Pathwork Steps
2016 Study Guides

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February 2016:

Movement, Consciousness, Experience:

The Essence of Pleasure:

PL 119 PRS 26

Wednesday Online Meetings



Week 1: Triads as Indicators of Balance

Week 2: Movement, Consciousness, Experience

Film Suggestions

What will you do tomorrow?

An essay from a NASA scientist dying of cancer

Listen to the Lectures
A free service from Gary Vohlbracht on iTunes

Week 3:  The Pleasure Principle

Week 4: Resistance

Tool of the Month: Pride, Self-Will, and Fear

Daily Review

Quick Online Lecture Word Search!

 Free Weekly Teleconferences
Saturdays 7pm US EST


Wednesday Online Meetings


 Free Weekly Teleconferences
Saturdays 7pm US Eastern

Wednesdays 7pm US Eastern

Please verify the US Eastern start time with your local time zone at or

Participation in the free weekly online meetings has grown, slowly and steadily, over the past few years. The meetings have evolved into opportunities for personal process, where we examine our personal life issues through the lens of Pathwork concepts. 

Working in an online group format can feel daunting. Many people prefer to just 'listen in' during the first few meetings, hearing different perspectives and experiencing how others work.

Click on this link to see the Self-Study notice for Wednesday February 3rd and Saturday February 7th: .

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Movement, Consciousness, Experience:
The Essence of Pleasure

Study Guide for Online Meetings on PRS 26 and PL 119
Week 1Triads as Indicators of Balance
Week 2:  Movement, Consciousness, Experience
Week 3:  The Pleasure Principle
Week 4:   Resistance

The full study guide for each month's topic may be downloaded from  All Pathwork lectures mentioned in these study guides may be downloaded FREE in the 1996 edited format from

Membership in the Pathwork Foundation is $30 annually. As a member (look under the resources tab at you may download the unedited lectures plus additional materials such as the Path to the Real Self (PRS), worksheets from the Pathwork Teachers Helper database (PTH), and question and answer sessions with the Guide. We recently added 100+ recordings of Eva Pierrakos working as a Helper with Jose Ascencio from 1960-1965.

Weekly Self-Study Notices

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Week 1Triads as Indicators of Balance
There are three essential elements that determine life.  They are movement, consciousness, and experience.  As you may have noticed from a number of topics in the past, as well as from other observations, there are many triads in the spiritual facets of life.  The triad forms a whole. 

It is always that one aspect of the triad harmoniously combines the two others.  If harmony prevails in the living organism, the third factor blends, balances, and harmonizes. 

If the life organism is in disharmony with the universal laws, the three factors will become a contradiction to one another, and instead of harmonizing the whole, they will be in opposition to one another.  So it is with this triad.    
Movement, Consciousness, Experience PL 119
The idealized form is in balance, but that does not mean that they are distributed in equal measure.  Balance and harmony does not always mean an equal measure of each.  It depends on the way it is distributed; on the way it works in cause and effect; on the way one current strengthens the other instead of weakening the other as it happens with the disharmonious, unpurified being.
Personality – Three Basic Types PL 43
Week 2:  Movement, Consciousness, Experience
Without movement, life does not exist.  What lives must move.  When movement goes out, it is because life goes out.  The entire universe is in motion because it is alive.  This applies not only to the universe itself, but to every particle of the human entity. 
On the physical level, it is easy to observe.  When muscles are not moved, they atrophy.  Part of the physical body is losing its life.  On the mental or intellectual level, it is also noticeable.  He who does not train his brain to think, to move, loses the capacity for thinking.  The intellect stagnates, is lifeless.  It atrophies just as the muscles of a body do when the body does not move.  Thinking is a movement.  On the emotional level, it is generally more difficult to observe unless one is on a path of self‑exploration.  Feelings are movement, too.  When feelings are prohibited or manipulated so that they cannot function according to their own harmonious law, they deaden. 
PL 119
The second factor is consciousness. It is self‑evident that to the degree that an entity is conscious, so is it alive.  There are many degrees of consciousness.  The human being is the first creature in the upward scale that possesses self‑consciousness, awareness of itself in all the varying degrees.  People such as you, my friends, who pursue a path of increasing self‑awareness raise their level of consciousness in the fastest possible way.  Increased awareness of self must, perforce, increase awareness of others, of the universe, of life as a whole.  Awareness determines the measure and direction of movement and regulates it according to reality concepts.  

In order to increase consciousness, movement is necessary because the effort or activity of such endeavor is movement.  On the other hand, movement without consciousness to the degree of the individual personality's capability hinders harmonious movement of all personality levels.  
 PL 119
Experience is the third factor.  The fuller the experience, the more harmonious must be the interplay between movement and consciousness.  Shallowness is lack of experience.  When the feeling body is paralyzed, the ability to experience must suffer.  Or when feelings are distorted, one‑sided, negative, it is so because of misconception, misinterpretation of reality.  In short, it indicates faulty awareness, lack of comprehension, insufficient consciousness. 
The ability to evaluate an experience determines the maximum of pleasure and the minimum of pain.  For the former, feelings have to be in motion; for the latter, consciousness has to function.  Thus it can be seen that experience is the third regulating factor in this triad.    
PL 119

Film Suggestions

Seeing Time from a Different Perspective 3 mins
2015 feature film The Martian. 2hrs 24 mins
Do the math clip::
Trailers emphasize the action/adventure aspects, yet it won an award for best comedy. Like real astronauts, the characters are 'cool under fire and amazing at teamwork' so the film's dramatic tension results from having to understand and harness a complex reality to attain a goal.
Fundamental Guilt for Not Loving PL 108
YouTube commentary by Jan on last month's topic :7 mins

What will you do tomorrow?

Excerpts from an essay by a NASA scientist dying of cancer
I’m a climate scientist who has just been told I have Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Now that my personal horizon has been steeply foreshortened, I was forced to decide how to spend my remaining time. Was continuing to think about climate change worth the bother?

 I concluded that all I really wanted to do was spend more time with the people I know and love, and get back to my office as quickly as possible.

I work for NASA, managing a large group of expert scientists doing research on the whole Earth system. The work is complex, exacting, highly relevant and fascinating.

Last year was the warmest year on record, by far. I think that future generations will look back on 2015 as an important but not decisive year in the struggle to align politics and policy with science. This is an incredibly hard thing to do. On the science side, there has been a steady accumulation of evidence over the last 15 years that climate change is real and that its trajectory could lead us to a very uncomfortable, if not dangerous, place. On the policy side, the just-concluded climate conference in Paris set a goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels.

While many have mocked this accord as being toothless and unenforceable, it is noteworthy that the policy makers settled on a number that is based on the best science available and is within the predictive capability of our computer models.

It’s doubtful that we’ll hold the line at 2 degrees Celsius, but we need to give it our best shot. 

Ultimately, though, it will be up to the engineers and industrialists of the world to save us. They must come up with the new technologies and the means of implementing them. 

Last year may also be seen in hindsight as the year of the Death of Denial. 

All this as the world’s population is expected to crest at around 9.5 billion by 2050 from the current seven billion. Pope Francis and a think tank of retired military officers have drawn roughly the same conclusion from computer model predictions:  The worst impacts will be felt by the world’s poorest, who are already under immense stress and have meager resources to help them adapt to the changes. They will see themselves as innocent victims of the developed world’s excesses. Looking back, the causes of the 1789 French Revolution are not a mystery to historians; looking forward, the pressure cooker for increased radicalism, of all flavors, and conflict could get hotter along with the global temperature.

The initial heavy lifting will have to be done by policy makers. I feel for them. It’s hard to take a tough stand on an important but long-term issue in the face of so many near-term problems, amid worries that reducing emissions will weaken our global economic position and fears that other countries may cheat on their emissions targets.

Where science can help is to keep track of changes in the Earth system

What should the rest of us do? Two things come to mind. First, we should brace for change. It is inevitable. It will appear in changes to the climate and to the way we generate and use energy. Second, we should be prepared to absorb these with appropriate sang-froid. Some will be difficult to deal with, like rising seas, but many others could be positive.

As for me, I’ve no complaints. I’m very grateful for the experiences I’ve had on this planet. 

And so, I’m going to work tomorrow

Piers J. Serrers January 16, 2016.

Listen to the Lectures

Gary Volbracht created audio versions of all 258 Pathwork Lectures.  They are available on iTumes at no charge. You just have to download them one at a time!
Week 3: The Pleasure Principle

Where movement, consciousness, and experience function harmoniously, the individual must be fulfilled and essentially happy regardless of occasional outer difficulties.  In such a case, love, eros, and sex will be one force, and there is no conflict between the intellect, the emotions, and man's spiritual center. 

Fixation implies lack of movement ‑‑ therefore lack of growth.  It implies lack of consciousness, for in consciousness, proper understanding could be applied so that the movement of the life force could dissolve the fixation.  Hence, experience could take place on the level for which the individual is potentially ready.  

By keeping unresolved fixed areas, the life force is prohibited, and this must take its toll on your general well‑being and overall development
PL 119

Pleasure fills the system when you follow this path, discover the truth about yourself, even if this truth was fought against and was unwelcome to begin with.  

The personal pleasure drive becomes destructive when the psyche still lives in untruth ‑‑ and, hence, does not know how to love.
Week 4: Resistance
Energy and Consciousness in Distortion – Evil PL 197

Fear of truth ‑‑ hence resistance ‑‑ negates the benign quality of the universe.  It negates the truth of the self, with all its thoughts, feelings, and intents.  This self‑negation ‑‑ a result of resistance ‑‑ is and creates evil.
When you want to avoid your feelings and your hidden thoughts and intentions, you create resistance.  Resistance is, in one way or another, always connected with "I do not want to be hurt" ‑‑ whether this hurt is an actual one or an imagined one.
Pride says, "I will never admit that I can be hurt," 
Self‑will says, "I must not be hurt," 
Fear says, "if I am hurt, I must perish."

It is again an expression of distrusting the universe.  In reality, hurt must pass, for it is no more an ultimate state than evil is.  The more pain is experienced in its full intensity, the faster it must dissolve itself into its original components ‑‑ flowing, moving energy which creates joy and bliss. 
PL 197

Evolution, growth, development, always lead to truth and love ‑‑ hence to extended knowing, more harmonious movement which gathers in and gives out more knowingness of truth and love, collecting and dispersing more pleasurable experience. 
          --- If love prevails, there can be no conflict between the highest standards of the real conscience and the pleasure principle. 
          --- If love is absent, a fine mechanism keenly registers the slightest deviation and regulates the psyche, preventing it from clearly expressing, claiming and reaching out for the goods creation has provided in infinite abundance for each living being. 
Due to his untruth, he fears to love. 
When he fears to love, he is unwilling to do so. 
When he is unwilling long enough, he finally becomes incapable.  
PRS 26
Tool of the Month
Pride, Self Will, and Fear PL 30

The Meaning of the Ego and Its Transcendence PL 199
In the first place, the tricks of the ego are every conceivable negativity known to mankind: any fault, any violation of integrity, truth, love, and divine law.  Since all these negativities and faults, as I have often pointed out, can be summed up in the triad of pride, self‑will, and fear, I shall show how the ego‑tricks use these traits in order to prevent self‑transcendence.
The fear of the ego to lose its present state of existence, i.e., its self‑awareness, is so great that it displaces the instinct of self‑preservation.  The ego uses this instinct in the battle to preserve its present awareness.  Fear always blinds and distorts truth and reality. 
Thus the ego maintains itself with pride.  It maintains its separate state by creating an unreal, artificial conflict between the self and others.  "I am better than you," "I am more than you," or "I must prove to the world how admirable, that is, better than others, I am," "I must outdo others," "I must not be worse than others," "My interests counteract those of others, and vice versa" ‑‑ all these attitudes are pridefully put into the service of maintaining the separated state of the ego.  It is always "I versus you," and this inevitably creates a spirit of one‑upmanship.  
PL 199

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. Each week, see if you can relate with the sub-topic: 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

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

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

Week 1:  Using the example from PL 197 (above), test each entry to see whether pride, self-will, or fear played any part in your perception of the disharmony. Jot these observations down in the last column.

Week 2:  Which aspect (Movement, Consciousness, or Experience) feels stagnant in each situation? Imagine activating this aspect. Then practice activating it.

Week 3:  What is the potential for pleasure in each situation?  Imagine an outcome that would serve everyone who was involved in the disharmony. If you are not used to feeling pleasure, the feelings may seem strange at first, even scary.

Week 4: Do you have an attraction to one principle over the others? Do you value one of these principles as more important than the others?  Do you feel resistance around bringing all three aspects into balance? 

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

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