Pathwork Steps
2016 Study Guides

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August 2016:

 Commitment -- Cause and Effect

PL 196

Video Review - June & July
Reality and Illusion PL 71

Study Guide Outline
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Daily Review

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Reality and Illusion PL 71

Video Introduction / Review of June & July topic: 17 mins

Commitment -- Cause and Effect PL 196
Outlined with The Four Stages of Spiritual Evolution PL 127

Week 1: What happens when we don’t know what we don’t know?
Week 2: Awareness, the most painful stage of our process
Week 3: Understanding our part in creating our reality: cause and effect
Week 4: Knowing – and how to recognize it

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Week 1: What happens when we don’t know what we don’t know?

Wherever peace, fulfillment, light, hope, and trusting closeness to your intimate friends are lacking, let this be a gauge that something in you is amiss. This gauge is so exacting! You will experience your life circumstances and your inner state in accordance with the advance you have made on your own inner path. There is no truer measurement.

PL 196

The Four Stages of Evolution PL 127

Automatic Reflex, Awareness, Understanding, Knowing

1. Automatism / blind reflex

--Responses based upon deeply imprinted wrong conclusions and generalizations
--Blind reflexes rationalized and explained to prove they are based on choice vs. compulsion - Cannot surrender or trust, because we are disconnected from our own inner knowing

Compulsion to do, say, think and feel things you disapprove of.  Allows for:

Dualistic choices
Creates Self-alienation
Cripples creativity
Prohibits love
Prohibits ability to give and receive pleasure and love

2. Awareness

--Starts with becoming aware of the blind reflex mechanism --Becoming conscious of error, deviation from truth
-- Realization that we are / have been driven by false ideas

We are always in the process of becoming aware about something. Whether a particular stage of awareness is long or short, painful or pleasant, it must precede understanding.

3. Understanding

--Seeing the cause and effect of negative, destructive emotions, false ideas
--Requires deep experience of the spiritual reality (felt, rather than learning a lesson by heart)

4. Knowing

--Experiencing the truth
--Knowing right conclusions from wrong ones, intuitively and instinctively -- Connects us with a greater spiritual principle

How do we know we 'know'? Knowing is the result of our process, the effect caused by engaging in spiritual evolution. Recognizing where we have been blind is the first conscious step.

Week 2: Awareness, the most painful stage of our process

The transition from automatism to awareness is one of the most difficult that man passes through. It is so difficult to admit that he is driven by unreasonable fears, superstitions, generalizations, obsolete situations that have no bearing on the present. It goes against his vanity, for he likes to see himself more evolved and freed than he is.

The longer he denies what is, the more does he suffer. Often it is this needless suffering that finally brings him to self- honesty. It could have been avoided if his vanity were not so strong. This requires courage and the cultivation of the inner will.

PL 127

Autobiography in Five Chapters
A poem by Portia Nelson
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I am lost... I am helpless.
I fall in.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place,
But - it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in... it’s a habit... but
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.

Film and Reading Suggestions

We become the Story we tell ourselves

1. Finding the 'spine' of your story can be another way to verbalize your Main Image PL 93 or your Idealized Self Image PL 83.Andrew Stanton makes this suggestion at the 19 mins:
(relevant portion begins at 7:48) "Well-drawn characters have a spine... an inner motor, a dominant unconscious goal that they are striving for, an itch they can't scratch. We are born with a temperament and there's no changing it. All we can do is learn to recognize it and own it. But a major threshold is passes when you mature enough to acknowledge what drives you, and the take the wheel and steer it."

2. Shekhar Kapur: We are the stories we tell ourselves 21 mins
Using the art of story-telling to help us reveal our own story

3. Your Brain is Primed to Reach False Conclusions
An article on cognitive bias.

4. The Powerful Reality of Made Up Memories
An article from the Boston Globe

5. Eliminating Anxiety with 3 words:
Say 'I am excited!' and see how it changes your attitude.
A short research article from The Atlantic here.

6. Facing reality re PL 71:
How an individual came to grips with guilt: 
Goebbles' Secretary

And some fun stories...

The Positive Potential of Eros PL 44

Stephen Colbert answers an audience question re: How did you know your wife was 'the one'?  6 mins

Watch 6000 Years of Growth in 3 minutes
A novel way to view patterns of urban development from 5000 BC through 2000 AD from CityLab.  Click here to view.

Week 3: Understanding our part in creating our reality

Connecting Cause and Effect

When you can truly see cause and effect relationships in your life, not only will you be motivated to want to give up negative attitudes and intentions and to institute positive intentionality, you will also gain awareness and emotional and spiritual maturity. Maturity is to a great extent the ability to put cause and effect together. The ability to put cause and effect together also indicates the degree of awareness an entity has reached through his development.

PL 196

Stage 3: Understanding

- Seeing the cause and effect of negative patterns, destructive emotions, false ideas.

- Comes after a degree of awareness has been gained and, proportionately, blind reflexes have ceased

Requires deep experience of the answers to all these questions (that is, deeply felt as a reality rather than learning a lesson by heart):

     Why does this blind reflex exist?
     What brought it on in my life?
     What conditions existed that created it?
     What conditions exist now whenever it is generated?
     What are the similarities (both apparent and real) between the original situation and the present situation?
     How are these related in my psyche?
     How are they related in reality?
     Why is this blind reflex based upon a false assumption? How is this blind reflex based upon a false assumption?
     What would it mean to me / require from me to
deeply experience the answers to all of these questions?

PL 127

I recapitulate: the more cause and effect can be linked; the more maturity exists; the more awareness exists; the more positive attitudes and positive intentionality will be fostered; and proportionately, the greater the peace and rich fulfillment. Universal, ever available abundance becomes realizable in equal proportion. Lack of peace and fulfillment always connotes lack of awareness; lack of maturity; lack of awareness of cause and effect relationship, linking up to negative intentionality.

PL 196

Week 4: Knowing – and how to recognize it

Knowing the truth = Greater than understanding cause and effect
Knowing what the right conclusions are behind the wrong ones Experiencing the truth connects us with a greater spiritual principle
Opens up the world

Knowing means
     Becoming aware of blind reflexes
     Understanding why they exist / existed Understanding what disharmonies they created
     Knowing the truth behind the automatism (caused by specific misconceptions)
     Knowing has a healing effect on yourself and your entire environment

The only way that knowing divine principles can come about is through a highly personal experience of the untruth that blurred the way, so far, to that particular truth. When you know the truth, you are in possession of the universe. If you know one truth, you know all truth.

PL 127

I come around full circle and close this lecture by saying: commit yourself wholeheartedly to your truth, to giving your best, to giving up the negative intention, the spiteful withholding. Now that you see it, want to give it up and let God within you help to bring in the opposite positive attitudes. The blessings are truly immeasurable.

Whenever you find another facet of still lingering negative intentionality, make the corresponding positive commitment. Elicit in this way a new spiritual energy that will bring you forever greater blessings.

PL 196

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.

August : Identifying stages of evolution in our daily lives

Verses 1-4 of the Autobiography in Five Verses (above) correlates to the Four Stages of Spiritual Evolution in PL 127 (above).  We go through these 4 stages whenever we learn anything complex that requires new skills (such as driving, sports, or social interactions like dating). It cam be easier to identify each stage in benign (non-threatening) situations. Then we may be able to identify them in areas where we feel conflicted, frightened, or are in resistance because we are gripped by an unconscious agenda.

It is helpful to notice any physical sensations that accompany such moments. The body never lies, although the mind may have overlaid its own interpretations so often that it can be hard to differentiate the original energetic signals.

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).

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. 

Has awareness ever felt so overwhelming that you shut your senses down / went numb / blamed others because you were afraid you might be to blame? 

What were the effects of shutting down / blaming or feeling blamed?

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