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The affirmations below can be used as exercises by reading them or by speaking them aloud or in your mind:

“I no longer need approval so desperately that I sometimes violate myself, become untrue to myself, or else defy dependency by rebelling against it. I can now stand on my own feet. My inner life and value is not dependent on others. It depends on my own self-respect which I can further and live up to only by being fully aware of myself.” (lecture 57)

The wrong concept of love, inherent in the wrong concept of happiness, is as follows: “If I am loved, I am paid homage, I possess a subject,” as a ruler possesses his subjects. If you honestly observe your reactions right now, you will find similar feelings in you, although you may never have had the courage to acknowledge them. The right concept of love, on the highest level, is always and necessarily, “I love, regardless of whether or not you love me.” Indeed, very few human beings have come that far. If you are not that far, there is no sense in trying to force yourself into something your feelings cannot yet follow. Forcing it may have a very bad effect in various ways. The compulsion and the inability to follow it through in reality would increase your feelings of failure and guilt. (‘lecture 58’)

But when it comes to the growth of your inner being, discipline is very harmful. If you discipline your thoughts and emotions, you force them to be something other than they are. If you intend again and again to look at yourself in truth, this is not discipline. It is an intention which you follow through. If you use your will for the purpose of “I want to know myself,” that is good, constructive, and realistic. (lecture 104)

Changing from a deeply engraved no-current to a yes-current can occur only when this entire process is profoundly understood; when the subtle shrinking away from a desirable goal is observed and finally changed into, “I want this goal with all my heart. I have nothing to fear from it.” Meditation on why there is nothing to fear, why the old fear was false, and why the new accepting attitude to life is entirely safe, is the final step in moving from a no-current to a yes-current. This should be done as daily meditation work, creating a new mold in the soul substance — this time a flexible, light, truthful one which finally erases the old, rigid, heavy, untruthful one. (lecture 125)

Simply state, “I shall fully face these destructive feelings, which will not force me into actions, for I am master over all feelings. I determine actions. I determine what I want to do, think, and feel. I now want to see what is in me. And I desire and intend to change these emotions into truthful and constructive ones. I choose my attitude to meet these emotions. If I encounter an inner distaste for giving up such destructive feelings, I shall neither deny this inner refusal by repression nor give in to it. I shall meet this, too, and not be vanquished by it. I determine truth in myself, and I choose constructive ways.”
Such determination is the first step back from self-alienation. It is the way to achieve relaxed and truthful self-government rather than strained superimposition. This deep inner decision can be made at any moment. But you labor under the illusion that you cannot help feeling as you do, or even thinking and acting as you do. (lecture 136)

Issue and express the thought, “I want to give up the negative. I want my pleasure to be attached to a positive situation. I want to be constructive. I want to give my attention to this situation and be governed by the most constructive forces.” Do this in a relaxed and light way, enlisting the subliminal force within yourself to help you do it. Do not try to do it by sheer outer power, for with that outer power you cannot succeed. Your outer mind can only issue such a constructive intent, and with that it sets up a positive movement, which then begets a positive self-perpetuating cycle. If you are not yet willing to do this, the work must proceed very simply and easily. Where and why do you believe that wanting the negative is safer for you than wanting the positive? (lecture 140)

For instance, the moment you say, “I decide that I do not want to be in negativity or hang on to misconceptions, such as these,” in that moment you take command. Then, further, if you say and mean, “I do not have to be a slave to decisions that do not come from me because I am constructive. What I want is up to me.” You will then experience that the more constructive your desires are, the freer you become and the easier it will be to determine independently what you will or will not do. Others will not be able to impose their will on you, hence your integrity will be preserved and increased in exact proportion to your active desire to be constructive and to give up the pleasure that is attached to a negative situation. (lecture 140)

When you can make this essential decision to give up destructiveness, you will find a battle within you. You will find a greater fear of constructive unfoldment, of happiness and fullness, than of confinement and pain. This may appear preposterous, yet when you test your feelings you will find this to be so. After having clearly defined the nature of your deliberate destructiveness, issue the following instruction into your psyche: “I truly desire to give up my destructiveness. I want constructiveness. I choose this, not by any pressure or obligation, but because I wish this to be so.” You will, at that moment, find a fear. This tiny, little nucleus of fear — still vague, hazy, unpronounced — is what we have to bring into focus. (lecture 141)

My friends, when you want to find your way back to the inner center, to the inner motion, it always comes down to the point at which you say, “I let go.” Whether the letting go means giving up destructiveness, cruelty, evasion, or any other unproductive way of life, or whether the letting go is entrusting yourself to the flow of life, it must finally come to the ability to let go. As long as you stem against it, you produce a disharmony between your life flow and the cosmic flow, of which you are part. (lecture 141)

Catch those moments and see how you do not take life seriously, how you do not lend yourself wholly and fully to whatever you do. This activity of catching one’s little hidden dishonesties is the kind of constructiveness that is compatible with the divine substance. The moment you approach yourself with a sincere attitude that says: “I want to give my very, very best to the process of living, to every aspect of my life, and contribute the very best forces that are within me. Wherever I do not do this and am too blind to be aware of it, I wish the universal intelligence in me to guide me to this awareness. I wish to pay attention to it.” With such a sincerely meant attitude something new is set in motion right at that moment! (lecture 161)

Selfishness has a healthy origin. It says: “I am a manifestation of God. As such I am, in my healthy, unobstructed state, a happy individual. For only a happy individual can spread and give forth happiness. Only an individual who grows according to his or her potentials and life plan is happy. Thus happiness and the fulfillment of one’s destiny are synonymous. The one is unthinkable without the other. I am also a totally free individual, autonomous and completely responsible for the life I shape for myself. No one else can determine my life, my growth, my happiness. I will not allow myself to subtly hitch this responsibility onto others by “buying them” with my false unselfishness, through enslavement, through making myself feel so unselfish because I abdicate my rights.” (lecture 164)

The path ceases to be threatening or laborious when you meet your obstructions and illusions; it becomes liberation itself. Even self-realization is no specific, finite goal. The person with the gravest afflictions and distortions who says, “I will go all the way, there is no stopping me because the creative force in me will go to work to the extent I let it”, is nearer fulfillment and realization of his or her true self than the one whose reason and will function sufficiently to hide the inner alienation and who therefore thinks that he or she does not need to go through the pain. (lecture 165)

You remain in the cycle of death and rebirth, of pain and struggle, of conflict and strife — physically as well as spiritually and psychologically — precisely because you cling to the illusion that going through can be avoided and taking refuge will do some good. Actually, taking refuge does not do any good; on the contrary, it increases the critical tension. The momentary relief is illusion of the most serious nature. It is so because the crisis inevitably comes later on, but by then is no longer connected with its source and therefore it hurts more. When you make up your mind, however, saying, “I will not take refuge, I will go through it,” the resources within the human soul will become almost instantly available. These resources remain obscure to those who still tend to take refuge. They then feel weak and do not believe in their own capacities to actualize the infinite powers of the Universal Spirit. They do not know their potential, the strength that will arise, the inspiration that will come. Only when you decide to go through and ask for help in meditation do these resources become available. (lecture 183)

Sustain the painful feelings — not masochistically, not self-rejectingly, not in the spirit that this is what you deserve because you are such a miserable creature — but rather in the attitude of “I am indeed capable of enduring a little pain. Somehow, inadvertently, I must have created it. Therefore I will not create a new negative condition by denying what I have created.”
In this way, you initiate true transformation. It first manifests when you discover that you no longer find the pain so unendurable. You will ride with it, as it were, you will let yourself be carried by it without ever losing a realistic sense of proportion about it. No hopeless depression can ever get hold of you in this spirit. This builds great self-respect, my friends. The ability to handle your self-produced pain gives self-confidence and strength. How can you not respect yourself in this spirit of courage and truthfulness? (lecture 187)

The first steps toward this new identification with your real self, apart from simple prayer and meditation, are to reach into new modalities with your mind. If you now hate, say with your conscious mind, “I also have in me the possibility to love. I want this new state and wish to utilize all my hidden energies and creative forces.” Or, if you believe you can function only in a non-feeling, isolated, spiteful state, although you would want your state to be different, declare the inherent possibilities within you and say, “There are inner powers and energies I wish to mobilize. The same me that is now locked into spite and withholding contains other, more natural and beautiful ways of being. I want to manifest this new state as my own inherent state.” (lecture 201)

The freeing new thought process might be to begin with, “I do not want to stay in this position. There are powers within me that make it possible for me to change and feel good and secure about the change. I do deserve it. This change is my birth-right which I claim. I can subsist on good feelings. I can sustain and endure them, just as I can endure pain or disappointment. I now decide to no longer believe in the fallacy that I can bear neither painful or good feelings. If there are any areas within me where I still battle and defend against either the painful or the loving feelings which are the giving and the receiving of love, the power in me can make me conscious of them. It can help me lift myself out of the groove that has been set by the negative force field and bring a new force field into being. I pray for the power, the belief, the faith, and the volition to be totally committed to living my life in a good, deeply feeling and honest way.”
Even if some part of you still resists while you say these words, my friends, if your innermost will pronounces these words strongly and decisively, without covering up or denying the negative will, but meeting it head on, a new power will be created by the force of the intent within your thought. Only too often you wait for change to take place without your deciding for a new thought process about the issue in question. It is the thought that must change first. In thought lies the intent. This intent can then seep deeper and deeper into the still resisting layers of your consciousness. (lecture 201)

Just imagine how you would feel when someone close to you, who has given you pain by pointing out your real and your false guilts, but who has also confused you by the denial of his or her guilt, suddenly said to you: “I realize that I do not want to give you love. I want to demand from you and then blame you, accuse you, and punish you when you do not comply with my demands. But I do not allow you to feel hurt, because although I want to hurt you, I do not want to be made to feel guilty by your hurt.” Just imagine how this would set you free! How such an admission can suddenly clear up many confusions! It is not very likely that you would respond to this act of love by being self-righteous and acting the all-innocent one who has always known this and is now established as the innocent victim.
If you admit your similar unfair demands, your cowardice in giving your feelings, and your negative intentionality, it may indeed be hurtful for your pride, but truly for nothing else! The other who hears it has, in that moment, received a gift of love from you, even though you may still not want to love with your heart, with your feelings, with your inner being. But you have begun to love by being truthful. (lecture 202)

As it is with many other spiritual verities, the concept of desire contains an apparent paradox: The right kind of desire must become so relaxed that it does not have to be fulfilled. If you can strongly desire, without a trace of a “must”, but with an attitude of “I can live without my wish being fulfilled, I can go through the pain of not having it and not be annihilated, defeated, unhappy,” then the power of such a desire is truly limitless. The energy that is released through the absence of fear and of manipulation even on the subtlest of levels is enormous. In other words, your very desire must also be desireless. (lecture 206)

The attitude characteristic of an open energy system would be somewhat like this: “I would like you to love me. You seem to be the person I would like to share myself with and to whom I would like to give all of myself. If you are that person, I know that you must come to me in freedom, out of your own volition. Even if my forcing could affect you, I would not want it this way. I trust the universe to give me what is my fair due. If you do not wish this freely, I can let you go from deep within and wait in faith that the person who will appreciate and freely want what I have to give will come to me.” This attitude reflects an open energy system and is compatible with the abundance available. Abundance constantly floats around you, but your clogged energy system erects a wall that closes you off from the ever-present abundance. Of course, the same principle applies to all other kinds of relationships: to wanting a specific job, wanting friends, wanting people who will buy what you have to sell, who will receive what you have to give, or who give you what you look for. (lecture 213)

The second state is self-awareness, which begins at the human level. What does self-awareness mean? Awareness of “I am,” “I exist,” “I can think,” “I can make a decision,” “My decisions have impact,” “My thoughts have effect,” “My feelings reach other beings.” This will be roughly the second state. In this state self-responsibility begins. The awareness of having an effect on the world around the self must result in accountability and the seriousness of choosing thoughts, attitudes, actions and responses. (lecture 221)

Learn to say the positive commitment you have just expressed: “I will face the truth. I am divine manifestation. I can completely unify with this. I can give my best to life and receive the best from life.” The more you say this with affirmation and mean it the more this is going to be. The courage to mean it, that is the step to take. It will become your reality. As you say it and mean it and state it, strongly, joyfully, believingly, so it will be. Only then can it be thus. (lecture 235)

Without knowing it, you dictate into your soul a belief creating circumstances that prove it. You then “forget” that you had started this game in a spirit of superstition or perhaps in a spirit of emotional manipulation. You become so involved in what you have unwittingly created that you really begin to believe that the negative is the reality. What started out as a superstitious safety measure gradually becomes belief on another level of your consciousness. The belief creates the reality and you stay in exactly that position. The next step will be: .”I want to stop this kind of self-trickery. I cannot trick life. I choose to be honest. What I say to myself must be what I really mean on the deepest level of my being. It must correspond to the truth of life.” (lecture 236)

“I do not wish to set myself above others. If a part of me desires this, I do not want it. I pray to the divine forces within me to help me create another kind of attitude and therefore another reality. If I want to be better than others, I must also feel undeserving to get the slightest fulfillment. I am not better than others and I am not worse than others.” All human beings are wonderful manifestations of divinity. One flower is not better than another flower. One bird is not better than another bird. The mountain is not better than the sea. The pine tree is not better than the oak. Think of yourself and other people in those terms and assert your goodwill to let others be their best. Then you can let yourself be your best so you can truly enjoy the fruits of your efforts and feel deserving of them. (lecture 236)

You have intelligence, openness and goodwill within you to learn. This can be a glorious experience. If what you desire does not happen now in this particular way, what will make you happy and whole will happen in another way that may possibly turn out better. Pursue the truth of your potential and state, “I can take a momentary disappointment and make it a stepping stone. I need not fear that it may not be now, in this particular way. There are many ways.” With this attitude you will create a relaxed inner climate so that attaining the result will not be a question of do or die. (lecture 236)

Giving is a very simple act which includes also the thought and the intentionality behind the act. In true giving, you state: “I want to be an instrument of divine reality to enrich the world through the divinity that wants to express itself through me. I want to do this not for my ego aggrandizement nor for any other ulterior motive or advantage.” That thought, that attitude, will actually bring you many advantages. It will give you the self-esteem and also the feeling of deserving and claiming the abundance you desperately grope for in faulty ways. That attitude must prevail as an underlying, overall and all-permeating inner climate. Then jealousy can no longer exist. (lecture 237)

Open your heart and the blessing that is here will flow into it. Speak the words, “I want to give up my negation. I want to see the truth of the God within.” Say these words. So it will be, it must be, for that is your destiny, that is your true nature. (lecture 239)

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

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