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Pathwork Steps
October 2015 

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In this issue:


Faith and Doubt...in Truth or Distortion
PL 221

A brief history of the written versions of the lectures

Blind Spot Exercise

Daily Review

 Free Weekly Teleconferences
 
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Faith and Doubt...in Truth or Distortion 
PL 221

Weekly Topics
 
Week 1:  Inner Obstacles to Faith
Week 2True and False Concepts
Week 3:  Four Steps of Faith
Week 4:  True and False Doubt

Note on this month’s study guide:
          My first step in preparing to teach a lecture is to break up long paragraphs, eliminate repetitive elements, condense sub-topics, highlight concepts, and add quotes from other lectures to emphasize primary points. Even when stages and suggestions are described in 1, 2, 3 language, they are sometimes lost in the text so I create lists whenever possible.
         After re-formatting PL 221, dividing it into 4 topics, and adding just a few exercises and examples to the Four Steps of Faith, it feels complete. If the topic is of interest, please download the full text of the lecture from www.pathwork.org.
 
You may download the full month's study guide from www.janrigsby.com (2015 teleconference page) or from www.pathworksteps.org/teleconferenceschedules.
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A brief history of the written versions of the lectures


Eva was drawn to mediumship through a brief personal experience of sensing the energetic presence of a spiritual being. After practicing intensely with a friend and coach for over 5 years, she identified the entity we call the Guide via automatic writing, allowing his energy to guide her hand while she was in a trance state. She felt that the energy was masculine, so referred to ‘him’ as ‘the Guide’. He said that he was a spokesman for a larger group of spirits who undertook to enhance man’s understanding of the spiritual purpose of human life. Neither the Guide nor the group he represented identified themselves further.

Early in my Pathwork studies, I was uncomfortable with the idea of channeled material. My teachers suggested that I focus upon whether the text resonated with me, instead of its source.

“The phenomenon of this transmission ‑‑ whether you are interested in it believe in it or not ‑‑ should be considered of secondary importance.  You will do best if you keep your mind open for many possibilities which you do not yet understand.  Understanding and deep enlightenment will come as you go deeper into your own depths and experience your inner wealth and connectedness with the universe.”  PL 204

In 1956. Eva began giving oral presentations while in a trance state.  These were recorded, then transcribed. The first 12 lectures were given in German (her native tongue). These were translated into English. The original German transcriptions are available at the Pathwork Foundation website store, www.pathwork.org.  Several of the original audio presentations have been digitized and are available online.  Some members of the community received copies of the original transcripts, notated as ‘earliest printed version’.

Once the tapes were transcribed, Eva would again go into trance and allow the Guide to augment them with additional teachings, as well as clarify when the written version did not communicate the full meaning and intent of the spoken words. Some lectures show minimal editing, some are twice as long as the original transcripts. These were called the ‘unedited lectures’ and are available along with additional materials by the Guide and early Pathwork leaders as a CD-Rom from www.pathwork.org. Members ($30 per year) may also access these materials online

Eva encouraged Judith and John Saly, who were among the first Helpers and leaders in the Pathwork community, to create edited versions of the lectures so that they are easier to read. These are known as the ‘1996 edited versions’ and are available at no charge at www.pathwork.org.  

JR

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Week 1:  Inner Obstacles to Faith   PL 221
 
After having invested considerable effort, time, and energy as you go through the spiral movement of your inner being, you finally find that which obstructs you.  You find that which prohibits you.  You find that which is negative.  When you go deep enough and look astutely enough, you also find out that which really obstructs you is the sum total of everything that is negative and destructive in you.  

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Blind Spot and the "Filling-in" phenomenon

Did you know that your eyes have blind spots (and not just at the back of your head)? Each of your eyes contains an area that has no photoreceptors because it is occupied by the optic nerve. You may not have noticed these areas because they are on opposite sides of your visual field. However, this exercise is designed to isolate your blind spot and you will be amazed at the results.

www.colorcube.com/illusions/blndspot.htm

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Week 2:  True and False Concepts   PL 221
 
The popular concept of faith in this era of mankind's development is that it is a blind belief in something you have no way of knowing, that you will never know.  It means that you just blindly and, if I may say, unintelligently and gullibly trust without rhyme or reason, usually out of wishful thinking, laziness, and ignorance.  Therefore, faith in today's intellectual mind stands in ill repute.  If faith were indeed what it is supposed to be according to this concept, there would be good reason to discard all faith.  If faith were a gullible lack of discrimination, then of course the intelligent person would rightly guard himself against anything that might resemble faith.  For he does not want to be gullible, he does not want to be stupid, he does not want to believe in something that has no substance in reality and cannot ever be experienced as truth.  Therefore he stays on an intellectual platform on which everything supposedly real can be seen, touched, known, and proven.  And never is the leap made into the unknown.
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Connecting with Others

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Week 3: Four Steps of Faith PL 221

Step 1
 
The first stage would be to contemplate a new way of functioning, as opposed to continuing in the particular negative chain reaction that has been discovered.  
 
So the first step is to consider such a new way as a possibility. When you sincerely do this ‑‑ grope and wait, patiently wait for the revelation from within ‑‑ you will find a new modality.

Examples of Step 1 in daily life:
            Feeling a strong calling for an experience or opportunity that you may not be able to articulate.
            Falling in love, with anything or anyone. Eros (PL43) is a soul movement. Although it is vulnerable to distortions in the personality, it always contains a ‘grain of truth’ (PL 5, 26, 43, 101 etc.)
 

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Step 2
 
More of a leap is taken on the second step in faith.  With that leap you open yourself to the divine ground within you so that it can supply the knowledge your intellect cannot find. 
 
In the second step you allow the divine self to supply the answer.

Examples of Step 2 in daily life:

We consider exploring beyond usual thought processes or comfort zones.
We open ourselves to the potential for new truths.
We allow our daily routines to be interrupted, re-arranged.
 
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Step 3
 
[During Stage 3 we may express: ] "Yes, I have experienced something new, but I am not yet able to hold on to it.  It is not yet my own permanent ground.  In order to make it my ground, I fully surrender to the greater reality in the universe.  I let go of the known safety valves, the familiar ego habits of finding security and self‑fulfillment in at least partially negative ways.  I give up to the divine power and let it guide me.  I dedicate my life to truth and love for its own sake."  

Exercise for Step 3:
              Repeat the sentences at the beginning of Step 3 several times. Where / how does it resonate?

 
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Step 4
 
When you do this consistently, you arrive at the fourth step: where faith becomes an experienced reality…a proven fact, so securely anchored in you that no one can take it away. 

The Back and Forth Struggle within Step 4:
 
Epiphany! Eureka! I get it!
Get what? It doesn’t make any sense an hour later… 
Oh, right… of course, I understand!
Must be my imagination…
I see my own process very clearly.
I’m inventing this.
Everyone else says it’s someone else’s fault.
No – I’m not imagining it. Something here is real, even if I don’t fully understand all of it.
 
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Week 4:  True and False Doubt     PL 221
 
If you doubt something that you do not want to know, for whatever reason, then your doubt is dishonest.  This wrong kind of doubt has a lot in common with the wrong kind of faith. 
They both are governed by wishful thinking.  Very often those who are proud of their doubting because they do not wish to appear gullible in the eyes of others never doubt their doubts. 
 
So your doubts must be questioned:
-- Do you have a stake in what you doubt? 
-- What are the honest reasons for your doubts? 
-- On what real considerations do you honestly base these doubts? 
If you doubt your doubts, if you question them, you will arrive at the truth that governs you in this respect, and thus you approach faith.
 
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Tool of the Month: 
Finding Blind Spots

Evolutions Four Stages: PL 127 
Automatic Reflex, Awareness, Understanding, and Knowing
Read the outline at www.pathworksteps.org or download full text of the lecture from www.pathwork.org
 
Finding our blind spots requires that we trust our peripheral vision.  We may not be able to see the actual blind spot, but we may be able to notice discrepancies, incongruities, inconsistencies, 

The initial stages of awareness are like the process of awakening from a deep sleep. At first, we may not realize we are awake -- even though asking the question usually means that we are awake -- to some degree! Finding our blind spots is like trying to see something before we are completely awake. We may have to consider at a later time what we remember, piecing together our own memories with any other evidence at our disposal. Feedback from others can serve as a  'reality check'. If their accounts are subjective or biased, we may have to develop our intuitive skills to find the 'grain of truth'.
 
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Daily Review
 
Exercise: Keep a record of subtle things that disturb you. Notice feelings of  discomfort or uncertain, such as when you suspect you may be uninformed, ignorant, unprepared, or unaware of what the real issues might be about.. Focusing upon subtleties may help avoid any tendency to distract ourselves with exaggeration or dramatization.

During successive weeks, focus on one or more Steps of Faith, or whether your doubts are true or false. 

All you need is a ½ page of lined paper per day.  Create 4 columns. At some point, jot down each day these 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
3The judgments or conclusions you came to at the time

At the end of the week, read through your entries. 

4. Notice any patterns or common denominators.  Jot these down in the last column. If they correlate to any of the Four Steps of Faith, note the number of the step. 
         
5. Using your preferred form of meditation (sitting, walking, or while doing 'mindless' chores) reflect upon your early childhood experiences and how they might relate.

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