A Jesus Christ Series – Part 11: Taking Up the Christed Sword
Helper Session with Brian O’Donnell – 10/21/2013
Brian: I welcome your beautiful inquiry, Gary, not only into, “Who is Christ for me,” and “What is my relationship to Jesus Christ,” but also, “Who am I,” and, “What is my relationship to my deeper self, to my real true nature?” So I pray to create safety here for you to go wherever Spirit is asking you, safety for you to relax, for both of us to relax self-will, pride, and fear, and trust the life stream, the bubbling life stream. And I ask for both of us that we allow ourselves to be held, inspired, guided, and loved by the Christed One in this embrace of this session. Amen. Gary: And I ask that I can keep my small self-will out of the way and that I can experience, or taste, the freedom, the freedom promised in Christ, the freedom that is held out for me. It seems that in many ways this search to be free, healed from all that binds me, is what’s up for me. And I would pray for the grace needed to help me receive all that would be offered in this session. Brian: Amen Brother.
Gary: It’s been three months since we’ve talked. Brian: I’ve read your nine blog entries, and, while reading is not the same as talking to you in person, I get your experience and can feel into the vibration of your inquiry and of your search. Gary: I certainly appreciate that, Brian, and am touched that you would read these entries. It seems that exploring this matter of Jesus Christ is where I am in my life at this point, as I move into my 72nd year on the planet. I want to let go of other aspects in my life, and I sense that resolving my relationship with Jesus Christ is the reason I am here in this incarnation. Now let me take this inquiry forward.
Gary: Over the past few weeks I am amazed by how much I’ve been touched by Pathwork Lecture 88 – Religion: True and False. It seems that some of my searching for Jesus Christ has been getting uncomfortable in the Dark Night of the Soul, of being in the unknown, of being in the death place, if you please, in the space of not being sure. In this Dark Night of the Soul, instead of enduring the tension of the unknown, I feel tempted into retreating backwards in my journey, backwards toward the shore of false religion that I have been trying to leave. How does this retreat to false religion take shape in me? I seem at times to be looking for answers in the form of false religion – that is, trying to find security in the rigid dogmas, in external authorities, in the intellectual knowing, etc. – rather than moving toward the Light and freedom of true religion. This light of true religion is total freedom guided only by my God-self within, that is, by my own Divine Essence. Brian: You recommended a book to me written by Peter Rollins (there were two I suggested to Brian: The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction and also Insurrection: To Believe is Human, To Doubt, Divine). Rollins speaks of the beautiful embracing of uncertainty as the way to go, so it sounds like you are right on target! Gary: Yes, and to see this uncertainty and come to embrace it more fully – that is where I am.
But embracing the Mystery of true religion, the Light, is the opposite of seeking intellectual certainty in the dogmas and authorities of false religion, and I think some of what I’ve been grasping for in my inquiry regarding Jesus Christ is really something I need to leave behind. Some of what I have been seeking, the intellectual “Truth” about Jesus Christ, is looking backward for solace and security in the false religion of my past, seeking to find intellectual truths to ground my intellectual understanding of Christ. But I need to go forward with resolve toward true religion, and I see that that for which I am seeking can be found by its own inner revelation coming upon me quite by surprise – through an awakening of the deeper consciousness of true religion within me, a “born-again” experience. Brian: Yes, so that Truth and Christ can find you. Gary: Yes, so the obstacles can just be pushed away and I can say, “Let me just be open.” Brian: Well again beautiful, and just to say it a different way you are moving from the more active search for Christ into the more receptive search for Christ, creating an opening for Christ to come to you. And if you get overactive, that’s just another way to keep Christ away under the guise of trying to contact him. Gary: Interesting and so beautifully stated.
Brian: So you are entering a more feminine or receptive relationship to this question about Jesus Christ. Through your many blog entries you’ve asked beautiful questions in your inquiry and you’ve used the masculine principle very well. So now maybe you’re feeling this transition into the more receptive relationship to Christ so he can penetrate you. Gary: Interesting. This is another way of looking at true religion. Let me be the feminine that the Christ can penetrate. Brian: Let’s pause. How does that statement sound or feel? Gary: That feels wonderful. I feel warm, a warm place in my heart. (pause)
Brian: Maybe there is nothing you have to do in this moment. Of course there are also times for the active principle, but maybe it’s time to really relax and trust. … and be in the unknown, in the fertile dark of the womb of unknowing. (pause) Gary: I can feel my urgency drop away a bit. Brian: Beautiful. … Stay with that, Gary. Just see what’s there when the urgency drops away and your body relaxes.
Gary: As I relax the urgency a little fear arises. Brian: Welcome that fear. What is the voice of fear saying as you let go of urgency, as you let go of the active, or rather I should say, as you let go of the overactive principle? Gary: The fear comes out of a question that arises, “Can I really trust?” Brian: Can you really trust what? Gary: Can I really trust the Christ? Can I really trust the Cosmos? … Can I trust the darkness? … Can I trust the “not knowing”? Brian: Also, can you trust your own receptive principle to truly receive, can you trust letting go of the active principle with which you are so familiar and instead trust your simply being open to receive what arrives?
Brian: Your focus is on the outside, which I understand – that’s part of the question. But maybe there is something frightening to you just being in the receptive. Gary: It is shocking to consider being in the receptive when I’ve tried to be in the active for so long. My fear is the uncomfortableness I feel in being in a new territory – the territory of being rather than acting. Brian: And ask, “Can I trust myself to tolerate the receptive?” Gary: Can I trust myself to tolerate being receptive, because in a way it’s more dangerous being receptive. Why dangerous? It’s dangerous because I don’t know what’s going to be coming at me or into me, and I don’t know if I’ll be OK with what is coming. So it’s easier for me to be in the masculine because then I am in control. Brian: Rather, it feels likes you’re in control. Gary: (laughing) Yes the illusion of control.
But it is helpful to see how that urgency, that unrest, has been a part of me. And to see just how frightened I am if I don’t know the answer to these fundamental questions about Jesus Christ – questions about who Christ is and how I relate to him. It’s good to see how frightened I am to admit that I don’t know the answer.
And I suddenly realize something else that is a paradox: I have been so actively seeking in part to keep from actually finding! On some level I do not want to know Jesus Christ, who he is or what my relationship with him is! So on one hand I have not allowed myself to not know the answers to my questions about Christ and so embarked upon a frantic search to find answers, and on the other hand I have not allowed myself to know the answers to my questions about Christ should answers arise! On this level where I do not want to know Jesus Christ I fear what he may ask and require of me if I find him, so I’m safer frantically seeking, but with no intention of actually finding Christ! So I need to totally be in charge of this process both to appear to be seeking on the one hand and (unconsciously) assuring that I never find on the other! So that’s my job. Take charge from both sides — finding and not finding! Rather than dare to be open to whatever wants to happen here.
Brian: Being open to letting Christ find you! Gary: (laughing) It’s like the parable of the lost sheep – the good shepherd leaving the fold of the 99 sheep and going after the 1 lost sheep. Can I really take on that lesson and be OK being lost, rather than striving so hard to be one of the 99 who doesn’t get lost! It’s almost like making a benefit out of being lost because then you can be found. Brian: Right. Gary: And as long as I am not lost I cannot be found. Brian: That’s great, Gary. There’s a real truth to that. Even though it feels like you are safely in the fold, you realize you have not let yourself be receptive, nor to really be in your lostness, your unsureness, your openness.
Gary: I am not really trusting the unknown, trusting the lostness. So if admitting lostness and unknowingness are actually helpful to my growth, then there is no need for me to spend so much effort to make sure I don’t get lost. Brian: In fact, maybe the opposite. Gary: Welcome the fact that I can get lost out in the field. Brian: Maybe its not even really being lost. It may be that lostness is a form of it, but maybe the invitation is just to be open, saying to Christ, “I’ve tilled the soil here, Christ. I’ve asked the questions, I’ve framed the questions, I’ve read, I’ve done all that the active principle can do. Now I lay down my tools, I open for the harvest, and I open to being penetrated by you, I open to being filled by you. But to do that, I have to be receptive. I realized that I can’t be filled by you if I’m in the active principle.” It doesn’t even mean you have to be lost. It may be lostness, that may be a version of it. But it is also opening, opening your hands, laying down the pen and the typewriter, setting aside the questions and the formulations and the bible and the Pathwork lectures.
Gary: It’s almost like letting Christ come in through a different door. Letting Christ come in through a door that’s not the active door of reading just one more lecture, or recognizing another wonderful insight, or recalling a unique bible passage, or having a powerful helper session. Rather, perhaps what is needed is a receptive rather than active door, so I need to be open to new ways that Christ can come in.
I notice that I actually receive so much help in my journey, so in some ways I am open to help. I further notice that this help comes from an act of initiating from my masculine. Brian: Initiating which, by the way, has served you tremendously in your life, I’m sure. You’re a successful man, and you’ve created a good life for yourself.
And I wonder, just to take this outside the purview of our work on Jesus Christ, I wonder and feel that perhaps this notion of being receptive and being willing to be penetrated and found and opened, I wonder how that may be the case with your partner Pat as well. Where in your relationship with Pat you have, perhaps, been overactive. … Or underactive, because wherever there is a distortion on one side, the Guide says, in the “seesaw” law, there is a distortion on the other side as well. So if we’re too passive in some ways we are going to be overactive in other ways, and vice versa. What is the experience of having Pat find you, or you being receptive to Pat’s masculine? Or your being receptive to Pat penetrating you with her love? And what is that like for you as a man, to allow her love to penetrate you?
Gary: I can see, Brian, where with Pat I have been too much in the initiating, fixing, finding resources to help us, going on intensives together, … all of that comes out of my masculine energy. Brian: And beautiful energy. Your beautiful masculine. And this masculine is just one element of this inquiry you’re in that’s being lifted up today, and now we are exploring the other side: how to be open to the more feminine relationship to Christ. To the receptive. Letting Christ find you, fill you. But to do that you have to be relaxed, you have to be open, you have to be surrendered, which is the feminine. Gary: In still another domain besides Pat and Christ, I also have to let Nature find me. Letting the Cosmos find me. Brian: And let all of these sources fill you. Gary: I need to become less the filler and more the fillee! That notion of being receptive to what is. The ultimate “What Is” – and can I surrender to this?
So the question is, “Can I trust what is coming in from the ‘What Is’?” Brian: And again I’ll keep saying both, “AND can you not only trust what is coming in from the ‘What Is, can you also trust your own opening and relaxing, can you trust your own feminine, not only trust the filling masculine being offered to you, but also can you trust that you can hold and tolerate this new archetypal energy of the feminine? Can you trust your feminine receptive side without rushing into the masculine, without rushing into thinking it out or fixing it, or grabbing it, or strategizing, or …
Gary: What I am aware of, Brian, is that there are images from my childhood connected with my being the feminine. Let me go to my earlier comment about not even wanting to find the Christ because of what he could require of me. I sense that I would not allow or did not experience the filling energy of the masculine coming from my own mother, or maybe from my father either, though with Dad I could experience his deep love for me. The love I longed for from Mom was more… Well, I seemed to be in the way of what she was really wanting to do in her life. With my parents I think I got a little too independent and took care of myself. I would do what I wanted. I would play the way I wanted to play. I would fill my life with hobbies and things I liked. I would not be particularly social. I would not play basketball or other sports. Yet I would end up being in the band, scouts, and places like that, but even in most of what I did with groups it was always because that’s where my parents wanted me. It was not OK not to be social. But I held no energy for these social engagements they arranged for me to be in. I was experiencing Mom’s and Dad’s energies as coming at me and molding me rather than inviting the me in me out. So I resisted my feminine receptive side – not wanting, even pushing away, what was attempting to fill me from Mom and Dad. And now, on the same basis, pushing away Christ, even as I say I am seeking Christ!
Brian: Well with your parents perhaps there is a distorted way that you were filled, and so now it is hard for you to be open to being filled by anyone, even Christ, hard to trust that you will be filled in a mature loving way. If you were molded by your parents not for your particular unique self but as an extension of what they wanted of you, of course it would be hard to be receptive. Your resistance would be natural because your life experience was being invaded in a certain way or being “made to order” for them, not as an expression of your own innate gifts.
Gary: And I think that also happened with my strong conservative church of which I was a member for so long. My church was trying to mold me in a particular way that did not fit who I was. And I didn’t recognize that being molded in a way that was not me was not serving me, or that “serving me” was even desirable and not selfish. I grew up not thinking I had a right to be who I was, no right to think what I thought, no right to feel what I felt. So I tried to comply for a long while with how others wanted me to think, feel, and behave; but this situation created an inner rebellion against receiving. It wasn’t safe to receive without losing who I was. So it was, as you said, a distortion of the receptive being filled. I was not being filled with an energy that was empowering me. I was being filled from an external energy trying to make me comply. Brian: You were being filled by an immature energy.
Gary: As I said earlier, I think this experience with Mom and Dad and with the church created a real resistance to receive Christ! “Oh my God, what is Christ going to demand of me!” Instead of “Lazarus, come forth,” or here, “Gary, come forth,” what I heard was, “You’re not good enough, you are not believing right, your faith is not good enough,” and, “you have to do and behave and feel as I say, not as who you are.” Brian: “You have to live your life their way!” Gary: So the whole idea of receiving itself, whether it be from an organization, a person, or Christ himself, just brings up a strong, “NO!”
So I am getting in touch with how frightened I am of the purely receptive principle because of the felt need to defend myself against being invaded. Brian: Frightened by the immature “other,” whether it was a person or an organized religion, or whomever. They had to have you be an extension of their limited belief – out of their own insecurity. Gary: Then I would try to comply, but it wouldn’t be real. I would get so involved in teaching bible classes and so on, but what I became aware of in all of this was that my “teaching” was not coming from within. Rather it was coming from parroting what “they” said was the truth. Intellectually I “knew” the material very well and could “teach” it intellectually, my mind to another mind. But my teaching was not coming from ME.
In a way this became a part of my Pathwork teaching in the sense that I “knew” the Pathwork material intellectually and could “teach” it intellectually, but I was not teaching from a deep Source within, the Source that was being awakened by Pathwork. I was parroting what the lectures said rather than teaching from where I was, from where Pathwork had taken me.
And I was frightened to teach from my Source! I had never felt called out, no “Gary, come forth!” My access to my Source was still young and immature, and my immature self would not trust my Source, my own Knowing. Rather, I could trust only the external teachings of Pathwork, or before that the external teachings of the bible. Yet I knew my teaching this way from the authority of Pathwork was off in some way. I could not go on teaching intellectually. Brian: I can hear you, “I am not going to go there again!” Gary: I have always been puzzled in this. Why wouldn’t I teach Pathwork? This inquiry answers some of why not.
In doing my blog I have the freedom to share what is alive in me. Period. I am not teaching Pathwork or anything else in my blog. In my blog I’m just sharing what’s alive in me, what I’m wrestling with, what’s inspiring me. I do not have a worker to help, a student to teach, or a supervisor to obey. In my blog I can be free. Brian: And yet from your blog on Jesus Christ Part 9 you expressed fear that I was going to come down on you for being “immature” or whatever. Gary: Yes! I was not trusting that I could receive from you, from Moira, from Sage and from other helpers and counselors and then share what came alive in me as a result of our sessions, but rather fearing that you or others would come down on me, “Gary, you must comply, comply, comply!”
I can feel how much fear there is in me to enter the purely feminine space of receiving and trusting – trusting even love. Even my experience of love was distorted into the idea of submission, and so again love would be resisted. The fact is that I won’t trust love totally, or perhaps even at all. What arises in my receptive principle space is fear, fear of God, fear of the Cosmos, fear of others, or fear of whatever or whoever is out there. And so the thought of being receptive in and of itself brings up the fear of being annihilated!
Brian: That’s what it feels like, but the reality was that when you were receptive to this immature energy, whether it was your mother, father, or the church, you were being annihilated. And if I’m understanding you correctly, one of the reasons you didn’t want to step into being a helper is that you didn’t want to perpetuate the kind of invading of other people and telling them what they should think or feel, all energies that you experienced when you were being taught. You didn’t trust yourself teaching or helping because you were in some ways so harmed by that distorted teaching energy. You did not want to step into that role any more. Gary: I did not want be the teacher teaching Pathwork concepts. Brian: Yes, not wanting to be telling students or workers, “Swallow this!”
Gary: Yes, that intellectualizing of Pathwork was not what was feeding me as I read the lectures. As I read the lectures, Pathwork was going into me in a deeper way – into my heart and soul, and I did not know how to transmit Pathwork to another soul in that deeper way. I caught myself teaching intellectual concepts and not channeling my inner guidance and sense of Truth. AND I was actually afraid to teach from my channel to Truth, this channel being a very personal and vulnerable private place, my very Essence, so I was fearing censor of my Essence from others in authority. And further I was afraid of my own Essence, not claiming any inner authority in my teaching or in my helpership with others.
So I was mystified and confused by my challenge in “teaching.” I was not one to go in and say, “This is what you ought to ‘believe’ to have a ‘happy’ and ‘fulfilled’ life.” To be so direct with someone is the antithesis of who I am. I enjoy engaging the other and joining in with the other wherever he or she wants to explore or inquire, and I can be totally “OK” with whatever comes up in that person, and I find I am genuinely curious about who this other person is and what is arising in him or her.
Brian: But you have also said in your blog, and maybe you’ve even said to me, that there is also a way that you hold back your positive aggression. Gary: Yes I do, I see that. I fear that any aggressiveness I bring will be negative, from my intellectual and logical place, and not positive aggression from my deep intuitive Knowing, and so I do not want to risk this. Brian: Maybe what you are sharing here about just allowing the other person to go where he or she seems to want to go is another aspect of holding back your positive aggression. You don’t want to come in and fill somebody with something in the way you were filled – that is, with dogma and teachings, even with the Pathwork that has been so meaningful to you. You don’t trust that in teaching or helping or leading you are not going to unintentionally invade somebody else with your “certainty” and your, “this is the way it is!” energy. You don’t trust that you are in touch with a kind of divine authority. So you get all twisted up inside.
Gary: I find that I use the Pathwork, or, before that, the bible, and I teach from that authority rather than being grounded in my own authority. I do not teach from my own authority that has been informed and helped by Pathwork and by other teachings and teachers. So what I do too often is block my channel to Truth not so much from not wanting to invade the other but out of my doubt that I even have a channel to Truth. In other words I do not trust my own channel and so hold back. I am still blocked by my long history of false religion, wrongly thinking that my intellectual understanding of Pathwork or the bible is what I have to teach. Such superficial teaching can have little or no heart impact on the other. In the end I see the hypocrisy of such intellectual teaching and want no part of such superficial teaching.
Brian: Your leadership, including teaching and helpership, is just the other side of what we are talking about in our session today – the other side of how to be receptive and let yourself be found and filled by Christ, to be truly receptive, how to let go of everything you have tried in the active principle. At the same time, the other side of this deep receptivity is deep activity, coming to know how to express your divine active principle in a way that you can trust without having to contort it or sit on it, but really trust that you have a sword, a fiery sword, a Christed sword. You’re not going to try to make somebody submit to you or make them submit to some teaching; rather, you are just going to come with your strength without a demand.
Gary: Yes, a lot of the pieces start fitting together from that way of looking at it. Heretofore teaching, helpership, and leadership have been kind of a mystery to me. I think that in getting so involved in the administrative things I was allowing myself to be pulled off my center, pulled more and more off the masculine energy, but too often a distorted masculine. In these administrative roles I sense my little self’s negative aggression in me was coming forth rather than the sword of Truth of positive aggression of my Real Self Divine Essence. I was administrating but not leading. My small self, using its intellect and logic but not connected to my Real Self, was getting exhausted in endless administrative minutia, and saying, finally, “No! No! Enough!”
I see that if I am not willing to lead from my Real Self, my Essence, then leadership is not where I need to be! Brian: Yes, you can be in leadership if you are willing to be there in a divine way, using your Christed Sword, but leadership will kill you if you do not have access to your Christed Sword, your channel to Truth but rather come at leadership in an overactive, overly detailed, mental way.
Brian: I want to try something else now. You get the idea we’re playing with. Let’s just do some work with you just opening energetically, to being filled by Christ, putting down your pen, your computer, your mental search apparatus, and just see what it is like to open here, in my presence, in my witnessing, and in my support. Maybe nothing will happen, and that’s OK. Just see if you can open to being receptive to Christ. … To being penetrated by Christ. … (this closing meditative time that follows lasted about ten minutes)
Brian: There is nothing you have to do… Gary: I can feel a tad bit of fear arise in “not doing.” Doing is such a big part of me. Is it possible that I don’t have to do something? Brian: What a great question.
Gary: I like the invitation to explore the question, “Can I trust that I can be in this moment without having to write down my experience for some future blog?” Trusting that in the next moment what is needed in that moment will be there. And on and on. Brian: Right. … Deep, deep relaxation of even the subtle muscles of striving. The physical, the mental, the emotional muscles of striving for Christ. Can you relax all of these muscles?
Gary: There is a relaxing in not having to be any particular way in the world. Brian: Yes. Gary: Setting aside the To Do list. …
Brian: What are you noticing now? Gary: There is a deeper relaxation, and then it butts up against that urgency in the background. Can I just relax? This reminds me of just simple meditation – can I just be receptive and not have to document anything – just let it be. It seems like a big deal to give up the need to document. Brian: Yes. Now you don’t have to be “On top of it.” Gary: I don’t have to justify it. Whatever feels natural, go do that. If I want to write it, write it. If I don’t, don’t. But don’t impose pressure to write or not to write. Brian: Right.
Gary: I can feel the musculature in my shoulders relaxing. Brian: In your will area. Gary: I notice I am more aware of energy in the heart area. Brian: What are you aware of in the energy of the heart area? What do you see, what do you feel there? Gary: I am aware of some pain there that I was not aware of before. There’s a discomfort in the heart area. Brian: Stay with that, Gary. Be receptive to your own pain, to your own sensation, your own feeling. Gary: It’s lessened, and now I can feel a tension in my upper arms, the inside of my upper arms. … And as that lets go I can feel a tension in my upper back. … Now there is a grand release.
Brian: We have to close here, I have to move on to someone else. But I hope you stay with this practice you are in, this slowing down and being receptive, and letting yourself contemplate being filled with Christ, without doing anything. Be receptive to the mature Christed energy, not to the immature masculine of the other, your mother, the church, of whomever.
Shared in love, Gary