Pathwork Lecture 245: Cause and Effect on Various Levels of Consciousness

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Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 245
1996 Edition
November 16, 1977

My beloved friends. Divine blessings are given to all of you, as this lecture is flowing through the human instrumentality. The blessing lasts; it stays and slowly awaits your readiness. It will come to its full flowering in you as you prepare the ground.

The topic of this lecture — cause and effect — is not an easy one to discuss on the three-dimensional level. Let me begin by saying that on the lowest level of the scale of development of consciousness there is no cause and effect, or there does not seem to be. As consciousness is raised, new horizons appear; effects are seen to be connected to causes that were previously considered nonexistent. On the crest of development, where consciousness has become totally God-infused, cause and effect no longer exist.

As in so many other aspects of cosmic reality, here too the lowest and the highest forms of consciousness have common features. Yet they differ enormously in content, in attitude, and in their underlying thoughts and feelings. It might be quite easy for you to understand that primitive consciousness sees the world as a series of unconnected events, unrelated to cause and effect. It is probably much more difficult for you to understand that in the highest realm of being cause and effect no longer exist. It is extremely difficult to describe this state in human language.

In the sphere of your present reality every act has its consequences. It is much more difficult to see the same relationship between your thoughts, or your subtle inner attitudes, and your overall life circumstances. The more developed a person is, the more he or she can perceive cause and effect on the less obvious levels. On this path, the development of this perception is very strongly emphasized and becomes gradually more acute.

If you commit an overt act — you kill someone — the consequences will be obvious. But if you malign another human being by questionable accusations, ill will, blindness or stubbornness; if you refuse to give him or her the benefit of the doubt and do not attempt to be open and create a different reality through honest communication with this person, your thoughts are killing him. This secret “killing” has just as severe consequences as a physical killing. At first the effects of such actions may not be easy to perceive. But as you progress in your development and raise your consciousness, you will see that there is a definite connection between cause and effect even when the cause is not an overt act but a hidden thought previously ignored.

In your three-dimensional world, and in your present state of consciousness, you find yourself to be in many areas half-way. Your world is neither all good nor all bad. Your personality is neither all good nor all bad. You neither live in heaven nor in hell. You represent a combination of both extremes. Many of you doubt that there are other worlds, other realms, and therefore other states of consciousness. Your being half-way should be a clear indication that your sphere cannot possibly be the only reality in the universe. If some good exists in you and in your world, greater degrees of goodness must exist. Therefore, a plane of all-pervading goodness must also exist. The same applies to the bad: If there is a little bad in you and your world, there must also exist spheres of consciousness in which there is more bad, and, finally, where all is bad.

You are also half-way as to cause and effect, or rather your perception of it. It is not the object of your perception that changes. It is your vision that changes as you grow.

An act is irreversible. Its momentary consequences are irreversible. You may later modify the act, you may try to correct it if you see that it was a mistake. You may see the inner current that led you to the act, you may use the act as material to raise your consciousness and widen your vision and perception. This way you may, in time, neutralize the effects of a negative act. But at the moment the act is irreversible, the consequences cannot be annulled. If consequences exist at the moment as a result of the act, but can be eliminated in time, after the elapse of some time, you can gradually begin to see that cause and effect is very much connected to time. Your state of development creates a corresponding reality. This reality contains three dimensions: It consists of time, space, and movement; it also contains the particular degree of cause and effect you can experience.

If you cannot see that your acts have specific consequences, it is impossible to see them and use them as indispensable tools for the development of your soul. For example, if you do not believe that a negative thought has specific and actually quite tangible results, how could you possibly be motivated to correct the thought? In time your perception will alter, you can undertake the correction of these thoughts, so that, again in time, the effects will be eliminated. In the same way, your life-affirming, positive and truthful thoughts, attitudes and actions have corresponding desirable effects. If you are unaware of the relationship between cause and effect in all areas of your life and believe the effects to be coincidental and haphazard, you will not be encouraged to improve the causes that you create, you will not perceive that love and goodness are the supreme power, and you will not be supported and strengthened by this truth.

Let us say you are compelled by inner forces to commit an impulsive destructive act. The pain and remorse that this act will cause may be instantaneous. You long for a state of being in which you can undo this act, as if it never happened. Yet you know that in the world you live in this is impossible. How then can it be that in higher realms there is no cause and effect? Perhaps at certain times you can deeply sense that “underneath” this level of cause and effect there exists a level in which you can be completely untouched by either the cause you have set in motion or by the effect you have brought about. It is your higher self which is unaffected, the divine part of you that does not participate in any negative thoughts, and is not part of your destructive attitudes or actions. But those layers of your personality that are still involved in false perceptions and therefore in untruthful attitudes and unloving, destructive acts, must work themselves out of this morass. This will happen in time. Cause and effect and time are intrinsically connected as different manifestations of the same reality.

You can perhaps also begin to perceive that the three-dimensional world with its limitation of time, space and movement, with its duality, with its cause and effect, is directly related to and connected with impurity, distortion, limitation of vision and perception. Your three-dimensional perception is an untruthful overall view of the world. At the same time the limitations of time, space and movement, the struggle attached to duality, and the law of cause and effect become the very tools the soul needs to transcend this entire realm of consciousness. Perception is the cause of certain actions, which create certain effects. The effects can be the medicine needed to overcome distorted perceptions which create the causes which in turn create these effects. I have spoken to you before about cause and effect and the medicine.

In the highest state of consciousness only the highest, best, most creative and beautiful causes are set in motion. In this enlightened state of consciousness, cause and effect are immediately discernible and almost simultaneous; there is no time-lapse between cause and effect. The cause is the effect. The thought is the act. The most subtle and secret attitude creates immediate results and consequences. There is no space to travel in-between cause and effect. They become truly one, as all becomes one on this level of being. This is why you can sense, at certain times of grace, that somewhere deep within exists a realm of being in which no matter what happens, you remain unalterably pure, divine and good in your essence. For your essence is the essence of all. It is God.

Conversely, in the most primitive state of consciousness even the most obvious and overt act appears isolated without connections or consequences, without either cause or effect. The primitive person who commits murder may truly believe that his act has no further consequences, either for himself or for his victim. It will not occur to him to search for the causes within himself that create his desire to commit the act. Therefore the act is never given the chance to become the medicine that would, in time, cure the disease of evil.

My beloved friends, it will be of great help for your enlightenment to consider all this very deeply, to meditate about it, to profoundly take in these words, and ask God to guide you and help you absorb them.

I would now like to discuss total surrender to God. You all battle with this central question. The resistance to follow this call of your soul is exactly what causes all discomfort, pain, suffering, anxiety and discontent. Surrender to God is an innate movement of the soul. It is your ultimate fate and without it you can neither fulfill yourself, nor can you fulfill your task. I wish to discuss this topic in connection with cause and effect. Surrender to God, or the lack of it, affects every conceivable aspect of your inner and outer life, and it is particularly enlightening to examine it in the framework of this lecture.

Let us now consider some natural effects of total surrender to God. Since it is the natural movement of your soul, surrendering to God means fulfilling your destiny. It brings about balance and harmony in your entire organism. Your mental organism will be ruled by truthful perception, clarity of vision, and realistic understanding. You will gain great harmony and peace of mind. Conflicting perceptions, confusion, and therefore frustration, will disappear. Enlightenment and insight into apparent conflicts make all the pieces of the great puzzle of life fall into place.

On the emotional level, this mental clarification of opposites creates an entirely new mode of being, of reacting, of feeling. For example, loving no longer appears weakening and humiliating. On the contrary, it creates a healthy pride and dignity. By surrendering to God, one avoids one of the greatest pitfalls of humankind, which is the temptation to surrender to superior negative power structures. The moment you resist and obstruct your natural soul movement, your innate destiny — which is surrender to God — you must succumb to a substitute, a false surrender. My friends, this is important to understand.

If you fear a human authority — whether this authority really abuses power or you only imagine he or she does so hardly matters — it is because you depend on this authority in some tangible or intangible way. You may then respond to your dependency and fear either by submitting, selling out, and hating yourself for it, or by blind rebellion against the authority, in order to avoid self-hatred and to preserve your dignity. But this is not true dignity; it is merely a blind reaction based on emotional reflexes and turbulent feelings that you are mostly unaware of. In both instances you are not clear about the issues, you lack the true insight, you cannot distinguish whether the authority is indeed abusive or whether you react like a child.

If your total surrender to God is genuine, all-encompassing, you will perceive with utter clarity the unworthiness of an authority who tries to subdue you, abuse you, exploit you, or trample upon your human dignity. It does not matter whether this person is a boss on whom you are financially dependent, or a mate whose love you crave and need. If your surrender to God is your primary position in life, your main emphasis and attitude, you will trust God and will know that your trust is completely justified. You can then find the courage to risk losing the object of your need. By setting God above all, you will clearly see that the human authority may be abusive, and you can then choose to pay the price, which may be to give up what this authority holds out for you because your dignity and inner freedom are more important. Your autonomy can only grow out of total surrender to God.

A further consequence of giving over to God will be a need to change your situation in order to fulfill your real needs without the enslavement of your soul. This might mean a new position, a new boss, a new relationship or a new mate. The new authorities in your life will be, like you, autonomous people whose inner soul movement follows the call to set God ahead of all else. They will not need to abuse their power, a power invested in them by virtue of other people’s needs. Or you may even find that the very same people — boss or mate — will react differently to your changed attitude. They may also have a conflict between their higher-self and lower-self attitudes. They may set you inwardly free and respect your dignity, so that the relationship between you will become a mutual giving and receiving.

If your perception is distorted and you assume that any authority is out to humiliate and abuse you, your total surrender to God will show you your misconceptions and your perception will adjust to reality. Thus you will no longer be compelled to rebel against a rightful authority who merely expects your rightful part in the mutual venture. Rebellion against any authority often masks your own hidden desire to have power over others and to abuse this power. You may never have thought of it in this way, but when your self-will governs your life, and you have strong feelings of humiliation and powerlessness whenever your self-will is not fulfilled, then you will be led to believe that you must either become the greatest power in your universe — God — or you must be annihilated. To avoid total annihilation, you may tend to bow to substitute powers, rather than to God’s will. You may choose to submit to another, stronger or seemingly stronger person: a mate, a boss, a dictator. By serving them, you hope to gain the superior position yourself. Or you may seek the power of money or position, which then become substitutes for God. Or you may feel powerful by staying aloof from others, never fully opening your heart, but making yourself desirable, playing into other people’s misconceptions and neurotic needs.

Submission to substitute authority and power, as well as indiscriminate rebellion against all authority, are both results — effects — of the cause that is set in motion when your natural soul movement of surrendering to God is denied and obstructed. When God is recognized as the highest authority, all falls into place. Otherwise you must be confused about the authority you need and serve, not knowing when it is appropriate to follow the lead and when self-assertion is called for. When surrender to God is your primary position, you are clearly aware of what is what, and you can then follow suit with your action without inner conflict. You will admit that you have needs, that in certain areas of your life an authority or leader is necessary, that you have a role to play in this relationship, and in accepting it you can only heighten your selfhood and your true dignity. By following this leader you can never lose your soul, because your soul belongs to God, who returns it to you stronger, cleaner, and with greater autonomy than ever.

Resistance to your destiny to surrender all of yourself to God and His will for you must create a real, permeating and weakening guilt. So much of your weakness, hesitation, self-doubt, so many of your self-punishing patterns are a direct result of this. No matter how many psychological explanations you may find — and they may be true on their level — this self-defeating pattern can never be reversed and transformed unless you heal yourself spiritually by giving over all of yourself, in all areas of your life and in all respects, to the Creator.

When this happens — and of course it is not a one-time endeavor, but one that needs to be repeated daily and in all issues of your life — you will experience a new strength and a sense of self that you never knew before. This will appear almost paradoxical. Deep down you always feared that by giving over to God you would lose yourself. But now you find, as palpable reality, that Jesus’ words are true: You must lose yourself — in God — in order to find yourself.

This new strength will suddenly become a spontaneous movement. The wisdom to choose when to use positive aggression and when to give in gracefully, will be in you as an almost instantaneous knowing, out of which the appropriate act will flow. The positive, energetic, aggressive movement will replace childish and destructive rebellion and denial. Graceful giving in, yielding, following, accepting — even when your self-will may not like it — will replace humiliation, self-denial, submission based on fear and on distrust of life. In both instances you may make choices in new ways. Where you would formerly have submitted weakly, you may now follow and yield with your dignity intact. Or you may find that positive aggression is in order. Then, where formerly you would have blindly and destructively rebelled, you may now stand up, but this time in a new spirit, out of different motives, with a clearer vision and knowledge. Your stance will thus have an entirely different effect on others and on yourself. The tenor of your aggression will be different. Or you may come to see that after all the situation requires not fighting but giving in, that it is fair, right, necessary, justified and good for all concerned, and that there was no injustice or abuse that would require your aggression.

Positive aggression is not only necessary to expose injustice and abuse, however. It is not merely a responsive action, but must also be an initial action. This kind of positive aggression is necessary to move out, to expand, to improve, to create — whether within yourself or in your environment. No negative inner material can be transformed without this energetic movement surging forth. When this movement surges forth in a healthy, organic way, it is neither depleting nor effortful. It is a release and a liberation that energizes the entire organism. But this is only so with the appropriate, organic aggression that is in accordance with God’s will. The new positive reality you all strive to create can come to pass only when you are free from the confusions that inevitably arise as a result of denying your soul movement, your inner call to give over to God. In the new reality you will no longer have to ask when you should stand up and assert yourself and when you should give in and follow. You will no longer doubt the nature of a human authority or person you depend on and need, and his or her motives. You will not have to grapple with your intellect only, which could never give you this insight. You will know spontaneously. The knowledge will be there, in front of you, clear and strong, without a doubt. You will flow out of the center of your being, where God reigns, where Christ is king, and where all is right with you, your actions, your perceptions, your knowledge, your reactions and your feelings. The peace and one-pointedness that you long for lies in this key, my beloved friends. Use this key.

We hope that this lecture will have brought you a step nearer to making your surrender to God your primary goal. Your entire life will change in the sense I discussed, and also in many other ways which I will touch upon in the future. You thus set a new cause in motion that will bring new effects. Many of your life circumstances that you no longer like are the result, or the effect, of holding back from trusting God and giving over to Him. You may have done so in some areas of your life, and there the effects are desirable and joyous. The cause creates commensurate effects. But your soul is divided, and there are many areas in which this may not have happened as yet. It is there that you need to change your fundamental relationship to your Creator. Where you have fear, insecurity, anxiety, self-doubt, conflict with others, altercations with your environment, or any kind of unfulfillment or frustration, there the underlying cause must be that you deny the call of your soul. Use this clear and simple gauge.

My beloved friends, the blessings extended to all of you are specifically directed at this time toward helping you to give over to Him Who holds you, Who contains you, Who makes you safe and secure, Who infuses His truth and His love into all your being, so that you become an instrumentality for Him. Make it a reality. Be blessed.

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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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