A Depth Session — Jesus Christ, Setting Me Free To Be Me
Helper Session with Moira Shaw, Thursday, January 24, 2013
Caveat: While I attempt to capture the truths brought out in this session, I am limited by my own humanness and development. I reflect upon what I believe Moira was sharing with me in her sense of guidance, but I undoubtedly have done this imperfectly and want the reader to know that I know this and not to take whatever wisdom I say was coming out of Moira as what she really meant. Imperfect or not, this guidance was very helpful to me in my journey and for that reason I share it in this blog posting.
My presented beautiful problem: I brought three matters to this helper session.
1) I want to explore my resistance to Jesus Christ and my seemingly persistent negative intentionality to stay separate from Jesus Christ. The degree of my resistance makes no sense to me and I do not know how to transform my relationship with Jesus Christ from strongly negative to positive.
2) I feel I am in perpetual overwhelm in so much in my life. There is so much I want to be getting done and am not getting done. I feel like I am on an endless treadmill. I feel like I am Sisyphus from Greek Mythology who was punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. My Call seems threefold: A) to do my personal development work both on my own and with Pat in our relationship, my daily practice, participating in nurturing activities such as bathing in the Lectures, the graduate program, working with Pathwork buddies, etc. B) working with the Pathwork Lectures and recording them in various ways, putting quotes and teaching materials on my website, etc. and C) writing my blog entries in which I share my applications of Pathwork in my life. Beyond these three aspects I am not as clear what constitutes my unique Call. My Pathwork helpership seems stalled, but the helper work I do seems useful. And then there are my various roles in Mid-Atlantic Pathwork that can be all consuming and at times quite frustrating and confusing. In the end, something has to give it seems.
3) I am aware that I do not experience much Deep Joy and Pleasure in my life in all this doing. This truly frustrates me. My life feels full and rich on the one hand, and I sense I am in ever deeper places, but that depth does not allow me to do so many things, so I am in constant overwhelm and always feeling that I am behind, which blocks my joy, pleasure, and satisfaction from my life in what I am doing. I am often anxious, depressed, tired, out of breath, and exhausted. If I could just simplify my life to items A), B), and C) above, perhaps my life would be so much more joyful.
Moira: I’m seeing a relationship among all three of these: the struggle in your relationship with Jesus Christ, the perpetual overwhelm, and doing so much yet seldom finding the joy and pleasure you know could be there. The Guide once said that Lucifer didn’t fall because he was evil. Lucifer fell because he was impatient. He was impatient to turn and face inward toward himself and get his power from within. Rather he wanted to get his power from without through control over others thereby getting his nourishment from outside himself.
So impatience and one’s haste leads us to do so many things in order to fill ourselves up. Because we are not willing to accept what is, what we have created, and face ourselves within, facing our interior out of which we have created what is, we suffer. To master life you have to be patient with life and yourself, and you have to work and wait to find yourself and your power.
So I’m wondering if there is a connection here for you, Gary. Instead of your doing, doing, doing, and not turning inward, what would happen if instead you would pause and turn inward to the Pathwork Lectures that you love and that live within you, inward to your blogging, and inward to your time with Pat? Would not these three activities really be nurturing yourself from the inside rather than trying to get your power from without with all the doing and controlling?
And there is a change needing to take place here, and the Guide has said that death is change and is also unknown, and so we associate all change with death because all changes are unknown, just like death. So we really have to be willing to face the unknown as we turn from the outer power (doing, controlling with power over others, etc. — all things that we know) to the inner power, really finding your solace from within (a territory that is unknown to you). And I think you are doing this, but still the outer doing, doing, doing is going on in excess, perhaps.
I think it was Lecture 178 The Universal Principle of Growth Dynamics where the Guide gave that baseball analogy. First you are in the dugout – you’re hopeless, a victim in life, in overwhelm, or whatever your problem is. Here you are not yet entering the game of life. And then you come up to bat. Getting to first base is coming to realize that indeed there is a problem. Second base is positive intentionality: wanting to do something about the problem. Third base is groping and searching for how to work with the problem – should it be will, or should it be mind, or emotions? And then getting from third base to home you have to ask for help. So if you could recognize that the problem is not anything outer but rather is the fact that you are relying on the outer world to fill you when you actually have everything you need inside of you – the Lectures, your blog, and Pat – for a beautiful life. (Later I listened to this wonderfully helpful lecture 4 or 5 times. I want to write it up. While I did not find the baseball metaphor per se in this lecture, I did relate very much to the interaction of the voluntary and involuntary aspects of spiritual and personal growth. I highly recommend spending time with this lecture to understand how spiritual and personal growth works.)
Now we turn to your resistance against Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within,” it is not outside of yourself – [Later I looked up this familiar passage from Luke 17, and from this reading I add: the Kingdom of God is not “here” or “there” outside yourself, so stop looking outside yourself. And it is not coming in some future time, say after you die, but rather is present right here and right now and within, so do not seek for the Kingdom of God as something to attain for “good” behavior or “right” believing or some “heaven” after you “die.” (Luke 17:20-21 KJV: And when he [Jesus] was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.) Note Jesus does not say, “Will be in you” but rather “Is within you.” Of course traditional Bible scholars refute this translation and interpretation, as a Google search will show (open for example), but I am not persuaded by these traditional Biblical scholar’s arguments. Check this out yourself to see what your take is on this central theme of the Kingdom of God being within – the Christ consciousness within.]
Moira: I think this is why you rebel against Jesus, because Jesus says the Kingdom of God is within, that God is within, that God is not found in some outside intellectual construct, so life is not found in fitting into outer belief structures. And you violently, but deeply and unconsciously, battle against this central message of Jesus. Jesus says the Kingdom of God is within, but you say, “I want life to be in the context of the outside world, some outside set of beliefs that I can hold to, some obviously correct worldview I can trust, some true religion I can rely on, some reliable outside authority, or philosophy, or practice, but never the inside world, and especially not my own inside world! I am so good at being in the outside world and succeeding to the world’s standards, I am so competent!” And you want your sense of competence in the outside world to count for something, maybe to count for everything. So when Jesus says, “No, Gary, God is within, the universe is within,” you rebel with a strong, “No!”
Moira (continued): Lucifer was impatient; he did not want to connect to God or others. He rebelled against Jesus as God, against the teaching of Jesus, and against the consciousness that reveals from within that “God is within.” Gary: (Whew!) Well that all makes sense. Somehow my slowing down my life is in order. Moira: Slowing down feels like death to you. Slowing down is a change for you, and as a change slowing down feels like death. Slowing down is unknown. You don’t know what slowing down will be like, whether or not it will feel good. You just do not know. But since slowing down would be a change for you, slowing down feels like death! You do not know what will happen and are unwilling to try slowing down.
But it turns out that the truth is that slowing down will make you alive! And now is the time for you to consider this. Gary (with nervous laughter) Yes, I get it. Moira: Yes, you do. So you see the problem (relying on the outside and doing, doing, doing) and now you are willing to do something about it. You are willing to look inside at your Life, and there find your joy in the Lectures, your joy in your blog, and your joy in your relationship with Pat. You meet yourself in the Pathwork Lectures. In your blog you give outside what you meet, and with Pat it’s an intimate relationship with another. It is all so beautiful and sound. And it is all inner, not outer.
Gary: So true. When I wrestle with what should we be teaching in Pathwork and all of that, often what I am coming to is to be aware of what brings me joy in the lectures and then share that. End of story. I do not have to come up with some framework or structure or some tight definition of what Pathwork is and what isn’t Pathwork, etc. It is more just being honest and authentic regarding what is alive for me in Pathwork, and just live that. Moira: You mean when you’re teaching it. But it is not either/or but rather both/and. You can give a framework stating what Pathwork is, but you are not looking for approval from outside. It’s really about a return to your Source, to your own original level of perfection, it’s returning to yourself. This is what Pathwork is, but then also sharing your personal application of this process.
Moira (continued): Gary, you have a lot to teach. Perhaps you are not going to be a preacher. But you should not be afraid to be a preacher. Because, Gary, you know that preaching is also your lineage. You should preach more. (laughter all around) You’re a “preacher man,” but someone who is not merely telling folks to do as I say, not as I do. Because in bringing in what you do, that is where you bring in your application of what you are teaching, what you are preaching. Be a preacher! Rev this crew up! (more laughter!) Follow St. Peter. I have to go where I do not want to go. As an adult I have a harness, I have boundaries. You have to help your students put the harness on. And not be afraid. They are not going to be in prison. They are in prison now, by not returning to who they are.
Gary: I encounter challenges such as strong personalities in our helper community who may have read, for example, Proof of Heaven and now, as I understand it, one wants to get a group of Pathworkers together and discuss why we can’t live the way the author of this book, Eben Alexander, says we should live. And I get perplexed as to why we need outside material such as Proof of Heaven to have meaningful discussions. Why not just take on more and deeper Pathwork? Moira: Yes, I’ve read the book. But in Pathwork we have all the tools for living the way he invites us to live. The author says, “Let your divine consciousness direct your life.” Well how do you live from that divine consciousness? By facing your negative intentionality where you do not want to live that way, or where your negativities are still alive and well, where you are greedy, childish, immature, under the illusion that you are going to get it from outside. Eben Alexander, too, is saying the true Source of Life is within. Your whole life, your physical wellbeing, etc. all comes from inside. And the author, Eben Alexander, is a wonderful man. But you know what? I wonder where he is now. He wrote the book, but how is he meeting his own negative intentionality, his wanting to remain a child, and wanting to stay immature, and wanting to continue to believe in the illusion that it’s outside, even though he now knows from his experience that true living comes from the inside. Don’t get me wrong, I know he has changed a lot, and it’s a wonderful book. But in Pathwork we have the tools to get there, which is to face where you don’t want to be in heaven, where you would rather be in your shit.
Gary: But the way this comes up when one of our leaders wants to embrace this book and really get on board with this new book, to me it feels like there is a danger of superimposition of the truths of “Proof of Heaven” on top of all the shit that we are supposed to be working on. Moira: Totally! Read Lecture 141 Return to the Original Level of Perfection. The Guide gives us all the tools to live in that Divine Consciousness that Alexander speaks of in Proof of Heaven. In every lecture, if you read them from that perspective, the Guide is talking about heaven! And the Guide deals with what keeps us from knowing about that possibility of heaven and from experiencing and living it: you want to complain, your want to hang on to your unhappiness, and complain and complain. Gary: For me it isn’t that we Pathworkers need more teachings from the outside to stack on top of what we are not believing and not practicing in Pathwork in the first place. The Pathwork way is to express my shit first and really deal with my shit, and when I am empty then I can impress the truth, Proof of Heaven and all similar truths, but again especially from the rich wisdom of Pathwork. As for me, I simply do not need more impressing of all these other truths since I haven’t done the purification work first. In fact, adding more truths on top of my unresolved shit just makes me more anxious and more miserable. On the other hand, the Pathwork Lectures talk about a both/and — the expressing and impressing go on in cycles and often the work begins by being inspired by a work such as Proof of Heaven. But then we quickly move on to the blocks that stand in the way of living these truths that so inspire us.
Moira: Right, and you do not need to look outside Pathwork if you want to do the Pathwork process. Maybe another approach, including using lots of outside materials, would fit someone else, and that is great for them – encourage them in this, but the process is not Pathwork if the process does not lead us to look at the shit in us and purify it. So if we are Pathworkers, why not use the tools we have? These Pathwork tools and this Pathwork process and framework are what we are expert in. We haven’t had the experience of being in a coma like Eben Alexander and then returned to the earth plane. The person I mentioned to you last time was in a coma for three months and had an experience much like that which Dr. Alexander did. He could not get back to earth. He was being held down and imprisoned. One day, in his comatose state, a group of men in purple, spiritual beings, came and released him, and he came back to the earth plane. So you can be there in a state of Divine Consciousness, but you have to reclaim that consciousness when you are on the earth plane, because on the earth plane your are not there but rather here in duality, a place where we are in order to do the work we cannot do in our state of Divine consciousness. Gary: We are here to do our work of purification, not to escape off to somewhere else that is “really nice.” That would be spiritual bypassing.
Moira: The work you have to do is to learn how to turn inward, not look for getting power from outside or by exercising control over others, but rather to really have your own power by doing what brings you true joy. That’s your work. And your resistance to that is also your work. And when you give up your resistance you are going to be in heaven. You’re going to have the Proof of Heaven, just like Alexander did for a moment in his experience! For you you will experience more and more Joy as you do your inner work! The joy is like that Pat and you have sitting in the morning having your coffee and sharing. The joy you have in meditating and sharing. It’s heavenly! Gary: It really is. Moira: Yes, it really is, and that’s Proof of Heaven! Heaven is right here and right now. Yes, as Jesus said, the Kingdom of Heaven is right before your nose. But to experience Heaven it is necessary to take the risk to turn inward, to change, and to go into the abyss – the abyss that you think is going to mean your death, that you fear is going to result in your crashing and perishing, when in fact you are going to float when you give up the pride, self-will, fear, when you stop resisting Jesus’ teachings.
Gary: Yes, I would like to talk more about my resisting Jesus Christ. It came up so real for me. From the time I was a child I have come to know intellectually so many of the teachings of the Bible and the church. Moira: You have. Gary: Verses of scripture will come up just like that, in an instant, just as I need them. They are part of me. Moira: I know that. Gary: And yet there will be this real obstinate resistance, like a wall. Instead of delighting in the presence of Jesus, I’m terrified in the presence of Jesus. Before I even consider Jesus Christ anew I know my resistance and am already in an oppositional stance with Jesus Christ. There is some really deep resistance here. Moira: You are not afraid of Jesus but you are afraid of yourself, of your Divine Essence. The issue is your identification. Rather than identify with your Divine Essence within, your Christ Consciousness within, your Oneness with God from within, you are identified with the outer you, with the “doing” you. For you it feels like an emptiness to experience God within, so, not wanting to experience emptiness, you resist God within. You are identified with the ego and the doing, which is wonderful to do, but that is not who you are. You need to go within to find who you are, and this you are afraid to do. You say you are afraid of Jesus, but Jesus is within! You are afraid of yourself. You’re afraid that nothing is there within you.
You say, “No, I don’t care how overwhelmed I am, or how anxious I am, I am not going to go inside. I am not going to face what is inside of me. I am not going to let go of my outer identity. With my outer identity, my mask self, even my lower self, I know a certain amount about how to get love, appreciation, and respect from the outside world, but I don’t know what will happen if I give that outside structure up, I don’t know if I have anything within. All I know is what I’ve made in my outside world.” Gary: Right. And the analogy I came up with in a conversation with Pat was “A bird in the hand (living in my external structure that I know about) is worth two in the bush (living from my inner self, which I don’t know anything about).” So when someone says “Go within” and you will find love and friendship and affection – all of those are just there on the inside wanting to come out.” And I respond, “No, no, no. I want to do the budget, or some other doing in my elaborate outside world, because I know that doing space. If I don’t get the budget done and rather I’m just having a good time with Pat, well I would never give myself permission to do that. So I insist on going back to doing. Moira: You won’t give yourself permission to relax and have a good time with Pat. Your strong intention is, “I won’t!” “I am going to do it my way!” Gary: And my way is the external doing. (Laughter).
Moira: That’s like Lucifer. The Guide also said you have to participate in evil to know the nature of evil. It’s not enough to “intellectually understand” evil as a principle, concept, or theory that you understand with your mind alone. When you go so far outward and keep removing yourself from your core and resist turning inward, and rather say, “I’m going to do it my way,” “I’m going to do it this way,” “I’m going to do still another budget,” whatever. At a certain point you get so angry and so frightened because you are further removed from your core, then, eventually, as it says in the Plan of Salvation, from your own free will you’ll start turning around. And I think you are at this point where you are starting to turn inward. You now know the nature of the evil because you are participating in the evil. Gary: By participating in the evil I am participating in being separate. Moira: That’s right, yes. And in choosing to be separate you’re lonely and lost and scared and hating yourself, doubting yourself, … here you are in the hell of your own creation! So your experience here in your own evil (your choosing separation, duality – choosing to live by and in the world of pride, self-will, fear, anxiety, etc.) is your Proof of Hell! (Laughter all around!)
(Gary: – as I sit with this exchange I can relate to one of one of Jesus’ parables that has always been profound for me – the Prodigal Son – I particularly like the Rembrandt of this scene. But the meaning of this parable is now quite different from how I interpreted it ten years ago – such is the way with spiritual metaphors, their meaning shifts as our journey advances. Ten years ago the prodigal son was leaving his father, i.e., God – but this was a God “out there” for me, consistent with my God image back then, and my dualistic consciousness with its either/or perception of the cosmos. This all played to my Lutheran guilt. Now, today, the invitation in the parable is not about returning to a God out there, but rather for me to return home to my true self, my Divine Essence, the God within after trying so hard to stay separate from God. The return is a process of purification and transformation, motivated by the fact that my insistence on staying separate from my Divine Essence is not working all that well!).
Gary: Moira, that all rings true. I want to do life MY way. If I do it God’s way – even the way of God within me, the way of my Divine Essence apart from my separated ego – part of me dies. And of course this is true. Part of me does die! The part of me that wants to do it all by my separated self, by my separate egoic self, though even here the separateness is an illusion! Moira: Yes, you have to leave something behind on the evolutionary journey in order to get to the next place, but we are greedy. We say, “I want to go to this next place but I don’t want to leave anything behind.” And part of us does have to die, like smoke. The only thing that exists is NOW. … Proof of Hell! That is the book you should write! Gary: I can actually get this, “Let me tell you about Hell – I’ve been there!” But of course not consciously, and, like the prodigal son, I kept trying to make the old separate egoic ways work. Moira: Yes! And greediness, and possessiveness, and acquisitiveness, and fear, and self-will, and pride. (Again this would be the journey of the prodigal son venturing forth, believing he is leaving his internal God-self, and thinking this is freedom and key to his happiness) So this would be Proof of Hell – a Hell that is illusory and doesn’t even exist!
Gary: I sense that I am at that kind of crossroads. I can’t just keep doing what I have been doing. Moira: Right. You know that. Because if you keep doing what you have been doing, what happens? Gary: The familiar saying that the proof of idiocy is to keep doing what you are doing and thinking that the results will be different. (More laughter) Moira: Yes, exactly. So what would that be like if you keep doing what you are doing and keep getting the same results? How are you going to feel? What is that Hell like? Gary: What I said in the first place: being overwhelmed. Moira: Perpetual overwhelm. And what is that like? Describe it. Gary: (long pause) It’s like living in a tsunami. It is unending effort, like Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill. A feeling of hopelessness, purposelessness. Yet I keep pushing and pushing, and it is not working. But it’s the only way I know how to work, so I keep it up. On and on. Exhausting my energy. It’s like I have one tool in my toolbox and it’s called “work!” I’m not looking inside myself, I’m not trusting what is inside myself. This is insistence on having it my way.
I am a very strong-willed person, I can see that. Pat helps me here when she reminds me of all I have created. “Look at all that!” Moira: And all that can be used for your advantage. Gary: Yes it can, I see that. But when I identify with it and then can’t let it go, then it becomes my master. Moira: That’s right. So work is one tool in your toolbox, and your will is a second tool in your toolbox that you keep overusing – which is good in its place, and you are going to need that tool of will to make that turnaround and change. So now you have two tools. Gary: (More laughter) If self-will is the answer, well then I’m destined to be victorious, I’m home free. Unfortunately Hell is an illusion, and all these tools are an illusion. Then of course there is the tool of being superior – pride as a tool. Moira: OK, so I see this toolbox with work, self-will, and pride as tools. Gary: And the fear is there 24/7 – it’s just constant, it is part of the package, the underlying anxiety that is always there. Another tool that keeps me going. Moira: But anxiety feels to you as a small price to pay if you can keep using the other tools, believing that you will eventually get there. So you even allow fear to be there. “Well I’m anxious 24/7, but I got these other good tools – work and pride and will to keep me going, thinking that if I use them effectively eventually the fear will go away.”
Gary: What I get is exhausted. Moira: Yes. Your lifeblood is flowing in the wrong direction, the opposite direction from the way it needs to go. It needs to go in another way, a way that would truly nourish you, enliven you, so you can ride the wave. Gary: Where I am today I am not being replenished. Moira: Right. When you are not replenished, how do you feel? Gary: Even more exhausted. A vicious circle of increasing tiredness. And I can relate to this. Moira: You say, “A high price, but a price I am willing to pay if I can eventually push that stone up the hill like Sisyphus.” The tiredness, the fear, that’s OK, you can keep going, You’ll settle for that. So you say, “But I don’t want to be afraid. I don’t want to be tired.” BUT, Gary, in your negative intentionality you DO, you do, you hold these tools of work, pride, and will very close to you, saying, “I want this!” “I won’t let these tools of work, will, and pride go!” Gary: That’s absolutely right.
Gary: I had an intention growing up as a child and young and middle-age adult, “No one will fault me for lack of effort!” Moira: Oh my. Gary: If effort was going to be the measure, then I’m home free, because no one can out-effort me! Moira: Oh my. Gary: And I can remember actually thinking that, I mean this was conscious! I was carrying the Scout Motto, “Do your best,” to its extreme limit. Moira: Wow. Gary: And it did not matter what the outcome was. “Gary, you just do your best, no matter the task.” And I waited for the applause or recognition, “Gary did his best! It’s too bad he didn’t get anything for his effort (due to lack of talent or skill or ability or the worthiness of the task), but boy did he work hard!” I longed to be recognized for the effort put forth, never expecting to actually be “good” at what I was doing or “creating” something in what I was doing, or thinking what I was doing was worthwhile. “Please see all the effort I put in!” Never mind the outcome. I’m not even interested in the outcome! I’m interested in your seeing the effort I am willing to put in. Moira, I can really feel the truth, the energy, of that. “Give me a tough path like Pathwork, and I’ll show you!” I’m sucked into that efforting – of course for the wrong reason!
Moira: So you are using the Pathwork against yourself now. The Guide even said there are two phases of Pathwork, the psychological phase, the “hard-work” phase where you are working on your distortions, and your problems, and the second phase is returning to the real self. And you, Gary, are determined to stay in that first phase and just keep working and working – in a negative way. It is time to turn to another level here. And the sense that “I’ll just out-effort everyone.” Well, Gary, you have out-efforted everyone! (Laughter!)
Moira: And if you wanted approval for it, I’m going to give you some approval. Really, seriously, you’ve done a great job, Gary. You have. I’m going to speak for all the people that you have been efforting for and towards. You have really done a wonderful job in this lifetime. And you leave no stone unturned, really, when you’re doing a job. Whether it’s recording or studying the lectures or working on the budgets or rallying the folks to do Pathwork, you’ve done it. You did the effort. It’s great. Gary: Perhaps now it is time to move to phase 2 Pathwork. Moira: It is, yes. Gary: I do not know what Phase 2 Pathwork is, but this continuing on Phase 1 alone is exhausting me. Moira: Yes.
Moira: And I know that you came in with this distortion – the doing – and then your childhood reinforced it, whether it was with the church or your parents (the piano lessons), school, and all the rest of it. The Guide would say your pleasure principle is connected to efforting, because the pain of not being seen and the pain of not being encouraged to relax and just have pleasure and play, the pain in your childhood was too great to handle, so you connected all the work you did to your pleasure principle. Work really satisfied you, it was pleasure, no matter the task. Gary: A teenage experience comes to mind. My uncle had a car parts store and he invited me to work a few weeks during the summer. The job? Oiling rusty tailpipes so they would not rust further. In the end he could not believe I actually took this seriously and did a good job. The job did not bother me at all, I didn’t give the worthiness of the job a second thought.
Moira: In order to move in another direction to have pleasure, having pleasure through just letting go instead of pleasure through the efforting, you have to feel the pain. That’s how we turn around. How we separate the negative pleasure from the positive pleasure is by feeling the original pain where you weren’t encouraged to play or to explore your big questions in astronomy, theology, cosmology, spirituality, and the like, to follow your curiosity, for example, with your minister. There was no encouragement from your parents, teachers, pastors, relatives, peers, to pursue what really inspired you. It was, “No, Gary, be quiet, don’t go there!” And it was very painful because, it was like the hummingbird – being very interested in a lot of things, but no encouragement to be that curious person you are – there were authorities and boundaries everywhere around you. The hummingbird is very playful, very pleasurable. But when walls are put up – now inner walls – then, your beliefs are, “Oh, I can’t do my blog, I can’t share what is alive in me in these lectures, I can’t have the intimacy I long for with Pat, etc.” You have not felt the pain of these walls, the pain of others, especially those in authority, not supporting the other way, the truly pleasurable way, and the pain of not supporting this in yourself. Feeling the pain will separate you from the negative pleasure of the efforting. And there is a pleasure in efforting, because that’s where your pleasure principle is attached, this is your negative pleasure principle.
Moira (continued): So to get out of Hell you need to feel the pain of missing this huge part of your life. And it doesn’t ever mean you are going to give up your efforting, your doing. But you are going to add to the efforting, and the efforting will diminish its role in your pleasure. You also get real pleasure from efforting. Gary: I need to feel the pain I felt in giving up what I really enjoyed, of giving up for nearly my entire life who I really am. Moira: Yes. And you need to feel the pain of not having what your really enjoyed and what enlivened you really supported and encouraged. In fact, feeling the pain of being led away from what you really enjoyed – your interests in sexuality, spirituality, astronomy, psychology, philosophy, and the like. People saying, “Gary, stop asking so many questions!” Or, “Sex and intimacy with a woman is treacherous and could be evil,” or, “Practice the piano another half an hour.”
My summary: To come to the positive intentionality of my life force requires me to FEEL 1) The pain of missing the joy of who I really am, 2) The pain of not being supported in manifesting what is most alive in me, even by myself, and 3) The pain of being led away by others and even by myself from what was most alive in me into other areas in which I had no real inner interest – primarily through the enculturation by my parents, church, school, and business in the external rules of life – all factors that I brought in to work on. Moira: All three of these factors were very painful for you – because you had lots of questions and lots of energy that wanted to come out and manifest!
Gary: What Pat and I have been talking about of late is just the basic ideas of friendship, affection, and intimacy between us. Both of us realize that we did not experience friendship, affection, and intimacy in our families growing up. Our souls chose to come into families that held down our own life force in order to set up our lives where we could work on this soul dent in each of us. This pain is heartbreaking to see and feel. Moira: It really is. Gary: And to see how much resistance there is in us to reclaiming that precious life force. Moira: Yes. Gary: Yesterday in our couple’s session with Sage and Anthony the pain of this brought up such tears in Pat, and I could just watch. I am not as in touch with my own pain, but I can really see it in others. This is so painful. And for me, I just did not know the feeling of friendship, of just enjoying being fully myself, undefended, with others – peers or adults. Growing up, if I wanted to be myself, I had to be by myself.
Moira: Yet isn’t the morning with Pat a time of friendship, affection, and intimacy? Gary: You may be surprised, but not really. This is such a learning for us, and I think we are willing to go there and have confidence that it will manifest. But there is so much unknown here, and so many aspects of our respective life forces are behind these barriers. Moira: Because friendship would be what? Is friendship frivolous to the one who would effort? Gary: Yes, actually, in a way. Friendship, affection, and intimacy are interfering with efforting, and efforting is where my negative pleasure is attached. Efforting is what my ego thinks life is about! I would catch myself, for example this past Sunday when we are here at home, instead of saying we really don’t have anything we have to do so let’s relax with each other and see what spontaneously arises, there was an energy in me that said, “No! I prefer to work on budgets! That is my bird in the hand – I know I can have pleasure from getting these budgets done and done well.
But there is no guarantee that if we just go for a walk or sit in front of the fire reading the New York Times that at the end of the day I will have felt satisfied, that I will have experienced joy in simple presence. I would say I don’t trust friendship, affection, or intimacy to give me pleasure. These are aspects of an unknown space. Moira: There is no pleasure in friendship, affection, or intimacy if your pleasure principle is connected to efforting, work, and accomplishments. Gary: There’s a big hole in my life and my heart, and in that big hole I am becoming isolated and listless. In this space I have low energy with Pat. I don’t know how to be with Pat in a pleasurable way! And at the same time I am exhausted because my true need to be connected on a foundational level – friendship, affection, intimacy – is not being fulfilled. I am not nurturing my inner being even though Pat is right here with me. Moira: So this is your Proof of Hell! You are separating yourself from a balanced life. Gary: Yes, there is no balance. Because if I balance my life, I have to give up some of the pleasure I get from efforting. And I’m not convinced in my psyche that balance would lead to even more pleasure than the pleasure I get from efforting! What a conclusion about life! So many distortions and misperceptions about life.
Moira: You now know these distortions. So the Guide would say you have to do friendship, affection, and intimacy anyway, even if you are not sure that balance will give you even more joy than efforting alone does. This is how you break the vicious circle of negative intentionality. From the beliefs and experiences you brought in and from what you have experienced in this life thus far you have no template that says, “I’m going to get pleasure from friendship, affection, and intimacy.” Gary: Right. I have no experiential history that would say “friendship, affection, and intimacy lead to pleasure” is true. Moira: That’s right. And so the Guide says in Pathwork Lecture 198 Transition to Positive Intentionality, you have to try it anyway. You have to acquire whatever it is that you need by efforting, even though there is no belief that anything pleasurable will happen, it’s going to take absolute faith on your part because there is nothing there that will be a memory in you that friendship, affection, and intimacy will bring pleasure.
So the Guide says, “You have to do it anyway.” That’s the breaking of going from negative intentionality to a positive intentionality. That is where the positive will in your toolbox comes in, because you have a lot of will, but until now it has been put into only one channel. Take that strong will of yours and say, “I am going to do it anyway.” If you have to force yourselves into the park, do it. If you have to force yourself to look at the flowers, even though another part of you says, “what a boring waste of time,” do it. Or say, “I’m going to force myself to listen to a Beethoven Symphony.” “I’m going to give that which somewhere in my mind I know I like, but I am not sure it will really give me pleasure, a chance.” You like a lot of things, but you are shutting these things down and going with efforting for your pleasure. You are not sure these other interests will fill, replenish, and nurture you. And guess what. They will! But you don’t know that yet. And coming to know this is going to be your Proof of Heaven on earth. You don’t have to die to go to heaven. Your heaven on earth could be what you have created in a beautiful balance of work, effort, and play.
Moira (continued): Eva knew that. Eva had a very balanced work and play life in a way. She would practically force us to go to Arosa (Swiss tourist resort) for a month, saying, “Even if you have to take out a loan you have to go.” You need to have the pleasure. … Act as if you are having pleasure. Smile on that walk with Pat! Gary: Pat and I have similar issues regarding pleasure and fun – so it would be good to dare to try having fun. Moira: This is your own weather change. The Benny Goodman song applies here, There’ll Be Some Changes Made – For there’s a change in the weather, there’s a change in the sea, So from now on there’ll be a change in me. My walk will be diff’rent, my talk and my name. Nothin’ about me is goin’ to be the same. I’m goin’ to change my way of livin’ if that ain’t enough. Then I’ll change the way that I strut my stuff. ‘Cause nobody wants you when you’re old and gray. Ther’ll be some changes made.
Get ahold of the lyrics to that song, and if you need to change the words to fit, then change them. Put the lyrics into your body, this weather change needs to be within you. Forget the outer weather changes. This may be what the weather changes are all about. Gary: (laughing) I can trust the Guide, at least this one time. Moira: You’re on the way; you’re on the way. You are there; you just haven’t caught up to it. You are already there. It already happened. … Jesus lived in timelessness, in that fourth dimension beyond the three-dimensional reality. He never referred to units of time. When someone would ask him when something would happen, he just said, “Soon.” So in life in that consciousness, in that timelessness, everything is happening now, just the way you want it in the best sense. And that is what the transfiguration is. It is an actual change in the DNA. This happens when we move from human consciousness to divine consciousness; where we are living from the consciousness of heaven our DNA changes. Gary: May it be so. Moira: Is it so? Gary: I’m taking in the possibility, Moira. Moira: Good, good, that’s important.
Gary: And returning to Jesus Christ, and applying this practice, it would be to pretend as if Jesus were my helper. Could I pretend for a moment that that possibly could be. Moira: Yes. Gary: The lectures talk about Jesus being one’s master helper. Moira: Yes, Lecture 258 Personal Contact with Jesus Christ — Positive Aggression — The Real Meaning of Salvation speaks of this. (I looked this up later – the words are in paragraph 37, which reads: There are a number of words which many of you have become allergic to. They are words used in the Bible and in organized religion, words that have indeed often been misused and abused. But these words have nevertheless a true origin that should not be forgotten. The name of divine manifestation in human form — Jesus Christ — is, as you well know, one such word. Yet if you heard a description of God as form, as personal helper, friend, guide, as all-forgiver, as a being of translucent light and perfection, you could accept it. So do not let the word “Jesus Christ” stand in your way. He is the Christ, and He was Jesus when he incarnated. These are words for me to ponder!)
Moira: Jesus is your friend and best helper. And in the Divine Spark Lecture (Pathwork Lecture 203 Interpenetration of the Divine Light Spark into the Outer Regions – Mind Exercises) the Guide says that to make a connection to your divinity you just have to change your mind about the way you saw something. Think about another way of relating to it, here, another way of relating to friendship. See that friendship, affection, and intimacy are not interfering with you efforting. Rather friendship, affection, and intimacy are going to support your efforting. Your efforting is going to be effortless, because you are going to be replenished by experiences of friendship, affection and intimacy. Just keep rethinking what you have thought. And don’t allow any thought forms in that are against this new balancing that you want. Just really say, “No,” to these counter thoughts if they come in. You have to work. You have to fight for this new consciousness.
Gary: (laughing) Oh yes, I’m glad efforting is required here! Boy do I know efforting! Moira: Right, you are a master at efforting! In the Path to the Real Self – Chapter 3: God, Man, and the Universe – the Guide talks about the physical laws: gravity, and all. And he actually says that spiritual law will overcome physical law, that spiritual law is more powerful. Any physical law is there for a purpose, but there is nothing compared to overcoming physical law with spiritual law. So I think that is what he is referring to when he says you let go and go into the abyss and discover that you float, you don’t perish or crash. So when you make these changes, these sea changes, you’re going to float, you’re going to be safe. Gary: And just to allow for that possibility. Moira: Yes. Know it. Believe it. Believe what Jesus told us, not what Lucifer tells us.
Gary: And I can really come to see and understand that my resistance to Jesus’ message is actually the same resistance the Pharisees had to Jesus. The Pharisees wanted security in the external structure that they had created in their religion. Moira: OK. Gary: And Jesus was saying, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” If this were so, it made the external structures to which the Pharisees were clinging irrelevant. Jesus was promising freedom from the external structures of religion.
(An afterthought – John 8:31-32 fits right in here: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. – Now I see this as freedom to be me. Consider that Jesus is my greatest fan, he sets me free, he provides the support to be fully me that I missed growing up and did not give myself, and he is my master helper, my friend. Can I take this in? Jesus, please help me to!)
Gary (continued): And of course that message was extremely threatening to the Pharisees, those who relied on the structure of their religion for their identity. So there I am, relying on the structure, something external to myself. And Jesus is simply saying, “Come with me. Come with me. Gary, you do not need those structures. I want to support you in being you, fully who you are.” Moira: Yes! Yes! That is exactly it. That’s beautiful, Gary. And that is the Preacher Man that you are. You are inviting your students to go within, apart from the various religious structures they have been clinging to and searching for.
Gary: And perhaps when those leaders and teachers in Pathwork who have other ideas about what we ought to be doing suggest other ways, I can just let them manifest whatever they want to manifest. And when I participate in what they manifest I show up with my message of going within, apart from structures of belief from without. I do not have to take control of what has manifested from them, but rather just be me. Again remembering that Jesus is my (and of course all others’) biggest fan!
For example I had this experience at the January Graduate Program session with Erena. At one point one of the fellow students with whom I have been in Pathwork classes for 12 years – a classmate through the five-year transformation, teacher training, and helper training programs – noticed that she was experiencing me differently, and the experience for her was delightful. I blushed. I did not know what had happened and was not aware of differences in me or in her, but I just took that in as part of the Mystery of Life. (Moira is applauding, while I am being somewhat embarrassed in sharing this) But then what went with that were words from Erena, our teacher. She said she, too, experienced me differently even since the first session we had had in November. She asked if I felt different. I said I was in this uncertain space, a new space where I do not have to talk or have to do anything but simply be here. Erena said that she was not so much delighted in the new Gary but rather moved by how I was showing up. This was a lot for me to take in – that she was moved by the change in me when I was not seeing any change in me as being particularly noticeable or even positive. I could say I was perhaps less defended from where I had been, softer perhaps, and certainly quieter. But to hear her say that was a “Wow, really?” experience for me. Moira: That’s beautiful. Gary: And I don’t have to do more. I don’t have to go back to the old way. I was very aware, Moira, of not talking so much in this group this time. There was nothing to be said.
For example, there was a discussion around one of the lectures. Erena asked us as class members to express what this lecture meant to each of us. Others chimed in, but I said nothing. Finally one of the others in the class who knows me well said, “Gary, you are a student of the Pathwork Lectures, and I’m curious, what does this lecture mean to you?” I responded by saying I had a really hard time with his question. I could say that as I was listening to my recording of this lecture a few weeks ago that I could remember, perhaps, the tree I was walking by as a particular point hit me, giving me an “Ah Ha!” experience – much like you might remember where you were when you heard that President Kennedy was shot. But I won’t even remember what the point was that hit me so profoundly. It just sort of comes.
So as I sit here, I explained to the class, I am perplexed being in this sharing time because remembering particular points that struck me weeks ago is not where I am with the lectures. I simply do not remember the points. So I get flustered trying to participate in this sharing. Then Erena said, “Gary, everything you have spoken here in this session has been from the Guide’s wisdom. We just receive what you say that way.” Moira: That is such a beautiful story.
Gary: So can I receive that this is who I am? Why do I get all flustered when asked about an idea in the lecture? And why do I get wrapped around an axle because I cannot recall what has been so cogent for me in a particular Pathwork Lecture? Why do I get so flustered and tongue-tied when someone asks a seemingly simple question, “So Gary, just what is Pathwork?” Even in being asked to teach a particular lecture or Pathwork concept, I simply do not know how to teach a Pathwork Lecture, something so profound and beautiful to me, because I am so devotionally oriented with the material and take the lectures in word by word, or phrase by phrase.
For example, when we talk about friendship, say where in John chapter 15 where Jesus, on his last day with the disciples, calls them friends rather than servants. And in that moment of remembering this scripture verse, I recalled that the Guide introduces nearly every lecture with, “my dearest, dearest friends.” (I was feeling the emotions and tears arising in me as I spoke this) Can I just take that in, that the Guide is calling me his friend? I don’t need to get past the introductory sentence of the lecture. If I could truly take in that the Guide is calling me, and all of us, friends, and truly feel myself as a friend of the Guide, what an amazing experience that would be. Oh I can go on to sentence two, but I can easily stay with sentence one two or three days! So when someone says, “Gary, why don’t you teach lecture xyz?” I simply don’t know how to do that! I get stuck in the first paragraph! That’s how the Pathwork Lectures strike me. That’s what’s alive in me. Moira: Wow. Beautiful. Beautiful. Gary: And it is hard to fit that into an external structure. Moira: And it shouldn’t be fit into an external structure. Gary: So for me it is just showing up and being me. Moira: Yes, it’s being you.
Gary: (long pause) So if I can just be with what Pathwork means to me in that devotional word-by-word way, and just witness to that, letting the chips fall where they will, then I don’t have to make Pathwork fit somebody else’s mold. Moira: (long pause) I am so happy that Erena saw you, and the others saw you. The others were witnessing what was being said. That’s laying some really wonderful roots for the work you are doing now, this phase of connecting to who you truly are. Gary: And allowing this connection to “friendship,” and to be so aware. Everything you said today, Moira, just absolutely fits what I’ve experienced the last week in working with Pat and working on these issues, seeing how I get caught in the externals, how I define myself by the externals, have my pleasure attached to the efforting within the context of the externals, and how that way of being blocks me from turning inside and just experiencing the Joy of being with the Pathwork Lectures one sentence at a time, of being with Pat, of being in Life.
Moira: Ah yes, that’s beautiful. That’s right. And it does take patience to turn inward. Because sometimes you’ll be connected with the efforting where you know you’ll get a charge, but then pray for patience. Gary: Pray that I don’t turn to efforting for my jollies (laughter). Moira: Yes. To give you time to wait, time to receive. And you did this when you were silent through the class. You were waiting, you were patient, and then over time you shared. Gary: The piece I placed on the altar at the graduate class to signify where I was was the photo of a fully open sea anemone. I said that what I wanted this fully open sea anemone to remind me of was the question, “Can I have the courage to stay open and undefended, like the sea anemone does before danger shows up?” The sea anemone closes up immediately in the face of any danger. So can I go another way, can I dare to stay open in the presence of what I perceive as threatening. Let the waving tentacles take in and experience whatever shows up rather than snap close to remain safe. When danger arrives, say, “Yes, this too, this too.” Moira: Yes, yes. Beautiful. (long pause) Gary: I am feeling such gratefulness – for you, for the Pathwork, for Pat, for my life. Moira: It’s beautiful. (long pause) Wow. Proof of Heaven is right here. …
Later Moira sent me this note she had in her files from Eva…
“…You are working on the disentanglement of intricate soul complexities, which leads to look for the reason of the reason of the reason. But life should also be lived on a level of utter simplicity — overlapping hand-in-hand, at the same time, with depth study. Because where you lose track in the soul’s “jungle,” there is only one direct, straight, immovable thread: the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God. Work with one hand, but hold on with the other hand to this thread that represents simplicity.”
Eva Broch Pierrakos