MEDITATION LAWS AND APPROACHES
Key Extracts from Lecture 194
© The Pathwork® Foundation 1999
Let us assume, for example, that you meditate for more fulfillment with a mate. The force of your own conviction that you deserve this, that this is indeed possible and in keeping with divine law, will depend on to what extent you have faced and come to terms with your own wish not to love. When you are unaware of this fact, your statement and request for more fulfillment must lack conviction and will be infiltrated with doubt. But if you face your incommensurate attitude – your hatred, your demanding love – and truly give it up, you can meditate first for your own increased capacity to love. Thus the obstruction to more fulfillment is realistically dealt with, and all resistance and doubt that you indeed deserve the best will vanish. The soul substance is the receptive principle. The more one-pointed, unconflicted, uncontaminated by secret doubts (due to unrecognized negativities) your statement, the deeper and clearer the receptive part – the soul substance – will be imprinted. Soul substance will be molded by consciousness according to strength, conviction, and clarity of consciousness.
When concepts are real and the limitless abundance of the universe is therefore perceived, attitudes will be positive and in accordance with the cosmic laws of truth and love; hence no defenses are required. This defenseless state makes soul substance loose, resilient, and receptive. It will easily be impressed and be malleable. Creation can flow forth in a constant ongoing flow. Conversely, when concepts are distorted, and therefore attitudes are destructive and feelings negative, cosmic law is broken. This causes guilt and fear, which in turn require defenses. The defenses cause brittleness and harden the ‘surface’ of soul substance that is available for creating. It will therefore be much harder to impress and imprint.
Meditation consists of the following stages or phases: (1) concept; (2) impressing and allowing to be impressed; (3) visualization; (4) faith. Let us see how this works:
(1) As I said before, meditation must begin with your conscious mind. It is, as all acts, a decision of will and intent that is being followed through. The concepts and thoughts you form with your conscious mind are your initial tools. I repeat what I said before: clarity and conviction, concise statement and unconflicted directive determine the force and energy of the process. If you feel weakness and doubt in the statement you issue forth, it is an immediate sign that you must first deal with the obstructions, and your attention should be turned to them, such as, for instance, wanting to face unaware negativities, aspects of the lower self, distorted concepts, etc. When the obstructions are being removed by dealing with them, when the conscious mind formulates strongly and concisely, the inner will must be relaxed and therefore let the soul substance be impressed. You can thus create good life, new attitudes, better experience and events, forever more expanding… If, for example, you have an unconscious neurotic desire for a negative alternative which you have a stake in, your conscious mind may refute this fact, may battle against acknowledging it, let alone ousting it. While this goes on in the unconscious, the conscious right thought will be impotent. Or, at best, it will battle against an unconscious counterforce. The result may then be vacillation between two states – one of fulfillment, the other of deprivation. This will continue until the hidden will for the deprivation is unearthed. Meditation is a wonderful way to test yourself and perceive resistance to the conscious positive desire for fulfillment. To what degree do you really want it? To what degree do you perhaps fear certain aspects of what you most desire? To what degree are you really willing to pay the price?… Therefore, when you choose a goal, a wish, or a state into which you want to expand for your topic of meditation, it is essential to determine that there be no conflict between conscious and unconscious concept.
(2) This directly affects the second stage: impressing and being impressed. Both are part of you and depend on you. With a unified concept, impressing will be strong. No defenses and hiding are necessary, hence your soul substance will be able to let itself be impressed with the truthful concept you send forth into it. You will actually feel how the concept issuing forth ‘sinks into you,’ like a seed that falls into the soil to germinate. If this is so, there will be no impatience, but you will let the germinating process take its course. You will not disrupt it with doubt, fear, and impatience… It cannot be emphasized enough that meditation, as all creative acts, consists of both impressing (active principle) and being impressed (receptive principle). The more you can feel this interaction, the more effective your creative act must be. This is why the person with strong defenses cannot meditate, no matter how well-intentioned he may be. His conscious mind may be active enough to formulate the proper concepts; he may imprint strongly; but inwardly nothing happens. He cannot be impressed because he has not removed his defenses with which he still hides from himself that which he does not wish to acknowledge.
(3) The third stage is visualization. Let us first understand clearly what visualizing means. It does not mean wishful thinking, daydreaming, fantasizing, illusory hope. All of these are attempts to whisk away hopelessness, which, in turn, exists due to destructive attitudes and traits one does not wish to face and give up, to residual feelings one does not wish to experience. Visualization means that you can truly perceive yourself in the state you wish to attain, experience, become. You can feel yourself in that state. You can experience yourself in meditation as loving, as opposed to being resentful; fulfilled, as opposed to being eternally wanting and empty; joyful and content, as opposed to anxious and depressed; or whatever else it may be that you are concerned with at any given phase of your development… It does not mean that you picture particulars, for that may easily lead to wishful daydreaming, which is more a hindrance than a help. If you find yourself incapable of visualizing the desired state of mind, feeling, or experience, it is again an immediate sign for you that you unconsciously block yourself with a countertruth and therefore maintain hardened, unimpressionable soul substance and/or weak thought power. Then you can go to work on that. All of this requires a constant tuning in and being aware of your inner processes and responses, of the quality of your thought processes and responses to them.
(4) The fourth stage is faith. At the beginning, you can only grope for faith by an honestly experimental attitude. You cannot enforce faith as an act of will. This would be dishonest. It would merely mean superimposing a wishful kind of faith over inner doubts, negativities, negation. Unfortunately, this is what happens all too often in religions, with very undesirable results. It discredits spirituality per se with many who cannot distinguish between superimposition and real experience… As man's nature is to love and not to hate, to be joyful, not to be in despair; so it is his inherent nature to know, i.e., have faith in, the benign presence of the cosmic spirit in him, of the continuum of existence.
Examine what the doubtful side wants and does not want. Let it express itself. Request guidance for this. Request further answers for yourself. Answers may come in various ways: inspiration, sudden new ideas (usually when you expect it least), new realizations of feelings, through a word someone else says or that you read somewhere. As you go on, you will recognize that these answers are the manifestation of a live process that is so profoundly meaningful and organic that nothing the intellect can think up can ever match it. You will recognize that such answers and the enlightenment that comes are pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, forming little by little a comprehensive picture. Eventually you will rely on this process as on nothing else. It is more real than anything can be in the material world. It is your own path that unfolds, and it eventually reveals the reason for your being here on this earth now, the meaning of your present incarnation.
True answers can only come when there is no tight, fearful attitude, when a readiness exists to deal with whatever the answer may be. Since the negative answer is feared, the person prefers to keep it constantly in abeyance. He vacillates, theorizes, stays on the edge before going into the apparent abyss of commitment to testing the truth. This staying with the theory may sometimes last for many lifetimes. Courage must be mustered to risk obtaining an undesirable answer. Then truth will prevail. Theory allows illusory faith, but never the real. Real faith is knowledge, inner experience in which there is no longer any doubt.
If you unconsciously want to cheat life by wanting more than you are willing to give, you violate another important cosmic law so that no matter how much you may try to believe in the possibility of life's abundance, it will not work. It will not ‘take,’ and your substance will refuse the impression until you remove this violation of law. Life cannot be cheated – and it is well that way. Another law is that you cannot skip a step. If you want a result, but this result depends on the elimination of obstructions which violate another law, the obstruction must first be dealt with. Therefore your meditative aim may have to be altered along the way. If you are not willing to correct what stands in the way, the result cannot come; creation in this area cannot take place. Here can lie either a vicious or a benign circle. The vicious circle is: if you unconsciously hold back and do not wish the honest commitment to truth and honesty, to giving as much as you wish to receive, but want childishly and unfairly to get more than you are willing to give, then your conviction will be lacking. Or, if you want a positive result without wanting to make the necessary change in your own being, you will inevitably doubt that change is possible for you. Thus your concept, your belief, your visualization will be too weak and your soul substance too brittle to be impressed. This will reinforce your doubt and negation.
One of the most helpful things to remember is the fact that you can meditate to meditate, that you can ask for guidance and inspiration to find the right topic, concentration, concern, words, and attitudes at any given phase of your path. You can meditate for the soul substance to become aware of where it is walled in and cluttered up with untruth, to receive the help to loosen it up.
…there are occasional periods in all human beings’ lives when such an inner process may go on without actually being involved in such a path. This may be due to previous intent before the incarnation started. The entity may have reached a specific crossroads where this inner guidance is instrumental for an outer decision and commitment for a real path, with all that is necessary. Such guidance may come in periods of upheaval through powerful dreams or a specific succession of events. If a person is not already deeply involved with and attuned to the inner reality, he is not able to decipher the meaning. He needs help and guidance by others. Even then, the full understanding of the significance may come only much later. If the conscious and unconscious mind of a person does not obstruct such an inner process but rather waits and listens, tremendous development takes place following such periods.
The further you go on the path, the more receptive to the inner process you will be, and the more you will be able to alternate between receptivity and initiating from level to level… If the outer fulfillment has no inner obstruction, meditation for fulfillment will immediately bring about proper concept, impressing and being impressed, visualizing and faith in the result. The creative process will be at work, and you will feel it. But when there are inner obstructions, meditation must turn its focus on them so that meditation on the outer desirable goal can later be resumed.
The next stage is already much more enlightened, and that is a request. It means that you request of yourself to go into a certain direction; that you know that these processes are bound to respond and what you desire is in keeping with the immutable divine laws. The third stage is knowing that it must be that way; that it will be that way; that you have a right for every fulfillment; that you deserve it because you are willing to give up all negative, obstructing attitudes. This total commitment makes you know that the divine power and consciousness within you is bound to respond. The fourth and most advanced stage is when you know it has happened even before it has so manifested. This occurs with an inner click in which you experience the ongoing, immutable divine process. This state has eliminated all doubt because negativity and negation in you have been eliminated. You may in some areas of your life be in the second, in other areas in the third, and still others in the fourth of these stages. It is a good gauge for you. The fourth stage means you are in a state of union.