Pathwork Steps
2016 Study Guides

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November 2016:

The Connection Between Ego

and the Universal Power

PL 152

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Self-Confidence: It's True Origin and What Prohibits It

Video Introduction / Review of October Topic 5:29

he Connection Between Ego and the Universal Power PL 152

Week 1:  The Universal Life Principle
Week 2:  Ego Intelligence vs. Universal Intelligence
Week 3:  Universal Life Power = Spontaneity + Individualization
Week 4:  Shame of the Real Self

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Week 1:  The Universal Life Principle

The meaningfulness and fulfillment of one's life depend, in the last analysis, entirely on the relationship between man's ego and the universal life principle ‑‑ the real self, as we also call it.  If this relationship is balanced, everything falls into place.  All these lectures deal with this topic in one way or another, and I always try to discuss it in different ways.  This is necessary in order to finally experience the truth of these words.
PL 152
The disturbed organism is in fear.  And fear makes expansion appear painful and threatening.  Fear contracts in unpleasure.  Hence, the disturbed organism unpleasurably contracts when it should pleasurably expand.  And when the natural contracting movement is supposed to set in, in rhythmic change, it cannot do so since it already is cramped, hardened, and so exaggeratedly contracted that pulsating life movement becomes impossible. In the healthy organism, the changing from one to the other of these three movements occurs, as stated, regularly and meaningfully.  The spiritual significance is always growth, completion, perfection, additional creation, pleasure supreme.  For growth and pleasure are one.  The one cannot exist without the other.

It is therefore completely opposed to the law of growth to restrict the pulsation of consciousness by hardening up and refusing the experience.
The Pulsation of Consciousness PL 154
4-Step Exercise from Venture in Mutuality PL 186
In mutuality with the forces that you wish to receive help from, ask yourself:

"What is it that I really want?
What is lacking in my life?
Do I really have all the fulfillment I long for?
Is there something deep inside me that knows more is possible than I allow myself to experience?"

See study guide or weekly notices for the complete process, or download PL 186 from
Week 2:  Ego Intelligence vs. Universal Intelligence
 The separation between your conscious and unconscious mind is your greatest enemy.  For, the moment this separation is eliminated, you will no longer be governed by inner forces you do not know and you therefore fear.  And yet, man's greatest fear and resistance is to eliminate this separating wall.
Life Manifestation Reflects Dualistic Illusion PL 159
Ego can Ego cannot (and the Real Self CAN)
Collect creative knowledge
Repeat / Copy
Sort out
Make up the mind
Move towards a certain direction
Feel, Produce deep feelings
Deeply experience
Give a deep flavor to living
Deeply know
Be creative
Be spontaneous
Reconcile all apparent opposites
Always have answers
Always have solutions
Render man more alive, fulfilled
Be immortal and infinite

The ego says "look - it manifests."  The reality is that  "man begins to notice.”       PL 152

Film and Reading Suggestions
Stories about struggles between Ego and Universal Power

Lighting up the night skies with the Gleamoscope
Astronomers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, in Perth in Western Australia, have produced what they call the Gleamoscope to dial up visions of the night sky over Australia in whatever kind of light you prefer.
Digital Demo included with this article. Choose How You See the Universe!

Borrowed Time 7 mins (limited availability)
The short is as visually stunning as one would expect from most any Pixar short, with an immense canyon backdrop that serves as the perfect canvas for a battle between darkness and light.  A grizzled sheriff serves as the film’s sole protagonist, revisiting a location from his past, where he made a devastating error.  The film plays out, cross-cutting between the present and the sheriff’s memory, as he relives the mistakes of a bygone youth and struggles with the idea of making things right, for once and for all.

The Clothes Don't Make This Man
Mr. Bibbs was born with a cruel genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis. It has left him with large tumors on the left side of his head. His left eye has dipped to his cheekbone. Because of tumors on his left leg, his ankle there is the size of his waist...

How Intelligent, Well-Meaning People Wind Up in a Cult  16 mins
One of the hallmarks of a cult is a centralized authority, a charismatic leader who controls both organizational and personal decisions. Pathwork stresses the importance of developing the Ego. The Guide constantly invites us to question and challenge our conclusions, our emotions, our assumptions -- including anything we read in the lectures that doesn't feel right to us.

Only White People
What would you do if you overheard a racist insult? The father of the boy in this story didn't know what to do in the moment. He decided to consider options and alternatives -- to practice for a future occurence, rather than rush forward unprepared. 

Canadians send a valentine to the US 2 mins
Finding One's Faults PL 26 stresses the importance for realistic feedback -- but not at the expense of forgetting what works. Consider any nation on the planet -- how have their people contributed to the rest of us? What is their potential? How can we support every citizen of the world to be the best they can be?

The Catch-22 of Medicating a Prophet NYTimes
Psychosis refers to an experience of reality that is fundamentally different from the reality of others. As doctors, we expect those with psychosis to realize that their reality is false, and to agree that they need treatment. They often don’t, exhibiting what we refer to as “lack of insight.”  The assumption that someone else’s reality is invalid can foster distrust; it sends the message that we don’t respect this person’s experience of his or her own life. If, however, lack of insight is defined as a failure to accept an alternative view of reality, then do the rest of us lack insight, too?

4.1 Miles  21 mins
A short documentary available online about what it's like to serve in the Greek Coast Guard, working off the island of Lesbos (4.1 miles from Turkey) fishing human beings out of the ocean day and night.

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming
"As a general rule, Americans have a hard time with the idea that bad things happen to good people. Holding victims responsible for their misfortune is partially a way to avoid admitting that something just as unthinkable could happen to you—even if you do everything “right.” In my experience, people blame victims so that they can continue to feel safe themselves."

Week 3:  Universal Life Power = Spontaneity + Individualization

These two aspects of universal life [spontaneity and individualization] are not two separate factors, they are a oneness.  But some people tend to be more open and receptive to one of these basic aspects as it is perceivable to man, while they are more prejudiced or ignorant in regard to the other one.  With other people, it may be just the opposite.
PL 152
            One of the universal life principle's basic characteristics (whether in its aspect of autonomous consciousness or as energy) is that it is spontaneous.  It cannot manifest in any other way but spontaneously.  It cannot possibly reveal itself as a result of a direct laborious process, derived at in a cramped and over-concentrated state.  It comes as a byproduct, as it were, although it is all that man can ever wish to attain. Each step toward seeing the truth in the self without any further subterfuge and self‑deception, each step toward a genuine desire for constructive participation in the creative process of life frees the self. 
PL 152
What is this basic fear of letting go of the outer ego so as to let the universal processes unfold and carry you?  The fear is the misunderstanding that giving up the ego means giving up existence.  In order to get a little better understanding of this problem, let us consider some of the aspects of the process by which the ego formed itself out of universal life.
Individualization is an integral aspect of the universal life power.  Since life is always moving, reaching out, expanding and contracting, finding new areas of experience and branching into new boundaries, creative life itself cannot be different.  Thus it finds forever new forms to experience itself.  As I said before, if individualization separates itself further and further in its own consciousness from its original source ‑‑ when it "forgets," so to speak, its essence and becomes oblivious of its own principles and laws ‑‑ it seems a totally separate entity.  Therefore it is quite understandable that it can identify itself only as a separate entity.  It can associate individual existence only with separate existence.  Thus, giving up its ego must appear to it as annihilation of its own unique individuality.
PL 152
Spontaneity + Individualization = Universal Life Power
The principle is the same as that which moves the planets, which do not fall into space.  At the core of the human predicament, there always lies the feeling, "If I do not hold on to myself I endanger myself." And once you are conscious of it, you possess an important key, for you can consider the possibility of it being an error.  There is nothing to fear, you cannot be crushed or be annihilated.  You can only be carried, as planets are carried in space.

How do you apply this, my friends, to where you are, most of you, in your search for your real self?  This immediately connects with looking at the various layers of your consciousness. 
PL 152
Week 4: Shame of the Real Self

This is a strange shame, a feeling of embarrassment and exposure in regard to the way one really is. It is a feeling as though one were to expose oneself nakedly.  This experience can be registered by everyone ‑‑ and it is not the shame of one's deceits and dishonesties and destructiveness, nor of one's being compliant.  It is a shame on an entirely different level, of a different quality.  The only way I can describe it is that what one really is, feels shamefully naked, regardless of being good or bad. This is extremely important to comprehend, for it explains how artificial levels are created. 

The shame comes in when it applies to being what one is, as one is now. Because of this feeling, man pretends.  It is again a different kind of pretense than the one that covers up lack of integrity, destructiveness, and cruelty.  This kind of pretense, as mentioned before, is deeper, more subtle.  Man may pretend the same things he actually feels. 

He may really feel love, but to show this real love feels naked.  So he creates a false love.  He may really feel anger, as he is now.  But this real anger feels naked, so he creates false anger.  He may really feel sadness, but he feels mortified to acknowledge this sadness, even to himself.  So he creates false sadness, which he can easily display to others.  He may really experience pleasure, but this, too, is humiliating to expose.  So he creates false pleasure.
PL 152

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


1. Consider the events of the day during the last few moments before you fall asleep, or after you wake up. What events were disharmonious? Did you experience feelings of shame, vulnerability, or regret? Did you feel provoked or attacked during the day? Did you experience intense feelings, or any sense of numbness? Did any interactions trigger memories from your childhood? Recalling such events and feelings enables us to stay conscious of them.
2. Notice, from day to day, any experiences or feelings that re-occur.
3. At the end of the week, jot down a few words about each of the most common feelings and experiences. What is the common denominator in each case?
4. At the end of a month, see if you can notice any connections between the most common intense feelings and experiences and your childhood memories. Glance through the titles of Pathwork Lectures 30 to 165, which focus upon the connections between childhood struggles, images, and relating with others. Make a list of any lecture titles that seem relevant to the repetitive emotional patterns you have noticed. Notice any themes or overall concepts.

The Guide refers to Daily Review PL 28 as ‘spiritual hygiene’.

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