Meditation – Thursday
Pause and Consider: Born Again!
As yesterday unfolded I somehow fell back into a foul mood. I am feeling pressure for getting Mid-Atlantic Pathwork (MAP) budgets put together, helping to get the MAP Leaders Retreat organized, the school programs organized and moving forward, and also the Pathwork workshops. So much, and I am feeling the pressure, the overwhelm, and the confusion as to direction and my role in all this. I am weary. I can’t seem to let it all go and relax into simple presence to what wants to unfold.
In my Session with Ed yesterday I was led to posturing my body for leadership – feet solidly on the ground, one foot slightly ahead of the other. Ed invited me to feel what it was like in my body to lead from this posture. I quieted down and noticed that I was more poised to listen and take in from others rather than have to initiate. Can I listen to what wants to happen as others speak and as my own deepest truth responds? AND, can I simply be with my mood of depression again this morning? I expect the next paragraph of Lecture 131 to be about impressing truth, so maybe I’ll get some relief.
Focusing Statement 1: Pathwork Lecture 131 Interaction Between Expression and Impression; ¶20
You cannot impress yourself with a specific truthful concept before you understand your particular untruthful concept. Only then is the impressing of your psychic substance feasible. As long as you are confused, you do not know in what way you are in untruth, in what way the problem you fight against is imaginary, and why this is so. As long as you ignore the fact that the particular problem you struggle with does not exist in reality, how can you impregnate yourself with the corresponding truthful ideas?
While I noticed I was very eager to go on with the impressing truth part of this lecture, reading this paragraph was as if a big railroad “Stop, Look, Listen” sign came up. “Gary, you are NOT READY to impress your psychic substance with Truth, you still do not adequately understand your untruth, my friend!” While this frustrated me (I really do want to be beyond this point!), I realized I could not continue this journey into Truth until I am no longer confused about the nature of my particular untruth that blocks my happiness and fulfillment and limits my self-expression.
To be clear, I cannot continue by taking in Truth until I am no longer confused about:
1) What my untruth is that lives in my unconscious – I must bring my particular untruth to consciousness.
2) In what way it is imaginary and not reality
3) Why it is imaginary – why “my problem” that I struggle with does not exist in reality.
No sooner did I come to this need to look more deeply for my particular untruth than, for whatever reason, I moved to the next paragraph of the lecture.
Focusing Statement 2: Pathwork Lecture 131 Interaction Between Expression and Impression; ¶21
The constant interaction between these two approaches is of great importance, my friends. It would be a mistake to assume that these two activities follow each other consecutively on this path — first expressing, then impressing. Up to a certain point, a person’s pathwork concentrates on bringing out what is inside. Only then does the examination and analysis of this material begin. Both expressing and impressing must exist throughout, from the beginning onward. Both activities are always necessary. At the very beginning of such a path the personality is still filled with misconceptions and utterly unaware of its confusions. Then all this material needs to be expressed. In order to succeed in such expression it is necessary, at the time, to comprehend and impress the self with truthful statements. This impressing has the power to gather inner forces and direct them into the proper channels. Your intent must be clearly formulated to activate the necessary inner powers. This will prevent stagnation and the possibility of giving up in despair and confusion. In order to accomplish this, even at the early stages when the inner vessel is filled with unclear substance that needs to be emptied out, constant interaction between impressing — stating truth and formulating constructive intent — and expressing must prevail.
I immediately got the need for both of these activities – expressing and impressing – to go on interactively – in a circle, a growth-spiraling process, if you please. Wait a minute! These latter sentences say I must begin not with expressing, as the other paragraphs have been emphasizing, but rather with impressing. It’s as if I need a little water of Truth (impressing) to prime my pump and get me started on expressing untruth. This reversal of where I am to start my work – namely, starting with a little impressing before expressing, — while subtle, to me became radical and profound. A diagram came to mind: (click here to open full-page diagram)
The purpose of living this spiral of constant interactive impressing and expressing, and of using a little Truth-impressing to get started or when stuck, is to prevent stagnation and the possibility of giving up in despair and confusion. The latter was beginning to happen to me – I was finding myself getting stuck in looking any further for my untruths.
So once again Spirit provided guidance and encouragement right when I needed guidance and encouragement in order not to get stuck. And I once again felt better through this meditation practice. This understanding, this Truth, was felt like a drop of water on my parched tongue. My spirits were lifted. My stagnation was prevented. I can give up my despair and hopelessness. Once again, just what my Soul needed. “Just-In-Time” Spiritual deliverance.
Then I was drawn back to my Lutheran roots. The basis of any good Lutheran sermon we were always told was first to give the Law and then the Gospel. Simply stated, this Law-first/Gospel-second sequence was intended to get, in Sermon Part 1, one deep into one’s sense of unworthiness and hopelessness for not living up to God’s Law – never loving enough, never being compassionate enough, always being full of impure thoughts, especially sexual thoughts, etc. Then, after one was full of guilt, fear, and remorse for not living up to God’s Law and demand for righteousness, and after one understood one’s deserving temporal and eternal punishment for not living up to the perfect state of righteousness God demanded, to then come back in the sermon with Sermon Part 2: God’s love, the “good news” of the Gospel – the message of God’s love in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, who, through His suffering and death on the cross, bore the punishment due one for one’s sins. The listener could then be at peace, knowing that, because of the innocent bitter suffering and death of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, one’s sins were paid for in full and one could then know that on that basis, namely, the basis of having faith that Jesus Christ’s sacrificial suffering and death sufficed as atonement for one’s sins, one would go to heaven when he or she died. This would give the peace that surpassed understanding.
But what I get from this paragraph 21 of Pathwork Lecture 131 as captured in the diagram above is that this Law-first/Gospel-second sequence, at least for me, needs to be reversed – the Gospel (“good news”) must be given first and the Law second. I need to know the “good news” of the sun (Truth) behind the inevitable clouds of confusion, pain and suffering that come to us in this dualistic consciousness of our earth-plane existence. And I need to know that the Truth sets me free, that the Truth brings not God’s judgment but the “good news” that God wants me to be happy in every way possible. And that the road to happiness is found on the road to Truth.
And the Laws that I then hear about are the Spiritual Laws – beyond but including the Ten Commandments, beyond but including Jesus’ refinement of the Ten Commandments in taking, say, “Do not Kill,” to a deeper requirement of “Love your enemies,” (all of which makes the Law-first/Gospel-second sequence even more undoable on our earth-plane by us mere mortals) to include deeper Spiritual Laws, such as the Law of Cause and Effect – the Spiritual Law that says that my life reflects the effects brought on by causes under my control. This reversal of Law-first/Gospel-second into Gospel-first/Law-second turns everything around for me. I now want to purify my life, I want to know the Truth about what causes in me block out my own happiness and sense of fulfillment and Joy that could be mine if I so intended and addressed the causes of my blocks and distortions.
This experience grew on me as the meditation continued. Beginning with the Gospel – the sun of Truth always being behind whatever clouds of depression I might experience – changes my entire worldview! Instead of coming before God as a “poor miserable sinner deserving temporal and eternal punishment” I begin with the Truth of God’s Love for me, God’s acceptance of me just as I am, God smiling at me and drawing me toward Himself. Instead of looking down hiding from God in fear, I find myself looking up and realizing that God is smiling at me and welcoming me Home, just as I am. A lost sheep was found! I was that lost sheep and now am found!
Wow. Now THAT is a drop of Truth that refreshes. In fact it is as if I’ve found the well of endless water. As it pours out around me I can swim in it, bathe in it, and drink freely of it – endlessly. A real gusher, as one in the oil industry might say. Wow, what a difference I feel in this space, this space of feeling God’s Grace and Love. From here I eagerly return to emptying, examining, and purifying any untruthfulness in me.
Now THIS is the truly GOOD NEWS of the Gospel. So I start my journey here, with the GOOD NEWS of God’s eternal Love for me, and then eagerly look for any blocks, distortions, misconceptions, untruths, images, wrong beliefs that block out the Sun, the Truth of God’s eternal Love for me.
This is a profound inner change in me. I find I am looking up instead of looking down all the time. I feel BORN AGAIN. God wants me happy. God gives me the means to be happy – not through the redemptive blood of Christ, but rather through the Spiritual Law of Cause and Effect, the Plan of Salvation, that gives me the job of self-responsibility to exercise within another Spiritual Law: My Freewill. Now this is Good News.
Sorry that these words are at times redundant and repetitive, but I am just caught up in the energy of all this. I think I have finally uncovered, on a felt level, my core untruth: namely, that God is first and foremost a judge, but, because God is also Love, he sent Jesus Christ who died for my sins to pay the price for my misdeeds so I can, if I have faith in Jesus as my personal savior and faith in the efficacy of His suffering and death as being adequate full payment for my sins, go to heaven when I die. So my struggle in this untruth is to have a deep enough faith, a true enough faith, so that my faith gets me into heaven.
I know why this is untruth, why struggling to have an adequate amount of such faith to get into heaven is a non-problem and not a problem in reality. It is untruth because one, even God or God’s Son, cannot pay for the sins of another and thereby violate the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Self-Responsibility, if you please.
And the Truth to be impressed now that my vessel is empty? The Truth is that I am responsible for my own happiness and that I have the powers within me (my Essence, my Higher Self) to realize said happiness. This happiness is God’s longing for me. It is the longing of my Essence, my Real Self. Yes, transformation may be the work of God as I choose to surrender, but before that purification of the misconceptions, wrong conclusions, images, and all the other distortions within my life is work I can and intend to do. I can feel the Truth of this Truth! Amen and Amen.
Coffee Time with Pat
As if all this were not enough, Pat launched us into how our relationship was transforming. Non-stop for over 30 minutes, she poured out her sense of the richness and completeness she is aware of in our growing relationship. This is truly a whole new ballgame for the two of us in relationship – all in preparation for our upcoming intensive in July. I bow in joy and humility.
Shared in love, Gary