THE MEANING OF EVIL AND ITS TRANSCENDENCE
Key Extracts from Lecture 184
© The Pathwork® Foundation 1999
Most human beings totally forget or ignore the fact that what is worst in them is essentially creative power and universal flow and energy that is highly desirable. Only when you truly realize this, my friends, will you learn to cope with every aspect of yourself.
The price to pay for recognizing and accepting the destructive, evil aspect in the self seems so high. It seems that way. It really is not. On the contrary, the price of denying it is enormous. The groping seems at times so confusing until you find the method and the manner in which it becomes possible to accept destructive impulses and desires in you without condoning them; to understand them without staying with them; to evaluate them realistically without falling into the traps of either projection, self-justification, self-righteous exoneration, blaming of others, and making excuses for the self, or self-indulgence, denial, repression, and evasion. It requires continuous inspiration from the higher forces within and a deliberate articulation in requesting their help in order to awaken and maintain awareness of the destructive aspects and the proper method to handle them. Whenever you are in an unpleasant mood, in a threatening situation, in confusion and darkness, you can be sure that, whatever the outer circumstances may be, the essence of the problem is the denial and fear of your own destructive attitudes and your not knowing how to handle them. Admission of this fact alone brings immediate relief and deactivates the negative power of them almost instantly.
…you have to be able to learn to fully acknowledge that the way the power manifests is undesirable, but the energy current that produces this manifestation is desirable in itself. For it is made of the life stuff itself. It contains consciousness and creative energy. It contains every possibility to manifest and express life, to create new life manifestations… If you can envisage the possibilities of all life manifestations, because life is a continuous flowing, moving, ongoing process, you can never become fixated on finalities, which create error, confusion, dualism.
…not all supposedly negative emotions are necessarily always undesirable. For instance, anger can be an expression that furthers life and is directed against its negation. But denial of anger turns into hostility, cruelty, spite, self-hate, guilt, confusion between blame of others and blame of self, and is thus a destructive energy current.
…your expectation is based on an unrealistic picture when you wish to destroy, or magic away, a vital part of yourself, when you do not accept the intrinsic desirability of the creative energy that is contained even in the most destructive aspects of yourself. You cannot become whole unless this altered attitude is cultivated. I repeat, this does not mean condoning, excusing, rationalizing the undesirable aspects of the self. Quite on the contrary, it means fully acknowledging them, giving honest expression to them without finding excuses in blaming others – and yet not being hopeless and self-rejecting about it. This seems a tall order, but it is certainly possible to acquire this attitude if it is truly attempted, if you truly pray for guidance for this very purpose. When you no longer negate the ugliness in you, you will not have to negate the beauty in you any longer. There is so much beauty in every one of you that is already free and manifest – beauty that you totally negate, ignore, do not perceive and experience! And I do not only mean the potentiality as yet to be developed, I mean the actualized beauty. You can think of this. Pray for its awareness as you pray for the awareness of the ugliness. When you can perceive both – not one wiping out the other – you will have made a substantial step toward a realistic picture of life and of yourself that will enable you to deal with life and yourself and to integrate what now tears you asunder. By keeping the two sides in mind at all times, you will also be able to do this with others. You tend, in exactly the same way as you do toward yourself, to completely reject and negate the person when you perceive and react to his destructiveness – or when you emotionally react to his goodness and inner beauty, to unrealistically overlook the existence of the ugly side.
…the triad of man's main source of distortion and destructiveness… are self-will, pride, and fear. Offhand, it may appear odd to claim that these three traits are more responsible for evil than the actually evil traits, such as spite, cruelty, envy, hostility, selfishness, etc., etc. How can pride, self-will, or fear be evaluated as more destructive than, say, hate? The answer to such questions is really simple. It is never the overtly destructive attitudes that are the real evil. If you truly acknowledge them, you remain flowing. The greatest hatred, the most spiteful vindictiveness, the worst impulses of cruelty, if honestly and squarely admitted, if neither acted out irresponsibly nor repressed and denied, if fully accepted for what they are, will never become harmful. It will diminish in intensity to the degree it is thus accepted, seen, faced, admitted, and must sooner or later convert into flowing, life-giving energy. Hate will turn into love, cruelty into healthy aggression and self-assertion, stagnation into joy and pleasure.