QA142 QUESTION: Why is frustration so difficult to bear?

ANSWER: When frustration is translated into the very primitive, oversimplified words of the little child, the ego – that part of the human personality that lives totally in the dualistic sphere – it says, “If things happen according to the way I want them and my desires are satisfied, then I can live, then I can be happy. Or if things do not happen according to the way I want them to, then I cannot live – ultimately I must perish”

The stronger the reaction to frustration, the more fear must be involved in it. Even if it cannot immediately be discovered that an actual fear of death is harbored in it, the intensity of the reaction will lead to this irrational belief. The intense reaction to frustration must reveal a fear of death and a fear of ceasing to exist as an individual identity.

So that the conclusion is then, “Either my will goes and things go according to the way I want, or this frustration, this denial means I am denied. And I am not merely denied this or that particular thing, but I am denied existence, which amounts to death.”

Now, once this opinion is out in the open, it must be questioned. This conclusion must be questioned. It does no good to immediately say with the outer superimposed intellect, which knows perfectly well that you are not going to die if this or that will does not come true.

In a hidden corner of your psyche, you are frightened, you are terrified that a wish – big or small, important or unimportant – will be unfulfilled or denied. If you really examine and translate the very voice of your terror, of your strong reactions, it will come.

This voice is so often denied consciousness, because immediately a dualistic concept of right or wrong is attached to it. So one feels guilty and the way is barred by saying, “Really, that is not nice. I am wrong. I should not be so self-willed and so egotistical and egocentric. I really should give up my self-will; I should be more conciliatory with others; I should be more reasonable, more grown up.”

This moralizing with oneself and telling oneself one is wrong to do, that bars the way to find that underneath this childish egotism is a terror of losing life. Once this terror is brought out into the open, irrational as it may appear – and beware of talking yourself out of it, because with your superimposed reason, you know this fear is irrational – you can translate that fear.

On that level where it exists, be willing to question its validity, instead of merely superimposing a knowing and a pseudo-knowing that “it isn’t quite that way,” while underneath your terror continues. Because of that terror, you have to go through all sorts of mental and emotional contortions, denials, projections, superimpositions and repressions.

But this is the ultimate reason and answer. It is on that level, when you can approach this and translate the voice of terror when you’re frustrated – irrational as it may seem – that you can then bring the wrong conclusion out in the open. “I must cease – I cease to exist. I cease to be given identity when things are not done the way I want them to be done.”

Once it is clearly out in the open, you can truly question its validity. That is the way you transcend from the dualistic level into the oneness of your real self.


QA151 QUESTION: Could you show me a way to handle all the frustrations I cannot handle. When I run across them, I hit back on whatever person or subject comes along. And if there’s nobody else around, I hit back with food, which hits back at me.

ANSWER: Yes, always it hits back at you anyhow.

QUESTION: When I hit back at others, I feel sort of satisfied afterwards, and that’s what frightens me.

ANSWER: The fact that you realize, at least, how you react to frustration is already a step in the right direction, because not always were you able to recognize this. Now, your extreme anger when things do not go your way is connected with a false sense of danger. There is something in you that believes when you do not get your way you are endangered, you are threatened.

You somehow feel that something dreadful is going to happen to you – to the point of annihilation. I would suggest, therefore, that when you experience frustration, immediately ask yourself, “What do I believe this means to me? Why do I react so strongly to it? What do I believe the consequences will be when this and this happens that frustrates me?”

Basically, there will be two possibilities. The one possibility is what I just said – that you actually believe, deep down, that it has dreadful consequences. Bring this out. Do not let it exist in a vague, foggy vacuum where you do not quite know what it is you fear, but you do feel threatened. Once you pinpoint it concisely, you will then see it is not so.

The other and second possibility is that there is merely a refusal to accept your position in life among everyone else, where it is not possible that you always get immediately what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. You simply, in a way, on that level, become nasty about it – and that too has to be faced.

Now, in the long run it is not true that you are satisfied when you hit out. At the moment it gives you certain satisfaction. Why? Because you deprive yourself of much better and greater satisfactions. It is a poor substitute for the pleasure you could really have if you would not persist in this frame of mind.

Also, it has many consequences you do not connect that are not pleasurable. You are aware of certain unpleasurable effects in your life, which then become frustration which you hit out against. But you do not connect that many of your frustrations are a result of the way you hit out against it, because you think at the moment that it affords you a certain amount of pleasure.

So you do not know that the frustration is a result of it. In other words, by your attitude when encountering frustration, you breed and perpetuate more and more unnecessary frustration. The more negatively you react to frustration, the more frustration you generate in your life, only you are not yet aware of the chain reactions that take place in this respect.

Once you begin to ask yourself why you react so strongly against it and ascertain either/or, and/or both of these ways, these motives, while you respond in this way to reaction, then you will see that you breed more an unnecessary frustration by that attitude.

The anger and the fury in you because you were once frustrated – you were often frustrated, but I mean at one time as a child – has grown so much that you generate it more and more. Therefore my advice is, rather than fighting and letting it out in this indirect way, acknowledge your fury even if you do not know why at the moment.

QUESTION: When I acknowledge it, which I partly do, then I get completely lame and lie down and get paralyzed physically.

ANSWER: No, you will have to learn to move it out of your body.

QUESTION: I’m putting it into my body?

ANSWER: Yes, exactly! You’re putting it in; you’re accumulating it; you’re holding it fast inside, and there it grows like a poisonous growth. That is what I mean – move with it, move it out of yourself. Acknowledge it, pinpoint it – even if you do not know why.

Say and admit, “I am furious,” and move it out, move with it until you free yourself on the physical level – and on the mental level by expressing it and expressing it and discussing it, and something will then happen.


QA232 QUESTION: I’m having a lot of difficulties recently with my studies due to my spite and not wanting to tolerate frustration. Can you offer me some further insight or meditation to deal with the problem?

ANSWER: The first thing is to get in touch more dynamically with the part in you that is outraged at every little frustration – really outraged – and who exaggerates it and distorts the reality of it, distorts the relationship between it and other manifestations in your life, and is therefore not equipped for dealing with reality in whatever way it comes to you, whatever the situation may be.

In your fantasy, you believe if the momentary frustration or unpleasantness would be eliminated and you could be whisked into a different kind of situation, everything would be fine. But that, of course, is an illusion. It is only in your fantasy that you think there are ideal situations.

There are, on another level of reality, indeed ideal situations, but not in the way you think of them. They come only when you transcend the childish demand that cannot tolerate anything that is frustrating or difficult or unpleasant and therefore exaggerates the meaning way beyond proportion.

So that is a very important lesson for you. It is deeply ingrained in your psychic system, where you are no longer aware even of, I might say, the game you play with yourself in which anything that is difficult is immediately exaggerated and immediately twisted into some other kind of experience that becomes then indeed unacceptable to you.

So I say, try to connect with this and see it and question the reality of your perception of the difficulties, and see then that the difficulties aggrandize themselves because you reject and reject and rebel and protest and are outraged and complain inwardly and so on and so forth – and demand it should be different – and you build an entirely false reality in a way that may seem justified or logical or may seem to make sense from the very distorted angle you look at it. But it is a false reality. It is a false world you are building up.

The more you build a false world, the more confused and lost you become. Sometimes you may know it; sometimes you may not know it. Even when you do know it, you are most of the time not aware of the connections and why that is so.

Basically, where you need to change in your attitude is the willingness to give to life your best. Giving to life your best means to courageously tackle obstructions and difficulties and make them challenges and not deny them. That is a lesson many, many human beings need to learn, and unless they learn these lessons, they cannot deal with life. It all depends on your goodwill to learn this lesson – on your goodwill to trust reality, to trust God, to trust life, to trust the universe.

You need to learn that nothing can be demanded of you that is unfair or too much, and that every life situation will contain something that is a challenge but that you make as an insurmountable obstacle, whether it is studying, learning, working, being in a relationship, or whatever it may be. The obstructions exist to the degree that this condition has not been reversed.

The obstructions diminish to the degree that you have accepted this basic aspect of life and have mastered it by making the best of it. To that degree you will indeed find more and more ideal situations. But the ideal situation that you demand is stiff and rigid and perfectionistic and unmoving and denying the lesson you have to learn – and in that way transcendence is not possible.

So I say to you, consider the possibility that you can indeed learn this lesson and open yourself to a new approach to the difficulties and frustrations of every activity you undertake and master them and annul them by your acceptance and your giving to them. Figure out that each specific frustrating situation may require another, different kind of giving attitude.

There’s no overall rule what the giving attitude may be. Your creative thinking and opening to be inspired by your higher self will determine what the giving attitude in each individual situation might be. It is a very challenging project that will become extremely satisfying and will make life exciting and yet peaceful, because you will be in truth with that approach.

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