English Aquarius workshop

Aquarius workshop

Understanding the duality between unjustified guilt and perfectionism

“The feeling of not daring to love may apply only to certain areas of your life, not to all relationships. Then, when you verify this point, you will ascertain the real guilt that produces the unjustified guilts as well as the perfectionism.”

Quote from Pathwork Lecture 108: Fundamental guilt for not loving

Every person has feelings of guilt, because all images and misconceptions are intertwined with feelings of guilt. When we do not want to face and suppress real feelings of guilt, we hide this guilt behind a wall of unjustified guilt and perfectionism. This unjustified guilt comes from the mask self and has to do with self-destruction, self-rejection, distrust of life, exaggeration and dramatization. As a result of unjustified guilt, we feel crushed and deny our innate divinity. Characteristic of unjustified guilt is the refusal to take responsibility and change. In particular, the unwarranted, unhealthy, exaggerated feelings of guilt about imperfection, which give us a feeling of hopelessness, are an obstacle to serious self-examination. We then have the incorrect conviction “I should have been a perfect parent, partner, friend, ….. (fill in the blank)”. Imperfection is not a cause for guilt and we must accept that a relatively large part of us is childish, neurotic, selfish and imperfect.

The true self urges us to be spontaneous, to give our warm feelings generously and to become a loving person, but we translate this inner message by wanting to be ‘good’ and perfect. There is a sensitive inner mechanism in each of us that regulates the psychological processes whereby real guilt due to unlovingness, when that guilt is not recognized and processed, splits into a duality of apathetic unjustified guilt on the one hand and hyperactive perfectionism on the other. The goal of perfectionism is to replace the love we freeze. But because of this perfectionist attitude, we become even more unhealthy focused on ourselves than others, damaging our integrity, increasing feelings of confusion, fear, and guilt, and increasing self-alienation and lack of self-respect.

Humanity is in a transition from selfishness to caring for others. Whether our actions, thoughts or attitudes are selfish or not is determined by the motive underlying them. Is the motif love, lovelessness, isolation, fear, pride, self-will or a combination of positive feelings and negative emotions? We are often not aware of selfish motives nor of the feelings of guilt that arise from them. Only honestly facing lovelessness with gentleness and feeling the pain of selfishness and blindness can awaken in us the deep desire to change. In this workshop we will explore with a loving curiosity three fundamental themes of the Pathwork Lectures regarding the duality between unjustified guilt and perfectionism.

1st theme: Accepting the lower self

We can only accept the lower self if we completely let go of the unjustified feelings of guilt that cover the real feelings of guilt, perfectionism and the tendency to judge or justify ourselves. We often hate ourselves for the wrong reasons, putting ourselves down and hindering our growth and development. Then we allow ourselves to be guided by the moralizing superimposed conscience, which creates unjustified guilt and, like a ruthless, strict, cruel teacher, finds every immature aspect unforgivable. 

“When factually you see your selfish withdrawal from loving, regardless of how well you keep it concealed — often by superperfectionism and right actions — when this occurs, then and only then can you come to terms with yourself. Then you can make restitution. Then you can atone in a truthful and constructive way. You will begin to change in this respect. How? You will know if you truly want to. The expiation of this inner guilt, this guilt much deeper than all the little ones (often so unjustified and only using the unjustified ones so as to conceal the real ones), has to happen in order to make your soul healthy and peaceful; in order to like and to respect yourself; in order to be comfortable with yourself.” (Quote from Pathwork Lecture 108)

2nd theme: Letting go of negative pleasure

The emotionally immature person has a fascination with destructive creations, which is accompanied by suffering, fear and self-blame. Under the spell of these negative creations, he does not want to give up this negative pleasure, even if what he creates is painful. At a deep unconscious level he has the deliberate intention to resentfully punish someone from the past at the expense of his own happiness. This cruel and negative attitude to life causes a deep guilt that he masks and suppresses with unjustified guilt and perfectionism. 

“Negative pleasure is always, in some way, more geared to gratifying ego goals than fulfilling the real and legitimate needs of the entity for bathing in the light of pleasure supreme. It harbors the three attitudes that are at the roots of all destructiveness and deviation — yes — pride, self-will, and fear. Where there is pride, where there is self-will, where there is fear, there must be a state of contraction. Contraction cannot be fully given up, ever, no matter what approaches of therapy are used and no matter how good they may be, as far as they can go, if pride, self-will, and fear are not abandoned.” (Quote from Pathwork Lecture 177)

3rd theme: Loving merges duality

To live is to love and an unhealthy no to love is a no to life. We rebel against life out of fear of pain and unhappiness. But to the same extent that we run from pain, we run from pleasure and happiness. Due to our reluctant attitude, we are blind to the greatness, the infinite love, the perfection and the beauty of life. We find everything too much and we only see what we miss and what is missing. We can change this attitude by listening to the voice of the inner child, who is greedy to get everything and give nothing. By learning and understanding all the arguments of the inner child, we can let go of this unhealthy no to life and flow with life by loving what is. 

“There are always certain common denominators which are fear of exposure to failure and inadequacy. This is pride. The desire for greater perfection than you have. This is a substitute for the love you don’t allow yourself to feel. There is the link. You need not be so perfect if you love, and therefore you need not fear failure. If you do not fear failure so much, life would not become so difficult. It is often the inherent, often unconscious, terror of failure that makes life so arduous. So here we have the pride and the fear. Or you may say no to life because you cannot stand anything going against your will. You fear frustration, and therefore you do not willingly go along with life. There we are right back almost where we started from: pride, self-will and fear. As I said, they are the fundamental aspects that prohibit love and thus make the soul disturbed.” (Quote from Pathwork lecture 108)

You are invited to participate in an English- speaking zoom workshop “Understanding the duality between unjustified guilt and perfectionism” on May 18th. The workshop deals with three themes from the Pathwerk lectures.

The workshop lasts 2 hours. We will start with a short relaxation meditation. This will be followed by an introduction then there will be an opportunity to discuss your experiences on this subject and to ask questions.

The last part of the workshop consists of a guided meditation and the sharing of received inspirations.

The free workshop will be held on Saturday at PST 8.00-10.00, EST 11.00-13.00, GMT 16.00-18.00, CET 17.00-19.00.

After you have registered for the free workshop (s.hontele@hetnet.nl), you will receive a zoom link.