Flowing Through the Highs and Lows of Life

Meditation Time – Saturday

Focusing Statement: Pathwork Lecture 131 Interaction Between Expression and Impression, ¶ 4:

The human struggle is a continuous striving toward light, whether or not you know it.  When I say light, I mean the light of truth — the truth of happiness.  For in truth you must be happy.  When you lose truth it is always because you look for much more complicated solutions than the truth.  You look much further ahead, away from where the answer is.

In meditation I took these words in. I reflected on Friday events and saw the happiness I had had in various highly engaging phone conversations with Sevenoaks people – conversations that were strategic and creative in nature, and which led to clearer insights and a sense of direction as to where we are likely to be heading over the next year and what our challenges and opportunities are likely be.

Another point of happiness: For over an hour – during my gym workout and exercise walk –  I had listened to Berlin Diary by Bill Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I am very engaged in Shirer’s journal writing – written while he was a foreign correspondent at the outset of World War II when he was in his mid thirties.

Then I reflected on the 2 ½ hour coffee time with Pat which had been so rich and engaging Friday morning. And I could see where later I had disengaged away from our coffee time and how my energy could fade at such times.

Then another arising.  How am I of service? How I am of service to Sevenoaks, for example? I could see that perhaps my service to Sevenoaks is contained in my contribution of energy, enthusiasm, and financial assistance, in my help in making order out of things that can be confusing, in my intentions of building up communications and community among all of us in leadership, in helping to bring direction and focus to our organization. Then I could see how my six-year project of recording the Pathwork lectures and making them available for free through the International Pathwork website was one of my gifts to the Cosmos. And also time with my family members, friends, and with Pat.

I could feel my energy building through this 30-minute meditation time. And then my arisings then turned to our MAP Leader’s Retreat coming up in May. I could see that the operative word here was RETREAT, or even TREAT – and that we really deserved a TREAT. Words like gathering, coming together, reflecting, sharing, connecting, and celebrating came up. I thought of my five reflection questions for our leadership group to sit with prior to the retreat …

Reflection Question 1 – What are some of the experiences and situations that inspire me and lift me in my Spiritual and Personal Growth Journey?

Reflection Question 2 – What are some of the experiences and situations that depress or frustrate me and dampen my spirits?

Reflection Question 3 – How do I do my Pathwork in these inevitable ups and downs of life? What are some of the tools, resources, people, practices that most seem to serve me and nurture me on my journey of life?

Reflection Question 4 – Where have I grown the most in the past two or three years?

Reflection Question 5 – What do I suspect some of my areas of growth will be over the next several years?

I then thought again of Pathwork Lecture 131 – as Karen had suggested earlier in the week and as I had begun this meditation – as another theme lecture for the Leaders Retreat – going along with Pathwork Lecture 208 The Innate Human Capacity to Create, which had arisen in me earlier in the week as a possible theme lecture.

And it arose that I could send out to the participating leaders quotes from these lectures along with one of the Reflection Questions every few days from now on – building energy for the May 5-6 retreat. I then went on to the practical matter of pricing and worked that out as well. My energy at the end of my 30-minute meditation was quite high. My cup was running over with joy and gratitude! (Not sure I was in my body, however.) I found I was eager to construct an invitation to the Leaders Retreat so that the Executive Committee and Pathwork Council could review it before I sent it out on Sunday.

Coffee Time – Saturday

Pat joined me. Her mood was quite somber. An email the evening before had reminded her of her son’s death 12 years ago, and she was pondering her experience of receiving that email and how it had awakened her pain at her son’s death. Pat: Oh the patterning, the web that keeps us from feeling the pain in life. But I can see that web and patterning now – it is so helpful to SEE.

I paused to take Pat in.  I had to adjust my mood a bit, try to ground and get into my body, and try to hear her. What arose was to celebrate her now seeing the patterns that had kept pain at bay. I shared this. Gary: (Cautiously) So it seems what you are experiencing is that we must cut the defenses the web provides and go through the profound darkness to get to the light. This understanding you are sharing, this awareness, perhaps transforms unhappiness into happiness. Perhaps with these experiences we come to a place where we no longer fear unhappy moments.

I then shared ¶4-7 from Pathwork Lecture 131:

The human struggle is a continuous striving toward light, whether or not you know it.  When I say light, I mean the light of truth — the truth of happiness.  For in truth you must be happy.  When you lose truth it is always because you look for much more complicated solutions than the truth.  You look much further ahead, away from where the answer is.

The concept you are impressed with is that happiness is attainable only in the distant future.  You strive toward the future, while happiness is in the now.  I have said this before, my friends, but it is not fully understood by most of you.  So I want to talk about this a little more and show you the way to experience it.

If you truly understand yourself in relationship to this very moment, momentary unhappiness notwithstanding, you must be happy.  In other words — and this may sound like a contradiction, but it is not — no matter how unhappy you are now, by understanding this now, you must be happy.  Conversely, no matter how favorable circumstances are, and no matter how happy you may think you are at this moment, if you do not fully live in the moment and understand it in relationship to you, you cannot be fully happy.

Pat: Thank you for helping me to see. Gary: But it was your experience, and your willingness to share it with me – I was simply witnessing you – and this was beautiful for me to see. So I thank you for daring to share where you are in this.(I felt a bit of relief) Pat: We are so good at blocking off the pain of life. Maybe life on earth is bittersweet. I see how that if I am not willing to feel the pain that arises in me from the email, I cannot feel the sweetness of my son and of the sender of the email. That sweetness of connection and love just is – that sweetness of love is always there, apart from the physicality of apparent separation.

Gary: And with this, Pat, I cannot help but going to Pathwork Lecture 80 that we discussed yesterday, ¶4, which says exactly what you are saying – and the underlining is in the lecture, I did not add it:

The highest and most desirable state in the whole plan of evolution is union.  Union on this earth plane does not exist.  Some people have a vague idea of union, and in isolated moments they sense or feel the significance of that state of being.  But then the moment passes.  Since union simply is, it exists outside the law of cause and effect.  Therefore there is no point in my discussing it.  You could not possibly comprehend me and I could not find appropriate words in the human language to convey what it is.

Pat: We are working out tastes of Union – even though we are here on this planet with all the obscurations – all of which need purifying and transforming. Gary: Purification – getting over our commitment to being separate! Pat: I would say getting beyond our commitment to being separate! Gary: When we each have the awareness and courage to cut through the web that blocks us from the bittersweet nature of Life, we become more enlivened – and our relationship becomes more enlivened!

Shared with love, Gary