Pathwork Steps
2016 Study Guides

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September 2016:

The Overcoming of Negativity

PL 176

Video Review of Last Month's Topic

Study Guide Outline
Samples from the 4 weekly notices

Film and Reading Suggestions

Exercise: Overcoming Negativity

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Commitment - Cause and Effect 4 mins
Video Introduction to August Topic

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

Week 1:   Attitudes are Negative Creation
Week 2:   The Four-Step Process of Overcoming Negativity
Week 3:   Using Prayer and Meditation in the Process
Week 4:   Defenses and Pseudo-Solutions

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Week 1:   Attitudes are Negative Creation
Negative creation is an ongoing process in every human being.  For, if you were free from negative creation, if you were not negatively involved with creation, you would not be human; you would not live on this plane of consciousness, which expresses a certain degree of development. 

Man is, in general, to some degree quite free so that he creates constructively to quite an extent.  But to varying degrees, negative creation is still ongoing in his psyche.  This means that it is man's task on this sphere to struggle out of it and to free himself further and further from the ensnarlment of negativity.

There is no greater difference conceivable than between human beings

1 --  who know that they create their own fate, that they wish to be negative, that, no matter how undesirable it seems, they still want to retain this attitude of being negative, and

2 --  those who are ignorant of this fact.

Anyone who is on any path that genuinely leads to the realization of the universal self must come to this insight about himself.  Otherwise, the path he takes leads to illusion and deals merely with theoretical speculation or an alienated idealization, and not a real live experience.

PL 176

Week 2:   The Four-Step Process of Overcoming Negativity from PL 176
1. Find and determine and acknowledge and see and accept and observe your own negative attitudes, the destructive feelings, the subtle lies, the intention to cheat, the life defeating spiteful resistance to good feelings.  All of these are negative creating.
2. Question, deep inside, your reaction, your feelings, to this negative production, whatever it may consist of in your particular case, as to its deliberate, chosen intent on your part.  This acknowledgment is essential.  Without it, you cannot grow out of suffering, nor can you reach the spiritual selfhood you long for.

3. The exact consequences and ramifications of your negative production must be painstakingly worked through without taking any detail, any effect, any side effect for granted or glossing over it.  The realization and precise understanding of its harmful effects on you and on others must become very clear.

It must be seen that you cannot harm yourself without also harming others, no more than you can harm others without also harming you. This is not a law of retribution of a vindictive authority up in heaven.  It is so because you are all, we are all, they are all, everyone is, the one universal self.

The third step consists of seeing that the pleasure you derive from your negative production is never worth the exorbitant price you pay for it; that you sacrifice joy, peace, self‑esteem, inner security, expansion and growth, pleasure on all levels of your being, meaningful and fearless existence.

It must also be seen how your negative creation does affect others.

4. The actual process of recreation of soul substance. The more insight you have into the absolutely losing game you play with life when you hold on to the false role that covers up destructive attitudes, the more you will be motivated to give up all of this.  Your will will be strengthened.  This will lead you to the fourth step, which is the actual process of recreation of soul substance.

By meditation, by prayer, by formulating deliberate thoughts of truth about this entire matter and impressing them onto your destructive psychic material, recreation begins and continues the more adept in it you become.
PL 176

Film and Reading Suggestions

A Caller can I become less prejudiced? 4min
On C-SPAN's "Washington Journal", a guest's response to a sincere question: how can I change how I think?

The High Cost of Holding On
NYTimes article - in the financial section - about the cost of holding onto grudges, engaging in vendettas, and cluttering our lives with negative thoughts.  Carl Richards suggests, "What's one thing you can set down this week?"  Try it once or twice, and notice how much time and energy become available to you for other activities and interests.

Art in Pond Scum 4min
An Australian biologist finds beauty and uncharted life in the fountains and ponds of New York City.

A Cheaper Airbag
"The engineer said he questioned his Takata bosses in 2001 about manipulating the tests, but was told “not to come back to any more meetings.” He left the company later that year."  If you worked for AutoLiv, Takata, or a car manufacturer in the 1990s, what decisions would you have made for your company,  for your department, for your customers? Today, how do you integrate your personal or professional ethics into your financial decisions?

Learning that Pain Does not Kill
Sometimes we exhaust ourselves trying to avoid pain. What if we met it, felt it fully, -- and discovered that it was far less of a problem than we imagined? The Connisseur of Pain. catalogued 83 'flavors' of pain.

The Point: 1971 Animated Musical by Nillsson  114 min
There are 3 versions on YouTube, this is the most complete original version but is only VHS quality. A spiritual fable about the foibles of social convention, and finding your own inner 'point'.

David's Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue by Sam Anderson /NY TImes
"Perfection, it turns out, is no way to try to live. It is a child’s idea, a cartoon — this desire not to be merely good, not to do merely well, but to be faultless, to transcend everything, including the limits of yourself. It is less heroic than neurotic, and it doesn’t take much analysis to get to its ugly side: a lust for control, pseudo-fascist purity, self-destruction. Perfection makes you flinch at yourself, flinch at the world, flinch at any contact between the two. Soon what you want, above all, is escape: to be gone, elsewhere, annihilated."

And for fun... how 2 people changed reality:
Chinese Peasants Saved the Sweet Potato in New Zealand
A light-hearted telling of some serious good works. 4 mins

Week 3:   Prayer and Meditation

Prayer Evolves as Man Evolves:

Prayer will be adapted to the conscious attitude and concept of any given phase.

In the very first stage, when man is still almost in the stage of being without awareness, there is no prayer because there is no God concept.

In the next stage when man begins to ask questions and wonder, and in this spontaneous experience of wondering and allowing new considerations to fill him, this in itself is prayer or meditation.

The next stage may be the realization of a supreme intelligence. In this stage, prayer takes the form of admiration of the marvel of the universe and nature. It is worship.

In the next stage when the confusion of the mind, the immaturity and inadequacy cause fear, clinging, helplessness, dependence; when wishful thinking and greed, un-acceptance of reality causes supplication; prayer will be expressed accordingly. When prayers seem to be answered in this state, it is not because God acts, but because, in some way, man is sincere in spite of all his self‐deceptions and evasions and has thus opened a channel within, through which laws of being can penetrate to him. This is an important distinction that will only be perceived at a later stage.

When man realizes his own participation in whether or not a prayer is answered, he will lose the sense of helplessness and of the arbitrariness of a willful God he has to appease by manmade and superimposed rules. But I might also add that what often appears like an answered prayer is the strength of an unconflicted mind in the particular area where the prayer is answered, at least at that time.

PL 176

Meditation for Transition to Positive Pleasure PL 140

I want to give up the negative.
I want my pleasure to be attached to a positive situation.
I want to be constructive.
I want to give my attention to this situation
and be governed by the most constructive forces.

Week 4:   Defenses and Pseudo-Solutions

The role or game you adopt in the illusion that it eliminates your deliberate destructiveness is the first layer that must be confronted.  Then the various steps outlined can begin.  Sometimes these steps overlap.   PL 176

Higher Self Mask:  If you identify with the higher self, your spirit, without truly being aware of the lower self, the mask self, your defenses, your dishonest devices, and your negative intentionality; identification with the higher self becomes an escape and an illusion. This is not at all truthful.      

Identification with Negative Intentionality PL 195

Your negativity is a defense, my friends. In this case, it is believed to be a question of your happiness being opposed to the happiness of the other person.  Therefore you secretly feel that by giving to others you will be impoverished, put to some sort of disadvantage; while by grabbing for what you want and withholding of yourself, you add to your advantage. When you examine dispassionately the irrationality of your negation, of your destructive insistence to remain separate and ungiving, you will indeed come to see that this unrealistic dichotomy is contained in your attitude.  When you bring it out, you will be able to correct it. 

  Perceiving, Reacting, Expressing PL 166
Daily Review PL 28
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.
PL 176: Each day, notice any negative attitudes you feel or experience. Descriptions might include:
Affected   Lazy   Aloof   Apathetic   Malice   Arrogant   Mean   Authoritarian  Miserly   Mistrusting   Cheerless   Narrow   Closed   Negative   Cold   Not viable   Combative   Pessimistic   Complacent   Petty   Pretentious   Constricted   Random   Controlling   Rebellious   Convenience   Rejects change   Relents   Cowering Reluctant   Cruel   Resentful   Lying   Rigid   Dependent   Rude   Directed by externals   Scattered   Dishonest   Secretive   Disorderly   Self-centered   Disorganized   Self-satisfied   Distant   Selfish   Ego-centric   Small minded   Envious   Fearful   Sour   Flagging    
Social approval required   Fearful   Unresponsive   Fleeting   Unrestrained   GivesUp   Unsure   Grumpy   Guarded   Unsympathetic   Hateful   Untrusting   Hostile  Unwilling  Ill-will   Vain   Immature   Wasteful
Alternate observing what happens when you express, support, or observe positive values or attitudes.  Descriptions might include:
Acceptance   Trust   Responsibility   Reliability   Empathy  Courage   Beauty   Calmness  Charm   Integrity   Discretion   Efficiency   Family   Church   Money   Humor  
Love   Independence   Intelligence   Grace   Kindness
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). Eventually, this can become a thought process. The Guide refers to Daily Review as ‘spiritual hygiene’.

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. 
What negative attitudes were expressed, supported, or condoned in your family?

What negative consequences have you observed or experienced based upon holding negative attitudes?
What differences, if any,  do you observe on the days you focus upon positive attitudes?

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