and feel into living a day in rhythm, as contrasted with your usual unconscious, rhythmless existence. Once you can visualize the difference, concentrate on it daily and ask your personal guidance to help you focus on it and stay increasingly in your rhythm pattern.

When, following a comparatively long time of search and work, a painful personal event seems utterly disconnected from any personal cause or meaning, something in your rhythm pattern demands that you accept this as a rhythmic phenomenon. True, the rhythmic phenomenon is also determined by underlying causes that exist within the particular consciousness. But only when the rhythm pattern is respected, accepted, adhered to and utilized in the most constructive way, will the rhythm flow without disturbance and take its natural course. Doubt, rebellion, anger, belief in a meaningless universe that makes you suffer — these are destructive responses to your rhythm pattern that delay its natural flow. Equally disruptive is the self-rejecting attitude, “I am so bad that I deserve to be punished this way.”

You have all learned on this path what a constructive response to a painful event is. “What can I learn here? What could my response be to this seeming delay that would most further my development? If there is anything in my lower self that I am not yet aware of or not sufficiently connected with, I want to see it fully, without ever losing sight of the fact that God loves me and I am God’s unique expression.” These are positive responses that will help the rhythm to take its harmonious course. Then, in its own time, often when you least expect it, new connections will open up, sometimes pouring out with such rich profusion that suddenly all woe will disappear and the suffering will turn into the blessing it always had the potential to be.

Again I say that personal contact with Jesus Christ will help you to live in harmony and make all the necessary connections. But here, too, the rhythm pattern is at work. Mentally, you may be completely reconciled to His reality. You may have used your personal will for total surrender and you may sincerely mean it. Yet you may not have experienced the emotional reality of Christ’s sweet and loving presence. You may wait for this to happen. You may become impatient and then begin to doubt, thus disrupting the seed you have sown. When the emotional experience fails to materialize for a while, it is not that He keeps you waiting. It is that your inner barriers need to give way.

That can happen only within the context of your unique, personal rhythm pattern. Remember that and do not despair. Christ is here. He hears you, He loves you, He protects you, He is deeply concerned with you, even though your senses are still too dull to perceive it. The time will come suddenly when you will be intensely aware of this fact. You will feel His loving, healing arms in which you can always rest and find new sustenance for your life task.

All doubt is evil. But since evil has no permanent substance, you can easily dispel it. Bring your positive aggression to bear upon it, which is very contrary to what you usually do. By habit, you put all aggression into the service of lower-self aims, while keeping an apathetic, passive attitude toward the good you desire to receive from life. Or you are passive and apathetic when you are enveloped in the negativities that stem from your unpurified self and that therefore draw evil forces to you. It then seems much easier to let all aggression out in a destructive way and give in to negative influences without using any of your aggressive aspects to either dispel them or to assert the positive forces within and around you.

This needs to be changed and you have the power and the means to do it. But you must be aware of the displacement and put more awareness and clear intention into straightening out the imbalance. Visualize yourself taking a firm stand against all thoughts that are negative and divisive in any way. Seriously question any thoughts that seem correct but fail to give you a feeling of peace, love and unity, that make you feel disharmonious and in any way uncomfortable. Just being willing to let in the light of truth — the truth of God rather than your temporary perception of truth — will create a shift in your consciousness.

The result may not be immediate, but sooner or later you will have less of a tight urge to pursue, often with undue aggression, untruthful and therefore negative and constricting aims. Visualize yourself questioning your position in each situation that creates a disharmony within you and/or around you. Just see yourself in your imagination doing that. Visualize yourself always surrendering your position for God’s vision of truth. Often it may not be a question of sharply divided right versus wrong, but the truth may still be different from the way you see it.

When you visualize yourself surrendering to God’s vision, you will find out the truth of any particular situation. You will be enlightened and you will lose a tremendous burden. The relief and liberation are enormous, especially if you do not have too big a stake in your egotistic self-righteousness.

However, if you feel personally humiliated by being wrong, by being imperfect, by having made a mistake, it will be much more difficult for you to let go of the tight hold of your position. The reason is that you secretly hold a low opinion of yourself. The lower this opinion is, the greater must be your stake in some prideful, egotistical, self-elevating and self-righteous position that, at the same time, creates projected judgments of others.

Please, my friends, remember these words well, because here your personal contact with Jesus Christ is again your best solution. Only through allowing yourself to know — and later to feel — His love and total acceptance of who you are now, no matter how flawed, imperfect and destructive your lower self may be, will you be able to do the same. Only then will you trust your ultimate divine nature. Then you will be able to afford the luxury, if I may put it this way, of accepting your distortions — your sins, if you will — without losing the ground under your feet. And that is the healthy position which allows you to reach truth and harmony with yourself, with others and with life.

Then you can go to the next step and visualize putting your aggressive forces into the service of positive aims. You can refute negative influences. You can talk to your own false thoughts with firmness and reasonableness. See yourself doing that. Invite Christ to come to your assistance in this endeavor.

Then claim with all the vigor at your disposal, all the aggression you are beginning to transform from negative to positive, that you want only the will of God, that you trust the will of God will bring you the best you could ever hope for, that any distrust of the will of the Highest is a lie you need to rid yourself of. The more aggression you put into such declarations and intents, the better the seeds will grow in your soul substance.

Your aggression itself needs to be transformed. This will enable you to become who you are meant to be, who you actually are already on another level of reality. Perhaps some of you can occasionally begin to visualize another picture of yourself. Imagine your real being, free from all the encumbrances that burden you now. It does not matter whether these encumbrances are in your body, in your psyche, or in your relationships to others and to the world. They are all expressions of pain, the pain you suffer from some untruthfulness contained within your psyche.

It is not easy to ferret out the untruthfulness. Sometimes it is right on the surface and it will become clear to you after only a slight effort on your part to want to see it. At other times your defensive blocks blot out your own view, but they are nevertheless obvious enough to others, who could help you if you let them. This is why working with others is such an important aspect of the pathwork — both in the helper/worker relationship, and in groups, as well as in your interactions in daily life. But then there is also untruthfulness so deeply buried that it may take a long time and many trials before you can bring it close enough to the surface level to recognize it. Such areas were not necessarily those you planned to take on in this incarnation, but your spirit may nevertheless have chosen to tackle them if you have fully completed your original task. I spoke about this in a recent lecture.

Once the untruthfulness is on the surface and you are able and willing to see and confront it, the moment has come to transform your aggression. This is also the moment when a further visualization can take place. Imagine that your true being — which means your being in truth, all in truth — observes the suffering part of you that is squeezed into a smaller world in which you sometimes appear to suffocate. Your real being is without any shades of untruthfulness, error, distortion — sin — and therefore in total wellbeing. There is no pain there. This true being observes your earth being that has undertaken to correct the distorted part with compassion for the momentary difficulties. But it sees no tragedy, for it knows that all is well and that the temporary suffering must lead to salvation.

Salvation. That word! There are a number of words which many of you have become allergic to. They are words used in the Bible and in organized religion, words that have indeed often been misused and abused. But these words have nevertheless a true origin that should not be forgotten. The name of divine manifestation in human form — Jesus Christ — is, as you well know, one such word. Yet if you heard a description of God as form, as personal helper, friend, guide, as all-forgiver, as a being of translucent light and perfection, you could accept it. So do not let the word “Jesus Christ” stand in your way. He is the Christ, and He was Jesus when he incarnated.

Similarly, you have associations with the words sin, hell, evil, devil. All these words have been grossly abused. That is true. But they nevertheless indicate only the same facts that we now call by different names, such as lower-self aspects, negativities, destructiveness, a painful state of mind.

Now what about salvation? The traditional interpretation of this word leaves a lot to be desired. It lends itself easily to misunderstanding, although the more enlightened among religionists do perceive the truth. Salvation means, among other things, Christ’s endless forgiveness and acceptance. It means that you can always find your way to God, no matter what you have done, no matter what your lower self still wishes to do. The door is always open, you are never, never locked out.

All you have to do is knock. Ask for the bread of God’s mercy, love, forgiveness and personal help in all ways, and you shall not receive a stone. Ask to know yourself, your lovability, your nobility of spirit, the beauty of your true being, through His redemptive love of you, and you shall receive it. That is salvation. All that — and more. God’s personalized aspect has brought it about. The incarnated Christ has made it possible for all other incarnated entities to be saved from their painful state of untruth — sin — and consequent destructiveness of self and others.

Let us now discuss three interdependent aspects of salvation that create a lot of confusion and contradiction among humankind. I am speaking here specifically of the salvation of your personal soul. There are other aspects of salvation which go beyond that. They have to do with the possibility of every created entity leaving behind the state of consciousness that might be called hell — or various lesser stages of it: states of consciousness that reflect error and therefore suffering, the wheel of death and rebirth which carries with it fears due to a break in consciousness.

Christ’s demonstration of supreme love, forgiveness and mercy — of acceptance due to the deep penetration of His vision into our ultimate nature — opened all doors that were closed before — not because God punished humankind and therefore locked the doors, but because humans were deeply immersed in the conviction that they cannot be forgiven and that they are therefore doomed to suffer eternally. This, in turn, took all the incentive away to work on any process of self-purification. Where there is no hope, will and incentive are also lacking. Through the life and death of Jesus a new modality was created within the human mind. This new model enabled human beings to choose the path the Master has shown. He has said that He is the way, He is truth, He is life. It was no longer futile to try. Forgiveness for all sins, for every transgression exists already, because God recognizes in much deeper terms why you are driven as you are, why you must go through your sins in order to recognize them for what they are, so that a new incentive spurs you on to the great journey you, here on this path, are now undertaking.

The personal aspect of salvation seems contradictory to the mind that is steeped in the dualism of either/or. Let me present these three paradoxical aspects:

(1) Only you yourself can effect your salvation. It is your responsibility.

(2) You cannot possibly do it alone. You need the help of others who share the journey with you, who may often see what you do not see.

(3) Without God, without the personal assistance of the personal aspect of God, the undertaking is too vast for you to accomplish.

These three categories may no longer seem contradictory or confusing to those of you who have worked for a considerable time with my lectures about duality and the unitive principle. You may see quite clearly that these categories are not mutually exclusive. Yet some among you may still feel a confusion and ask, “How could it be that although I am solely responsible to do it myself, yet I need others, as well as God?” Even for those who are not particularly confused about this concept of salvation it may be helpful to have more clarity on the subject.

Yes, it is obviously true that your salvation is your choice, your intent, your responsibility, your will, your effort — and often what seems to be your sacrifice. At least it seems a sacrifice at first to give up time and energy for the undertaking of your self-work. It often seems even more of a sacrifice to shed a habit that stems from your lower self and gives you some lower-self gratifications for a while, so that higher pleasures can take root in you. No one else, not even the Creator, can make you do what you do not wish and choose to do. This would go directly against all spiritual law whose author, after all, God is.

Yet, you are often too involved in your misperceptions of your reality and too blind about your role in your interaction with others to be able to set distorted perceptions right. You need the mirror of others. You need to learn to be open to them. You need to learn to give up your pretenses, and therefore your defenses, in your relationship with them. You need to show yourself as you are, with all your vulnerability and total inner truth. This in itself is already an integral part of your journey toward self-realization. You need to learn to receive, even though this may first make you feel weak and vulnerable, for only then can you give of yourself. You can give many things before, but you cannot give yourself unless you can receive in the sense I mentioned.

Working with others, being open to and with them, fulfills the law of brotherhood. I spoke about this many years ago. There are spiritual aspirants who deceive themselves that they can reach the goal by seclusion and separateness. They have their rationales. But the truth is that they never want to expose themselves to others and thus whatever their “success,” it can, at best, be only a half-measure that cannot last, that is not grounded in spiritual, as well as practical, reality.

How could you ever overcome the hurdle of your self-hate that festers underneath all your defenses, if it were not for the experience of Christ’s personal love, forgiveness, acceptance and total vision of you? How could you learn to love yourself without at least knowing, and finally experiencing, His love for you? How could you activate the power to change involuntary aspects that do not directly respond to your outer will? The outer will and the outer aspects that respond to it need to be aggressively activated by your dedication to your path, by the many daily decisions to face the truth in difficult or confusing situations, by your choice to fulfill the law of brotherhood and overcome your initial resistance to showing yourself as you are. But then comes a point in which you deal with involuntary emotions, responses, reactions and even beliefs that do not respond, no matter how sincerely your outer self wants to change them. So you constantly need the higher powers to help you find the way into those deeper levels and effect a change that your own mind alone cannot bring about.

All this also teaches you the wisdom to distinguish between where the self is the master and where you desperately need the Great Master without whom nothing can be accomplished.

My beloved friends, take in these words and make them your own. They will enlighten you and help you toward the state of mind that you so yearn for. They will open new doors that will make a personal experience of Jesus Christ possible for you. Whenever you allow this to happen, all doubts about His reality will vanish. Once you are held in His arms, consoled and encouraged by His sublime tenderness for you personally, rocked with all the comfort only He is capable of giving, you will never doubt again, although you may of course lose the feeling experience and need to recapture it again and again, until your entire consciousness is filled with Him who is in you.

His blessings, the blessings of His angels are here with all of you. Listen and sense the reality of this blessing. All our love accompanies you every step of your beautiful path. Work for the greater cause. Your own cause that may seem selfish will be furthered through it. Be who you truly are!

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Thanks:

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

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