Serving Causes Not My Own
Often my favorite place to be with a Pathwork Lecture is at the nearby Milford Panera Bread. Somehow I enjoy being “alone in the crowd,” sipping tea or coffee, and pondering the words of the Pathwork Lecture in front of me. My time with the lectures consists of taking them in deeply while carefully marking them for my later initial reading for my audio recording project. Each line is underlined, with breaks marked that hopefully correctly interpret the passage. Yesterday I spent such time with Pathwork Lecture 43 – Three Basic Personality Types: Reason, Will, and Emotion. Lots floated up. My soul was enlivened and nurtured.
And this morning during meditation more reflections and applications of this lecture spontaneously arose, The lecture speaks of the Will type as the Achiever. This spoke to my Enneagram THREEness – “The Achiever.” Yes, I can relate to being a Will-type! Achieving, doing, accomplishing.
But, the lecture notes, my Will is not to be my master, running off achieving this and achieving that all for the sake of achieving per se. As if the value of a Life were to be measured by achievement no matter of what. To the extreme Will-type, More is Better!
Rather my Will is to serve my other two aspects, Reason and Emotion. Reason, that capacity to evaluate, analyze, discern, plan, etc., and Emotion, that capacity to feel, are more nearly truly me, who I am. My Will-type Achiever gets things done, but what exactly is my Achiever getting done? I could see some ungroundedness in my Achieving. My strong Will – and yes I am solidly a Will-type – seems to be serving anything and anyone and sometimes these anythings and anyones exclude my own being!
I could see this clearly in my meditation. In school I served the system, striving to get good grades. Because my Reason aspect is a close second to my primary Will aspect, this striving energy was not entirely not me. I enjoyed studying, and so the achieving came naturally. But why in my junior year of high school was I struggling in Latin III instead of taking more science, the subject I loved? Continuing Latin over science was not being true to myself. My Will was on its own for whatever distorted motivation.
And the list goes on. Serving my employer SDRC, an engineering company, when I was not really passionate about engineering. Faithfully serving St. Paul Lutheran Church when I was not aligned with its strong conservative bent. Getting involved in the United Way, in other organizations, none of which were truly me.
No, my achieving in frameworks outside myself was, in a way, seeking my identity outside myself. My identity would be that of a hard worker – you name the cause to which that hard work applied. I just needed to have an identity, and, for whatever reason, it had to be outside myself it seems. Alas, this even applied to my personal relationships.
And it can even apply to my work with Pathwork. Is this pattern of serving causes not my own showing up in my work with the Pathwork organization? Serving on the Pathwork Council that is in charge of the Pathwork school, though I am not moved to be a teacher myself. What’s that about? Developing financial budgets and serving on various committees when I am not really aligned with all that the organization is doing. All of this invites me to examine what is true for me and to commit myself to serve causes that are truly mine, not causes that belong to others!
This lecture points to the importance of balance among the three aspects of Reason, Emotion, and Will. My weakest, at least consciously, is Emotion. I remember a counseling session I was in over ten years ago. I was talking about my challenge in my relationships with women. The counselor said, “Gary, you have no colors on your emotional palette, how could you even know whether or not a woman was right for you? First fill you emotional palette, then and only then consider your relationship with a woman.” His statement haunts me still, even as Pat and I try to fill our respective emotional palettes and then our points of emotional connection.
The lecture points out that it is through our Emotional aspect that we become tuned into our intuition. My intuition cannot function effectively, or without distortion, in guiding me if I am not more developed in my Emotional aspect. And the pinnacle of emotional development is Love. Love is not possible without a well-developed Emotional capacity. And, as another lecture says, love is not an act of the will from Ego, rather it is a spontaneous movement of the Soul in response to which my Will acts. Again, Will is servant to love, not master over love.
Spontaneity of the Soul emerges in our emotions. I can see how I clamp down on spontaneity hard, not trusting my emotional roots. My Reason and Will aspects introduce a strong control nature to my living. And Feeling and Living are one! I can see my fear in letting my spontaneous emotions arise. What would they ask of me? Part of that fear is that following and honoring my Emotional aspects would cut down on my achievements, the core of my identity! My will does not want to slow down its achieving and fears that giving my emotional aspect a voice will do just that.
God is Love. My Divine Essence is Love. This love longs to come out, and fortunately does leak out even when I refuse to acknowledge or feel it. What would it be like to let go of the shackles that bind my Soul’s spontaneous emanations of love? Or peace, joy, and the other spontaneous goodies that long to arise from my Divine nature? Can I find the courage to let go of control? Courage, the lecture says, is a right-manifestation of Will.
So what are some of my causes in which I find my energy most alive? Developing my relationship with Pat. There is so much here to explore and grow into. We both are committed to this growth. Then I would say my cause includes my love affair with the Pathwork Lectures, the studying, applying, recording and sharing of this body of wisdom. Photography, especially of wildflowers and people. Astronomy and cosmology. Personal development work, in myself and in others, including Pathwork and supported by Ira Progoff-type Journal writing, this blog and this website. These are some things that enliven me.
I am studying the life of Leonard Bernstein. I have always admired him, but as I read about him I see him as a model for serving causes that are one’s own. He believed deeply in teaching the world what he knew, sharing his passions and feelings regarding music and life. His programs, concerts, and performances often appeared effortless, but he worked day and night in preparation. It seems his will was in service to his emotions and reason. His life is a testimony to this. Not that it did not have tragedy and mistakes, even big mistakes perhaps, but it seems to me for the most part Bernstein followed his bliss in the best sense of the word. And millions were served as he did so.
Lots to ponder. What calls you forth? What are your causes to serve? The world needs each of us! May you be blessed.