A NHNE Special Feature
The Pathwork Lectures of Eva Pierrakos
By Dottie Titus
Healing Through FeelingThe Pathwork is a spiritual path that began forty years ago. The teachings consist of 258 Pathwork lectures as well as many question-and-answer sessions.
Possibly the most important tenet of the Pathwork is self-responsibility, accepting responsibility for one's life, one's choices. It begins with a willingness to look at oneself truthfully to see both our divine center and the negativity that keeps us from reaching our full potential. As we take our blinders off and examine our current state, we begin to develop another aspect from which to see ourselves. Called the objective observer, this aspect helps us find the courage to go deeper within regardless of what we find. For if I can view a negative aspect of myself dispassionately, then clearly that negative aspect is not all there is of me; there is a larger self that is seeing that aspect. As I step into this larger aspect, I am attaining a wider view from which I can more clearly see the truth of who I am.
Much of the work of Pathwork is about transforming the negative aspects we find in ourselves. Every negative trait has at its root a divine quality: Judgmentalness is a distortion of discernment, the ability to distinguish and differentiate. Stubbornness is a distortion of the ability to stand one's ground. Defiance is a distortion of self-assertion. Rigidity is a distortion of being firm. Lack of faith is a distortion of self-reliance. Fear is a distortion of healthy caution. Rebelliousness is a distortion of courage, independence.
The process of healing the negative consists of first identifying honestly the negativities within, then allowing ourselves to fully feel the feelings behind them. Any feeling we avoid gains power over us until we allow it to be felt. Old wounds fester within because we buried feelings we dared not feel at the time, afraid they would overwhelm us. From childhood, when we were emotionally immature, we carried forth the belief that strong feelings could not be tolerated. Healing comes through feeling whatever needs to be felt and learning that it is no longer unbearable. As we experience our feelings fully, we find a new strength within. In Pathwork Lecture #190, "The Importance of Experiencing All Feelings, Including Fear," the Pathwork Guide says:
In giving ourselves permission to feel all of our feelings, we free ourselves from the tyranny of our defenses and open ourselves to our hear's desires. That is true healing.
Through the gateway of feeling your weakness lies your strength;
Through the gateway of feeling your pain lies your pleasure and joy;
Through the gateway of feeling your fear lies your security and safety;
Through the gateway of feeling your loneliness lies your capacity to
have fulfillment, love and companionship;
Through the gateway of feeling your hate lies your capacity to love;
Through the gateway of feeling your hopelessness lies true and
Through the gateway of accepting the lacks of your childhood lies your
Your Life is the Roadmap for Your JourneyOne of the basic premises of the Pathwork is that we constantly create our lives, the outward manifestation of our inner state. We have unlimited power to create. We want to create our lives positively and become fulfilled, happy, blissful; but as long as we are unaware of our negative intentions, they are more powerful than our positive ones. Whenever we fail to see negative aspects of ourselves, we give those aspects more power, more energy.
So one of the first things we have to do to begin to change our experience is to look at our lives honestly and ask: Where am I unfulfilled? Where do I long for something and not get what I long for?
The next step is to go even deeper into truth with ourselves and search for the part of us that doesn't want the fulfillment we long for. This takes a lot more courage and more honesty. Sometimes it's very hard to believe that you don't want what you think you want. One technique that can help is to sit quietly and feel your longing, feel it strongly. Then slowly begin to imagine it being fulfilled. Do this consciously, not as an escape into fantasy. Just visualize your dream coming true. Notice how you feel about it. Is there joyous acceptance? Or is there some level of discomfort? Do you find yourself spacing out? Or does your visualization get interrupted by more "realistic" notions of why it can't work?
There are some common themes that often underly the negative intent to avoid what we long for:
1. Sometimes, it feels safer to be proven right in our negative belief than to risk something different happening ("I knew it wouldn't work").
2. Sometimes we feel unlovable or undeserving at a very deep level.
3. There may be a fear that if we get what we want, we are going to be punished for asking for too much.
4. There may be a demand that what we want must be perfectly in accord with how we want it to be.
5. There may be an inner child that is still striving to overcome a childhood situation. This inner child may want to create a negative situation just so he/she can "win" this time around. Whatever your particular variation is, see if you can find the place in you that really prefers things the way they are now.
Finding the negative intentionality is a life-changing event. Once we bring the negativity to light, we can begin to consciously work with it and change it. As the Guide says, "This is why the pathwork is, above everything else, a process of making things conscious. This self-awareness unifies you, unifies the split in you, unifies conflicts in you and establishes your sense of self and your knowledge that the universe with all its bliss is yours."
Destructive Interactions in Relationships"To explore the underlying interaction and the various effects of a relationship where both people's difficulties are laid bare and accepted is by no means easy. But nothing can be more beautiful and rewarding. Anyone who comes into the state of enlightenment where this is possible will no longer fear any kind of interaction. Difficulties and fears arise to the exact degree that you still project on others your own problems in relating and still render others responsible for anything that goes against your liking. This can take many subtle forms. You may constantly concentrate on the faults of others, because at first glance such concentration appears justified to you. You may subtly overemphasize one side of an interaction, or exclude another. Such distortions indicate projection and denial of self-responsibility for the difficulties in relating. This denial fosters dependency on the perfection of the other party, which in turn creates fear and hostility for feeling let down when the other does not measure up to the perfect standard." (Pathwork Lecture #180, "The Spiritual Significance of Relationships")
In Pathwork Lecture #180, the Guide tells us that relationships have great spiritual significance. They are the arena where our deepest fears and longings arise. They are where we can achieve the greatest learning and healing. All that is required is total honesty and self-responsibility. Most of us have to work pretty hard to get to that place. When we see a fault in ourselves, we want to hide it from our partner or mate, afraid that they will think less of us. Thus we begin to try to present an "ideal" face to our partner. We believe that if we are good enough, then we will earn love from him/her. Instead, we begin a deadly spiral that ultimately leads to disillusionment and unhappiness. First, our partner knows we are not perfect, so pretending to be brings dishonesty into the relationship. In order to protect our idealized self-image of perfection, we must blame our partner for anything that is wrong in the relationship. This begins the projection the Guide talks about. As we lay the blame at our partner's door, we make them feel unworthy. To fight against this, they project blame back at us. And so we get locked into a destructive pattern of trying to prove how "bad" the other person is rather than acknowledge our own faults.
The way out is honesty and self-responsibility. It takes courage to say, "I am angry and I want to hurt you." But that is much more healthy than saying "You are such a jerk! You're worthless!" One of the keys to making the change to self-responsibility is to drop the "you" statements ("You are a bitch!" "You make me crazy!") and begin using "I" statements ("I am angry." "When you said that, I felt hurt.").
Here's an example of how this worked for me this week: I am currently scheduled to teach in our Pathwork Program this fall with a senior teacher (let's call him Joe for now). Joe and I seemed to have one fight after another in the office this week. He kept making exaggerated statements that were obviously false, and I kept reacting. We were stuck in this pattern. Finally, I begin to look at what my contribution to the situation was. I felt hurt by several things he had said, but I wasn't clear on why I was reacting so strongly. Finally, I began to realize that I was terrified about this first teaching job. As I looked deeper, I realized that part of my fear is that I will just sit back and let him do all the teaching. My longing is to be a partner with him, to work as an equal, offering what I can to go with his more experienced offering. But my fear could paralyze me into being very passive. To fight against my fear, I felt a strong need to establish my right to be his equal. And I was doing this by fighting with him. I was trying to prove to myself that I would not collapse in the teaching situation by not "collapsing" in our discussions.
The lesson here, based on what the Guide says, is that as long as I concentrated on what he was doing (which had an element of lower self in it), we were both stuck. I was hooked into arguing, and he, for whatever reasons of his own, was arguing back. It wasn't until I could get myself unhooked and look at my own faults and contributions that things began to get better. Once I understood why I was acting as I was, I could go to him and tell him how scared I was at the idea of teaching with him and admit that the reason I kept arguing with him was because I was afraid I would just take a backseat and let him do all the teaching in the fall. I was giving in to a desire to "stand up" to him, to prove that I would be a worthy partner in our teaching venture. Once I admitted that to him, all tension between us ended, and we were able to connect at a much deeper and real level.
So, when you are hooked into an argument, regardless of how wrong the other person might be, see if you can unhook by looking at what you are doing and trying to see why. It's amazing how healing this can be.
The Era of the New Age & New ConsciousnessThere is much discussion these days on the "new consciousness" that is entering more fully into our world. It can be sensed and felt when one tunes in to it. More and more people are turning to spirituality, to new paradigms. Things that were looked at with skepticism by the previous generation suddenly don't seem so strange: healing with non-traditional means, energy work, body work, emotional work. All of these represent an attempt to strive higher into the spiritual realm, to realize our oneness, our unity, with all life.
The Pathwork Guide says in Lecture #223, "...an immense new cosmic force that will sweep this earth planet has been released into the universe.... A new surge toward spiritual truth is spreading over your world. New values seek to push through old resistances." Many of us have experienced at one time or another that one part of us is ready to expand, to open up, to "move toward a new and entirely expanded vision of life, of self, and of a new modality of being. It is a new modality that does not shed the old, but transforms of the old what is not compatible with the new, pure and great influx, and incorporates the pure substance of the old self into the new expanded version of it."
At the same time, we all have a lower self that tries to resist and obstruct the movement. Because of this struggle, we experience crisis. The less we recognize the meaning of the crisis, the more upheaval it causes, the more frightening it is. When we can recognize the crisis as an outpicturing of our inner struggle and align with our higher self intent, then the time of crisis shortens and "in fact, that same crisis will transform itself into undreamed-of bliss."
In Lecture #223, the Guide says that the entity earth is now going through such a struggle. There are those who resist the movement (think of the wars, the violence, the drastic acting out of negativity that seems to plague us today), and there are those who follow it, who "will find the deepest joy and blessings and need not fear anything... In following the influx, they keep in harmony with the universe, they are within the process, rather than obstructing it. Their ever renewed decision to give all of themselves to the process that has encompassed them will make their life as fulfilled and glorious as it will be useful and meaningful to the whole of evolution." I personally believe that the "cause" behind so much of the mindless violence in our world today is a last desperate attempt to fight the new influx of spirituality. Beyond the obvious acts of violence and resistance that we hear about in the news, each of us has our own form of resistance.
How do we work with this influx and remove our obstructions to it? "...the fulfillment of this surge cannot occur unless the most profound purification process takes place." This purification has two parts: First, each of us must work toward his personal fulfillment. This means acknowledging our negativity, our faulty reasoning, our lower self traits and intentions and then working to transform them. The lecture says, "Now a new phase has arisen where your own inner expansion has readied you to realize that individual fulfillment is the necessary basis for fulfilling in cohesiveness with the total movement that sweeps your world." In other words, first we must work on our own issues and find our own fulfillment. Then we can see the need to serve a greater cause. "I always emphasize the importance of your individual happiness, wholeness and freedom from obstruction. It is not a contradiction. Your individual fulfillment... is the most important thing, and at the same time there is something much more at stake. Perhaps I can put it this way: you can only find total individual fulfillment if you serve a greater cause. ...you are involved in simultaneously serving that while you fulfill yourself. You have found that this very service enhances your fulfillment, just as this service requires you to be a fulfilled and happy person." So the movement toward a new consciousness requires intense work and purification, but it does not require self-sacrifice or poverty-consciousness. It is a blending of the benign and the divine, of abundance and service. Our job is to put our entire selves into reaching for it.
In the remaining 35 Pathwork lectures that were given after lecture #223, the Guide talks about various aspects of the new consciousness. These lectures include "Individual and Group Consciousness," "Woman & Man in the New Age," "New Age Education," "The Pulse of Life on All Levels of Manifestation," "The Spiritual Meaning of Political Systems," "New Age Marriage," "Surrender," "The Birthing Process - The Cosmic Pulse," and "Aspects of the Divine Influx: Communication, Group Consciousness, Exposure." I'll touch on some of these in future issues.
The Process of ManifestationPathwork Lecture #169
"The Masculine & Feminine Principles in the Creative Process"
In this lecture, the Pathwork Guide gets very specific about how important recognition of our creative abilities is and about how we create. The Guide says that human beings not only possess the universal creative power but also express it. "Coming into your own means the deliberate, conscious, purposeful use of the creative power which you are and which emanates from you. For, unconsciously and unknowingly, without realizing it, you constantly create your life circumstances with this power. What you think and feel, what you believe and conceive of, what you secretly wish and fear -- all of this shapes and determines creative substance. And all of this IS the motor force of this power."
The lecture says that the self-realized individual knows exactly how he creates his life and that there comes a point when "man connects with his unconscious blocks and subsequently comprehends his obstructions and unhappiness in life. This is a great moment, when an individual suddenly understands that he has done it, how he has done it and what is the secret attitude that has produced the unwelcome fate, so that it is no longer blind fate and he can connect cause and effect. From that moment on, man ceases to be helpless. He has never been helpless in regard to any force or power outside himself. But he is helpless against his own inner processes until he recognizes and changes them." This, then, is why it is so important for us to take responsibility for the life we have created, for the situations we have endured. We ARE responsible for them. With this knowledge comes the power to change and make our lives happier, more fulfilling.
How do we create? There are two basic aspects to the creative process: The first is activation, and the second is letting it happen. As the Guide says, "First, you activate, then you get 'out of the way' and let it happen. This creative principle exists throughout the entire universe and manifests in everything in your life..." If what we create is constructive, joyful, pleasurable, then we have used these principles, or aspects, in a harmonious way. If our creation is destructive and painful, then these two aspects do not function harmoniously in us.
What is activation? "To activate means that the conscious entity deliberately issues, claims, sets in motion, moves toward, causes, determines, makes happen, uses purposefully, the forces at his disposal. He does so by knowing of these forces and calling them into action... by removing all possible obstruction and by doing himself whatever is necessary. Effort and endeavor are an integral part of setting the creative forces in motion... this represents the masculine principle in creation."
Letting it be takes the form of being receptive and waiting. "It is also a movement, for nothing that is alive can possibly be not moving, but the type of movement is a very different one from the movement of the activating principle. The activating principle moves itself out toward another state; the spirit of letting it be is a movement within itself. It is a pulsating, involuntary movement, while the movement of activation is deliberate and self-determining... The consciousness of the attitude of letting it be is one of patience, of trustful waiting, of letting a ripening process come to fruition, one of surrender to a force set in motion. This may be called the feminine principle in creation."
When we create painful situations, we are distorting the rightful use of these forces. We distort the activation aspect when we become forcing, when we try to "make it happen" or when we use rage or violence to get what we want. We distort the letting it happen aspect when we become passive and refuse to take self-responsibility, when we let others be responsible for us or blame others for our lives.
For most of us, there are some areas of our lives where we create beautifully. Think about these and see how the active and receptive principles function there. Then think about areas of your life that are not working so well, and again consider how you may be distorting these principles. To create harmoniously is a matter, for me, of deciding what I want (active), putting out into the universe my heartfelt desire for it (active), then waiting in trust for it to happen (receptive) and being open to it happening in a way totally different from what I expect (receptive).
One of the most useful ways to work with this is to think of an area where you are not fulfilled despite your belief that you want it with all your heart. Focus on your desire for the outcome for several minutes; feel your longing. Then imagine it happening exactly as you wish it to. As you do this, don't go into daydreams or fantasies. Do it consciously, and note what feelings come up. Odds are that you will find resistance to the outcome you believe you want or you will find feelings coming up that are not helpful in this process. When I tried this in relation to a period in my life of not earning enough money, I was amazed to discover my resistance to abundance was because I would have to give up my view of myself as a victim. I had recently freed myself from that image in an important part of my life, and it found another part of my life to attach to -- my money or lack thereof. Within just a month of seeing this distortion and resistance, my income began to increase and is now nearly double what it was then. This process really works!!!
Dottie Titus is the Director of the SEVENOAKS PATHWORK CENTER in Madison, Virginia. Having completed the five-year Pathwork Transformation Program and the four-year Pathwork Helper Training Program at SEVENOAKS, Dottie is also a Pathwork Counselor. In addition, she facilitates a Pathwork study group online. If you would like to join the Pathwork study group, you can write Dottie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to find out more about Eva Pierrakos and the Pathwork lectures, you can check out our NHNE Special Report on the subject.
THE PATHWORK NEW YORK REGION also has a Web site at:
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