In the wee hours of Thursday morning I awoke with a startling awareness. It was all about loving God. I was drawn to the title of Pathwork Lecture 133 Love: Not a Commandment, But Spontaneous Soul Movement of the Inner Self. Realizing the truth that loving God is an inherent natural quality of my inner self, my higher self, my God-self, somehow brought a great relief to my soul. It meant I could stop trying to love God out of a sense of duty, or feeling guilty for not loving God. When I am true to my True Self, I love God. In my True Essence I love God. The True Gary loves God. I was created with love for God as part of my being, part of my Essential Nature. This nature did not go away in the Fall.
This truth was a profound awakening in me. I just need to pause and take this in. I say it is so new to me, new even though these words have been familiar to me for many years now from this and other Pathwork lectures. Apparently I just didn’t get it until this moment. I was not prepared to get it until this moment. This is a big deal, to say the least.
Why did I not get this truth until now? The reasons are manifold. Of course deep in my Lutheran roots this idea seemed to me to be anathema. Me, love God in my Essential Being? No way, the church dogma would say. “You are a poor miserable sinner, all your righteousness is as filthy rags. You need to claim the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ as your ticket to heaven. His death paid for your sin.” All pretty firm. So this core belief system had to be challenged. Not a little deal for someone with my character structure. And I realize part of my impure nature coming in bought into this story and clung to in. Somehow my time in this lifetime is to break out of this belief system, and for that I needed the strong dogma of the Lutheran church to give me something to break out of. Probably would not have happened if I were born into a more liberal setting. So, “Thank you, conservative Lutheran Church.”
Second, my being separate from God was an essential message of my Christian upbringing. And again fit what I came into this life believing on some level. The dogma just reinforced it. There was God. There was me. Dualism. Only Jesus Christ could connect us.
Actually, it now seems to me that only Jesus Christ could show us that we are already connected to God, even one-with God. As Jesus modeled, “The Father and I are One.” Of course instead of taking this oneness with God as a model for all of us humans, the Church interpreted this as Jesus claiming to be unique in his humanness yet one with God — uniquely true God and true Man — the hypostatic union of the Nicene Creed. Jesus Christ, true God, true man, uniquely the Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.
There are thousands of words on the nature of Jesus Christ, God, and us human beings in the million words of the Pathwork lectures. So I find it challenging to summarize all this in any meaningful way. Of course this is complicated, too, by limited human capacity to understand the Grand Mystery of the Cosmos. And I do not feel a need to attempt intellectual concepts to explain that which is beyond explanation. I am just Knowing on some level the marvelous truth that in my purified state, my essential nature is to love God.
Purification, ah, that word. Of course this I resist as well. The word purification even triggers me. Always has. I am caught in my human pride that says I need to be already pure, not in a long process of purification. But I find these days I am increasingly comfortable being just where I am, God-Self in my Essence, yet in my human nature contaminated with negative traits and even negative intentions. Pathwork would invite me to consider the possibility that I am in this earth experience precisely to discover and work on correcting these negativities and negative intentions. If I did not have these negativities and negative intentions, I would not have been incarnated into this life on Planet Earth in the first place. This invitation of Pathwork all resonates with some deep part in me and gives me a sense of purpose for my life: to wake up to my True Nature, my God-self, AND purify those parts of me that hold that I am separate from God and all the negativities and negative intentions I use as strategies to survive, even thrive, in my state of separation from God. Of course “thriving” while insisting I am separate from God is not possible, and so, by grace, I eventually turn around and get with the program of what the Pathwork Lectures call the Plan of Salvation.
Another of my blocks to my fundamental nature of loving God is my collection of God images, who I think God is, the construction of God in my thought patterns and emotions. Who is God for me? The ultimate authority, who happens to be stern, mean, punishing, demanding. In my images I have no thought that serving God is serving my own best interest, serving my own happiness. No. In my image of God I somehow think God has no interest in my happiness. I think I know better what makes me happy! I need to do life my way to really be happy. All lies, of course, but all images I have in my psyche. No wonder I block loving God–I believe loving God means being unhappy!
The entire idea that God shows his love by sending Jesus to suffer and die for my sins also does not resonate with me as being true. Righteousness demands punishment? I am more on the Gandhi page of, “An eye for an eye, and the whole world goes blind.” How does punishment accomplish anything constructive? No, purification is what constructively deals with our negativities and faults, evil if you please. Punishment accomplishes nothing constructive with the exception of making a person think twice before committing a crime.
Another realization came in all of this. Loving Jesus Christ is part of my Essential Nature. A shocking and amazing truth for me! And loving Pat, and all human beings — all part of my Essential being. And loving and accepting myself, yes, that, too, is part of my essential being. How miraculous. This realization that in my essential nature I love is the Gospel, the Good News, indeed! I feel the Grace of God in all of this. Amazing Grace, once again.
I’m curious. How does this all strike you?