65 QUESTION: I know that to answer this question you would have to take it up individually with the people who come to you for consultation, but I was wondering if there is some general advice you could give to those who, before coming to you for these sessions had made no attempt to make contact with departed dear ones and who now would like to develop the most wholesome, happiest and most fruitful contact with them.
ANSWER: You see, my dear, a fruitful contact with a departed dear one is very rare, because although it is often sought with the best of intentions, the motives are not entirely healthy. If however, one seeks contact – if it is God’s will – in order to find and develop oneself, and one does care who is sent, whether it is the personal dear one or some other spirit who is capable of helping, then the motive and approach is all right.
If contact is sought merely because you grieve and wish to be in touch with the departed one, understandable as this pain of separation is, then this motive or emotion should be examined. Often the wish to establish such a contact, quite apart from the obvious factor of love and the desire to be together again, contains a deep, unrecognized doubt. “Is it truly possible? Does one really live on? Perhaps, in this way, I will receive proof.”
There is nothing wrong with the doubt itself, however it is of the utmost importance to clearly face it. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Only by facing such doubts directly can you deal with them properly. As long as the doubts are hidden out of a false sense of shame and guilt, as if to say, “I should not have these doubts, but since they are there, I want to cover them with the actual and true desire to be in contact with my personal dear one,” then one cannot come to terms with them.
On the other hand, if you do face the fact that you have doubts, you can ask yourself further questions. Is it a personal fear of death – which, again, is human and understandable? What exactly is it you doubt? You must clearly establish this.
Then you have something to tackle. The next step will inevitably be to learn that you can eliminate these doubts only by finding yourself, by purifying the hidden parts of the self, by clarifying unconscious confusions. That is the only way doubt can disappear and will disappear. Even the most flagrant proof of phenomena offered to you will not really, profoundly and permanently eliminate your doubts.
At the moment you would certainly be glad about it. But the effect would wear off. Inwardly the gnawing question would come up all over again, or continue. The more such outer proof you received, the guiltier you would feel about the continuance of your doubts, and therefore suppress them more and more.
Doubt in God, doubt in the laws of the universe, doubt in the continuation of life – all these exist in the same measure as the psyche doubts himself or herself. If you find the roots of all your doubts, namely the doubt in yourself, then you can intelligently deal with it.
In my observation of human souls, the strong desire to communicate with departed loved ones almost always has at its root this very problem. Therefore, I say it is unhealthy, because the actual contact would not really help the evolution of the soul. It would help much more if you set about tackling your inner problems.
When you approach it in this way, your desire to be in touch with one particular person in the beyond – no matter how much loved, how dear to you – will lessen in the deep inner conviction that the universe is good, loving, benign, friendly.
There cannot be death; hate cannot win out. There cannot be chaos and disorder. But these answers can come to you only if you first permit yourself to realize that these questions and fears exist in you. And then ask yourself why they exist, where is your doubt in yourself? That is the healthy approach and constructive attitude to the entire question of contact with the Spirit World.
Contact with spirits is not a necessity. For many, evolution can be reached without it. Development can be brought about without it. However, if and when such contact is offered in a really constructive way, the fact of the contact itself should be of less importance than that which you gain from it.
That, my dear ones, should be your main question anyway when you have the opportunity to approach contact with the Spirit World. Ask: “What does it give me? Is it constructive? Does it make me free? Does it help me to develop myself? Does it further my independence, my self-responsibility, my maturity, my self-honesty? Or does it further escapism, no matter how prettily it may be clothed?”
When you approach any contact in this way, whether spirit or human, you will be safe. You will not have to ask yourself constantly, before your doubts can really disappear: “Is it true? Is it false? Is it the subconscious of the medium? Is it a spirit? Is it a divine spirit or is it an erring one?”
That will no longer be the point, even before you succeed in eliminating your doubts. You will be able to leave such unanswered questions aside for the moment, concentrating on what the contact has to offer you, until you are far enough advanced on your path to find, deep in the hidden recesses of your soul, the real roots of all your doubts regarding life and death, God and man.
This will make you strong and certain and truly independent. That is the only proper approach to all the help that is being offered to you. Once you face your doubts in their true light, you will no longer be ashamed of them. They exist in most human beings to some extent, whether consciously in some aspects and unconsciously in others makes no difference.
But basically the doubts are the following: “Is God a reality or is this a universe where everything is arbitrary and coincidental? Am I at the mercy of chaotic forces or is the universe as benign and as loving as metaphysics, religion and some philosophies teach?”
This is the battle in you that contains all other doubts, such as the continuation of life after death, the fear of death, the fear of life, the fear of other human beings and yourself, the distrust because of this fear. The answer to these questions can only become a strong certainty as a consequence of your complete self-understanding and the solution to your inner conflicts. That is the only way.
It is possible that part of you believes in all the truths while another part has doubts, is simultaneously afraid of having these doubts and is therefore hiding them. By bringing them out, you will approach the nucleus of the problem directly. That, in turn, will give you the right approach to any facet of life, be it the contact with spiritual forces or beings, or any other area of human life.
QUESTION: That is most helpful. But in one of the sessions a person was advised to speak every day with her father.
ANSWER: In the first place, one can talk to and help a departed dear one without actual mutual contact. The human who talks to the departed just sends thoughts that may be constructive and helpful in showing the way to that soul. This is not the same as the kind of communication where a spirit manifests.
Moreover, I did not say that communication is inadvisable in all circumstances, especially if it is approached with the attitude of helping the spirits. The main point is to cultivate the basic healthy attitude I discussed. When you seek contact in the hope of stilling existing doubts, even though the hope and the doubts may not be conscious, then it furthers something unhealthy and makes for a confused approach to this entire question.
Talking to a departed dear one, without receiving proof of his or her continued existence, is an altogether different matter. Spirits are often inclined to take advice from their dear ones on earth rather than from other spirits. Therefore, there is no harm in trying to help in particular, special instances. But this does not alter what I said about seeking contact with the Spirit World in which spirits actually manifest in one way or another.
129 QUESTION: I’ve heard that when one prays over plants, they come up better than the plants one leaves alone. When I plant in my subconscious what I really want, I still feel that it can’t come up. My doubt makes me feel that I cannot do it, even when I enlist the universal forces.
ANSWER: That is because you feel a loser [Lecture #129 Winner vs. Loser]. In the first place, let me help you understand what prayer really means. It means straightening out your own consciousness as well as your unconscious attitudes, concepts, thoughts and feelings. The truly integrated spirit would not need to pray or meditate.
Every breath would be a prayer, in that it would be an expression of the entire personality, which is at one with truth, love, purposefulness, creation – with all the universal forces which would inevitably flow through the entire being in a most constructive way.
Prayer means shaping a loose mass of hazy thoughts and concepts, of contradictory emotions. It means impregnating the self with truth, so that the individual knows the truth, and the universal forces can automatically flow through this consciousness.
As to your doubt, it is important for you to establish that you are afraid of giving up the doubt. Needless to say, this is due to a wrong conclusion. But there is a very distinct reason that you feel threatened and truly endangered without the doubt. It is as though doubt were an indispensable weapon for you.
Battling doubt directly in the way you have been trying, will hardly be successful, because you are too afraid of letting go of it. It is necessary to establish first that you fear giving up the doubt and, second, the specific wrong conclusion about why you do so. Ask yourself in your meditations, “Why do I want to doubt? What is it that I fear would happen if I had no doubt?”
It will help all of you, my friends to realize that you hold on to doubt because you fear making a commitment. You must understand the extent of such a fear more profoundly, with all its consequences.
Committing and entrusting oneself to the universal powers – as well as to any person or cause – is feared because disappointment is taken for granted. So the individual plays a game, acting as though the possibility of a favorable outcome were there, but not really believing it. The doubt is so strong that one is not even willing to take a chance. The doubt means, “I pretend to expect a maybe, but I am convinced of a No, which I am unwilling to face so that I can go on pretending.”
Because of the game, the fallacy of the No, as well as of the maybe, can never be proven. The person remains perpetually in a temporary state, on the fringes of being and living, never settling down to serious living, to confronting any issue wholly and truthfully. Such a person continually dabbles in theory, rather than putting theory into practice.
Commitment is a very important topic, for you will get out of life exactly as much as you commit yourself to, whether this means shaping and creating your life by committing yourself to the universal forces to cooperate with you, or whether this means committing to an undertaking, to a person, or to a relationship. It makes no difference what it is. If you only commit yourself with reservations, watching that you remain safe, bargaining and holding back, life will pay you back exactly to that degree.
Life cannot be cheated or deceived, ever. And this is where the person who keeps believing that one can get by is blind. Holding back, you hope that life will first give you a big slice, and then, maybe, you can muster the willingness to give back a crumb. You may even give much more than is constructive or helpful to others, out of the unconscious motive of cheating life, to get more from it than you are willing to commit yourself to. It does not work that way, my friends.
You fear a wholehearted commitment, because you falsely believe that it demands giving up your intelligence, your rights, your self-preservation, your ability to choose, your self-determination. That is not true. It simply means full integrity, direct purpose, no evasions, uncovered motivations, doing the thing for its own sake, without subterfuge. It does not mean blind foolishness and most certainly, it does not create helplessness in the face of abuse. Quite the contrary.
Full commitment presupposes wide-awake choosing, the freedom to do so without compulsion, conflict or guilt. But such choosing requires you to be very much aware, and you cannot be aware if you run away from yourself. General awareness is the result of self-awareness. It must begin with the truthful facing of the self, with courageous confrontation of the most ingrained emotional reactions. Then awareness of life and others grow.
Through such awareness, reason, vision and freedom of choice, commitment is not a hazardous, self-destructive process, not a blind compulsion or drive, but a wonderful extension of self, a reaching out into life, toward fulfillment of self and of others. This is the real and healthy power resulting from spiritual growth. This is the self-sufficiency that does not exclude love and deep relating with others. This is the fine point of balance where it is not mutually exclusive to stand firmly and to love, to be self-sufficient and have a healthy interdependence – be it with the cosmic forces, or with other human beings. But the commitment must exist, for otherwise you are poor and empty. Is that clear?
QUESTION: Yes, it is clear. I have even already found this in my private work. I now know that I have never committed myself really to anything, out of fear. I could feel that I can commit myself, but I fear that if I do and it will not work, I will be lost, so I do not dare to do it.
ANSWER: You see, this is precisely the reason you feel unfulfilled in the important areas of your life. But now that you observe and understand cause and effect, you have the key to change.
Your impatience tears out every seed you plant. Because you doubt, you conclude too quickly that results are negative, not allowing for the necessary time of incubation, the inner, invisible growth underground. The more complicated the problem, the more deep-rooted is the negativity and the conflict. Therefore the healing forces have to work indirectly from link to link, until you can strive for the end result directly.
Thus when you find doubt, that must first be considered, understood in its cause and effect, and eliminated, before you can get to the goal you wish to attain but cannot because of the doubt. When a major fulfillment is blocked by innumerable little misconceptions, they have to be tackled one by one, otherwise the obstructions cannot be removed and working for the end result cannot be successful.
Now, you are able to convince yourself of the unreasonableness of maintaining the non-commitment. You are not a prey to it, nor are you a victim of your doubt. It is necessary to take the chance of finding out the truth, even if the truth is what you fear it to be. You must love truth above all, instead of preferring a maybe and never coming to terms with life.
If you love truth, you will also give up impatience. You will go step by step and give it time, like a scientist who does the research patiently and laboriously, without shying away from effort, time, trial and error, who does not expect the greatest of all truths in a hurry.
I know that you have spent many years on this; however, it is not the number of years you have labored in non-commitment and impatience, but the quality of full commitment with patient effort that alone will bring results. Neither the years, nor the amount of effort, can replace full inner commitment.
The universal forces have one aim, and that is wholeness, health, unfoldment, and expression of divine aspects. They strive toward healing the place where distortion exists, toward restoring and filling the places of disability and emptiness. When the obstructions are too great, this same power is diverted, and temporarily appears as a destructive downward movement.
This does not mean that another, evil power is at work: it is the same benign force which was forced to make a detour. The principle of indirect growth becomes obvious, once it is fully understood. Then it can be observed at work all around you. You will not trust the growing principle any less because it requires a certain time span for the seed to become a tree, and for the creations of the mind and spirit to unfold in all their glory.
Try to work on these soul-movements with the concepts I have given you, always first finding and removing misconceptions. Do not superimpose the right concepts, but evaluate and compare, using your own thinking capacity, what is truth and what is error.
Personal fulfillment and full expansion are waiting for all of you. This is your destiny. Every one of you must, sooner or later, come to the realization that while life is what you think it is, temporarily, it is what you know it is, ultimately. This means that the potential, the possibility, even in this Earth sphere, is indescribable happiness. Once this is envisaged, vast and beautiful possibilities are opened up.
QA254 QUESTION: The last couple of months I have experienced a lot of fear, anxiety, and I still feel very victimized by those feelings. A few things seem to fall into place, but at large I don’t understand why I am feeling this way and why it affects the way I feel in my body. I am also experiencing doubts in relationship to the Pathwork and to seeing you as the ultimate authority. For instance, when I am reading the Seth material, there seem to be a lot of conflicting ideas in relationship to Christ, the concept of evil, therapy. I feel a genuine concern and a search for the truth in me, and I don’t think only my lower self is creating those doubts. I feel very confused, because somewhere in me I feel I have a task in the Pathwork, which you mentioned awhile ago, but I also feel that claiming my selfhood, and trying to find answers to my questions, means being on my own for awhile. I would appreciate it very much if you could help me with this.
ANSWER: It is a total misconception that being on your own will help you to achieve selfhood, autonomy, or any other desirable state. What you need is precisely the opposite. Your problem does lie to a large degree in relating to others and the idea of withdrawal is an escape from facing this problem.
As far as your doubts are concerned, I say to you that, no, they are not all your lower self per se. But your lower self obstructs your own channel of feeling and experiencing the truth. What I suggest you do is to verbalize your questions of doubt in a much more precise way.
Once these questions are clearly formulated, I shall be glad to answer them, not only in objective, cosmic, general terms, but I shall also attempt to show you the connection between these doubts and your personal resistances and problems. If you then open up to the truth, you will know the truth.