QA138 GUIDE COMMENT: Before answering your questions, I would like to say a few words to my friends regarding their Pathwork, their progress, and their endeavors. It is a beautiful endeavor, and more and more you who try so hard will come to see that these efforts are not in vain. In fact, when man finishes his life, he then realizes that everything else is secondary to his attempts to find himself, and to liberate himself from all that prohibits contact with his innermost self and with that of others.
Then he will know that he has not lived his life in vain. Everything else is secondary, my friends. And anyone – regardless of what fulfillments, where realizable – who does his utmost, will finish this lifetime in peace and in the deep knowledge he has fulfilled his life. Not how much is accomplished, spiritually, materially, emotionally or intellectually, but how much have you really tried and overcome resistance, overcome those subtle elusive little tugs at you which want to pull you in the opposite direction.
Now, I am particularly pleased to see individual efforts and also to see the way your group work proceeds, for there you now enter into a new phase in this, where you experience, perhaps for the first time, what it means to shed the masks and the reservations and the walls and the barricades.
And each little step in that direction means a true inner liberation. Each time where you are not yet free and seek all sorts of reasons not to be, let that be a gauge to evaluate exactly where you stand. Do not let yourself be deceived by excuses. It is so very easy, even while one is full of goodwill on this Path, to look for great answers deep and far away, and not to see where you are still involved in the very same problem you have recognized only recently, but you do not see how you still react in it.
This is perhaps the greatest stumbling block – not seeing what you in principle recognize – glossing over it, passing it by. Beware of this, my friends. And if your distaste of shedding masks is still great, at least admit it. Do not deceive yourself with false excuses. As you learn to do that, masks will become thinner, and it will become easier and easier.
I beg of you, all of you, go on this way. Learn step by step that the fear of unmasking yourselves is illusory. The only way you can learn this, experience this, is by trying. The very problems that make you unhappy, that make your life frustrated, will find solutions as you work in this self-revealing way.
You will see this to be so. And now, my friends, I’m ready to answer your questions. Just one more thing. Go on and discuss all your problems as much as you can in your group situation. You cannot fail to see the marvelous results this will bring you. And now to your questions.
QA195 QUESTION: There is a certain pattern that I’ve gotten into all my life. This week, because of this work, I realized there is no more need for it, and I felt strengthened. I knew how to handle it and how to choose to stop playing a certain role, but I also feel dangerously on a precipice of falling back into the old pattern. I realize that’s because there are feelings that I will have to feel if I’m to go on.
ANSWER: You must not fear falling back, because you must inevitably fall back many, many times. In fact, you must expect it and meet it in a spirit of interest, in a spirit of objective observation, in the expectancy that each time you fall back, you will learn a little more about yourself. You will understand deeper connections until, little by little, the need to fall back will lessen.
But by all means, do not expect of yourself that you must not, and that if you do, it is a terrible sign you have not progressed. This is inevitable, my dear. The way you would best look at this juncture is, what you have accomplished once, the first time, is always the most difficult time; each time becomes successively easier.
The ease that grows from this gradually eliminates the need, after quite a while, to go back into the old state. But now you are at the point where the acceptance of the old state and the willingness to learn from it and to observe it, is what you need to learn. The fact that you could do it once should be your encouragement that you can do it again and again and again.
I would say, at this point, that many of you here tonight have broken further inner defenses – thinned them, cracked walls, and let the light in. But just as I explained now to our young friend here, you too will inevitably harden up again. Be prepared to meet this in the most truthful and constructive way possible.