A Christmas Prayer
Pat and I had a wonderful Christmas together alone. Toward the end of the day, before retiring, we took it upon ourselves to read the first two Pathwork Christmas Lectures. The first, Pathwork Lecture #18, given on December 20, 1957, nine months after the very first Pathwork Lecture was given, was titled simply Jesus Christ. The Second, given a year later on December 19, 1958, was Lecture Number 42, Christmas Blessings — Objectivity and Subjectivity. Actually it was Pat’s persistence that we read these on Christmas Day that assured that this happened. And she was the reader, as is true for all that we read together.
As Pat read what I had chosen, I found I was fascinated with this initial Christmas Pathwork material on Jesus Christ. Very clear and compelling. I was drawn into it as Pat read it. I had recorded both these lectures, Lecture 19 about five years ago and 42 two weeks ago.
And yet with this longing, there was within me also a persistent unexplained resistance to the material, yes, to Jesus Christ. These two forces, one force longing and one resisting were at war within my soul. I wanted to know more about this seemingly irrational and troubling battled going on within my soul.
This paradox was what I sat with during meditation this morning. In my meditation I could feel a part of me longing for the presence of Jesus Christ, his acceptance, his love, his role as my strongest helper, as Pathwork Lecture 18 states. But I was not fully surrendered to these positive feelings. Not by a long shot!
Another part of me arose, and this part was in violent resistance to Jesus Christ. And I could feel that the word violent is not overstated. This resisting part was the part I wanted to meet and explore. What was this resistance about? Where did it come from? Why was it so strong in me?
As I entered more deeply into my meditation, into the space where my soul wars against Jesus Christ I could literally feel the darkness, the cold, the anxiety of separation. These feelings were palpable. And they were familiar.
As irrational as this was to my intellect, I could feel my choosing to stay in these painful places rather than come out into the light. I could feel my terror at the light. I wanted to hide deep in my cave of isolation. The feelings were unmistakeable. I was choosing darkness out of fear of coming into the light of Truth, the Light of Christ.
Why? Why do I choose darkness over light, separateness over oneness? What came up next during my meditation was my clinging onto my independence, my freedom. This freedom I seemed to value above union. I choose self-will over slavery and submission. I choose self-will and freedom over love. I trust self-will over love!
These last two sentences hit me. I choose freedom over love. What was this about? Why would I trust and choose self-will over being loved? Again the reason came easily. For part of me, my young immature inner self, love requires my submission, and I can feel my soul rage against submission. No, I want my freedom. I treasure my precious freedom. I claim my freedom! I shall never give up my freedom! I can feel these energies so alive in me as I write this out.
But from recently having read Lecture 84 Love, Power, Serenity as Divine Attributes and as Distortions, I could see that my conclusions about love were distorted. I have been thinking that loving another means submitting to another. I have been thinking that when another loves me it is requiring my love in return, my submission in return. This is kind of Pathwork 101 material on “images” or patterns of thinking that govern us from our unconscious, but nevertheless, after more than 9 years of work, this false idea of love still lives within me.
I could easily see that when I think that loving means submitting, no wonder I have such a strong aversion against it! This kind of love would indeed make me a slave. And this would be no bargain. I would never trust another enough to submit to that person, or certainly not fully submit. The price of this kind of love, my freedom, is simply too high. And I would not even trust the love of God or the benign love of the Cosmos. With my misunderstanding of love, love brings with it not my best interests but my slavery.
While I understand all this intellectually, my soul is still trapped in my emotional prison. Somehow my felt-experience of “love” that imprinted my soul meant slavery. My feeling-self is terrified of this slavery. Because these misunderstandings of love have been unconscious for so long and my feelings governing my life from my unconscious are so deep, this condition cannot be erased or corrected easily or quickly.
And, unfortunately for my ego, this work to change all this cannot be done on my own. Somehow I have to muster the courage to ask God to help me overcome these deep misunderstandings of felt love. I must dare to risk trusting God to deliver me from my terror of God, my terror of Jesus Christ, my terror of the Light of Truth and Love.
But again these are all thoughts in my head. My soul remains in terror. But still I can choose to pray for help so that these feelings of distorted love can be healed and transformed into true love. Again, intellectually I understand this. True love, God’s love, or anyone’s true love, is not asking me to submit but rather to trust.
Let this be my Christmas prayer. I humbly pray that my terror of misunderstood love be transformed into the joy of true love, love that calls forth the real me, my Divine spark or essence from within. I cannot do this alone. I cannot do this from willing it. I can but wait patiently for the Grace of God to fill and transform me. I pray for this patience as well. And finally I pray for the help of Jesus Christ, I pray to experience Jesus Christ as my strongest helper. And with this, I say, Amen.