PLEASURE: THE FULL PULSATION OF LIFE
Key Extracts from Lecture 177
© The Pathwork® Foundation 1999
…There is essentially no difference between the ultimate, spiritual state of bliss and the human potential for it. Only the degree of intensity varies, for no human being is capable of the depth of experience which is possible for unstructured highly developed consciousness… The need for pleasure is not only not in opposition to true spiritual self-realization… but is, in fact, one of its necessary prerequisites. Or to put it differently, he who blocks pleasure must perforce also block the deep connection with his spiritual self. Conversely, only he who is free enough to let go in one respect is free to do so in the other… Pleasure… is not, as religion seems to imply in its misunderstood interpretations, that bliss is a reward for having been ‘good.’ It is the natural state of a unified being in harmony with himself and the universe. When we speak of pleasure, we must also be clear about what is meant by it. I do not mean pleasurable pastimes of the mind; I do not mean shallow substitutes and escapes. I mean a state of physical and spiritual bliss that is experienced in every particle of one's body and soul, of the outer and inner being – with all sensations and faculties alive, awake, and feeling. This state is very much here and now. Yet this state is also the ultimate spiritual reality of every entity. It is your birthright, my friends.
Fear of pleasure must be made conscious in order to battle it. Otherwise your battle against your own fear of pleasure will consciously manifest in an excessive striving for pleasure, in an anxiety about not being able to realize it, in a pessimism or even hopelessness about it, which makes you fluctuate between two damaging extremes: from resignation to compulsive, blind, and consequently inappropriate overactivity. This obstructs the attainment of pleasure to a considerable degree. Conversely, pleasure is made possible when the state of mind and emotions is quietly confident, calmly expectant and receptive, patient and unanxious, unhurried and unworried.
A totally relaxed inner state is needed for pleasure, but relaxation is not to be confused with passive apathy, paralysis, or inertia. True relaxation is a constant, harmonious movement. It is the movement of the universe. Any human entity who is sufficiently free to be in this unified state of pleasure will feel the cosmic pulsating rhythm and will be in harmony with it. This pleasurable rhythm of the universe is in each microscopic universe. It means being very finely attuned to the cosmic rhythm within. It means following the soul movements – not of distortions – the movements that are the reflections of the greater Cosmos. In order to be thus attuned, an inner calmness must prevail. All the agitation of the mind must settle down. The turbulence must cease.
Wherever you are at any given moment, you can transcend this one instant no matter how unpleasurable it is. If you go sufficiently deeply into yourself to fully explore the you in this moment, in this situation, if you do not escape from it, this very moment of unpleasure must turn into its ultimate nature: pleasure supreme. It is not easy to do this when you are so separate in your perception of yourself, even after you have experienced some of these truths and states I mentioned. In such a state of disconnectedness, it requires your probing and groping to find the right measure of self-discipline, self-facing, of summoning your good will to see the truth and change the destructiveness, on the one hand, and patient letting go and waiting, trusting expectancy, on the other. You have to find the right answers and attitudes, of struggling and not struggling, both in the right way and the right measure. Memory of a former similar state in your mind will be of little help. The truth must be recaptured each time anew. Memory will only help you to know that the truth can be attained and is not an illusion. No, it is not easy to transcend your now and get into your inner cosmic rhythm within yourself. But the more often you attempt it, the more often it will become possible until this eventually becomes your normal state and disconnectedness the exception. The difficult times will increasingly serve the purpose to bringing you nearer toward your inner center of being, where pleasure supreme reigns. These difficult moments will then be the catalysts they are meant to be in order to ready your whole person for the state of pleasure that is unconflicted within you.