Free to be Small
My Helper/Supervision Session with Moira Shaw 11/1/2012
My Presenting “Beautiful Problem” – Awareness of my fear of being ME, in leadership, in relationship with Pat and others in my life, in life itself – too much trying to “fit in” to convention or existing thinking, or “going for consensus” rather than committing to my own inner leadership and truly showing up from that place of inner leadership.
Moira: That’s wonderful – I support that awareness, because awareness means it is changing – the Universe does its part in making the change, the transformation. This consciousness, this awareness, is really wonderful. … Now you have to prepare for loving being YOU in leadership, in relationship, and in life. What is that going to be like? – The saying, “If you pray for rain, do not forget your umbrella!” It will happen, you will show up being you – in leadership, relationship, and life. When you are aware of your fear, you are ready for a change to really love yourself. And what is that going to be like when you truly love yourself in leadership, in relationship, and in life? With this honest awareness, sky is the limit for you.
Gary: This fear all came into focus in our Pathwork Counseling Meeting this morning where we are wrestling with the student population in our 4×4 Pathwork Transformation Program dropping – from 24 students this year to the possibility of only 11 of these going into next year (13 of the 24 graduate this year), coupled with our not being very effective in recruiting new students. So looking at this this morning, and with Erena’s sense of guidance, we were getting in touch with our fear, individually and collectively, of truly coming from what is alive in our hearts and becoming aware of what it is that we really want to teach, or, more importantly, fear of getting in touch with what the Pathwork Guide would want us to teach. We, or at least some of us, and perhaps only me, seem to have a tendency to hold back, being restricted to current structures and current methodologies rather than saying, “You know, those current ways aren’t working, and we have to do something different. Can we find the courage to strip away the superficial scaffolding and see the beauty of the building emerging underneath, even as raw and unformed as it may be? We can’t go on doing what we are doing and expect different results.”
This was brought into focus in part by Erena having been at a Non-Dual Consciousness Conference in California where 700 people had gathered to dive into topics related to deeper consciousness. It was an energetic and alive conference. And in all of this Erena realized that nothing was presented and this conference that isn’t in the Pathwork Lectures. So it isn’t that the market for these topics is waning and limited, in fact the hunger is growing. So however we are presenting these topics must be ineffectual on some level. Erena named it FEAR – each of us on the Pathwork Council or on the faculty or in our Pathwork Helper Community is too fearful to step out and give the world the food for which the people of the world are starving. We seem fearful of our own gifts, our own understanding, our own wisdom, and our own creativity. It seems that we have to find the courage to push our little boat off the shore and into the sea and see where that might lead.
Moira: So Gary, where are your fears if you push your little boat off the shore and out to sea? Where do you think that journey will take you? Why would you be afraid? Do you fear you would misuse your power? Feeling, confronting, and looking at your fear is what distinguishes Pathwork from other paths. These other paths know about non-dual consciousness, and know that this non-dual consciousness is the right way to be free in the world, that this is what we can have when we are not in duality, and so on, but these other paths do not quite seem to have a working “how to get there.” We in Pathwork get there by first owning the opposite of what we want – owning our intentionality to be in and stay in duality, rather than glossing over our negative intentionality and in stead just striving to be in non-duality. To see what stake we have for being in duality, for holding onto our illusions, to have 100 (vs. 50/50). I think we in Pathwork have the tools that a lot of paths do not have. What we have in Pathwork is State-of-the-Art – we have the tools to get from duality (100/100) to Unity (100) after first getting to non-duality (50/50).
The tools are what you brought up at the very beginning: AWARENESS of your fear of being you, and then your AWARENESS of your negative intentionality – that is, your not wanting to be “you,” this negative intentionality that is behind the fear. And all of this fear and negative intentionality is hiding behind Lower Self Pride and Self-Will and behind your Mask Selves (Power, Love, and Serenity Masks) – your Idealized Self Image of yourself that you erroneously think will give you what you want.
We in Pathwork have a hard path, we are a working path, not just talking about wonderful states of reality, which is all good, of course, the truth, the light, and what’s to be expected. But in Pathwork we have to get down to the nitty-gritty and face ourselves and see how we want to maintain duality, to maintain our intentionality to maintain the split, not only from our Spiritual selves but also from others, that is, our intentionality to maintain the separateness. The principles of evil: the separateness, the materialism, not wanting to believe in reality, half-truths, and so on. In Pathwork we have to face all of this. And this is what you Pathworker leaders at Sevenoaks have to offer the world.
Gary: Yes, and the quote from Pathwork Q&A 98 (open quote) that speaks of “Our lives are our message.” So we work in Pathwork and in Pathwork groups to advance our purification and undergo transformation and then WE as human beings in this incarnation become the message to the world. This Pathwork quote says that others could argue with your philosophies, truthes, and methods, but they can not argue with the changed “you.” The changed “you,” the “Self-Aware You,” one might say, is what endorses this path, this method, this process. So what comes back to me is, “Gary, are you courageous enough to really change your life, courageous enough to live that changed life?” Am I courageous enough to face the fact that I have no intention to change my life? Moira: That’s the beauty: that you can own that you have no intention to change your life. That AWARENESS is the difference between people. You are either in the group that does not see or denies the awareness of who you are and that you do not want to change, or you are in the group that is aware both of your negativities an that you don’t want to change. Remember that we don’t do the changing. We do the work to become aware of our faults and our negative intentionalities. When we do that and are aware, then the Universe takes over and the change happens. So, Gary, you are aware that you don’t want to change. That is great. You are doing the work, you are doing the Pathwork.
Now if you want to step in and DO the change, that is going to come from your ego and as such will be limited. Rather, you have to do the Pathwork, thereby becoming aware of where you are, and then, in faith, wait for the transformation to happen. That is very hard: Work and Wait. It is very hard for people to wait. Gary: Like the fourth step in Pathwork Lecture 194 Meditation: Its Laws and Various Approaches – A Summary (Meditation As Positive Life Creation).
Step 1: Form the clear un-conflicted concept with your conscious mind: a decision of Will and Intent. Remove any obstructions, unconscious negativities, aspects of the lower self (pride, self-will, fear), or distorted concepts.
Step 2: Relax and allow the Soul Substance to be impressed with this clear concept.
Step 3: Visualize by perceiving the state you wish to attain: feeling yourself in that state.
Step 4: Wait in Faith – there are many possibilities beyond your experience, so wait patiently for that to manifest which is beyond anything you could imagine.
Moira: And you know what? The Guide has said this. There aren’t going to be 700 people running around Sevenoaks. It’s not the kind of path that necessarily attracts hordes of people because it does require really hard work: the courage to look at oneself, to be aware of the lower self and mask self. And so 700 people would be great and everyone wants that, but not many people really like to sit down and do the work of a “working” path.
Pathwork is not a path per se. A Pathworker could continue being a Buddhist, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or whatever. This works because Pathwork just works at removing the obstacles of being more of who we are. I would not set your sights too high and then feel like you are not doing your job. Even 11 people next year, if they are truly doing the Pathwork, if they are working to become aware and then cultivating that capacity to wait for the change, that is a lot of people doing this work! Gary: It’s hard to explain that this is a hard path, that only a few choose it, and yet it is the only path.
Moira: If you Mid-Atlantic Pathwork Helpers are doing the work of Pathwork, and these people come, they will see the change in you and will see your AWARENESS – and some, those who are ready, will be drawn to the Pathwork. If 3 out of 50 stay and 47 leave, those three will be adding to the reservoir of reality. I think it is wonderful that your community of Pathwork leaders keeps working to see what it is in you that is not attracting others, but also sit back and really be grateful for what you have created. Eleven people! WOW! Celebrate. The Guide says that if one person in a million is doing this work, that one person becoming aware of his or her negativity and negative intentionality, and hand in hand becoming aware of and nurturing his or her positivity and positive intentionality, that one person adds more to the evolution of the planet than the million who are not doing this work. A million people in denial will have less power than one person owning his or her negative and positive aspects.
Gary: This matter of looking at my negativity and negative intentionality comes up on my own blog. Sometimes people say, “Gary, you are so hard on yourself, always looking at your negativity.” Sometimes I wonder if I am driving people away or confusing them or boring them with my issues. Why would anyone want to take such a path? But I am not trying to be self-critical and self-negative but rather just seeing the truth of my negativity and negative intentionality, my pride, self-will, and fear, my mask selves, all of which cover over my divine aspects. I am sure there are distortions in what I write, but that, too, is OK. I do not want to edit them out so as to appear better, more in integrity, more honest, than I’m finding that I am. There is great relief in not having to be better than I am. But I wonder if when people read about all my issues and struggles if they are driven away. Moira: The proof is in the pudding. People are not driven away by your blog. Even if one person reads your blog and grows from it that is enough. But in point of fact many people read your blog and get so much out of it, Gary. It’s beautiful. Gary: I am aware that your comments here are so hard for me to take in.
Gary: (I shared my son’s gift of initiation on my 70th birthday and my writing about it – Initiation at Seventy – that made up a recent blog entry.) Moira: “A child will lead them,” dropping the bravado of your life and seeing you in your gentleness, kindness, and givingness. How beautiful. Did you feel guilty? Here you have worked so hard your entire life and your son shows you that you can set that all that hard work aside, that what is important has nothing to do with your competence and performance. Gary: I can see where that could have been my reaction, but I am so thrilled when pieces of my life fall into place and I get a bigger picture that this thrill of awareness trumps any shame I may have in arriving at this awareness so late in life. It’s like finding pieces to a puzzle, the puzzle of my life. That I’m seventy at my initiation instead of seventeen doesn’t bother me. … And then the next day not wanting to share this writing experience with Pat. My defiance: “I will be separate!”
Moira: I’m noticing a bit of dramatization of your awareness rather than quiet awareness, it seems your are revving it up a bit. Awareness is just awareness. Let the Universe make the change. But if you glorify your awareness or make more of your awareness than is needed, or get so excited about finding pieces to your life puzzle, then you may stay attached to that negativity that you have become aware of. If you let your awareness of some negativity just come to the surface and let it be, not getting excited about seeing it, then it will slide off and be gone. Just be with it. Do not analyze it yet or figure out where it came from. At first just be with it. A real feeling is very undramatic compared to an emotional reaction. If you put drama around a real and undramatic feeling it closes you down a bit. It’s lovely to have Pat with you in this, but just let it bubble and boil out of you. No drama. No value judgment. No excitement. No amazement. More just ho hum. Pathwork Lecture 258 says that our spiritual selves look down on our tragedies with an attitude of ho hum, because it just is. Your defiance, your shame, these awarenesses are all just “ho hum,” no big deal. An exorcist can’t be involved with the devil or argue or dialog with him. The exorcist does not dialog with the devil but rather just commands the devil to leave. When you are excited about your discoveries about yourself you are giving them power, reality. Gary: Like Lecture 20 – the Mystic can become too proud of his or her gifts and fall from grace. The mystic’s job is to be of service to God (open quote). Moira: Yes, the mystic is the other side of the exorcist. Gary: So our growth work is not about pointing to how enlightened we are but rather simply being of service to the evolution of the planet. Moira: And if you catch yourself being proud, just catch it, become aware of it, and you are one step closer to being un-proud.
Gary: It’s really a challenge to be in a leadership role in the community. What I think happens is that I try too hard for consensus and give up a deeper knowing I might have. I give up on my intuitive sense and rather turn it into a logical matter we can debate rather than just giving more weight to my intuitive sense and guidance. In a way I dismiss my guidance in some situations for fear of being arrogant or wrong or having to be responsible for execution or work. I find myself wanting to be real on the one hand (with my intuition and guidance), but not want to be too forceful on the other. Establishing that delicate balance between being a bull in a china shop with my supposed guidance and totally abandoning my guidance and instead being submissive to others around me. This is really an edge for me.
Moira: Just the awareness that this is a delicate balance is your edge is all that is needed. Don’t “try” for that delicate balance or whatever is there. Rather, be aware that this is your edge. Just be aware that you are struggling with being kind and giving on the one hand and being in leadership on the other. Just being aware of this inner struggle without fighting it and without trying to be above the struggle, this is what the Universal forces get excited about because you are open and aware of your struggle and then they can do their work. So rather than trying for the delicate balance rather just be aware that you are struggling with the delicate balance. That’s our path.
Gary: So is the awareness more on the purification side than the transformation side? Moira: Well it depends. There is awareness in purification and there is awareness in transformation. But in transformation the awareness has to be of your energy whereas in the purification process the awareness is all about consciousness – aware of the mind, the thoughts, and the will and the feelings whereas in transformation it is about intentionality and aligning with giving your best to Life with a big L. So awareness is in both processes. In purification you are aware of your misconceptions, of your not wanting to feel pain, of your disparate motivations whereas in transformation you are aware of your deliberate NO to Life as well as your striving for a YES to Life. So it’s just a different kind of awareness, or a different application of awareness – you are becoming aware of what you are aware of. So really awareness trumps everything. Rather than the ego trying to change things – things will change on their own after awareness.
Look at Lecture 148 Positivity and Negativity: One Energy Current, the Guide actually does say that when you become aware of your energy current attached to the negative, that awareness totally changes the negative experience. It’s amazing! So become aware of where your life force is attached, especially in sexual fantasies as this lecture presents – seeing where the pleasure principle is connected to negative sexuality. As soon as you become aware, it dissolves. It’s pretty amazing. So awareness trumps all.
Gary: So when we as a Pathwork Council find ourselves afraid to make fundamental change, not only that, but aware that we do not intend to make fundamental change – so that if we could quietly get in touch with those energies within us that are attached to negativity and fear, and then really feel those and then let go… Moira: Even forget the letting go. Let each person become aware of where they have attached their life force to negativity, resistance, and fear. Don’t do anything about it. Just see it. Just sit with that. Maybe make a round and each person becomes aware of how he or she attaches his or her life force or energy to a negativity. Then just sit with that for an hour or so, deepening the awareness. Don’t analyze it. Don’t try to change anything. This is just like the daily review. Don’t analyze, just be aware. I know it is hard for a lot of people to just stay with that. People want to do something. But eventually come to realize that “doing something” doesn’t really change anything, doesn’t really work for you. So you give up trying to change things.
Moira: So let’s say you begin next year with eleven students. With those eleven students do the best work you know how to do. Give them the best you can give them, the best of what you believe are the Guide’s teaching. Create your programs to really reflect what the Guide teaches: that is, just awareness. Gary: Being the Treasurer of the overall organization what I’ve noticed is that the Sevenoaks Retreat Center can thrive without Pathwork. I’ve tried to foster this notion and let the retreat center go free in building its rental business. That way Pathwork is also free to be as big or as little as we need it to be to be faithful to our calling, unencumbered by, “But we don’t have enough people.” This way Pathwork can free itself up to be as small as it needs to be in order to be the community you’re intended to be. Moira: Yes. Yes. That’s true. And that’s something that is very hard to convince people of. Gary: “Free yourself to be as small as possible!” Moira: Remember the saying: Think small and achieve great things. Distill the Guide’s teachings down to their essence.
Gary: As I think about this it is a lot easier to get large numbers of people into programs that are less demanding programs. Moira: Exactly! Pathwork is a tough path, a working path. This isn’t a nice cozy weekend with your friends. In Pathwork you go through the fire. Gary: This is very interesting and helpful. So we are looking for a few people who are really called to this work. Moira: Exactly. And there are those who are really called. When you really anchor what you want to give your students, these students who are called will find you! There are people who really want to grow. It’s amazing. They are stopping at nothing. I think it is the times we are in – all the earth changes, for example. These profound shifts and changes on the physical planet are happening also on an inner level.
And I think you Helper/Leaders at Sevenoaks are preparing to be what you can be, to give what you can give. And the Pathwork has always been a state-of-the-art spiritual program. There has been nothing like it. It’s so wonderful because it is not dogmatic. You can come in at any level and work your stuff through. But I would think that you have a task, and all the searching and groping you have been doing is going to put you in good stead. You want to get down to the nuts and bolts. And you will get there. And people will come. And your job will be easy – you won’t have to convince people.
Gary: That’s phenomenal. The familiar phrase, “Build it and people will come,” true, BUT build it small. Moira: Right. Think small and achieve great things. Gary: Perhaps the fear is letting go of bigness as a measure of success. Moira: Exactly. But that’s hard, because BIG is the ego, our culture. More money, more people, big, big, big! And that is seen as “success.” But it is not necessarily so! Gary: Let me sit with this. This is all very timely and very beautiful.
Moira: Remember your son and his simple words about your being a wonderful, kind, and giving man. Saying these simple words to his father – so beautiful. Gary: Yes, and in all these things the words come: simplify, simplify, simplify. Moira: Yes. Possessions, bigness, and complexity are distractions. Welcome the spiritual wintertime, removing the extraneous, all that is not essential, when you’re letting go of your environmental influences and your misconceptions and your wrong beliefs – so you can get down to the roots. Then in the springtime, when all the old leaves are off the trees, then something new can grow, but you really have to have let go of what is not absolutely essential. So the Pathwork is like a demolition project, waste removal. Then you add, but you are careful what you add, very consciously.
Moira: Then when people come who are not committed or who are not right for this work, you don’t have to take them into your programs out of desperation to meet your numbers. You can say, “This isn’t the work for you. This is a hard path. You really need to be sure of your commitment.” Then you can make these decisions knowing that you are not going to be selling out for the money. Gary: So our focus needs to be on how faithfully and truthfully we are living and teaching the Pathwork material. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we living and teaching the essence of Pathwork to the best of our ability?” rather than overly focusing on, “How we can make the material attractive and popular to a larger audience, to those who may not be called to this path.” And further, based upon the Guide’s teachings in Pathwork Q&A 98 (open quote), “What are we living?” is a more important question than, “What are we teaching?” It is our living that is teaching through modeling rather than what we “teach” in the classroom in lecture study. And it is our lives that attract others to “our version” of Pathwork, not our formal teaching of our version of Pathwork, although the lectures themselves attract those for whom they are intended.
Moira: When you bring someone into your Pathwork program you have to be aware that you are holding the rest of the community as well. You have to ask yourselves, “Will this person bring the rest of the community down?” Because it is very hard to be committed – even if one has been in the Pathwork a hundred years there are always the doubts, and you want a group that is really supporting each other in both the doubts and in the faith. You do not want people who are not harmonious or challenging disruptively more than challenging positively. You really have to look after the other birds who are still groping and struggling and wanting to find the truth. And especially if you have a leader that is disruptive. Of course everyone has doubts, but if there is a leader that is over the boundary and that is sort of polluting the rest of the community, that’s not a good thing for the community. It demoralizes the rest of the community. It’s hard. You, Gary, grope with your faith, and I grope with my faith. But not to the point where we are giving up. So you really need to be surrounded by people that support you. Gary: That is all very good, Moira.
Moira: So, since you are really accepting your awareness of yourself and all your various levels, be prepared to be showered with love. Really. Because love is coming out of you and you are going to be showered with it as well. You already have it through your son. What a guy – to see his dad in such a simple way. Gary: I am blessed to have my son. Moira: You truly are. Gary: And so many others in my life, if I can come to open my awareness to it more. AND be aware that I am not aware – that is, in fact, where I am.
Shared in love, Gary