More Mud Emptying and Purification — Stop All the Effortful Effort!
Pause and Consider… More Emptying
Focusing Statement: Pathwork Lecture 131 ¶15
When you enter upon such a path — and often when you have already been on it for some time, without thinking about it specifically — your endeavors are geared to make this dreaded event [fear of inadequacy, of being rejected, of being looked down upon, or not taken seriously] not come true. In other words, you hope to make your defenses more adequate so as to be better equipped to solve your problem of rejection and inadequacy — a problem that does not exist. As long as you move in this direction, real relief cannot come. You must first recognize that all your energies, all your aims, are geared in a direction that has no realistic justification. You focus on illusion, not on reality. When this recognition dawns upon you, you will not project into the future a perfection of yourself and a perfect life experience. You will no longer need to strain toward being something you are not. The now will then be fully satisfactory. Wherever you stand at that moment, this emptying out must occur.
Why have I pursued spiritual paths in general and Pathwork in Particular? Why am I so drawn to some spiritual paths? Why do I get so very committed to them? This paragraph from Pathwork Lecture 131 puts an interesting twist on these questions for me. Yes, I have been deeply drawn into Pathwork and have been greatly influenced by Pathwork in my spiritual journey. On some deep level it resonates with my soul, it fulfills a deep longing. I have been touched by Grace.
But initially I sense there was a degree of compulsiveness in my decision, after one Pathwork workshop, to jump headlong into the five-year Pathwork Transformation Program back in October of 2000. I did not even like the workshop, yet the idea of an intense five-year spiritual program endorsed by a spiritual director whom I trusted drew me into its web. It would be challenging I was told. That just heightened my commitment to sign up and stick with it regardless whether or not it felt right for my soul.
My perceived problem was spiritual – but not authentically spiritual. By not authentically spiritual I mean that I feared that my spiritual path – to which I had been so committed all my life, whether as a studious Lutheran bible class teacher, or one curiously embracing Catholic mysticism, Jungian psychology, spirituality in a hospital in the role of chaplain intern, etc., etc. – was woefully inadequate. My defense against feeling this fear of spiritual inadequacy and spiritual rejection – by self, others, and God – was to pursue challenging spiritual paths to the max. The harder, the better. I was out to prove to myself that I was not spiritually inadequate so that I would not be rejected by self, others, and God.
This is how I sense I came into Pathwork and took it on full force. I would study the lectures, take all the courses, available workshops and training offered, serve in several roles of leadership – and in the background there was at least some motivation that all this work and service would make me adequate spiritually. Certainly with all this spiritual work I would eventually solve my “problem” of feeling spiritually inadequate and rejected by those whom I most respected.
Enter the words of the above paragraph from Pathwork Lecture 131. Real relief of my fear of inadequacy and rejection cannot come from my movement in this direction of more and more study, training, and service. In fact this lecture says that none of this hard work of spiritual development and service is justified, warranted, or needed. All of this work I have taken on is not according to the Plan of Salvation. It is not the effortless effort of Grace. The lecture says that when I believe I am spiritually inadequate and spiritually rejected I am focused on illusion, not reality!
Once I truly recognize that I am spiritually adequate and accepted by others and by God just as I am right now, I shall stop all the tireless striving, the effortful effort to grow into something I am not. This tireless striving in order to be, at some future time, adequate and acceptable spiritually is the mud in the water that has to be emptied out before adding the clear water of Life, that is, adding the effortless effort that Life is. May it be so.
This does not mean I do nothing of course. It just means that what is birthed out of me is birthed out of the clear water of Spirit, my God-self, my Essence. And the work to be done? My job in Pathwork is cleaning up the mud that keeps me from manifesting all that I am.
Shared with humility and love, Gary