You Have The Power

When a person finally recognizes the significance of cause and effect in his or her own life, the result is a tremendously changed attitude to life. Usually preliminary work has to be undertaken before the pathwork brings you to this understanding. You may have discovered many an image, have understood a number of inner problems and conflicts, and yet you have no inkling of the immediate causes and effects, hence the independent role you play in your fate, in what seems like unalterable circumstances. For the moment, I do not refer to mystical connections of a more far-reaching nature, karmic conditions, causes and effects that are once, twice or ten times removed, but direct, visible links of cause and effect, that is, visible if one chooses to see and understand.

How many times do all of you feel and think and fear and wish, as though your attitude and behavior had no bearing on the desired outcome! For instance, you fear you may not be liked and helplessly hope that perhaps you might be. Meanwhile, what escapes you is that your actions could easily bring about what you truly want. How often do you fear you may not succeed in a venture, passively, helplessly waiting for fate to determine the desired outcome? It does not occur to you that there are many ways in which you, and you alone, can bring about what you want. All your energies are geared to creating the appearance that what you want exists in your life. But deep down, you are convinced that you cannot really have it. You are ashamed to admit this, so you pretend you possess what you do not. You could have what you want if you spent your energies, not on make-believe, but on truly obtaining it. This may be success in any given field, it may be a happy relationship, being loved and fulfilled on all levels of your being, or it may be being a certain kind of person.

The first wall in the maze, then, is your belief that you cannot have what you so easily might have. The second wall, resulting from the first, is your shame about a non-existent and unnecessary deprivation. The third twisted corridor in the labyrinth of the mind is the pretense that you have what you want or could have if you wanted to, while you believe the opposite. In spite of believing that you cannot have it, nevertheless hopes for fate to deliver you from your deprivation. So you have fears and hopes, all based on false premises.

You even fear yourself, your own unconscious mind — as though it contained a monster you have no control over, separated from your volitional processes. Moreover, you foolishly seem to assume that by pretending it does not exist, it will remain tame, but if you looked at it, it would act up, forcing you into actions you have no way of stopping. You completely forget that your unconscious mind is the monster; that once the unconscious is conscious, you are not a slave to it, but its master. You stubbornly insist that you are at the mercy of the workings of this secret mind. You are plagued with superfluous fears of whether or not you will succeed in growing, shedding an unwelcome trait, acting constructively — as though all this had nothing to do with your choices, but was caused by a power over which you have had no influence. Even those of you who have already experienced considerable insights on this path still do not recognize how often you feel this way. You neglect to notice it. If only you would check such reactions and immediately correct the faulty thinking that has such far-reaching effects on your entire evolution, on your very existence! All you need to do after such a detection is to forcefully assert that you, and you alone, determine your actions, your behavior, your decisions. The moment you do this, something begins to happen within, and heretofore unused faculties begin to manifest, first giving you still deeper understanding, and then strengthening you so that you begin to act in a new and more productive way, and are geared to accomplish your goal. In other words, you set new causes in motion by refusing to be the prey of your own destructive aspects.

When you finally come into your own and discover that the solution is so simple, a major transition occurs. It rests on your willingness to dispense with the subtle pretenses that cover up your unnecessary limitations. Then, when you dispense with the limitation itself, you can go out and obtain what you wish. Instead of withdrawing and pulling back from people, you will reach out for them. Hence, you will never worry about not being liked. Instead of causing a paralysis of your best faculties, you will discover and use them. Instead of saying no to life, you will say yes. Instead of helplessly waiting for others, or fate, or life, to make you into an acceptable person, meanwhile hiding in fear from yourself, you will determine what you wish, how to obtain it, what to do about tendencies you do not like. The change lies in doing your best, rather than giving the best impression. If you look at all your past discoveries in that light, you can determine the vast difference between giving the best impression, so that the best will be thought of you, and actually doing the best in order to obtain a particular desired result. This is the very key that determines the real success you want in a vocation, in a rewarding relationship, in growth and in self-unfoldment.

– Eva Pierrakos, Pathwork Lecture #128, Limitations Created Through Illusory Alternatives

Full lecture here.

On Boundaries and Blind Compassion

Something I wrote in September 2017:

Being someone that struggles with setting boundaries, there are a few things I have come to realize about them.

For one, they are strongly related to the socially programmed construct of having to “be nice”. One side effect of adopting such a belief is that you begin to ignore, suppress and deny the expression of any emotion which may be considered negative or which may suggest lower impulses (anger, sadness, disappointment, etc.). This interferes with a very important aspect of one’s behavior, authenticity. The conditioning unintentionally starts with our childhood when we are told that we have to behave (which is necessary to an extent) but then society takes advantage of this door to our psyche in order to instill its rules by rewarding the ‘virtue’ of obeying authority, which in essence is the quality of ‘being nice’ and not causing problems. Being nice is very insidious as it can get you to lose your integrity if it becomes the purpose that supersedes being true to yourself. That’s a way of making you accept things without a reaction by opting for agreeableness at the detriment of sincerity.

Another thing that I observed was that when you feel bad due to somebody else’s actions, then not expressing your true emotions leaves you angry and bitter. The other person may not have bad intentions, but keeping yourself in line just so you don’t bother the other person even though they are causing you discomfort is a recipe for resentment. And here is where the word ‘NO’ works miracles. From my experience, people who have difficulty setting limits are afraid that saying no might be interpreted as ill will, when in reality it’s just self preservation. Not only that, but they are also afraid of hurting another person with their sincerity. And in extreme cases, they may even hurt themselves by refusing to do what is right for them – acting according to their feelings – just because the opposite is expected of them.

One more thing I noticed from my own experience is that people who struggle with saying no complain…a lot! I only figured out the reason for this today! Yes, it took me a while! It’s because they fail to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HOW THEY FEEL and they blame others instead. In doing so, they are basically turning people into aggressors while it is them that are enabling (what is perceived as) aggression by accepting the ‘aggressive’ behavior. Get that MINDFUCK!

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It’s exactly today that I stumbled upon this wakeup-world article called ‘Power and Corruption: The Matrix of the Master and Slave’ and in it the author talked about how in every Master-Slave dynamic it is always the Slave that has to do something to change the situation in order to bring new awareness to the interaction. That’s because the Master is satisfied with his position (and those that are satisfied don’t seek) even if he’s not consciously aware that he’s inflicting pain or provoking discomfort and so it is the responsibility of the slave to revolt and re-frame the situation so that the cycle is broken:

“Hegel’s theory presents an extraordinary and compelling truth; the world is made up of masters and slaves and neither will ever become conscious unless this pattern is broken and remade. Moreover, the more conscious individuals are, the less likely they will enslave others, or accept enslavement. […] When one consciousness meets the other the stronger one will enslave the other. If the slave does not revolt this status quo will remain; and neither becomes conscious. If the Slave becomes conscious there is revolution. Only then is the Master conscious as well. Only when The Slave revolts is either the Slave or Master conscious.”

– Ethan Indigo Smith

“Blind compassion is rooted in the belief that we are all doing the best we can. When we are driven by blind compassion, we cut everyone far too much slack, making excuses for others’ behavior and making nice situations that require a forceful “no”, an unmistakable voicing of displeasure, or a firm setting and maintaining of boundaries. These things can, and often should be done out of love, but blind compassion keeps love too meek, sentenced to wearing a kind face. Blind compassion is kindness rooted in fear, and not just fear of confrontation, but also fear of not coming across as a good or spiritual person.

When we are engaged in blind compassion we rarely show anger, for we not only believe that compassion has to be gentle, we are also frightened of upsetting anyone, especially to the point of their confronting us. This is reinforced by our judgment about anger, especially in its more fiery forms, as something less spiritual; something that shouldn’t be there if we were being truly loving. Blind compassion reduces us to harmony junkies, entrapping us in unrelentingly positive expression.

With blind compassion we don’t know how to – or won’t learn how to – say “no” with any real power, avoiding confrontation at all costs and, as a result, enabling unhealthy patterns to continue. Our “yes” is then anemic and impotent, devoid of impact it could have if we were also able to access a clear, strong “no” that emanated from our core.

When we mute our essential voice, our openness is reduced to a permissive gap, an undiscerning embrace, a poorly boundaries receptivity, all of which indicate a lack of compassion for ourselves (in that we don’t adequately protect ourselves). Blind compassion confuses anger with aggression, forcefulness with violence, judgment with condemnation, caring with exaggerated tolerance, and more tolerance with spiritual correctness.”

– Robert Augustus Masters