Wrestling with Ordinariness — The Right Middle Way
My October 4 Helper Session with Moira:
My Presenting “Beautiful Problem;” How do I feel more deeply and more consistently the Joy over what is really going on in my Higher Self?
Elaboration of my issue. From a previous blog (September 30) I realized that truly I have some really good stuff going on in my life – there is appreciation for my recordings of the Pathwork Lectures, my blog, my help in business strategies, my part in Karen’s memorial service, my loving note to the faculty as we launch into a new school year, and the like, but I do not feel the joy I would think I would feel in my everyday life with all this “good stuff” going on. I seem to block my Joy that I could experience from these emanations of rays of light and love from my Higher Self, from, perhaps, daring to realize that I am being an instrument of God. I do not savor these moments of Joy, the joy of being a part of God’s plan of salvation.
Moira: You sound a little like Jonah – he did not want a Cosmic Call from God, he wanted a convenient call, he wanted to follow his own authority, rather than the authority of God. It was as if Jonah was answering a call that was separate from him. You are called, but you have not yet answered the Call. God calls us twice – the superficial call and then the Call that is a Life Commitment. I wish for you, Gary, that you accept where you are, wherever you are in following your Call. God is a forgiving God; you will keep getting Called. You are searching. That is beautiful. There is plenty of time. Your Spirit helpers give you a lot of space.
Gary: So what is my beautiful problem? I get this positive feedback, but I am so fearful that I shall be prideful that I gloss over positive feedback. I dare not savor it, be encouraged by it, experience satisfaction or fulfillment from hearing the Call and answering the Call. A part of me is so terrified of being “full of myself,” of being prideful, that I snip feelings of satisfaction off whenever they show up. It seems that I could be so full of fulfillment, satisfaction, and even bliss, if only I would allow myself to feel the bliss that is already there in me at these special times of recognition or mirroring.
Moira: Interesting. You must have allowed these feelings of Joy in you for at least a moment if you are aware that you snipped the Joy off. So you what your are saying is that you want to allow the Joy to hang around so that you can savor it longer? Is that true, that you experience this Joy at least when it first shows up? Gary: Oh yes! Just reading a deep email from someone who “gets me” and appreciates me can nearly bring tears to my eyes. Then the next day the situation that brought so much Joy will have lost all of its luster. I’ll be back in a state of unhappiness, even depression. And it’s perplexing to me. I’m not trying to cling to the brief moments of joy that I had, but why can’t I just feel this feeling of Joy and Happiness on a sustained basis? Why does the momentary Joy disappear so quickly? Why do I need positive feedback every hour or I fall into depression? Something in me seems to block these moments of Joy, and cuts them off at the pass. Almost like experiencing Joy is wrong, evil, or dangerous. Perhaps this pushing away feelings of Joy is a form of negative intentionality, my psyche declaring: “I will not feel this Joy! I will not feel this satisfaction, so if satisfaction shows up, I’ll throw it out!”
Moira: Say more about the depression. Is it really depression, or is it rather simply the absence of the Joy you felt momentarily? Gary: I would say the latter, the absence of the Joy I tasted momentarily. [Sigh] Moira: So in this sigh, you are expressing exasperation, some impatience with yourself when you make that sound? Gary: I don’t want to take in the depression, the pain of the absence of the Joy. Moira: Is the pain that black, that miserable? [Long pause] Gary: I wouldn’t say it’s miserable, it is just not the state of Joy that I tasted earlier. The state of 100 that I was in.
Moira: So after the brief taste of Joy you go back into the state of being an ordinary mortal. I’m wondering if your interpretation of life is distorted – a distortion about what life as a human being should be like – somehow thinking that we humans should always be in a state of bliss. Of course that is simply not true. So when you get that “high,” which is very exhilarating, when you got a Call and you responded to it, there is a Joy and fulfillment in that. “I put this material out, and somebody heard me. That is beautiful!” Then life goes on, and you interpret “ordinary life going on” as being “medium.” You don’t like “medium” and you make ordinary life “black,” even interpreting ordinary life away from the peak experiences as depression. I wonder if you really are depressed or if that is just your interpretation of just being back to normal. Gary: Yes, I would say life is back to “normal.” Moira: So would you say you just don’t like being normal? [Laughter] Life goes on. You do the dishes. Have meetings. Do budgets. Send emails. And that ordinariness is not OK with you. And there is a pre-incarnational memory of all the time being in that state of answering the Call and being recognized for who you are.
Gary: Yes, there is something in me that needs 100% Joy. Moira: You think that 100% Joy is being normal perhaps. Perhaps you think that if you do not feel Joy all the time then you are not normal, that there is something wrong with you. Maybe you just have to change your definition of “normal.” For us incarnated humans “normal” is not being in that state of Joy all the time. Gary: Growing up in the church I had the belief that if I am not Joyful, then I do not have faith, that is, I do not have authentic faith. Realizing that I was a hypocrite was terrifying. So I would fake being joyful – always a smile on my face – so as not to be found out for having a lack of faith. Moira: And faith was the ultimate? Gary: Faith was right belief, right dogma, right worldview, 100% trust in the goodness of God, in the love of God! Moira: Sounds like having faith was everything, up there on a pedestal. Gary: So if I had any lack of Joy in my life, it was because of my inadequate faith, because of an inadequate trust in the love of God. And not having 100% trust in the love of God was the same as being reprobate heathen! Moira: [Laughter] Gary: It made being honest with anything but the best emotions problematic. In the presence of negative emotions (fear, sadness, frustration, pain) I would go in the direction of 1) I don’t have faith; 2) I am not trusting 100% in the love of God 100% of the time; therefore 3) I am a reprobate unworthy sinner. How dare I reject the love of God! This is the story that my little kid put together. He could not face not having 100% faith 100% of the time.
Moira: And, of course, there is absolute Truth in what you say! When you do have faith, you are joyful. When you do have faith you have no fear because you have understanding that whatever is causing pain or other negative emotions isn’t all there is. You have faith in something more. You may not be manifesting that something more, or connecting to it or removing the obstacles to it, but faith that it exists is there. So the interesting thing is how you took a truth and misused it. But it was a truth: if you are not joyful, then you don’t have faith and if you don’t have faith then you are not joyful. But you made having faith or not having faith a moral issue – having faith makes you “Good,” not having faith makes you “Bad,” or a reprobate sinner. You did not ask what you could do to remove your doubts and experience a deeper faith, rather you said if you did not have faith you were bad.
Gary: My inner child believed that with less than 100% faith 100% of the time he was being hypocritical by even being in the church. Moira: So the church wasn’t there to help lead you to faith, it was rather that you couldn’t be in the church if you didn’t have faith. So you found being in the church knowing you were being hypocritical intolerable? Was there no room for being in the church unless you had faith, or pretended to have faith? Gary: That is what I seemed to come to understand, though it may not at all been intended.
And this black and white message was oversimplified to a matter of reason and will. For several years I was on the Evangelism Committee and we used the Kennedy Evangelism program. In this program we would go door to door and ask: 1) Do you know for certain that if you were to die tonight you would go to heaven? (Answer: Yes or No) 2) Why should God let you into his kingdom? (Right Answer: Jesus died for your sins). While we taught that faith was the work of the Holy Spirit, our evangelism methods seemed to say that faith was a mental assent to this simple redemption story – inviting the listener to confess, “I am a sinner, but Jesus died for my sins, bearing my punishment, so that if I believe this (have faith), I shall go to heaven. If I do not believe this I will go to Hell.” And we had all the bible verses needed to back us up. Calls rarely went according to script, but this was all disorienting to me. This faith as a matter of will and reason is not at all the way the Pathwork talks about Faith! Faith according to Pathwork, like Love, comes from within, a Knowing and a Certainty from within. In this sense Pathwork is closer to true Lutheran dogma (faith by the work of the Holy Spirit) than what we practiced on the Evangelism Committee!
Moira: But there are two levels of faith. First you have to consider that there is such a thing as faith without yet inhabiting it, without yet allowing it to arise as an involuntary experience (what your church may have called the work of the Holy Spirit within). The first step is a voluntary one, to want to believe that there is such a thing as faith that all things are possible. So with the Pathwork it isn’t “all of a sudden” you have faith. You have to “try it on” voluntarily first. You have to want to love before you can love. You have to want to have faith before you can really experience it. So maybe for you in the church it was just a mental thing, but maybe what was actually being taught was more than just a mental thing. So maybe you are still seeing faith through the eyes of the child in duality. Gary: I’m sure I was.
Moira: So do you want to consider another way of being in the world as a human being? Gary: This way is not working, so sure I am open to another way. Moira: OK. Consider this possibility: when somebody responds to and is touched by your recording of the lectures, is touched by your blog, and you get that feeling of pleasure and satisfaction, really feeling these positive feelings, and then later on in the day when you do not feel that, rather than concluding that you have lost your connection to God, lost your faith, if you please, you just realize that yes, indeed, you had a connection, but now you are back to accepting yourself as being a human being with ups AND downs. Be grateful that you’ve had these opportunities to ride the ups AND downs that being a human being offers. This riding the waves, the ups and downs of life, brings you to another kind of bliss and pleasure: the bliss and pleasure of being a normal human being. Gary: Bliss in being merely and utterly human! Moira: Yes. Experience a satisfaction there and a feeling of coziness in life. Know that nothing more is expected of you. What makes that journey of really accepting yourself in that way possible, making yourself capable of staying with that journey, is the experience of those moments of awareness or bliss or pleasure with which you have been blessed. These keep you going, enabling you to feel the pleasure of being human.
Gary: So it is being thankful for the moments where I do experience the Joy of connection to God, to Life, to others. Moira: Yes, AND being thankful for the moments where you don’t feel that deep connection, the moments when you are just a human being, a “Bozo on the bus.” There is something about being a struggling human being that has a lot of dignity in it, a lot of integrity, and so there emerges a lot of pleasure in being that human being. You can experience gratefulness that you have the opportunity of experiencing life as a human being.
You have been incarnated to struggle, to learn, to fall and to get up again. When you can accept that and are grateful for that, there is a satisfaction that borders on bliss. And the moments of heightened awareness where you are at a 100, these are just little gifts, little glimpses ever once in a while. And that is all they are: little glimpses. Gary: So there is gratefulness for being human in the struggle that life is. Moira: Yes, there is a dignity and an honor in staying in the struggle, in “making due” with what is. You know what is possible because you have had glimpses of elation, but you are not there yet. The dignity and integrity that comes from making due with where you are now – that is what our life is about. The “Good Life” is NOT about the glimpses of Reality with a capital “R.” Gary: So it is the sense of dignity in our humanity. Moira: Yes. Exactly. Dignity in our humanity.
Moira: From Lecture 18 (¶26) Free Will the Guide speaks of the right middle path. “The right middle path is so difficult to attain and to maintain in never going over the borderline of one of these two extremes. This right middle path can only be found and kept up if you meditate on this daily and test yourself in complete honesty concerning your inner motives.”
We can call this “the right middle path” the Guide describes a gateway to 50/50 consciousness and “the borderline of one of these two extremes” 100/100 consciousness. You see it all – the glimpses of the extremes of the light and darkness, but you do not allow yourself to go over these borders. Rather, we take the right middle path. That is so difficult to attain and maintain.
Take Lecture 58 The Desire for Happiness and the Desire for Unhappiness – “If I am not 100% happy, then I will be 100% unhappy, and I’ll choose to get my happiness from being 100% unhappy. Gary: So the right middle path is the 50/50? Moira: Yes, between two extremes.
Moira: Last time you talked about having these visions and spreading the seed of vision on the various soils like Johnny Appleseed of Pathwork. Somehow you think you have to harvest them. Not so. Johnny Appleseed, that beautiful man, spread the seeds about but other people harvested. You get this vision and you want it to manifest right away and all the time. It doesn’t work that way. You have the vision, having the vision enlivens you and you cast out the seeds of your vision. But then you must allow for the human condition – which is trial and error, sometimes people water the seeds and harvest them and sometimes they don’t. This is what is, this is the earth planed consciousness. And there is beauty in the earth plane. That’s what God did with Jonah – he loved Jonah anyway, and the people in Nineveh. He is a loving God, and he is patient. And this is all part of accepting ourselves as merely and utterly human. We may have got a glimpse of Joy and Bliss, as a result we Know what is possible and how it feels, but we have to wait for it to manifest.
Gary, not a lot of people have what you have, a glimpse of what is possible: your passion for the lectures, for personal growth, for writing your blog. You have tasted all of this passion arising in you, you have felt ecstasy. Not everyone has experienced that. These tastes of bliss are gifts, but these tastes are also your bane! Why? Because you now want to live in this consciousness right away and all the time and with every area of your life: you want ecstasy and bliss with Pat, with the Pathwork organization, with all your relationships, with Love of family, with Wisdom, and so on. So slow down. You are HUMAN. Be humble. Accept that you are not there yet, that you do not have it to this ecstatic extent. Yet you have Faith that it will be so. Even if you are not yet manifesting this bliss and ecstasy all the time, just the Faith and the Hope in this higher conscious reality can make you Joyful. Gary: Yes, eve right now, just getting another clue to the puzzle that Life is makes me Joyful. Moira: Yeah, yeah, feel that Joy. It is a gift.
You plant seeds in the soils of the people with whom you are in contact – fellow Pathworkers, family members, Pat, colleagues, friends, leaders, committee members, and the like. You know what is possible with them. Yet they may not be ready. You could go into the dumps about this, but you hold the vision of what is possible for them, and just knowing that you have planted some seeds brings you Joy. You Know that they will reach fruition at some time. Not all of them, but some of them. Gary: Like the Guide says, Nature is abundant and squanders much in this spirit of abundance. I can feel the Joy of planting these seeds with abandon, squandering them wherever I go!
Moira: And you have Faith – that even those you help who struggle will some day find Joy, and this Faith in them make you Joyful. Gary: And I need patience that this may all take time – beyond my lifetime. Moira: Yeah. You don’t have to make it happen – in yourself or in the other. That would be pushing, insisting that it be done on your time schedule. Gary: Just relax into it. Moira: Yeah, yeah. Desiring AND letting go of the desire for yourself and for all whom you touch in your life.
This right middle path is a struggle for all of us on the Earth plane. This is our goal – to live life on this earth plane. Our goal is not to go to 100. Rather, indirectly 100 Happens! We start with 100/100 (duality, earth-plane consciousness), then go to 50/50 (non-dual consciousness), which is so hard to attain and maintain, and then, when you have done enough groundwork in 50/50 consciousness, 100 (Unitive consciousness) happens. The experience is that of letting go and letting God. Then you are eager to go back into the struggle because you know this is how Life on the Earth Plane works!
So you are human and have needs. So what are some of your needs in your human condition? Gary: I need to set limits and boundaries, I need other people – their help, their affirmation, and their love, and I need to give love. This latter is a Divine Ray: God Created us because God is Love and Love has to be shared. Moira: All of this is beautiful.
Gary: There is another happening I want to explore – Pat was coming home after five days in California with her teacher and spiritual group. I noticed that part of me wanted her to come home and part not. This latter was very difficult to see and accept in me. Moira: Why? That ambivalence is being human – the right middle path holds both of these energies. It’s being normal to have both energies. It’s not right to moralize and make “not wanting Pat home” somehow “Bad” – and having to mask that part of you with “Good” behavior – doing laundry, etc. in preparation. Probably Pat was ambivalent also – partly wanting to come home and partly not. Gary: Actually that was true. Moira: Well that’s just being human. There is nothing wrong with that. And had you gone to bed before she arrived part of her may have been hurt that you didn’t welcome her home in some way. This is so human.
Gary: Yes, we humans are so neurotic! Moira: Yes, because you are not accepting being human is why you are so neurotic! You want to be not-human, and by trying to become not-human (god) you become neurotic. Ambivalence is so human – mixed motives for everything. Gary: And being able to rejoice just to see all this! Moira: It’s humbling to see this and not reject it. When the Guide talks about being naked in Lecture 152 Connection Between the Ego and the Universal Power talking about Adam and Eve in their nakedness, they were ashamed of being human.(Click here to see relevant excerpt from Lecture 152) They wanted to cover themselves up. They wanted to be 100. The Guide says there is a strange shame that emerges when we are real. It is not about being ashamed of our Higher Self, our Lower Self, or our Mask-Self natures per se, but rather about being ashamed of being real – the mixture of all parts of ourselves. The Guide says this is the strange shame of just being exposed for being human – you are totally exposed in being real. Gary: The Joy I have in understanding this, and even the Joy I have in not understanding, both Joys are there. Moira: Yes, the Joy that there is more to understand. Gary: More growth possible! Moira: And since you are not understanding everything, you have to make due with being blind; and then not being ashamed of being blind. There is a dignity and an integrity in accepting the reality of being blind and of not understanding – just being where you are – merely and utterly human.
Moira: And this is where that faith on the first level comes in – until you really experience the manifestation of what was only hoped for. But you cannot really Know what exists until you manifest it as a deeper level of Faith. But first you have to do it conceptually, mentally: forming the intention that I want to believe. Gary: Yeah, “Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” Moira: So it’s not so much a problem that you can’t maintain that blissful state, that elation, pleasure, and bliss when you get acknowledged or are seen. When that happens, that’s a glimpse and that is great. But when you move from that place and become “normal” or human, that’s the difficulty for you. The other, the blissful state, is just a passing glimpse. It’s not that you snip that state of bliss off but rather that you have moved beyond that state because you are a human being. If you didn’t move on you wouldn’t be a human being but rather you would be a spirit. You came from spirit and were incarnate to be this limited human being. Gary: So my problem is not that I can’t stay at these high levels of bliss but rather that I cannot accept my 50/50 state. Moira: Yes, that you cannot stay in your ordinary human state – your limited reality with a little “r” – your temporary reality.
Gary: This is a really intense life, Moira! Moira: Yes, it’s an intense life, and it’s worth every bit of the intensity.
Shared in love, Gary