My Spiritual Battle; Facing My Bitterness and Resentment; My Relationship with Jesus Christ

My Helper Session with Moira Shaw – Thursday 11/29/12

To open the session, in our attunement, I presented my Beautiful Problem to Moira as follows: In working with Ed Gutfreund on Tuesday I was once again made aware of my challenge in feeling all my feelings, my resistance to entering fully into my incarnation, my embodiment. Pathwork Lecture 89 Emotional Growth and Its Function says (in ¶14) that Feeling and Living are one. Living, being fully ALIVE, means experiencing my feelings moment by moment, without stopping to name them or label them or define them with my mind. Feeling all my feelings is so critical for my self-awareness, for understanding who this Gary Vollbracht really is. This capacity for feeling all my feelings is my longing, at least consciously though unconsciously I am sure I have much resistance against feeling my feelings – realizing that long ago they were shut down and defended against because they were too painful for young Gary to endure. Feeling my feelings seems so evasive to me. Even in speaking this here I can feel my panic and urgency in these words. In my session today I wanted help on this Beautiful Problem – beautiful because this “problem” points to areas of growth and healing in me – this beautiful problem takes me to one of my growth edges.  Moira dove right in and the session was most revealing and helpful. I am so grateful for Moira’s presence in my life.

(Note: it took days to write this blog out, and during these days many rich meditation and coffee times with Pat, reading of the Pathwork lectures, and Life, opened much more that I hope to include in future blog entries. Further note that in the end, though the words that follow in my blog entry may be choppy and unedited, I could FEEL that there was more in this session than simply two human beings having an interesting conversation. Upon reading through this blog entry several times myself I can feel and re-feel the Presence of something More than Moira and me, the Presence of, perhaps, Spirit, the Divine, or perhaps even Christ.)

Moira: The Guide says in the Pathwork Lectures that bitterness and resentment or certain lacks in our childhood lead to a closed heart, that when we are bitter and resentful we are cold, and we don’t feel. I support you in finding out what it was that closed your heart, that caused you to be bitter, spiteful, and resentful, and, with the help of Christ, we can walk back to those times and be healed by the healing power of Christ. In the name of God, in the name of the All Powerful Healer – and just a reminder that Jesus came to heal – healing was not a side issue but was a central purpose of his ministry. Jesus Christ was of the Father, of the Creator, so he could prove that he was of God in his healing ministry. And when we are healed we should shout that from the rooftop because we are being healed through the power of God, and, with the help of Christ the Healer, I support you in finding and healing whatever closed your heart. Gary: May it be so. Moira: Yes, it will be so. And you deserve it. You have worth. You had worth when Jesus was born.

Moira: There is something you can do when you love Nature the way you do.  Go out and look at the beauty of the trees. Then turn it around and consider this from the perspective of the trees — letting the beautiful trees look back at you and love you the way you love your flowers, a love captured in your flower photography. Let Nature love you back! That prepares you for your soul’s work. Our spiritual journey is a two way street – and the Guide says in one of the lectures, “Take in what Life has to offer you, really take it in. Receive what Life offers you. In addition to looking out at the tree, let the tree look back at you, and thereby come to Know your worth.

Gary: (There were so many dimensions to Moira’s words – I was in overwhelm hearing things I had not considered [e.g., Nature looking back at me as a part of Source that values me] and other things that I struggle with [e.g., my struggle to understand my relationship with Jesus Christ]) …  Moira, this all brings up quite a bit in me. First this takes me back to the role of Jesus Christ in my life, which, as you know, is a relationship with which I really struggle.  So now I ask, “What is the Truth of Christ in my life?” and “How do I block that Truth?” “What are my distortions about Jesus Christ and where did these distortions originate in me?

Gary: So let’s start here, my struggle with Christ in my life. Over Thanksgiving I went to church at a conservative Lutheran Church with my daughter and her family. The service was so familiar from my first 55 years of existence. I realized that I had not attended a regular Lutheran Church Missouri Synod church service in some time. I could take in all that went on at this Thanksgiving service, and I could see how different my understanding of God and Jesus Christ had become since leaving the Lutheran Church 13 years ago.

I checked out their new hymnal, the official hymnbook of the LCMS ©2006, where I saw that the standard LCMS hymnal now has five orders of service to choose from. I was stunned that at least two of these orders of service had the confession that I had used for over 50 years, the confession from the 1943 hymnal – the I, a “poor miserable sinner,” who deserved nothing but temporal and eternal punishment for my sins because God is righteous, and in God’s righteousness he has to exact punishment for my sins. But Jesus, in God’s love, bore the punishment I deserved by dying the horrible death on the cross.

Regarding God punishing sin as a cure for stamping out sin I was clear that I was more on the Gandhi page, “An eye for an eye and the entire world would be blind.” The idea that righteousness demands punishment, even from one who loves the sinner, makes no sense to me. What constructive or healing comes out of punishment? In the end what constructive higher purpose is served by punishment. Oh I understand the idea that punishment and time in jail may curtail crime, and that is OK, but does punishment really CURE the sinner’s soul so that he or she becomes the creative and loving being he or she has the capacity of being as one created in the image of God? No, God wants us to work on purification during our life. From my childhood I remember Psalm 51:16-17: For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. This, and several similar Old Testament verses, state similarly that sacrifices (in place of punishment?) are not what God wants but rather a broken and contrite heart. So why suddenly in the New Testament is God, in his righteousness, demanding the sacrifice of Jesus as atonement for my sins? This central teaching of Evangelical Christianity, including my Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, seems distorted to me. Pathwork would totally support Psalm 51: 16-17! The Plan of Salvation as presented in Pathwork is all about purification and transformation (new birth). This work of purification and transformation is why we are on the planet. Evangelical Christianity does not seem to give me a reason for being on the planet, rather it focuses on a life after death on the planet.

And I was amazed that the sermon built on this same theme of Jesus bearing the punishment for my sins so I could, by the grace of God, go to heaven when I die. All of these differences between the Lutheran Church of my earlier life and my present life under the guidance of Pathwork felt clear to me, AND, for the first time I could simply participate in the service, sing the hymns, and listen to the sermon without being rebellious, triggered, or cynical. This is where these folks and their pastors were, and it serves them I suppose or they would not be there. But a highlight of the service was that it was followed by a pie potluck in the church basement – all very Garrison-Keillor-oriented in his tales of life in the Lutheran Church of Lake Wobegon.

But now today, Moira, you are talking about Jesus helping me, healing me, Jesus as the Healer. I realize that in now disregarding Jesus Christ I may have thrown the baby out with the bath water when I left the Lutheran Church. While I am clear that I do not see Jesus as bearing the punishment for my sins so I can go to heaven, I am not aware of what Jesus’ presence in my life is actually all about. As I confess this I realize I am stunned and stuck in this place of resisting a Real relationship with whoever this “Jesus Christ” is. I seem to think I know who Jesus Christ is not, but I do not seem to be open to knowing who Jesus Christ actually is.

Yes, this is what I said: I am not open to knowing who Jesus Christ is, especially to me. Could there not be Truth in who Jesus Christ is to me that is real? Why do I resist any possibility of Truth in Jesus Christ being in relationship to me? Here is what comes up concerning this resistance: In some way I have come to see Jesus Christ not as friend, lover of my Soul, or Healer, but rather as an authority making demands on me, demanding that I see the world a certain way, believe certain biblical “truths,” trusting him for my goodness, being my “ticket to heaven,” etc., all of this limiting me — I have to believe as certain way, etc., curtailing my life, even emasculating me as a person. I as a person seem to have no value per se apart from Jesus Christ having redeemed me, “a lost and condemned creature. I am, from what I was taught and seemed to take on in spades, “a poor miserable sinner.” To see Jesus as a loving and healing presence in my life while I am living out my life on this earth, rather than as my ticket to heaven, well that is a different outlook all together. I can now see that because of my strong but distorted images about who this Jesus Christ is, I hesitate to open my heart to still another “authority,” even if that authority could be a “lover of my Soul.” Wow, how caught I have been in my distortions about Jesus Christ.

But, on the other hand, I am also thankful for the Lutheran Church. Why, when I took on what seems to now to be a distorted gospel? The reason is simple. While the Lutheran Church I attended seemed quite distorted in some of its core teachings, blinding me to the essence of the True Gospel, what the Pathwork calls the Plan of Salvation, the Lutheran Church did help me fall in love with the bible. The problem was that I looked at the bible only through Lutheran (MY take on Lutheranism, which may have little to do with true Lutheranism) glasses and missed entirely the notion of Jesus as a positive, loving, healing presence in my day-to-day life way beyond the role of “dying for my sins so that I can go to heaven” that I had taken on as the “gospel.” I experienced a lot of fear in this church I grew up in rather than love, never being sure whether or not my faith was “good enough,” in fact knowing that my faith was in fact NOT good enough. But still, I thank the Lutheran Church for getting me into the bible and into leading bible discussions. AND I am glad I can individuate away from what did not serve me in this, even if only so slowly and so late in life.

So let me slow down here. Where am I with Jesus Christ today? Today I see the Divine awakening within me, resonating with the words of the Pathwork Lectures. And, in my heart, my deeper Knowing, a Knowing awakened by the wisdom of the Pathwork Lectures, I see Jesus as the ultimate source of that Divinity, AND I see the possibility of my Divine Essence resonating with that Jesus Christ, the most Divine of God’s created beings. My Real Self’s resonating and awakening in response to the Pathwork teachings is not only with Jesus’ words but especially with his life.

This is new territory for me. I am drawn to the works of Neil Douglas Klotz in this regard and his work on the message of Jesus in the original language he would have spoken: Aramaic. So maybe I am beginning to see a New Gospel, maybe I am on the threshold of receiving the True Gospel that frees me and invites me to be fully myself, purifying my distortions and having my negative intentionality being transformed by the Grace of God into positive intentionality, Sourced in my Real Self. But most of my life under this New Gospel is ahead of me yet. I am just now, at 70, stepping into these new shoes of a New Gospel, and new understanding of Jesus Christ and his work and role in my life. So much lies ahead of me to be revealed and experienced.

I have also been helped by Pathwork Lecture 82 The Conquest of Duality Symbolized in the Life and Death of Jesus, a Lecture given on Good Friday in 1961 (when I was a college freshman in engineering at the University of Cincinnati). The Lecture refers to Jesus’ death on the cross where he modeled his true humanity and spoke his truth from that humanity in his words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” All of this is meaningful to me. Moira: Yes, that is all beautiful. Gary: It seems that my challenge is hard: to heal the deep imprinting of the “poor miserable sinneridentity I took on throughout my young life and through most of my adult life through age 50. Now, through this New Gospel, it is time for me to grow into my true identity, namely, an identity that says that I am one with Divinity. Yes, I am in distortion while in this new identity, and yes, I need healing, purification and transformation in this new identity, but these growing and healing Life processes do not negate my core Seed, my Divine Essence. Purification comes by a bath, not a whip drawing blood from my back, or from drawing blood from the back of Jesus.  I so relate to Pathwork because it is helping me open up to a new and True model of my Essence. Perhaps I can come to experience Jesus as the person who sees my Divinity and calls me out into a world where that Divinity can be purified and can manifest. Moira: Yes, Jesus reminding you that you are God in a very real sense!

Gary: So as we talk about this it seems that it does come back to what does it mean for me to have a relationship with this being called Jesus Christ. This is my struggle. I do not see my relationship with Jesus being one of begging him, “Oh please save me.” It is more the Divine in me recognizing the Divine in Jesus Christ and from there wanting to be in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Moira: That sounds good and “mature,” BUT you are human, too, and what if in moments of your humanness you find you are at an immature place in certain areas of your life, places where you really want and need Jesus Christ to reach out and save you? Here, today, for example, you could bring your beautiful problem where you feel utterly stuck and say, even plead with Jesus Christ: “Help me to feel.” Beg, “Help me to connect with you.” You are still human after all.

This “begging” Jesus for his help could be your TRUTH, your honest humble Truth, it could be your reality in your “merely and utterly humanness.” There is something beautiful about that open honesty, Gary. Gary: Let me slow down and take that in. …  I guess being in that Truth, that place of really needing help, would be where Jesus, as truly human, was in the Garden of Gethsemane pleading with God the Father to take this cup from him. And also on the cross with his, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” I get it. In modeling this Jesus was saying it was OK to ask God for help! I wonder what my distortions are that lead me to be too proud to ask for help.

Moira: So here you shared your beautiful problem of wanting to feel all your feelings. Maybe you could find the humility to go to Jesus, to God, and ask for help. “Please help me feel my feelings!” ”Please help me to find all my blocks, beliefs, and distortions that stand in the way and that cause me to deny, numb, and cover over my feelings!” “I am at an impasse, I cannot go forward without help and healing!” Of course part of you is mature and can be open to a relationship with Christ, that mature place, BUT another part of you, that child and immature place, wants to beg, or beseech, demand, or petition Christ for help. “Please help me, please! I want to feel my feelings! I want to break the bottleneck here. I want to let go of my bitterness and my resentment.” You can even be whiny, if that is your honest place right now.

Gary: Yes, “Help me in my relationship with you, Oh Christ!” Moira: Yes, ask, “How do I have a relationship with you? I’m really messed up! I need your help and I can’t ask because I’m blocking.” Gary: Yes, “Oh Christ, I need your help and I can’t bring myself to ask for your help! Help me to really long for a connection with you! Please!” This would be akin to the person coming to Jesus asking for healing for another and saying to Jesus, “Lord, I believe. Help Thou mine unbelief.” This is my edge: Daring to ask Jesus Christ for help even while part of me is so resistant. In my resisting help from Jesus Christ, in this immature human place, I feel undeserving of help from Jesus Christ! So I am being pulled apart in this asking for help — part of me desperately knowing I need help and another part of me feeling unworthy because of my doubts.

Moira: Let’s go back to bitterness and resentment. What do you think you would be bitter or resentful about? What still closes your heart and keeps you bitter? What happened growing up? Gary: (without a pause) Not being received for who I was. Rather, I needed to be the good boy, the good student, the piano player, the cubscout, socially mature, not fat, well-dressed and so on, but I could not be just me. Moira: And you’re bitter and resentful about that! Say it. Feel it!I want to be received for who I am!” Gary: Yes, “Mom and Dad, I always had to be what you expected of me. I was not free to be me.”  This left me in bitterness – and also anxiety and fear because I was not measuring up to expectations. Moira:  The anxiety and fear come later.  If you feel bitterness and resentment, your heart closes. And when your heart closes then you are in fear because you do not have a leg to stand on, you are not in your center. And you know that not being grounded in your center, your being, is a very dangerous place to be. It is important for you to really feel the bitterness and the resentment and your desire to punish life for making these demands on you to not be yourself. Really feel that – it seems that that is where the blockage started.

Gary: Yes, I can feel that, and it comes up a lot. For example let me share an experience of bitterness and resentment that came up when I was doing my blog this morning. Just before my blogging, at Pat’s and my coffee time, Pat was reading out loud a chapter from Spiritual Growth with Entheogens.  The book is quite good and helpful – putting psychedelics into a context of spirituality. And because it was helpful to me, and because Pat and I engaged with the words of the author, I wanted to include this reference in my blog. But then I got frightened. I am really relating to this material on the one hand, but on the other hand dare I make references to such controversial material in my blog? Or, “Oh my God, what would Moira think if she thought I was relating to such material!” Immediately I was not free to be me in your presence — my relating to this book on psychedelics had to be kept secret because  you would not approve. Who imprisoned me? I did! I do not allow myself to have my own feelings and opinions about things that I relate to but which could be controversial to people I respect. Moira: And here you must feel bitter and resentful. You are not free to read the book or take LSD or do whatever you want and let the chips fall where they may. But you can’t do this now, you are not free to be you, and you are angry, bitter, and resentful about it! You want to be free to be YOU, even if that means violating the norms you grew up with, even if others do not approve or reject you for being you.

Moira: And this bitterness brings out a coldness. It is what people say frigidity is – it’s a coldness in relationships. Bitterness closes the heart and makes one cold and frigid. And closes one’s sexuality as well. So stay with, “I’m bitter! I can’t do what I want! And I can’t get this monkey off my back!” Gary:  Yes, I am bitter, bitter that I can’t just be me and let the chips fall where they will. I bump right up against that edge in me, and I can feel it. And the bitterness takes me to fright.

Gary: And resentment toward Life, and resentment toward Christ who, too, joining in with other authorities in my life, won’t let me be who I am! Now there is an image for you! My core image related to Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ won’t let me be who I am!    Moira: But being who you truly are in your Divine Essence would be to be love. AND you are love, — love, love, love. You say Christ won’t let you be who you are, but it is YOU who won’t let you be who you truly are: Love. Christ wants you to be the feeling lover you truly are.  Truly Jesus Christ wants that for you! But you refuse to believe that that Divine Essence in you IS YOU.  You think that your Divine Essence is NOT you. You have protected yourself by doing acts of love from you Mask Self — a False You, and you have taken Jesus’ “command” to love as an impossible command. So you resist Jesus Christ calling out your Divine Essence that you refuse to believe IS YOU. You think Jesus is putting more pressure on having a “more loving” mask, and you resent having to have that mask. You forget that you ARE LOVE and that Jesus Christ is not calling on you to improve your Love Mask but rather calling you to simply BE the LOVER you are. And you resent Jesus for calling out your Divine Essence because you think that is impossible, that you do not have a Divine Essence. The way you express your resentment is by not loving. Who you are is love, and yet, not knowing that, you are not going to let your True Self, your Divine Essence, out. The bitterness is not going to allow you to let out your Divine Essence and its quality of love, and to be free to love and to be who you are. Gary: Whew! I can see at least some of that in my mind, but I need time to take this all deeper into my being.

Moira: And the way out of this (and your ego can’t will yourself out of this) is to forgive those who set you on this path of refusing to see in yourself the Divine Essence you truly are. And now you, not your parents or the church or your teachers, are doing it, refusing to see your Divine Essence as YOU. But now you have to go back and forgive those who demanded that you be good and that you love AND who gave you the idea that the only way you could be good and truly love was to stamp out who they wrongly thought were your Lower Self — your being “a poor miserable sinner.”  In fact, you truly are in your Divine Essence when you Love deeply, but believing you did not have a Divine Essence as one created in the image of God, but rather believing that your true essence was that of “poor, miserable sinner” and that distortion of your essence required that you block your essence and rather try to be “good” and “love” and “perform” from your ego (Mask Self), which, of course, could never live up to the required standards demanded by your image of Jesus Christ and God.

Gary: I can forgive my parents and the church for these distortions about who I am in my essence, because I can see that they were doing it for what they thought was for my own good, intending that I would be successful in life, that I would have a positive life. They believed that if I did well at school, developed social skills, etc., they were putting me into a mold that they thought would serve me well. AND in fact DID serve me well. I was, in fact, suitably successful in the world via my Mask Self and via whatever came out from my Essence. But in this successful climb up the ladder of achievement I discovered my ladder was against the wrong wall, to borrow a Joseph Campbell metaphor.

Moira: OK, and that understanding is commendable to start the process, but forgiveness and understanding at that intellectual level is not what is asked for here. It is a much bigger kettle of fish here. To navigate these deeper waters you are going to have to ask and receive help from beyond your own personality, your own Ego’s conscious understanding of why those in authority did what they did. You are going to have to ask for help from the beyond, from the Spirit World, from God, from Jesus Christ. You are going to have to Forgive with a capital “F,” and it is not going to be rational; the Forgiveness is going to have to be much bigger than the mind with its little “m” is capable to give.

And this goes back to that conundrum: You have to ask for Christ’s help. And because of your bitterness and your wanting to punish Life and God, you don’t really want help. You want to stay in your bitterness. So now, today in your adult life, I think your not asking for Christ’s help isn’t so much your images from childhood, but your wanting to punish life. You don’t want out of the struggle, rather you want to punish life for giving you the struggle!

Moira: Because in the end, Christ is the answer. He’s God. He has the power in the name of God. … (this is all so much for me to take in — so I needed time to sit with this) … And before you go there, and I think you are edging up to it, let’s stop to really know the price you pay for wanting to stay bitter and resentful and punish life because you were not encouraged to be you as a child. … So what is the price for staying in bitterness? Gary: This is obvious to me. The price I pay for insisting on staying in my bitterness and resentment is my not being able to love, not being able to be in a deep relationship with others, with Pat, with Jesus, with God. … I can see that all this is the price I am paying for staying in my bitterness, resentment, and spite – that I am choosing not to manifest true love (my Real Self, the potential of my Higher Self), not to feel (not to Live!) from my Essence, but rather to stay separate in my bitterness, using my Mask Self to be in the world safely.

Moira: Yes, not to love or feel but rather stay in your bitterness, resentment, and spite. … And this experience right here and now in this session is great. It is great that you can really feel this bitterness and resentment! Now you have powerpower from coming to see that it is YOU who are CHOOSING not to love but rather CHOOSING to stay in your bitterness and resentment.

Moira: AND the way to stay there is to not ask for Jesus Christ’s help, because you know that Jesus Christ is where the answer is to get out of this conundrum. But if you ask for help you are FREE! And then when you say, “What would Moira say if she knew I was reading this book on psychedelics?” you would not be afraid. YOU are CHOOSING not to be afraid.

But not yet. First you are saying,  “I’m CHOOSING not to be in my love. I’m CHOOSING to be in my bitterness instead. That awareness that you are CHOOSING gives you power. Why does this awareness give you power? Because now you can assess the situation and, if you want to, truly want to from your healthy Adult Ego, you can CHOOSE differently. That is POWER. You get your power back instead of “being a victim” of authorities in your life. Gary: Yes, I can see that. I choose to be bitter and to be resentful and spiteful toward authorities, and the price I pay for that choice is to live in fear, to not feel love, and to not feel my feelings. That’s a pretty big price! Moira: But it is YOUR PRICE, YOU CHOOSE it. And that honesty that YOU CHOOSE gives you power.

And yet you have all kinds of images about Christ from your childhood, so until you address those images you are unwilling to ask Christ for the help he could provide. So it was true that that was done to you by authorities, that you were a “victim” and that now, in your spite, you are choosing to punish life! But KNOWING that this is your current reality is a good thing.

Moira: And now, in your beautiful problem of not feeling your feelings, you say that you do not get back from life what you would like, but you can also now see that you are not giving to life. You are saying, “I am not getting what I want from Pat, from Pathwork, from my various Pathwork organizations, etc.” AND you like that, because that “not getting what you want” reinforces your bitterness, spite, and resentment. Gary: My vicious circle! …

Moira: And there is a solution to this conundrum. Gary: Yes, and the solution is to make the choice to ask for help. Even though I don’t want to ask for help, part of me has to choose to overrule that “No!” and confess that so long as I choose not to ask for help I am stuck.

Moira: So what are the consequences if you do ask for help and and are helped and in the end are able to Forgive and give up your bitterness, what’s in store for you then? You have to use your imagination and feel into what life would give you, what this new choice would get you. You’ve gotten some pseudo-power from being bitter, spiteful, and resentful, but what is in store for you if you pay the price, that is, if you give up being bitter, spiteful, and resentful? … Gary: I would say (slowly the words come out)  freedom, … love, … creativity, … warmth, … feelingsMoira: Yes, just let yourself FEEL those experiences – Freedom, Love, Creativity, Warmth, Feelings. Experience this state in your body. …

Gary: The feeling of bitterness seems very old in me. Moira: Yes, this bitterness in you is old. … But bitterness didn’t work for you, did not give you the life you really wanted. …  Gary: And I can feel, if ever so slightly, a longing to be touched by Jesus Christ. … Moira: Jesus Christ wants to take the bitter cup from you. … It is God’s will that you be open, and loving, and healthy in your body and in your mind, that you feel all your feelings. I am sure of that. Gary:  And yet God is not forcing this on me. Rather, all of this is there for the asking. Moira: Yes. … Yes. …

Gary: I can feel the part of me that wants the freedom to read whatever I want to read AND the part of me that wants to stay bitter and spiteful and resentful toward those authorities in my life who, I believe, do NOT want my freedom. So what am I getting out of this choice to follow the voice that wants to be bitter? I get an excuse for not living – I can hold on to the belief that authorities – especially God and Jeus Christ – do not want me to live MY Life, so therefor I have an excuse NOT to live MY life. Moira: Why do you want an excuse for not living? Gary: (laughing) There is a part of me that has a lazy streak. Moira: So you believe that Living would demand too much from you? And NOT living feels the safer and happier way? Gary: Also, Living fully has a surrender aspect and if I surrender I would not be in control of my life. Moira: And what is the problem with that? Gary: (laughing) Well I want to be in control of my life! So in surrendering I have to let go of all the control I have exercised my entire life. Control has been so important in how I lived life safely.

Moira: So you say there is a lazy streak in you, and that you don’t want to give up control because it would require not being lazy? Gary:  Well, I certainly stay busy enough in my life! There is something more to all of this. I am not sure what it is – my excuse for not living. So what are the dangers I see from living fully? First, I have to be ME! And of course if I have to be ME, then I have to face and feel the old fear of authority that lives in me. And of course this takes me right into that bitterness and resentment of authority. So it seems I am just caught in this vicious circle: I want to live, to live I have to show up. And if I show up I have to face my fear of authority. And my fear of authority reinforces the bitterness, resentment, and spite that I have against all authority in my life – including against Jesus Christ and God! I trust NO authority, not even Jesus Christ or God!

Moira: So you want to hold on to your bitterness and resentment. This, of course, creates a very shaky foundation to live from. Now if you were to give up the bitterness and instead Forgive and open up your heart, you would be safe and secure and you would be free, loving, creative, warm, and in touch with all of your feelings.

So we go back to the point that you need to ask for help from Christ, from the sources of Light. You need help to make this transition, to taste the sweetness of Life. You need help. When you try without help you get stuck in your mind – the vicious circle you just witnessed in yourself sets in reinforcing your bitterness, spite, and resentment toward Life, authority, Jesus Christ, and God. You need help to break the vicious circle. You do need to ask for help because you do want the freedom. This bitterness is a very old feeling in you. But YOU WANT TO LIVE. … AND you don’t want to live – there is a split in you because there is still that place in you that is holding back. So just hold both of these energies: “I want to live” and “I don’t want to live.” AND of course I also know that it is not healthy to FORCE resolution of these opposites. “I don’t want to FORCE myself to want to live even though I know what is required of me.”

Moira: This paradox you are in is a very special place to be!    Gary: What I think, in my distortion, is that if I live, then I have to go right into the throws of the authorities of my life, authorities who, I believe, don’t want me to live but want me to obey.  These authorities include some of my family members, or some members and pastors of the Lutheran or other churches. Moira: But that is when you are stuck in your mind and dying, when you have shut up your heart and have decided to be bitter, resentful, and spiteful instead. But when you CHOOSE to LIVE you are asking for help along the way to stay open and Forgiving and wanting to live. You could just say it is a CHOICE between living or dying.

Moira: The important thing is that when you ask for help to live, you don’t quite know what such “living” is about. True LIVING is Mystery to you. You can think what freedom and health might feel like, but you really don’t know. So you have to, as you said earlier, go into the unknown, let ego go, and let God … and come to want to live, whatever living means. This is jumping into the abyss of the Unknown.  Gary: Even though I don’t know what “LIVING” means. Moira: Right, you don’t know. But you long for a different way to live, AND you follow that longing – you long to be free, you long to be able to read a book or write a blog and not have fear of authority arise to spoil your experience of Life. You want to live. And when you feel fear arise, then you know you are into the dying mode again, falling back into being bitter and resentful.

Gary: There is an awful lot to be with here! Moira: Yes, but keep it simple: Living or dying. It’s about answering your Call to Live. And you are going to make that decision. And then you will live by different rules. They will not be the same old rules. They will be New Rules, Rules that come from your Heart. A whole New World opens up to you. …  Gary: I can be open to asking for help. My mind has met its match … and it has to surrender. Moira: Yes! … Yes!   And be open to help to make the choice to live or to die.

Gary: I wasn’t sure we were going in this direction today, but it has been good. Very good. I have to be with all this. Moira: It’s beautiful. I see it in your face – the longing for a new way. It’s beautiful. You look very handsome, serious, and sober. I respect that you take your journey so seriously. It’s a good battle!     Gary: Yes, and at least to know that I am in a battle – a battle between life and death.    Moira: When you take this work so seriously you are really doing it for all of us.  You are not just doing it for yourself. When you overcome this, you overcome it for all of us – freeing those of us in and out of the body. It is really an important battle. I am so glad to be here, to witness this, it is really very wonderful.

Gary: And to be OK with it. I am not totally my feelings. As my adult self I can feel my feelings and feel them fully, but they do not run the show, they are not the total basis of my choices. …  As we speak right now, the fear and the anxiety have left me. I don’t feel that anxiety that I felt coming into this session. Moira: Yes, Great. Gary: It is so good to go into that bitterness and resentment – I could really feel these energies in me – and to see that these are the feelings I am trying to get out of. To see that I am in the jail of bitterness and resentment – but that I put myself into this jail.  Moira: Exactly. Now you know. Gary: And I have the keys. It is up to me whether or not I want to unlock the door to my prison. Moira: But remember: WITH HELP! This is a BIG BATTLE. Your weapons are not just your will, because with your will you can’t do it. You don’t want to be alone in this battle. You want help.

Moira: And so we go back to going outside and looking at the trees and letting the trees love you for your faithfulness in the battle between Life and death. Just feel Nature loving you back. There’s mutuality in your spiritual journey. It’s you doing the work, but then you are also asking for help from the Spirit World. And that’s their job! They want to be of help. And they will do their task WHEN you ask them for help. Gary: (laughing) There is the Spirit World wanting to help, but they are not going to force themselves onto me. Moira: And they are so happy when you ask because then they can do their work and fulfill their Call. They can say, “Great, we are now on the Team!” “Team Vollbracht!” They are happy because that’s their job!

Gary: And to feel into the reality that Jesus Christ is on “Team Vollbracht!” I certainly want to sit with all of this – it is all way beyond my mind. Moira: Perfect. Very wonderful.

Shared in honor of the wisdom that came through this session – like honoring a dream by writing it out; AND shared in love  – Gary


A Pathwork Lecture I chose to listen to several times after this session is Pathwork Lecture 195: Identification and Intentionality: Identification With the Spiritual Self to Overcome Negative Intentionality. It amazingly parallels and amplifies my helper session with Moira.  More gratitude is flowing in and out of me. (Download PDF file of Pathwork Lecture 195 from the International Pathwork Foundation Website or open an mp3 copy and listen to this lecture)