Pathwork Steps
2017 Study Guides

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The Dynamics of Movement

and Resistance to Its Nature

PL 241

Video Review of Last Month's Topic

Study Guide Highlights
Samples from weeks 1 & 2

Film and Reading Suggestions

Study Guide Highlights
Samples from weeks 3 & 4

Daily Review

 Free Weekly Teleconferences
Wednesdays and Saturdays 7pm US EST
Sundays 9am US EST

Conflicts in the World of Duality PL 81

YouTube Video Presentation 1 hr 3 mins

The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker © 1973 is a great reference book on this topic. The entire book is available at no cost on in 7 digital formats: see

Highlights from The Dynamics of Movement
and the Resistance to Its Nature PL 241

Week 1:   A Framework for Growth
Week 2:   Positive and Negative Aspects of
                          Expansion, Contraction, Stasis

Week 3:   The Dynamics of Resistance
Week 4:   More Aliveness = More Movement

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Week 1:  A Framework for Growth
All your individual paths create one entity, one wholeness.  This is why it can happen that you receive a lecture that is the answer for so many of you, that so many different individualities with different needs and problems who have started this work at different times and find themselves in different phases, all receive what they need just now. 
From the human point of view this seems logically an impossibility, but from our vantage point it is not.  Nevertheless, in order to find this one common point serving everyone, a great deal of work needs to be accomplished first in our world.
You come together in a certain relationship, no matter how different you may be.  You have one thing in common, and this is the most important thing of all: your commitment to growing, changing, moving, expanding to the point of investing all of your being and fully paying the price.  The fact that this commitment already exists stems from a certain development that you all have in common, no matter how the outer manifestation may vary.
PL 241
Week 2:  Positive and negative aspects of Expansion, Contraction, Stasis
The principle of expansion in its pure and harmonious form is creativity, growth, building, forward movement, search, activity, the outgoing quality necessary to find the other "you" ‑‑ therefore unselfishness and lack of egocentricity, search for union or search for anything outside the self.  

In its negative aspect, the principle of expansion is aggression, hostility, war as the result of the deviated principle of expansion on the material level, overactivity, quarreling, destructiveness, cruelty, impatience, thoughtlessness.
The principle of Restriction in its positive aspect is equilibrium, balance; for it is this principle that balances the outgoing quality and thus causes harmony and prevents the outgoing movement from getting out of control.  

In its negative sense, the principle of restriction stands for regression, going backwards instead of forward, holding up progress, going in the wrong direction (backward movement). 
The static principle in its positive aspect stands for preservation.  At first sight, it may seem the same as the restricting principle, but it is not.  The restricting principle is movement ‑‑ inward or backward ‑‑ while the static principle is rest, the state of being, timelessness, passivity in the healthy sense. 

The static principle in its negative aspect means stagnation, putrification, lifelessness, inertia.
Three Cosmic Principles:
The Expanding, the Restricting, and the Static Principles PL 55
Exercise 2a:

Become familiar with your breathing rhythm. Notice the length and speed of each inhale and exhale. Does one predominate over the other? Notice the number and duration of any pauses.

What feelings come up if you try to adjust your rhythm?

If possible, have a partner mimic your rhythm by placing their hands on your back and breathing along with you. Then switch, and mimic their rhythm. It can be surprisingly uncomfortable to breath ‘exactly’ like someone else! Explore the differences.


"Film and Reading Suggestions

What is the philosophy underlying this column?
To emphasize the universality of the human experience
To highlight articles that can relate to Pathwork concepts
To encourage seeing everyday life from a different perspective

This section will be the new focus of the '5th week' meetings,
as the study guides are only divided into 4 sub-topics.

What Makes a Genius? National Geographic
During MRI scans, brain activity was “fundamentally different” while the musicians were improvising. The internal network, associated with self-expression, showed increased activity, while the outer network, linked to focused attention and also self-censoring, quieted down. “It’s almost as if the brain turned off its own ability to criticize itself,”
Note; Pathwork suggests that what we admire most in human beings is the result of a manifestation of their Divine Spark, which resonates with the Divine in us all.
Genius may represent a full-throated manifestation of the Divine. For most of us, our unique gifts may manifest only in part: from PL 43, Love, as giving, receiving, and supporting the Divine in ourselves and others; Wisdom, as insight, perception, and mapping the unknown; and Courage, being the first to bring in a truth i.e. manifesting our own creative forces, and leadership, helping others to manifest truth in community. Even if we are only able to access our Divine Spark momentarily or from time to time, the power of the Divine is infinite.

How to Meditate
What struck me about this article was its pragmatism, lack of dogma, and normalcy. Imagine such a column in the NY Times 30 years ago!

6 Steps to Turn Wishes into Reality by Carl Richards

          1. Pick one thing on my wish list.
          2. Decide today to do one thing that will get me closer to making that one thing a reality and further away from regret.
          3. Do that one thing.
          4. Repeat tomorrow.
          5 Wake up in a year with fewer regrets.
The problem with this process is that it’s too simple. It lacks all the theatrics and drama of the hero’s journey. And it works.

Also see Carl's article about
Sometimes Spending Bringing a Bigger Return than Saving

Turning Negative Thinkers Into Positive Ones Part 2 of 2
Accumulating “micro-moments of positivity,” can, over time, result in greater overall well-being. More than a sudden bonanza of good fortune, repeated brief moments of positive feelings can provide a buffer against stress and depression and foster both physical and mental health. Part 1 has 8 Suggestions for daily 'thought' health!

A Focus on Health Issues to Resolve Urban Ills
The City of Richmond is taking a holistic approach to health that includes reducing stressors from all sources, increasing pleasure (such as walking on a tree-lined street vs. a boarded up one). It works.

The Accident No One Wanted to Talk About
How listening can help people heal
I told him I wanted to find a way to take away my brother’s pain. “You can’t,” he said. “But if you want to lessen it, you’ve got to listen.” 
“What if he won’t talk to me?”
“Ask again,” he said. 

Just Mercy   Book byBryan Stevenson © 2015
 "The opposite of poverty is not wealth, but Justice."
"Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done."
Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Changing Breathing Rhythms Changes Feelings
"The disabled neurons would then alert the brain that something potentially worrisome was going on with the mouse because it was sniffing = the brain should start ramping up the machinery of worry and panic. So a few tentative sniffs could result in a state of anxiety that, in a rapid feedback loop, would make the animal sniff more and become increasingly anxious. 
Or, without that mechanism, it would remain tranquil -- a mouse of Zen.


Over the next few days, whenever you notice that you are feeling anxious, threatened, or distracted take 10 deep, relaxed breaths.  Do your feelings change?
Is Reality a Controlled Hallucination?
A Mind Scrambling TED Talk
“If hallucination is a kind of uncontrolled perception, then perception is a kind of hallucination,” Seth said. But, he said, it’s a controlled hallucination, one in which sensory information from the world is reining in the brain’s predictions. “In fact, we’re hallucinating all the time, including right now. It’s just that when we agree about our hallucinations. We call that reality.” Anil Selh

To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94 Year Old
Dr Goodenough (I'm not kidding here... that's his name) is 94. He and his team at the University of Texas at Austin filed a patent on a new kind of battery that, if it works as promised, would be so cheap, lightweight and safe that it would revolutionize electric cars and kill off petroleum-fueled vehicles. His announcement has caused a stir, in part, because Dr. Goodenough has done it before. In 1980, at age 57, he co-invented the lithium-ion battery that shrunk power into a tiny package.

Spiritual Consciousness An interview with Christof Koch
The only thing I’m absolutely sure of is my own consciousness. It’s impossible to describe it unless you have it. It’s a basic feeling.

The Strange Persistence of Guilt
The only reliable way to feel morally justified in that culture is to assume the role of victim. As McClay puts it, “Claiming victim status is the sole sure means left of absolving oneself and securing one’s sense of fundamental moral innocence.”  “If one wishes to be accounted innocent, one must find a way to make the claim that one cannot be held morally responsible. This is precisely what the status of victimhood accomplishes.”

The Blood of the Crab  Longreads
How the blood of horseshoe crabs matters to everyone on the planet! An example of interconnectedness and eco-complexity, starring an animal that hasn't evolved very much over hundreds of thousands of years.

Learning to Think Like a Computer
(and the relevance to spirituality is... ?)
Thinking clearly matters whether you are writing code or doing self-analysis. Skills are multi-purpose. Misinterpreting the flutter of a curtain as a danger signal (burglars! tigers!) can develop into chronic distractions.

And a little humor.. Anger on an Icy Street
Pathwork invites us to consider, when do we do this? vs. pointing at others.  However, first we may need to practice, by identifying inconsistent behavior and beliefs in others before we are able to see these in ourselves.
Week 3: The Dynamics of Resistance
There is a misunderstanding connected to this which is a common misconception that contributes to the resistance to movement.  Since movement in your life is also the passage of time, movement brings you closer toward the end of your physical life. 
You resist the movement with the irrational idea that you thereby halt time and prevent your death.  Yet you would not fear death if you would move and live fully.  So we have a vicious circle here: because you fear the movement and you stop the movement, you miss out on life
Deep inside of you a voice says, "When your time comes and you leave your body behind, you have not done what you could have done and what you could do right now to fulfill yourself and your life."  The misunderstood and mistranslated message of this sense of futility creates on the conscious level the fear of death.  The irrational meaning of the fear would read: "If I stop movement, time will stand still and I will stay in the same position."
PL 241
Exercise 4b:

Practice being honest about your feelings.
When you become aware of any unconscious emotional reactions, blame, or judgments that you mistook for real feelings, or for not being aware of hidden agendas and/or forcing currents, admit this to yourself. 

Apologize to yourself for any hesitation in being honest.

What you were afraid of finding out or exposing?
Week 4: More Aliveness = More Movement
Whatever is alive moves. Even when it is still, it is in movement.  Breath is movement; the bloodstream is in movement; the heartbeat is a continuous movement.  But when a body is dead, the movement has gone from it, along with the spirit that is alive.  It has withdrawn from the shell.

The more aliveness exists, the more movement must exist.  This movement can be subtle, it can be on an inner plane, it may not be observable from the outside, but it can still be very strong, alive, and vigorous. A human being who is in a state of movement may not always move outwardly, but his movement is being felt even at periods of outer rest and quietude.  The movement is being felt in the joyousness, aliveness, the ability to change, the flexibility, the ever pulsating nature of the whole organism. 
PL 241

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.
Each week, see if you can relate with the sub-topics or suggested exercises.

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, when our distortions, misconceptions, and false beliefs first manifest.

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

Free Online Meetings 2017

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Converts to 9am following day AU Eastern

Sundays 10am US Eastern
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What to we do in the meetings?
Learning a complex task requires hours of practice + getting feedback, support, and new ideas + integrating these into our practice!. We share our process with others and hear theirs.  I offer 'coaching' -- spotting potential distortions, misconceptions, or unconscious beliefs that might not align with your conscious thought process.

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Study Guides © Jan Rigsby 2017
PL Quotes © The Pathwork Foundation 1999
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