Pathwork Lecture 218: The Evolutionary Process

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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 218
1996 Edition
February 6, 1974

Greetings, my very dearest friends. Blessings for all of you here. Happiness and love follow truth — the commitment to truth, whatever it may be. Deep in your heart is the seed for all these potentials: truth, love, happiness, wisdom and peace. You possess these attributes, these states of being, in ample quantity and quality. It is up to you to realize them, which you do by first conceiving of these potentialities deep inside of your innermost being. You then conceive of spreading out these slumbering potentials, to awaken and spread them outward, so that they grow from within you into the outer regions of your life.

The topic of tonight’s lecture is the process of the evolutionary journey, for it is a journey. You begin to notice this process increasingly as you grow, through your efforts on your path, as an organic reality that communicates itself to you. It has its own laws, its own sequences, its own rhythm, its own supreme wisdom, and its own inner meaning. At the beginning of your path you sense it only vaguely and occasionally, but as you progress, as you become more anchored in truth inside of you, you see this process unfolding as an alive, organismic event.

The mistake you make is in believing that this organismic event, this process, is a result of your decision to follow such a path, a path in which you find yourself and develop. But that is a misconception. The process exists always. The only difference is that when you are not on a path that activates awareness of your inner reality, when you are still in blindness and ignorance about yourself and therefore commensurately about the universe, you must also be totally unaware that this process is going on in you. So, first of all, it is extremely important that you understand the difference, my friends. The process is not something that happens only after you enter a developmental path. Entering and progressing on such a path enables you to focus your awareness on something that has always existed, but that you have not noticed, and you will be able to follow the process by involving the ego personality rather than letting it stay behind.

This is another aspect of awakening consciousness, and in that sense this lecture is also a sequel of the preceding one. Consciousness does not happen suddenly. It is rather a process of awakening to something that has always been there. Awakening consciousness suddenly perceives psychic events, inner as well as outer events, states of being in the self and in others, connections and interrelationships between people and things, between individual and cosmic consciousness. Why has it always been there? Because time is but he illusion of the limited mind. The limitation of that mind is also responsible for not perceiving what is there. As the mind becomes less limited, it becomes capable of perceiving what is there. It will make all the difference for you, my friends, not to confuse this with the “sequence of events,” for this new perception will activate an aspect of your consciousness that is still slumbering: your power to perceive in reality. In the slumbering state you always confuse cause and effect, you always look through the wrong end of the telescope — and thus become more confused.

Now, you may begin to conceive of the process of your inner evolutionary journey as being always present and ongoing, whether you know it or not. Let us now speak more specifically about this process, so that you will obtain further help in self-understanding and can begin to focus in the right direction. I might define this evolutionary process that exists within all aspects of consciousness, all entities and all organismic realities, as an ongoing journey.

People often have dreams in which they are either on a train ride, or are about to take a train and anxious that they may miss it, or have missed the train, or are getting off it. Almost all human beings have these recurrent dreams. They are universal dreams that come sporadically. When they come, they convey your relationship to your own process. Do you follow the train’s movement or do you stay behind? The process goes on as the train continues its ride, but the ego consciousness has a choice. It can choose to go with it or to stay behind. The choices are not always consciously made, but they are nevertheless made in distinct intentionality. Incidentally, when you do not happen to have a train dream, it is not an indication or proof that you are following the inner journey. The unconscious may not always succeed in sending its message to the consciousness, or the messages may be given in a different form.

For example, when you choose to enter such a path, to search within yourself and make more meaning out of your life, that is as much of a choice as when you choose not to do so, regardless of the rationales and excuses you may manufacture for yourself. When you live the day as if it did not matter, that is as active and distinct a choice as when you allow yourself to feel the inner urging to follow your inner journey. When you are passive and inert, it is as much of a choice as when you are active and take the initiative. These are all choices. Do you go with your inner, evolutionary process, or do you stay behind?

The choice is determined by how much you give in to the always existing fear and resistance that are so tragically misplaced. Because if you need to fear and resist anything, it is the non-movement, the stagnation, the denial of going with the process that evolves out of your innermost being as the wisest, most meaningful reality conceivable. Therefore, my friends, when you resist following the inner movement that is so much wiser, so much more profound than what the human brain can think of, you make a weighty decision. It is important for you to understand what that decision means. What does it imply? And, also, what are its ramifications?

I want to say here that the decision in question is more than just whether or not to enter such a path as this. Even if the general decision for such a path has been made, there may nevertheless be areas where a reserve is kept. “I will go only so far and no further. Here I will not go along with the inner train of my movement. Here or there I will hold on and stay behind. I will not change in this respect. I will go that far and then I will get off the train, even while I still follow the pathwork in other areas.” You see, my friends, in psychic reality it is possible to be on the train in some respects, but off the train in others. These others count heavily because they create an imbalance and a discrepancy. Did you get off your train in some areas, my friends, and perhaps dwell in an interim station and then try to get on again? Don’t you realize that the train does not wait? Your inner movement follows its innate plan and when the ego gets off, the inner movement still goes on. It is then so much more difficult to catch up again. When you are in such a predicament, you experience long, drawn-out states of disharmony, anxiety, crisis, depression, upheaval.

It is of course realistically quite impossible to always follow the inner movement exactly one hundred percent. Were you that aware, you would not be in the human state. The human state is in itself the result of disconnection and thus you need to struggle to find the connection again with the inner reality. No human being, no path-follower can boast of never going through periods of darkness and crisis. They are inevitable, and it is good that way, because these very states are reminders, messages and signposts to spur you on to make a redoubled effort to find again the harmony with the inner meaning of the individual process.

I am speaking here of protracted states of disharmony, of escape, of resistance on a larger scale to deal with certain areas of the self. The question can be simply stated as follows: Are you totally committed to all of yourself, to the whole truth, to complete non-avoidance and surrender to the will of God? Only you can give a truthful answer to this question. You can easily know the answer if you wish to know it. You can easily determine if and how you hold out, what are the areas where you hold back and make reservations, and where you deny the holy process of your inner movement into divine reality.

Some form of battle is always required to make you understand the signs, the messages, the directions of your inner process, so as to get into its swing again. Each stopping is much more of a delay than you realize. When I speak of delay, I do not want to give the impression that you should be hasty and rushed in your mental attitude, but that you should realize and learn to tune in on the movement of your process and learn to understand its messages and its meaning, as well as the meaning of your fear and resistance that make you get off the train and stay behind.

If you truly examine the simple core of the fear and resistance and translate its meaning, what will inevitably come to the surface is something like this: “I do not trust divine reality. I do not trust divine life. I do not trust my higher self. I do not trust God’s creation and God’s will for and in me. I rather trust my ego-defenses and protective blockings, no matter how destructive they may happen to be. I may regret this destructiveness, but since I trust it more than God, I will continue with it.” You rather trust the pseudo-reality of your misconceptions, of your puny fears and defenses, of false safety, of illusions, of the laziness and the lure of the line of least resistance. You particularly trust the illusion that it is not necessary to move along with your evolutionary process. Thus you deny yourself the awareness that it even exists.

You distrust the beauty of the inner movement, and you trust stagnation. You distrust the truth and trust the denial of truth. You trust in closing your sensibilities to the messages of your process. You never even give yourself the chance to find out how much God, the process, truth, and total commitment to confronting all that is in you and thus following your process can be trusted, while you despair about your constant disappointments, refusing to connect them with the fact that you consistently trust the wrong things. You choose to trust wishful thinking. You follow the motto that what you do not know does not exist and will not hurt you. You deny that you miss out on fulfilling the potential within you. Thus you create more illusion, more false reality and become more disconnected, confused, empty — choosing not to understand why and accusing life of being bad. You fear and resist the truth and beauty, the benign reality you could live in. All this may not apply to all of you, but even if it applies only to part of you, to some aspects, it represents waste and unnecessary struggle.

Consider all this, my friends. Ponder the question of misplaced trust and misplaced distrust that make you decide to get off the train and stay behind, even if only temporarily. It is very important that you account to yourself for your decisions and trust and confront these issues, even if you manage not to know that you are making decisions every day and every hour of your life. These are decisions about what to think, about how to view events in your life and your reactions to them, about whether to direct your attention in your daily life to the outer projections of your inner realities or to the inner realities themselves. All these are decisions that you make constantly. If you test yourself as to the meaning of these decisions — and that they are indeed decisions — at least you will stop the creation of an illusory and false reality that gives so much pain and fear. “Illusory reality” may sound like a contradiction, but it is not, for you constantly manufacture and believe in temporary, illusory realities. Life on earth is the best example of it.

It is therefore essential that you question yourself deeply about how you relate to your own process and what that means. Then, when you have answered yourself, the next question should be, what is the meaning of this answer? Are you really allowing that inner movement to guide you? It is only at the beginning of each such decision that making it seems an effort. But that effort in itself is one of the illusions you created by constant belief in falsity — in this case that non-movement is effortless and movement is struggle. In reality, the effort lies in staying behind and resisting the movement, while effortlessness, ease and inner relaxation lie in the harmony that is being established between the ego and the inner process of movement through the decision to follow at the same speed, to discover the meaning of your process.

That brings me to the next aspect of this topic, which is that there is no event in your life, big or small, outer or inner, that is not an intrinsic message or a meaningful manifestation of the whole process. Your task and path consist of deciphering these messages, of understanding the meaning behind the events or moods you are in. To the degree you make deliberate efforts to do so, you will succeed, though not immediately and not always in a straight line. But the meaning will evolve, surely and inexorably. The more this is the case, the deeper your security, peace and joy will be. Conversely, the meaning of your life and your experiences, your moods and states of mind, will never take on deeper meaning without serious effort and commitment. To the degree you do not make this effort and commitment, your life will be sterile and anxiety-ridden.

When you experience events as isolated haphazard happenings, life must appear meaningless, frightening, confusing and burdensome. When you begin to perceive the incredible meaningfulness, the much wider wisdom and purpose of every event — how it is deeply connected with and a part of the wise and wholesome totality of your life, of the sequences of life — then all fear and confusion must vanish, because everything you experience has its deepest meaning and connection. That awareness can be established only when your outer consciousness is willing to make the effort to overcome the always existing temptation to yield in the direction of least resistance. Usually you just put it aside — this event, or that mood or inner climate, or a particular state of emotional reaction — as one of those things that happen because of an isolated, disconnected coincidence. Even though you may no longer pay lip service to coincidence, your emotional reactions are still geared to it, as if your experience were a product of “it.” “If only this or that would have happened differently, then I would be happy” or, “If only this particular person could react differently, then all would be well” — these familiar reactions, although not necessarily expressed in these exact words, indicate a lingering belief that life is haphazard and that your state of mind depends on others and on circumstances that have little if anything to do with a meaningful reality beyond the surface. This is why you become depressed, anxious, confused. It is only when you ask yourself about whatever happens to you, every day and every hour of your life — “How could this be a message, or a reflection, or an indication, or a sign of a total picture about my life and its course that I still do not completely grasp?” — that you will gain meaningful answers, that the inner cohesive reality will reveal itself to you. Then all the little pieces of your life, your experiences, your state of mind, will fall into place.

Believe me, my friends, there is nothing you experience that does not have to be exactly the way it is. This is not because some deity predestines it for you in a spirit of punishment or reward. That kind of thinking totally misses the point. It is much rather like this: your experiences are the product of where you are on your journey within your own process. This is why you cannot be at any other place.

Let us assume an organism, human or any other, is very angry, very self-rejecting, very impatient because its own growth process is only halfway accomplished. Let us assume a child is angry and impatient, guilty and self-rejecting because it is not yet an adult. Would that not be foolish? The growth process is in itself beautiful, meaningful, and to be respected. It is the same with the evolutionary process that includes the purification of distortions and negativity. If an organism is only half grown, that is exactly where that organism is and to scold it — or for it to scold itself — is senseless. Only when that state is fully accepted and not obstructed, when its meaning with its ramifications is clear — which includes an assessment of the effect of negativity — is the growth process free to evolve. Rejection of the current state and anger about it are obstructions that are like barricades, prohibiting the “train” from taking its course. If you apply this principle to the physical level it is easy to see. Imagine that you squeeze a growing physical organism into a tight container. This would thwart the growth and cripple the organism. It is the same with mental and psychic processes. Misunderstanding the dynamics, meaning and necessity of growth — with its process of purification, consciousness-expansion and deepening of perception — and thus feeling impatient about your present state — only leads to self-hate, denial, repression, self-justification and projecting onto others. This in turn leads to more negativity, real guilt, and confusion — in short, to crippling the growing organism.

Offhand it may appear as if this attitude of impatience with the limited state of the self indicated an eagerness to grow and goodwill toward a more perfected state and consciousness. These attributes are, of course, the original divine qualifications behind the distorted expression — and this is good to know. But it is just as important to know that the way this manifests is in distortion and is far from furthering the growth process.

You can see where you are once you free yourself of the additional, unnecessary burden and negativity of the denial of your present state. Denial and repression lead to self-justification, destructive guilt and blaming of others. Your pathwork helps you to shed these burdens. Then you can perceive your present state, for which you have entered the process of evolution, for which you have contracted for a chain of incarnations. You thus are part of the divine plan to bring light into the void. Wherever your manifest consciousness has “forgotten” its connection and lost touch with its divine nature, there lies your task which is destined to reestablish the connection.

Ignorance of these principles and truths leads to hating the incomplete present state, which, in turn, results in hate of self, therefore fear of self, therefore resistance to the whole of your being, to view it impartially, assess it objectively and infuse it with truth. You can see the logical sequence of psychic events here in clear demonstration. When you no longer fear and hate yourself, you will not fear and resist the journey. You will go with it. When you have nothing to fear in you, you have nothing to fear of the journey of life, of change. On the contrary, you will look for the different landscapes with joy and excitement, in complete trust. You must understand, my friends, the inexorable connection between fear of self and fear of life, as opposed to total commitment to all of the self, hence increasing loss of fear of self, trust in self, trust in life. Making the total commitment to yourself means making the total commitment to following harmoniously the movement of your process. Hating and rejecting your present state means fearing yourself, which means obstructing your journey and movement. This means “missing your train.”

Each process is intrinsically your own, different from the next one. Each individual has his or her own reality, even though that reality must be in concordance with the universal reality, based on its laws and truths. The acceptance of the state you are in leads to going with your movement, with your process, fearlessly letting out what there may be. My friends, let these words be an incentive and inspiration to you to make a fuller and more total commitment to all of yourself, for in that way you will find the trust in your inner process and understand its truly heavenly beauty! You will know its language that will communicate itself to you and through which you will discover the immeasurable beauty of that process, the wisdom of it, the meaning of it, and the peace that is contained in it. You will feel the ongoing aliveness that you know you possess and are a part of, regardless of outer manifestations. The outer manifestations are, as I said, in themselves a meaningful and alive part of the whole, even though they may momentarily seem painful, ugly and not alive. But when you make the connection between the manifestations and your process, your perception must change drastically. What you experienced as senseless — and therefore frightening and ugly — suddenly becomes infused with divine meaning.

A number of laws apply to the evolutionary inner process. These laws must not be confused with the general universal laws, which apply to all states of consciousness and to all entities. They apply to those beyond the evolutionary process, to those not yet within the evolutionary process, as well as to those who are within it. But then there are the laws of the process itself that apply only to those who have entered into this process. Some of these laws you will learn in the course of our future lectures. Now I would like to speak about two important such laws, which will be very useful for you to work with.

The first law is that the further the inner consciousness is advanced in one’s process — or, to put it differently, the greater one’s spiritual potentiality to go with the process, to be aware of it and to understand it and its meaning — the greater must be the repercussion if that potentiality is not developed. If you are, for example, ready to follow such a demanding path of self-confrontation and growth, but resist your experiences and states of mind, you will lack peace, joy, meaning and aliveness. This is not true of an individual who is simply not yet at the point where such a path can be followed.

When I speak of repercussions, I do not necessarily mean tragedy, although that, too, is part of it. The greater the discrepancy between your spiritual potentiality and the actual direction you take in life, the more severe your experiences are. But often it is not a tragic event that indicates such a discrepancy. It may even be more often a chronic state of depression, anxiety and, indeed, disconnectedness. The same principle applies to those who are already on such a path. They may, on the whole, be committed to it, but keep a part of themselves in reserve. They do not commit all of themselves to the process, they hold back in fear, shame, secrecy and the wishful thinking that this will not matter. The resulting and inevitable blindness, be it only momentary, must present experiences that are puzzling, painful, disquieting, confusing, or that simply rob you of momentary peace.

Learn to view your daily, even your hourly life so that you see what your moods, your experiences and perceptions reveal about your process. Then you will go with the process and will recognize that the disturbance is a reflection of some blindness. The blindness lies often in a totally different direction from the one you half-consciously fear and assume. The moment you know that, you have the freedom and the possibility to use this knowledge as your gauge, your doorway, your key.

Do you have to allow the discrepancy between your process and your ego state to accumulate into more disturbing elements, so that the repercussions become more unpleasant? This is not a punishment, my friends. It is the grace of God that has made it so, in order to help you to not stay behind in a useless stagnation, to give you the incentive, if you only choose to open your eyes, to use these experiences and pray deeply for the guidance to understand, to let yourself be open to the guidance, and trust yourself to the will of God and go with it. Let yourself be carried with it.

Make, on the one hand, all effort possible to see, to comprehend, to search deeply for the meaning, to overcome resistance. On the other hand, surrender yourself to the inner movement that will carry you. These are not two contradictory attitudes. They are mutually interdependent. Use the positive ego-attributes for the effort to overcome resistance and also surrender the ego control to the guidance of the divine inner will and movement. You have the potential, if you keep this up, to create a faultlessly peaceful and happy life. Being in the human shell of blindness, you have to battle against the as yet unrealized and undeveloped aspects in yourself. Use every opportunity to avoid staying behind. This will prevent repercussions to a considerable degree. The degree is really all that matters, for some blindness, as I said, is quite inevitable.

The more your path progresses, the more aware you become of the inner meaning of the process. You can take the tiniest disturbing mood and ask yourself: “What does this mean for my inner process? Where am I blind? What could I see differently?”

The second law I wish to speak about is making connections. When connections are made, the process evolves in its full glory. When connections are not made, the process remains hidden and events take on an isolated and disquieting appearance. You have to make connections primarily between your outer experiences and the inner process, on the one hand, and, on the other, between inner attitudes that seem totally disconnected from one another. Let me briefly speak about both.

The first — connections between the outer life, your inner moods, reactions and the process — can be made only in the way I said before: first consider the possibility of such a connection, open yourself up to its realization. The moment you raise that question and open up to receiving the answer, the meaning will communicate itself to you, sooner or later. As the meanings become clear, as you begin to see all experiences as intrinsically meaningful events relating to your total inner reality and to your entire path, as well as every particle thereof, you will gain a totally new and infinitely more connected understanding of life.

The second category, making connections between inner aspects — problematic aspects, for example — is something you begin to experience as you progress on your path. But much more of that can and will happen. You discover, in the course of your path, apparently isolated problems — outer as well as inner — such as faults, shortcomings, impurities, conflicts, difficulties whose inner dynamics you as yet ignore — and they seem to have nothing to do with one another. And yet, as you go deeper, there is a direct connection between the apparently disconnected attitudes and aspects.

For example, what connection could there be between a difficulty in establishing fulfilling relationships and a blockage in your career? Or what connection could exist between a greedy and pushy attitude and, say, sexual dissatisfaction? Or between submissiveness, lack of self-assertion, on the one hand, and covert hostility on the other? I could name many more such examples. Seeing the connection between them will give you a wholesome sense of meaning and a new understanding. Suddenly things are no longer so fragmented and anxiety-producing.

First you may only sense overall connections, but little by little it will become a real and strong understanding in depth. The parts of the whole are all put together. There is nothing in you that does not connect with everything else, whether good, bad, or indifferent, positive or negative. Not only are various positive aspects that seem different in kind from one another connected, not only are different negative aspects connected, but positive and negative aspects are also directly linked on an inner level.

To establish the connections you can and should use your mental abilities to whatever degree you can in a spirit of exercising your mind. But the insights must primarily come from within. You must allow the intuitive faculties to provide you with the connections. Then everything will take on a new form, a new shape.

It is very important for you to understand these two laws. Such an understanding will help you make the deliberate choice of finding out what your outer life means in terms of your inner process. Renew the daily choice and commitment to trusting the movement of that process. Follow it and do not stay behind. The more you do this, the more exhilarated your consciousness and energetic system will become, the more joyful, peaceful, secure and meaningful your life will be — meaningful in terms of the total creative process, not just for this one individual lifespan. You will know and sense deeply that you are a part of a larger process of which this one little lifespan is only a small link in a very long chain.

As I leave you and give you blessings and love, I want to say to all of you that there is so much growth, so much change happening in so many of my friends. There is so much sincere devotion to your path and so many real fruits that you begin to reap. That is a beautiful sight for us in spirit. We see the form of it, we see the light of it, we see the glory of it. And we know the value of it, how you contribute to all of life with each little, individual step of progress you make. You are blessed, all of you, my dearest, dearest friends. Be in peace.

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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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