QA138 QUESTION: I’ve found in private sessions and in group work that I have an amazing amount of numbness, and negativity toward people and toward life in general.
ANSWER: Well, of course. You see, the numbness is a result of a short circuit. It is two contradictory pulls. There is the one side that is the normal, natural, organic side that strives toward life. And when I say toward life, it means toward self-expression, toward a positive connection with other people. Because when man cannot connect with other people in a positive way, it is exactly there where he is disturbed, unhappy and frustrated. For the meaning of life, of evolution, is exactly that.
The more an individual learns to positively connect with others – not superficially, not in a shallow way, but truly the more he does that, the more he fulfills himself – the more fulfilled and happy he must be, the more he eliminates problems and the more he adds on to life. So this is his destiny. The cosmic destiny of all created beings is true and real communication, real connection, real self-revelation, intercommunication between the self and others.
The more real, honest, unmasked and sincere it is, the happier the individuals involved. Now then, this requires a positive attitude toward others. Now, this is the one side where your innermost self strives in this way, which is its destiny.
And then there’s the other way where you have chosen as an erroneous defense, a negativity toward others and disconnecting yourself from others, isolating yourself. You thought you would then be safe. You could then not be hurt. It is true that the vulnerable child was once hurt in its undefended state, but the misconception consists in that it is not the unvulnerable state that produced the hurt.
The hurt was produced by already-existing misconceptions with which you were born. It is the misconceptions that produce the hurt, not the unmasked, vulnerable state. In this experience of hurt, you have remasked yourself and therefore created more hurt instead of less hurt, and more separation instead of less separation.
This short circuit of the one side pulling into the positive self-expression and the yearning for a positive, deep, and intense connection with another, and the other side that fears this, creates the numbness. And it is now through your work where you more and more find out, first as a theory, but little by little as an experienced truth and reality, that it is not unmasking yourself which is dangerous, nor is the vulnerable state of your innermost core being dangerous, nor is a positive expression toward others dangerous.
You find out what is dangerous is your defense, your seclusion, your mask, your separateness. This is what brings hurt and pain and suffering. And as you find this out, the need to strengthen these defenses will lessen, and the tentative steps toward being yourself as you are will increase.
As you become more positive, less shame of being yourself need exist; for the shame of self is immediately connected, as you know from my lectures, with your negative fixation.
I advise that you do not whip yourself for this negativity – that you do not press yourself into a positive state you cannot yet genuinely feel. Rather your attitude to yourself should be, “Yes, here I am in negativity. I see this negativity manifest here and here and here,” and pinpoint it exactly.
Try to connect cause and effect: the cause of the negativity, which effect it has in your life – this anxiety and this separateness and this uncertainty of yourself and this mask here and all these things.
As you acknowledge the space in which you now find yourself, and at the same time, in a very relaxed way, say, “Now I want to be in truth; I am not in truth when I am in negativity. When I am in negativity, I assume other people must be against me. Therefore, I set myself up against them. How can I be in truth? I request guidance for perceiving the truth of the other human being.”
As you meditate in this fashion, in a very relaxed way, acknowledging each time when you are in untruth, and at the same time expressing the wish to be in truth as regards the realization of the other person and yourself and the inter-involvement, to that extent you will gain more and more glimpses of truth, and that will set you free.