Pathwork Steps
2016 Study Guides

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June 2016:

Reality as Illusion PL 71

Week 1: Showing up, or choosing to be present.

Week 2: Being in the Now; Feelings vs. Emotional Reactions.

Film and Reading Suggestions

Week 3: Paying attention to what has heart and meaning.

Week 4: Paying attention = Conscious Meditation.

Next month: Part 2 of PL 71
Telling the truth without judgment or blame.
Staying open to the outcome, not attached to it.

Daily Review

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What to we do in the meetings?

"You may have heard of the psychologist K. Anders Ericsson and the “10,000 hours of practice” rule. It is often misconstrued a bit: The key is typically not the time you put in to get better, but the time you spend under the watchful eye of a coach, teacher or trainer — someone who can spot quickly what you are doing wrong and immediately correct it, or try to."    Gerard Marzorati, from the article on "Better Aging through Practice' in this month's Film and Reading Suggestions (below).

I think of my role as a helper as being a spiritual coach-- spotting potential distortions, misconceptions, or unconscious beliefs that might not align with your conscious thought process, and bringing these into focus so that you may consider their meaning. Jan
YouTube Introduction to the April topic of Pride, Self-Will, and Fear PL 30:

Introduction to the May topic of Prayer and Meditation PL 36 and 194: 

Reality and Illusion

In The Four Fold Way, Angieles Arrien divides the personality into 4 different abilities: Warrior (being present), Healer (heart), Visionary (truth), and Teacher (non-attachment). The four Ways reflect a pervasive belief that life will be simple if we practice four basic principles:

Show up or choose to be present,
Pay attention to what has heart and meaning
Tell the truth without blame or judgment
Be open, rather than attached to, the outcome

PL 71 explores how we attempt to escape reality by clinging to illusions. This month, I am suggesting the first 2 of these 4 steps as a way of helping us recognize – and appreciate – what is real.

Next month, we will look at the remaining 2 steps.
Week 1: Showing up, or choosing to be present

By becoming aware of the existing unreality within yourself, in that you see with absolute clarity how untrue have been your concepts ‑‑ and perhaps still are ‑‑ you may glean a moment of recognition as to what reality really is ‑‑ its totally different quality and its steadfast character.                                                              
PL 71
The more unknown material man faces in his own psyche, thus making it known, the less can he live in any fear ‐‐ whether it be fear of death, fear of his emotions, fear of others, fear of failure, or whatever it may be.

When he is able to experience the truth of unity of all life, therefore of life being a continuum, he will also deeply know that "pleasure supreme" is the ultimate goal for each created being. It is the potential and natural state of each created being. He will experience the fact that being is "pleasure supreme."
This realization exists the very instant that fear of non‐pleasure has been faced and gone through.
Duality results in conflict between pleasure, on the one hand, and other constructive attitudes, attributes and approaches, seemingly denying pleasure, on the other.                                               
Week 2: Being in the Now; Feelings vs. Emotional Reactions
From the moment you numb your feelings…

              You withdraw from living, loving, experiencing
              Your intuitive powers are dulled
              Creative faculties are not available to create your fulfillment

The courage to accept that which may be inconvenient means acceptance of reality, loss of fear to love, and therefore the cultivation of your intuition in a growing organism.
PL 72

Film and Reading Suggestions

"I Think This Is the Closest to How the Footage Looked" 9 mins
A poignant video essay about unintended consequences, with a wonderful visual at the end of the feeling 'this can't be...'

Seeing in Color for the First Time
A PBS NewsHour video segment on a new therapy that
'turns on part of your brain'. 7 mins

"All your life, you hear about color... yet the evidence in your eyes is gray. Then they turn color on for 1/2 hour. And even if color goes away, for the rest of your life, you're going to know it's real.  Transcript and video:

A Voice for Love + Change
PBS NewsHour interview with the US Episcopal Bishop 9mins

Blind Spots
Stage 1 of the 4 Stages of Spiritual Evolution PL 127 is Automatic Reflex
= not knowing what you don't know!
July will feature excepts from the book Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What's Right --And What to Do about It by Bazerman and Tenbrunsel (Available used on Amazon)
If there are blind spots in your field of vision that your mind is covering up, what happens to the blind spots in your mind that it isn't aware of?
How can we 'see' our blind spots?
A biological reality: Our 2 blind spots
Demo for your inner child: a video for kids
How to notice and address ethical 'blind spots'

Article on Consciousness:
"Consciousness is like the missing factor of time in Xeno's paradox; it's presence may change more than we may ever be able to calculate. It doesn't exist absent the factor of movement (change, perception, growth) so can only be known by its past (as experience)." Jan, referencing the topic from February PL 119

The Case Against Reality
Article in The Atlantic:

Attitude is the critical factor!
This may not prolong your life. But it will improve it:

Week 3: Paying attention to what has heart and meaning

Let us take a common and simple example. 

If someone hurts you, what he said and did will actually be a hurt.  But as long as you see only the fact that has occurred and ignore the reason, you will remain hurt.  The moment you fully understand, it is impossible to be hurt any longer. 

I am certain that every one of you has occasionally experienced such a happening.  And yet you always fall into the same trap on another occasion. 

You know very well by now that only by understanding yourself can you come to understand others.  This understanding will eliminate the hurts because you are in truth, or in reality.  This is why it is said that truth makes one free.  This is why the resistance of the child in you that shows reluctance towards fully facing yourself is so entirely unreasonable and damaging for yourself.

PL 71
Week 4: Paying attention = Conscious Meditation
When we pay attention, we are in movement through the use of consciousness, and also creating forms of experience.

Paying attention is an act of Consciousness, which cannot exist separately from Movement and Experience PL 119. Paying attention can become a form of Meditation – even of Prayer PL 36 and 194.

Consciousness is like the missing factor of time in Zeno's paradox*. It's presence may change more than we may ever be able to calculate. It doesn't exist absent the factor of movement (change, perception, growth) so can only be known by its past (as experience). Zeno’s paradox only stumps us if we forget that it’s about theories, not real life!  


Seek, and you will find an area of your being that clings to life only in order to avoid death. This motivation contains negation, and thus the life force is negated too. But if you face and come to terms with death, your embracing of life will be done in positive spirit, and that alone will solve the problem of duality, since duality arises out of negation.                                                                                                     PL 81

Daily Review PL 28

"This daily review can be conducted any time of the day, most suitable to you. When you ponder over an accumulation of days, in which ou took notice of your reactions, you will undoubtedly find a recurrent pattern." 
Constructive Attitudes in Self Confrontation PRS5

Exercise: Keep a record of incidents that disturb you. Focusing upon subtleties may help us from becoming distracted by exaggerating or over-dramatizing a situation. Notice feelings of discomfort, where your suspect you may be uninformed, ignorant, unprepared, or unaware.
Every day, see if you can consciously practice the first 2 ways of being in reality:

Show up, or choose to be present
Pay attention to what has heart and meaning


All you need is a ½ page of lined paper per day.  Create 4 columns. At some point during each day, jot down brief notes about each incident (limit:10 per day).

1. Two to three words to identify each incident (no details)

2. What feelings or emotional reactions came up

3. The judgments or conclusions you came to at the time

At the end of each week, read through your entries and complete the last column:

4. What do you notice today that you did not notice at the time? Are there patterns?

5. Using your preferred form of meditation (sitting, walking, or while doing 'mindless' chores) reflect upon your early childhood experiences. 

When and why were you unable to stay present? See if you can accept what felt real for you at the time.
We can’t pay attention unless we are present. What clues and connections did you miss as a child, that you realize now?

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