The Next Generation of Pathwork

So much has gone on since my previous post. Last week I spent three days at a cottage on the Atlantic Ocean with a three-person veteran Pathwork group, feeling so blessed to be a part of this intimate threesome experience as we faced our respective life challenges together in a Pathwork framework.

And challenges at Sevenoaks have never seemed more daunting and challenging. Today we are entering a Board meeting of perhaps the greatest significance of our life. Entering a period of great unknowing, a call to step out in wisdom, love, courage and faith. But there can be discomfort in stepping into the edge of such unknown territory.

This morning I received an email from a Pathwork colleague who just returned Japan, her homeland. Since the Northeast earthquake and tsunami occurred on March 11, 2011, she has visited Japan six times and established 29 Pathwork 50/50 consciousness training groups. Her description of this process and her faithfulness to her calling truly inspired me. Yes, Pathwork is rich and alive in serving the planet, contributing to the evolving consciousness of humankind.

I carry this inspiration into our Mid-Atlantic Board meeting this morning. While there are towering challenges on every side, a vision of Pathwork: The New Generation arises within. While I have no firm idea of how this will evolve, I see the new Graduate Program being offered by Erena Bramos next fall as key. I plan to join. I plan personally to invite others whose energy and passion for Pathwork are rich and vigorous to join me in Erena’s class. I envision this group, no matter the size (though I envision 25), to continue their deep journey into the endless riches of the Pathwork teachings and processes. I can feel my energy for this emerging community.

In our morning coffee time Pat shared an inspiring exchange sent by her teacher – the words of an exchange between Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber:

A New Moral Context

Andrew Cohen: When we begin on the spiritual path, more often than not, it’s all about ourselves. But if we stick with it, eventually we cross a threshold where it becomes more and more obvious that it never could have been a personal matter. Our motive for transformation changes spontaneously and dramatically as we come to recognize that our own development has always only been for the sake of the evolution of consciousness itself. And it’s not a romantic ideal. That’s just all there is. That’s where I believe a new moral context is going to come from.

Ken Wilber: I do too. It really is that realization that your every move, your every breath, your every thought is literally becoming what I call a “Kosmic habit” or memory that future generations of humanity will follow. And you can do it wrong. That’s why it’s such a bracing realization: Be the most ethical, the most responsible, the most authentic you can be with every breath you take, because you are cutting a path into tomorrow that others will follow.

And so this is my Call, to somehow step into greater leadership – not by doing more but rather by allowing myself to be inspired by the Divine within me. Inspiration is contagious. It is the basis of leadership.  Especially in the face of frustration.

But I also look at my past and see my resistance to leadership. It is real and must be faced.  These past two weeks I have been inspired by Pathwork Lectures 165 Evolutionary Phases in the Relationship Between the Realms of Feelings, Reason, and Will and Lecture 166 Perceiving, Reacting, Expressing. From the latter I was drawn to paragraph 20:

In such a negative cycle, the vital glow of your energy and feelings becomes a tightly packed, hardened mass behind which your spirit seems to wither.  Of course it does not really do so.  It cannot, ever, since it is an eternal living force.  But it cannot manifest to you, and you must remain separated from it, as long as the negating attitude remains.  You can connect with your spirit only when you see the negation and become honest and humble enough to give voice to it as it truly exists in you:  “I do not want to give anything of myself.  Whenever I feel threatened by rejection, criticism, frustration of my immediate desires, I at once withdraw from life my vital energies, my goodwill, my positive spirit of participation.  I want to remain separated, keeping my anger and resentment.”  When you can acknowledge this, you will instantly know that it is this attitude that makes the facing of the rage and the agony perilous. 

This negative energy lives within me. I see it, experience it, accept it and long for it to dissolve.  But the process is slow and organic. So I pray for help and courage.

Two other quotes, these from Pathwork Lecture 165 noted above, struck me. One inspires me as to the purpose of Pathwork:  (click here to open).  And this quote is followed (paragraphs 11 and 12) by a description of the beautiful world of awakening:

Let us restate the meaning of self-realization.  I shall use new words to reach you in a more dynamic way.  Self-realization means to bring forth, as a living reality, the kernel of your spiritual being — the kernel of self that is eternal.  This is, I repeat, not a religious concept for a faraway future.  It is immediately available.  How can some of the results or manifestations be best described?  I might say that a new area is awakened, located in the center of your body, around the solar plexus.  From this area new life flows — new feelings, a new way of perceiving and responding, a new way of knowing life, people, values, and events.  Everything is endowed with a new luminosity and a deeper meaningfulness.  Beliefs change, or they feel different.  The scope of an opinion, conviction, or sensation widens and deepens.  Everything becomes fuller.  The self becomes at once intensely personal and universal.  What appeared to be contradictions suddenly unify without a breach of logic.  Fear vanishes, and life becomes unending pleasure just because its opposite is no longer feared.  The opposite of the desired state of fulfillment and happiness is not avoided, but its illusory nature is unmasked by going through it.  Thus there is nothing to fear.  The creative power of the self is available at all times, because of the personality’s freedom from fear.

These words are inadequate to describe the state called self-realization.  But they may give you a glimmer of what is to come; perhaps you have begun to experience this state to a small degree once in a while.  It comes gradually, and yet, at times, suddenly.  Only when all surface layers and all contradictory trends of consciousness have unified with the innermost being can this state become a steady condition of the soul.

These words take my breath away.  But all of this is preceded in Lecture 165 by a few paragraphs on death – noting that things within us individually and collectively must die for our souls to move forward. In my recent wrestling with physical issues I find myself helped by these words (click here to open).

So here we are, stepping into the unknown. Sometimes confused. Sometimes fearful. But such is the nature of the living force that lives and manifests from within each of us as we live our lives on planet earth. Such is the nature of the ever-new generation of Pathwork practitioners. May be have the courage and wisdom to proceed, and the humility to ask for help – help from each other and help from Spirit, that enlivening force within that is our Essence. And yet in another part of Pathwork Lecture 166 we are reminded that we not only resist seeing our negativity but also resist manifesting all that is alive in our deepest self: Love, Compassion, Creativity, Joy… Yes, the work is not easy, but it is our deepest Call.  May we have the courage to continue to say “Yes” to that Call!

Shared in love, Gary