Controlling

77 QUESTION: I feel this forcing current in me. I know that I want certain conditions, while I intellectually know that I can’t have them. How can I give up the forcing current? In what way do I work?

ANSWER: The first requirement is to feel its existence. Just verify it. And then ask yourself specific questions. What is it that I want? Why? A clear and precise answer to these questions is of utmost importance. Know what you want in any given moment, and why. Moreover, why does the attainment seem so important? Consider whether it is really as important as you now think.

Ask yourself, what would happen if I did not get it? Consider this alternative with a fresh outlook. Sometimes it may be necessary to concentrate temporarily on something else that appears to have no bearing on the subject, but in the end you will see the connection. The work itself guides you in the proper direction, as my friends have often noticed.

When you have considered the illusion of the importance of your wish fulfillment and your feelings still remain as tense and unfree as before, there must be something hidden that you have not yet found. You will see that the intensity of your feelings is out of proportion with your intellectual view of its importance. Emotionally, it seems that your life depends on it, while you know perfectly well that it does not. This will show you the discrepancy between the issue and the intensity of your feelings. When you realize this, you may be quite shocked.

If after ascertaining realizing your wishes and seeing the discrepancy between them and your actual needs the intensity still remains, consider whether the fulfillment of the desire would mean to you an imaginary protection against an imaginary danger. Needless to say, you have to find your particular imaginary danger. Unless you are aware of this, you cannot let go of the weapon of your forcing current.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough that in this work you cannot get any real results by absorbing general knowledge. It does not suffice that you know, and even feel, that you have the forcing current in you. You have to find the exact, specific way in which it works, what the issues are, and in what way you try to overcome the obstacles to your childish concept of happiness. This may not only vary with each person, but it also varies with the same person.

One day your forcing current manifests in one way, the next day in another. You may find two or three ways simultaneously which conflict with one another. All this is very individual, and it is necessary to find out how these different ways are expressed in you. In fact, when you have a real insight, you will probably even forget at the moment to identify it as the forcing current.

Only afterward will you see what it was. Perhaps this is one way of distinguishing real and false recognitions. In the former, you hardly realize what it is you seek and find at the moment. In the latter, you struggle to use knowledge you have heard and try to apply it artificially.

When an emotional obstinacy is discovered in the course of this work and you are perfectly aware of its unreasonableness without being able to help it, then you must be afraid to let go of the attitude because it is supposed to be a protection against something you fear. It is an armor. So it becomes imperative that you find out specifically what the danger is that the stubborn holding on to the “I-want-current” is supposed to save you from.

Of course the answer is that the child in you believes that you will avoid the abyss of unhappiness by holding on to this current. But again, this general answer is not sufficient because many individual variations are possible in which this is experienced in the subconscious.

Perhaps the only way you can discover the truth within is by using completely different words. You have to find it all afresh. And then you may, perhaps, see that it amounts to just what I say here. Unconsciously, you may think of your forcing current in different terms, so that emotionally my words may have no meaning for you.

 

QA114 QUESTION: You have a passage in the lecture [Lecture #113 Identification with Self] which reads, “Wherever you find your stringent need for control of others or in a situation of a relationship, you have a direct clue to your non-identification with yourself.” Could you elaborate a little bit on this and also connect it up with self-control?

ANSWER: When there is a strong compulsion to control, a need to manipulate, a need to hold the reins, or have a forcing current on others, it is a sign of no self-identification. Because if you identify with yourself, if you no longer identify with your childhood authority or environment, you can afford to not have your will done. Self-identification can always afford that.

Let us say your identification lies in being approved of, which is a very current and frequent example. In other words, you only find self-identification by the approval of others. If you do not get the approval, you feel you do not exist – you are nothing. Therefore, it is of utter urgency that, in order to live and have an identity, others approve of you. Therefore, you have to force them to approve of you. You have to control them so that they can approve so that you find your identity.

QUESTION: How does self-identification and self-control connect, or do they counteract each other?

ANSWER: No, because you see here, it depends very much what you mean by self-control. Self-control is a concept as any other that can be used in a very healthy and constructive way or in a very unhealthy and destructive way. If you use self-control in order not to look at your feelings and hide from them, then it is destructive. If you use your self-control to superimpose thoughts and actions that are not a true experience of your psyche, it is destructive self-control.

If you use self-control for any constructive pursuit – let us say, to overcome your resistance to see the truth in yourself or to make yourself do something on an outer level that you know is right to do or you want to do, even if another part does not want to do – in these areas self-control is something constructive. But it is not particularly more or less connected with self-identification than many other concepts and principles in the human psyche, except that the control you need to exert over others in order to find your identity is also shifted away from yourself.

If that same control you try to use over others was used in a constructive way with yourself – the only person you can realistically have a control over without it being futile – then there would not be a displacement in this respect too. As you displace your identity from yourself onto others – whether the others have to approve or love or admire you or whatever it may be – by the same token, you shift the control from yourself onto trying to enforce it onto others.

You see, such preoccupation with others is not a guarantee that no egocentricity exists. Preoccupation with others may be much more egocentric than preoccupation with the self. It depends on the context. It depends on the direction. It depends on the goal, the motive, and on the aim. It depends on all that.

 

QA128 QUESTION: It seems very desirable to have a partner along the Path – a close partner. If this is desired and yet does not come about, does this mean that one tries too hard, forces, or what seems generally to be the problem there?

ANSWER: Here the answer is really quite simple. It may very well be that on a certain level there is too strong a trying and a forcing current. When you perceive deeply enough in self-search into further regions of the psyche or the unconscious, you can be quite sure that the opposite exists, that a tremendous fear exists of a close involvement.

This fear may be so unconscious that it is superimposed by too strong a forcing current, too strong a current of, as you put it, trying too hard. But as long as the counter-direction is not found on a deeper level, the trying-too-hard cannot be relaxed and relinquished. There will always be something in the psyche that defeats the very desire. What the reasons are for such a fear, we can only generalize.

Even if I could say it in a specific case, as long as this is not found and experienced within the self, it will only be words. But as much as this can be generalized, I would say this: the fear is of losing oneself.

There must be, of course, as with all such fears and conflicts, a specific wrong conclusion involved here that needs to be unearthed and be brought to the open – the fear of losing one’s right, one’s self-government, fear of being hurt and rejected, the wrong conclusion that, “If I involve myself completely, then I have no way of protecting myself; I will be abused.”

These are the common, frequent misconceptions that underlie the unfulfillment, that are the actual cause of the unfulfillment. And they have to be found out; they have to be brought up to the surface.

For many reasons, the individual, the personality, resists such bringing out into the open. For one, the resistance exists because somehow and somewhere one knows that when the wrong conclusion is brought out, it will be changed.

The misconception is so deep that the change is feared – and the change spells the very danger of involvement – that is, the wrong conclusion of what involvement means. So it is fought tooth and nail. On the other hand, the resistance exists because the desire is so strong for the fulfillment that one does not want to see how one defeats the very fulfillment one yearns for.

All this is shortsighted, for in reality the desire can only be fulfilled if the No-current is brought to consciousness. And, on the other hand, the danger one so fears of involvement – of the very thing one wants – is nonexistent once the wrong conclusion is understood. But this is at the bottom.

So wherever there is a strong desire for something, and the desire does not come true, search for where you say No to what you wish. And then when you find that No-current, search for why you say No – by close observation of feelings and reactions that are almost like second nature in everyday life; which are so close that one does not even look at them.

Train your concentration and emphasis on these reactions: how you react when you really come close or seem to come close to anything that smells like fulfillment; how you perhaps inadvertently, unknowingly and yet deliberately on an unconscious level, provoke defeat; and how you are doing it. Observation of this will bring you so much nearer than when you tensely concentrate on a forcing current.

 

QA132 QUESTION: If you grab at the positive to avoid the negative, and yet you grab at a sort of compromise positive, is it better not to grab at all and wait for a more positive situation to arise?

ANSWER: Well, the best way to answer this question would be, of course, with a specific example. But in the meantime, as far as it can be answered generally, I will say this. It depends how and in what spirit. If you say “grab” and you mean an anxious, tense, greedy, distrustful soul movement, then I would say it is certainly better to let go.

If by “wait until the positive comes in a natural way,” you mean in a confident spirit of knowing it ultimately must be yours, I would say Yes. But if you mean in a spirit of despondency and discouragement and negativity, I would say No. But each case has to be evaluated differently.

You see, my friends, if man cannot let go of the immediate urge without believing he can never have fulfillment, then he must institute very destructive soul patterns.

But if he approaches this problem in the following spirit or attitude, “I accept my own past and still-prevailing limitations. I intend and wish with all my heart to give up these reservations, limitations, wrong concepts, wrong beliefs I have embedded in me. In order to do that, I am utterly willing to live with integrity and with honesty in the most subtle corner of my being, where this may not be the case at all. And because I am fearful to live self-responsibly and honestly, I go to subterfuges and self-deceptions, and I fear facing myself. This fear I no longer have; I intend to give it up, and I reach for that higher, wiser intelligence that is embedded within my soul to strengthen this will for honesty and courage, to look at myself in full truth, and to change into this responsible, utterly, thoroughly honest individual.

“I know my fear of this is unjustified. It is a wrong conclusion that makes me cling to a hidden dishonesty, and therefore I intend to give it up, because it is error. However, until the results of these past errors can completely disappear in the manifestations of my life, I may have, temporarily, to make do with limited fulfillment. I know complete fulfillment can be mine. In order to reach and attain this complete fulfillment, I trust myself to be able to temporarily make do with the lesser, knowing that ultimately the height of harmony and bliss must be mine, to the extent I am capable of paying the price and the consequences for my limitations. But these limitations are unnecessary, and I wish to transcend them. It is not my little ego that can create this transcendence, but it is my little outer ego with which I contact this larger, higher, wider, deeper self, to give me the guidance I require.”

This kind of meditation in the problem you quote, if it is truly meant, must bring the necessary help and show you where you are in an imbalance; where you grab tightly and tensely and anxiously – and therefore you have to learn to let go; where you embrace negativity that is unnecessary in a resigned way rather than in a joyful knowledge of ultimate reality.

The wisdom and the guidance coming out of your innermost self will show you and help you toward an awareness of where you are greedy and childish and therefore fearful, and because you are fearful you must be childish and greedy. This proper balance will take place by your reaching for it in a relaxed awareness.

 

QA165 QUESTION: I am realizing that I must not use force anymore – I don’t mean physically outwardly but more inwardly – because the force that I use toward others is the same force that imprisons me. {Right!} Often, when I come to this point where I use force, I have a moment of hesitation, and then I still go on and do it. What could I do at this decision-point?

ANSWER: Yes. I would suggest that, first of all, you clearly express the thought form that you want the positive result – whatever it may be – and that you do not want to shy away from doing what is necessary, that you do not want the self-indulgence of having it done for you, that you want to do what is necessary with your ego.

Only then, when you are reconciled that that is what you are absolutely willing to do, can you send a thought into the depths of your spiritual self where the creative power resides and let it, ask it, activate it to give you the strength to move you from within. Is that clear?

QUESTION: Yes, I have to first decide with my ego that I want the positive result.

ANSWER: And do not shy away from overcoming the resistances that may lead you onto the line of least resistance. You see, as long as a spiritual contact is used as a substitute for not wanting to overcome the unpleasantness of facing something or doing something that is necessary on the part of the person, the contact cannot work.

But when you are reconciled to facing your resistance, to going and looking and transcending where it is most unpleasant, then you can effortlessly let the spiritual power in you motivate and move you, and it will do it effortlessly – to the extent you do not indulge yourself on the line of least resistance.

This is extremely important for you to understand for all of my friends who are using this approach in the work.

 

QA182 QUESTION: I’ve recently discovered some subconscious blocks that I need some help with. One of them is that I’m attracted to unavailable men. The second thing is that I’m realizing how much I believe that sex is dirty. The third thing is that when I’m involved in a relationship, there are curious feelings – like a pendulum that swings back and forth – so that when I’m with that person I feel claustrophobia and a desire to strike out and get that person away from me and to tell him to leave. And then it will subside and then it will come back again. Can you comment?

ANSWER: Yes. Now you see, the first is very much related with the third. Of course, they’re all related – all these three points you brought up. But particularly the first and the third in that you choose the unavailable man because this presents a compromise solution between experiencing some kind of feelings, even though vicariously, and at the same time, not entering into the full relationship and assuming the responsibilities of a relationship with all that this implies.

It means that you fear the give and take of a relationship; you want to own and control, which all immature souls desire. You are therefore – this is a pendulum – equally afraid that what you wish will also become your own fate, and you will be owned and controlled and suffocated as you wish to suffocate.

Here we come to the second part of your question and that is the idea that sexuality is dirty. Since you cannot open yourself up to all your feelings in a total way, and the feelings of sexuality and love cannot truly merge, you have to find a substitution for the total flow – the security that comes from the total unification of feeling. That is then power, controlling.

You have to see, perhaps, how you wish to control in subtle ways. This is to establish your sense of security. You establish it by winning rather than by feeling, by being whole with your feelings, by being vulnerable, as it were, by flowing with your feelings.

The important thing for you to do is, first of all, really challenge this question about the sexuality being dirty. You have to challenge it. You have to question it all along the way, whenever your reactions cramp up inside due to this belief.

Here we come to the crucial point. If you accept these premises, these laws, these rules made, as it were, by your parents, then you only continue to believe that because you still want something from your parents. You want something from your parents that you haven’t got as a child but receiving now would be senseless and cripples you and prohibits you from being a woman. And this is what you then transpose onto the man.

You have these enormous expectations of him where you are the child and he’s the father. And he gives you all, because you do not want to assume the responsibility – perhaps a disappointment, perhaps coping with a difficulty, perhaps being in an equal relationship, standing on your own two feet inwardly and outwardly.

This you do not want, so you cling to a father figure, and because you do that, you are afraid. You are afraid of losing your freedom and you want to break out. At the same time, you still have to abide by the laws that came from them.

So your key to freedom is to want to accept adult responsibilities and discover what they mean – that this is not merely an expression, a word, but that you really work it out, exactly, with your Helper. What are these adult responsibilities in a relationship that you fear and reject? For as long as you do that, you are caught in a relationship in which you are powerless, and therefore you fear it and therefore it infringes on your freedom, and therefore you have to buy the laws that the pleasure is not allowed.

QUESTION: When I was just a newborn baby I was scratching all the skin off my face. I suppose that expresses an awful lot of the resentment or anger I feel, really against women.

ANSWER: Yes, that’s right.

QUESTION: [Another person] When I’m very tired – because you’re not that controlled in a way – a lot of feelings come out that I’m not normally aware of. I’ve become aware of this resentment and hatred toward women, dividing them into either being very pure or being unclean and betrayers, in a way.

ANSWER: Yes, these are good steps forward in your self-discovery. What I would like to add here is this. This hatred and resentment toward women has always been there, vaguely perhaps, but you have never really known it, not so clearly. The important thing is that you fully understand it and you also understand the ramifications and the dynamics behind it.

In the first place, the important thing here for you is to understand the demands you make, to re-experience the childhood situation in your own way, where you have all the pleasure but none of the responsibilities, where you’re given everything but you do not need to give anything, as children do not need to.

This is brought forth into the adult life, which, of course, then gives you a sense of guilt and reinforces the sense that these feelings are not clean. But the moment you will decide that you want to really give, you need to see how you want to take the position of the child. This is a subtle thing you have to discover and work with because it can be very easily glossed over and rationalized and not seen.

QUESTION: But isn’t it true that I do give a lot towards women?

ANSWER: Yes, you give but you give as a child – this is a very subtle thing – you give as a child gives a mother. “Look I give you” or “bring you this flower” or “I’m a good boy, so that you will take care of me and give me all the goods.” That’s a tremendous difference, this kind of giving or the giving of a man on an equal level. This is why I say it is not easy to discern, for if you would be truly – it varies all across the board – an ungiving and selfish and mean person, that would be then very easy to discover, but that is not so.

You have to really probe into the climate of your giving, that there is in a very concealed way the attitude of the good child and in order to get mommy’s love and protection and pleasure, in many, many ways – in important aspects of life where you do not want to assume the risks of male aggression and fending out for yourself.

Therefore you gain the sense of wrongness about relationships, because this is always contained in an expectation toward the woman. And it sometimes may completely blind you. It may make you – as toward your own mother, you were for a long time – blind to the anger you experienced because you felt your masculinity taken away by the type of relationship and the possessiveness that existed there.

There is resentment there, for although, on the one hand, you nurture the child-mother relationship, on the other hand, you resent it. And if you follow through and work out these things – express these things in your private work and in the group work – you will discover, you will let yourself loose, you will let yourself go a little more and see what is coming up and you will understand yourself and this will contribute tremendously toward an awakening new, male strength in the subtlest way and in a most obvious way as well.

But as I said, the resentment and the desire and the expectation you have must become very clear, even more obvious and it is very good progress that you see them. Do you understand?

QUESTION: Yes, I do, but one thing. I think that it’s sort of a half-and-half thing. My feelings towards women are not only like mother feelings with me. You know, there’s always a very large percentage…

ANSWER: Of course, it is very rare that it is only that and it is almost superfluous to measure the degree of the healthy feeling and the degree of the old childish feeling, because that would be a completely illusory undertaking, because the one permeates the other.

No matter how small the degree of the other may be, it still influences your general behavior and what is important is that both are there. The fact of these childish distorted feelings and behavior and attitudes and expectations prevent you from establishing the kind of relationship in which you can feel yourself an equal and a man in the truest sense of the word.

 

QA203 QUESTION: I have a question that has to do with my control. I’m very disturbed about it. I’ve come to the point where I realize that it’s a terrible burden; it makes me very lonely. I’ve had it. I don’t want it any more. {Yes} On the other hand, I do want it. I would not let myself experience pleasure outside of it. I have to be in control.

ANSWER: Your difficulty to relinquish control is based on the misconception that by giving up control, you’ll be weak. And this seems at first like that. That is really the momentary deceiving picture. You may indeed, for a relatively short period, become weaker while the control instituted a brittle, false strength that could deceive certain outside people and even your outer consciousness in the momentary illusion that this is your strength.

You are terrified if you give up this momentary, apparent brittle strength that then there is nothing – that you’ll collapse. And I say to you, you will have to take a risk and seek the opportunities within the framework where you get the help and the guidance that you let go of control and risk it.

You cannot gain the reality of your real strength unless you let yourself go into the apparent abyss – that you risk it to find that you float, and a totally new kind of supple strength will come to you. This will be possible, but you have to risk the weakness. And the pleasure is immediately connected with that, for the control makes pleasure impossible.

So you must deny pleasure, because how can you have pleasure when you are in control? And since you do not dare give up control – for your prideful reasons, for your appearance reasons – you must forsake pleasure.

 

QA249 QUESTION: Lately, some people have tried to analyze and understand the common elements in cases where people act out and create certain crises that appear to come on very suddenly. These cases are usually referred to as “psychopathic” in therapy. Could you give us guidance to understand better this type of crisis? What are the dynamics of emotions in such cases? Why is the crisis so intense and difficult to handle? How can Helpers reach them, and what are the Helper’s block that prevent reaching them?

ANSWER: To give a comprehensive answer to all these questions, I need to repeat some aspects that you already know. But the complete picture will give you more clarity, so as to better help personality types who fall more or less into this category.

In the first place, it is essential to understand that this problem expresses a particular illusion and distortion of reality with exceptional intensity. To a lesser degree, many human beings may suffer from a similar illusion, so my explanation and advice on how to approach the problem will be helpful for many Workers or patients.

The particular personality, referred to as “psychopathic,” is convinced that only by being on top of every situation can they have safety. Such a person must always win, always have it his way and according to his will. Whenever this does not happen, a sense of terror arises that is based not only on the belief that he will be annihilated if his will is not fulfilled, but also that he is being humiliated and made worthless. His very value lies in always being on top, on always being right, on always having his way.

The illusion is twofold. First, that the world could ever accommodate this belief, that life could ever be that way at all times. And second, that by not living up to this delusion, the person would be damaged, humiliated, made valueless, annihilated. Help needs to be given by first of all making the person conscious that he or she indeed has this world picture.

Vaguely experienced feeling reactions in this regard need to be clearly articulated and clarified, so that this attitude and philosophy can be given consideration and can be compared with a more realistic vision of life that the Helper needs to bring into focus. Once the Worker or patient becomes aware of having such an image about life and his role in it, he can begin to evaluate it with the assistance and guidance of the Helper.

True education and instruction must be directed to these deeper levels. The person needs to consider a totally different way of reacting. He needs to experiment, as it were, with new reactions. He needs to try out that accepting the reality of life – in which he cannot always have his way – does not, by any means, devastate him, but makes him stronger, more adequate, and wiser.

He can learn to take such experiences as means to test his as-yet-unmanifested potential for new strength, new resiliency, new capacities for finding solutions and ways of coping. He needs to learn that the old way is not only unrealizable – and that he thereby wastes his most valuable energies – but that it also defines him emotionally as an infant. He needs to give his already-adult capacities a push of the inner will so as to help the infantile aspects in him to grow up.

Both Helper and Worker need to understand that this illusion is totally self-defeating. As the Worker imagines himself defeated by life or others if he does not constantly get his way – win – he defeats himself in an insidious process. In order to force reality to conform to his illusion, he needs to use means that gravely impair his integrity – he employs lower self means in order to always have his way.

In his inability to accept a loss – loss of any kind – he creates real and justified guilt. In this work, it needs to be clearly established in what way the Worker creates real guilt, whose aim is “my way.” The clear recognition of these guilts must lead to seeing how terror, fear, feelings of threat, a sense of worthlessness – at this point temporarily justified – grow into a monstrous phantom which can only be held at bay – so the illusion goes – by strengthening the destructive means.

The phantom increases the illusion, the illusion increases destructive ways to attain the illusion – and terror, fear of self and guilt, grow. It is an ongoing process that leads increasingly – at times over incarnations – into insanity. Sanity can be established only by reality, by growing up, by reeducating the self, by forming new reactions to a more realistic vision of life, by giving up the guilt patterns and restituting for already-committed guilt, thereby establishing genuine, deserved self-respect.

What are the Helper’s blocks here? Mainly not understanding this process themselves and therefore not knowing how to approach it.

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