NHNE Special Report
MISSION STATEMENT, CREDITS
One of the most fundamental beliefs underlying the NewHeavenNewEarth project is that there is a divine plan at work in the earth. We believe this divine plan contains within it spiritual truths that are the same for all human beings, regardless of their race, creed, sex, personal beliefs, religious persuasion or cultural conditioning. Although many of these spiritual truths can be found in virtually every religious movement in the world, they are often difficult to recognize, understand and apply. It is our belief that the days of obscurity and confusion are nearing an end. God's plan for all human beings is beginning to reveal itself with increasing clarity.
One place where we believe the fundamental laws of life have surfaced with unusual clarity is in the Pathwork Guide Lectures of Eva Pierrakos.
Eva Pierrakos & The Source of Her Lectures
Eva Broch Pierrakos was born in Vienna in 1915, the daughter of the well-known novelist Jakob Wassermann. She grew up among the intellectual elite of Vienna. Her first husband was the son of another famous writer, Hermann Broch.
According to various published accounts, Eva was bright and outgoing. She loved to dance and ski. The last thing she imagined herself doing was becoming an instrument for spiritual communications.
In 1939, shortly before the Nazi's took over Austria, Eva came to the United States. For awhile she lived in New York and then in Switzerland, where she discovered that she had a gift for automatic writing. By meditating for long hours, changing her diet, and making a commitment to use her gift only for helping people, she eventually succeeded in becoming a channel for a spirit entity who offered remarkably penetrating insights into the human condition and the spiritual path.
From 1957 to 1979, this entity presented a series of 258 lectures and offered hundreds of question and answer sessions and private consultations through Eva. Most of these sessions were spoken, not written, although a few of the later lectures were apparently channeled while Eva typed. The lectures came to be known as "The Pathwork Guide Lectures" while the spirit entity, who never identified itself, came to be called "the Guide." According to the Guide, it was the material, not the source of the material, that was important. The Guide did, however, make some rather provocative claims about the material itself.
First of all, the Guide said that the material it presented did not require those who read it to believe in it. All one had to do was apply the material and the results would speak for themselves.
Secondly, if the material was practiced, the Guide promised that it would completely change your life. Not only would it would give you profound insight into yourself, others, God and the nature of life itself, but it would also help you find true inner (and outer) peace and happiness.
On the other hand, the Guide warned that the path it offered was not an easy one. It required intense self-awareness, profound self-honesty, consistent daily practice and a willingness to expose the darkest realms of the human soul to the light of day. The Guide said that the task of our normal waking consciousness was to build a bridge between the highest and lowest parts of ourselves. We are required to dig deep into our souls in search of whatever dark, twisted forces roam within. As we discover these dark inner forces, our task then becomes one of calling upon the higher parts of ourselves to help us heal and transform these childish, self-centered, wayward aspects of ourselves.
The Guide's focus on confronting and transforming the darkness within is, perhaps, the main thing that distinguishes it from many of today's spiritual teachings. Unlike many of today's spiritual paths and philosophies which tend to focus only on the spiritual nature of the human soul, the Pathwork Guide focused on both the light and the darkness, insisting that the darkness within us cannot be shined away, ignored, or suppressed. It has to be confronted directly, and then, with the help of the higher forces within us, reeducated and transformed.
In addition, the Pathwork material insists that the only way any of us can find God is by passing through and transforming our lower selves. From the Pathwork's perspective, the lower, unhealed parts of ourselves stand between ourselves and our Inmost Beings. Until these lower aspects of ourselves have been transformed, the way to our Inmost Being will always be blocked.
Eva Pierrakos, John Pierrakos & The Work
In 1967 Eva met Dr. John Pierrakos, a psychiatrist and co-creator of a school of therapy known as bio-energetics. A few years later they were married. Not only did their marriage bring personal happiness to both Eva and John, but it also initiated a series of important changes in their lives and work.
By incorporating The Guide's teachings into his work, John transformed his practice of bio-energetics into Core Energetics. In turn, the introduction of John's energy work into the Pathwork process, which emphasized the need to deal with mind, emotion, will and body on their own respective levels, contributed to the effectiveness of the Pathwork teachings.
Eva and John's union drew more and more people. Eventually, a base for the work was established in a secluded valley at the edge of the Catskill Wilderness Area in New York. This first center was called The Phoenicia Pathwork Center and it was located on three hundred acres of pristine land. In 1972 the Pathwork was incorporated as a not-for-profit educational foundation. In 1973 another Pathwork Center was started by Susan and Donovan Thesenga in Virginia. This second Pathwork Center was called Sevenoaks.
In 1979, Eva died of cancer. Eva's death threw the entire organization into a tailspin. A time of deep soul-searching followed during which members were forced to go back to the beginning, to the source of wisdom that lay within each of them, and start anew. No longer having Eva to rely on or turn to, they had to find away to make their situation work with their own resources.
Eventually, the years of traumatic change passed and the work started by Eva began to spread.
As of now, the two original Pathwork Centers still exist, along with numerous study groups, centers, and affiliates around the United States and other parts of the world. They offer regular retreats, workshops, intensives, training programs, study groups and Sunday services. (A list of names, addresses, and resources appears at the end of this report.)
In addition, the Pathwork lectures themselves are slowly becoming a cornerstone in the New Age movement. Such notables as David Spangler (of Findhorn fame), Barbara Ann Brennan (author of HANDS OF LIGHT), Pat Rodegast (channel of the EMMANUEL material), COMMON GROUND MAGAZINE and others have praised the remarkable material. According to people involved in the Pathwork organization, there have also been close ties to Findhorn.
What The Pathwork Guide Lectures Teach
What follows is a summary of the Guide's main ideas, including a few suggested practices. This summary is drawn from information that appears in published Pathwork books, as well as many of the 258 Pathwork Guide Lectures.
Significantly, the Pathwork lectures deal almost exclusively with the human condition and how to heal it. Unlike other sources that discuss everything under the sun, much of which has little or nothing to do with becoming better, happier people, the Guide Lectures are laser-like in their focus. They seldom stray into areas outside the day-to-day concerns of the human condition.
Here, then, is a summary of the Pathwork's fundamental teachings:
-- We create everything we experience:
-- Erroneous, childish, immature, and half-baked misconceptions are responsible for all our painful experiences.
-- The misconceptions we carry at the level of our souls lead us to create childhoods that reflect our deeper core patterns. We can, therefore, use our childhood experiences and misconceptions as a first step towards understanding and healing the deeper afflictions of our soul.
-- The perceptions we form about life as children, as well as the way we decide, as children, to respond to our childish perceptions, form unconscious "images" that determine how we instinctively respond to life. Unless these unconscious images are dug up and healed they continue to operate in our lives, regardless of how much we may have developed in other ways. Painful patterns, that repeat again and again in our lives, are proof that childish images are at work. An inability to overcome certain problems is also an indication that unconscious images have not been dealt with fully.
-- The unconscious self is stronger than the conscious self. It is, therefore, not possible to overwhelm the unconscious with conscious efforts to force our lives into specific directions. The unconscious self must be dug up, reoriented, and brought into harmony with our conscious self. Our conscious and unconscious forces must be in agreement before we can marshal all our forces and achieve true healing. If they are not in agreement, our life experiences will tend to swing back and forth, up and down, between the mixed messages our conscious and unconscious selves are continuously imprinting on our lives.
-- One of the main reasons that it is difficult for us to give up our childish feelings and reactions is because some part of us experiences pleasure in these childish responses. Before we can fully be free of these harmful, hurtful, immature responses we have to discover how we secretly enjoy them.
-- Our jumbled, messy, painful lives bear witness to the fact that conflicting and destructive misconceptions exist within us.
-- The greatest, most harmful, destructive, and far-reaching human error is to deny, avoid, and seek to cover up our imperfections.
-- We create "idealized images" of ourselves (images of ourselves in which we try to look better, or worse, than we really are) in order to mask, or cover up, our inner imperfections (which, in turn, also cover up our true Divine Nature). We do this hoping to gain the love and acceptance of others, but others, when faced with having to love us through the false masks we show them, are compelled to reject us. These false images of ourselves must, at all costs, be dismantled. We must learn to see, and present ourselves as we really are. Only in this way can we fully understand and transform the imperfections in us, which, in turn, will then allow our Higher Selves to come forth. What's more, the more we are able to share ourselves with others the way we truly are, the more they will be able to genuinely love and accept us.
-- We can adopt external forms, like pretending to be a loving person, that make it appear we are loving, when, in fact, we are not. We cannot, however, force our feelings to feel things they don't really feel. The only way our feelings can be made to conform to the idealistic standards we want them to, is to work with them directly: To change whatever it is in us that is making us feel angry, afraid, unloving, unkind, etc. Thus, they are a good window into what we are "really" like, as well as what we "really" need to work on. Healing and transforming our inner most feelings is what this path is all about.
-- Becoming conscious of ourselves, and of all the forces that make us up, is the first step towards healing ourselves. The second step is working to reconcile, reeducate, and transform all the various forces in us that are not perfect.
-- Every level of ourselves -- mind, will, feeling, body -- must be worked with and purified on its own level.
-- Our core issues are always accessible. We don't have to remember past lives, search the depths of our unconscious, or try to remember the intricate details of our childhood. By carefully studying the people, places, things and feelings we experience in our everyday life, we can gain access to past lives, our unconscious, our childhood and everything else we need to know about ourselves.
-- It is better to tackle the small, everyday events of our lives (which can bring our inner patterns into sharp focus) than to try and tackle the big, general issues (which tend to keep our inner patterns fuzzy and obscure).
-- Prayer and meditation are critically important if our efforts to understand and heal ourselves are to be successful. This means taking time to feel God's peaceful, reassuring and comforting Presence. This means asking God to help us see ourselves in a balanced way: Seeing and admitting our imperfections while, at the same time, recognizing our Divine Nature. This means asking God for help, guidance, and intervention when we feel stuck, confused, afraid. This means quietly mulling over particular problems, searching for deeper understandings. This means talking and listening to the various parts of ourselves. In particular, this means becoming an active bridge between our higher and lower selves -- a bridge by which The Higher Part of us can reach down, reeducate and lift up the lower.
-- When we are genuinely interested in bettering ourselves, discoveries about our imperfections will be welcomed. When, however, we are more interested in protecting our false images of ourselves, discoveries about our imperfections will tend to produce the opposite effect: Despair, depression, anxiety, guilt, confusion, anger, fear, denial.
-- The willingness to go wherever God leads us is one of the most important thresholds we ever cross on the spiritual path.
-- Blaming others for our troubles is the most all-pervasive and disempowering tool the lower self uses to incapacitate us and poison human relationships. While blaming others for our misfortunes, we strip ourselves of the power to change whatever it is that is disturbing us. Others are not the source of our troubles, no matter what those troubles may be. We are. This does not mean we are to ignore or overlook the injustices others may bring in to our lives. But our primary emphasis must be on discovering what is wrong with us. What did we do to help create and empower the unpleasant situation we find ourselves in? How have our weaknesses, shortcomings, and misconceptions contributed?
-- When experiences come our way that are especially difficult for us to understand, it is important to keep in mind that many things, including many different kinds of interpersonal reactions, are drawn to us by our unconscious affecting the unconscious of others.
-- In order to effectively bring to light and heal all the different aspects of ourselves, we need three things:
-- We need other human beings both to help us see and work out our imperfections, as well as to join with.
-- Connecting/joining/merging with others is the purpose of life.
-- Before we can reveal ourselves to God we must first learn to reveal ourselves to another human being.
-- An inability to connect and/or deeply share with other human beings is an indication of lack of humility in us, as well as an indication that we harbor fundamental and destructive misconceptions about the nature and purpose of life and relationships.
-- Our personal fulfillment and happiness depends on us fulfilling ourselves as a man or a woman.
-- Male/female relationships are the most challenging, beautiful, spiritually important and growth-producing kind of relationship there is. Fusion with another soul, on all levels, is exceedingly important. It offers both the potential for dramatic personal transformation as well as exalted personal happiness.
-- Our sexual fantasies and expressions are profoundly important windows into our innermost selves. They reveal the overall strengths and weaknesses of our souls.
-- We choose partners that reflect what we really want. The choice of a partner that doesn't really want to fuse with us and/or who is unable to because of various blocks in their make-up is an indication that we don't really want to fuse ourselves (otherwise we would have chosen a partner with the potential to do so).
-- Nothing is comparable to feeling personally loved and cared for by Jesus. The awareness that Jesus personally loves and cares for us is, however, difficult to come by. It is not that he keeps us waiting, but that our blocks prevent us from experiencing his abiding presence.
-- Although Jesus is held up as the main teacher, healer and helper given to humanity, and although the Pathwork material indicates that everyone will, at some point, need to come to this recognition, a belief in Jesus is not necessary to pursue the path outlined by the Pathwork Guide.
-- In order to find true peace and happiness on every level of our being, we must understand that it takes a great deal of time to successfully uncover and reorient our many, often deeply tangled, imperfections/misconceptions. It takes time. It takes time. It takes time. In addition, there are no short cuts. There are no short cuts. There are no short cuts.
-- Pain is an unavoidable part of life and the spiritual path. Trying to avoid painful situations, instead of flowing with and through them, creates more pain and hinders growth and healing.
-- Our efforts at healing ourselves have far-reaching and dramatic effects on the entire race -- far-reaching and dramatic effects that you and I will be largely unaware of while physically incarnate.
Possible Errors & Inconsistencies
I have never encountered a human being or source of information, psychic or otherwise, that I felt was infallible. Given the imperfect nature of our world, I don't believe it is possible for anyone, or any kind of information to appear in the earth that is entirely free of human distortions and limitations. In the case of channeled material, the channel's own personality, biases and imperfections inescapably weave their way into whatever material passes through their minds. In addition, the source of the information may be imperfect and those who end up transcribing the material may alter its content and/or meaning in various ways.
The Pathwork material is, in my opinion, no exception.
Although I have not read all of the Pathwork lectures or studied and applied the Pathwork material long enough to feel that I understand everything it is saying, I have spent enough time with it to discover what I believe may be three possible errors.
Like many other teachings, including those of the Bible, the Edgar Cayce readings and A COURSE IN MIRACLES, the Pathwork Material seems to suggest that some kind of misguided and unexpected fall took place that resulted in the creation of a multitude of wayward, imperfect, ultimately illusionary realities. According to the Pathwork material, Lucifer, or Satan, or the Devil was the first spirit to fall and he influenced others to follow him. Meanwhile, other beings resisted his influence and remained one with God. The task of the fallen beings became one of experiencing their own darkness until they began to long for something more. The task of the beings who remained one with God became one of rescuing their fallen brethren.
As I mentioned earlier, the Pathwork material hesitates to deal with issues that are a step or two removed from the day to day struggles of the human condition. It also hesitates to deal with issues that are beyond the scope of human understanding. And yet, many of these issues play significant roles in how we think, feel, and act in our everyday lives.
"This issue [the fall] touches the very greatest questions which cannot be fully understood by any human being, for human language is too limited in the first place and human understanding is also too limited. Therefore, as a rule I do not even like to talk much about all of this because the main thing for you is to learn to know your own soul and to develop spiritually. However, man often wonders about these fundamental questions, not merely in a spirit of superficial curiosity, but in good faith. And ignorance and wrong conceptions of some of these points may seriously hinder his development."
--- From Pathwork Lecture 21, The Fall
While I personally feel comfortable with the way in which the Pathwork material describes the process of leaving and returning to God, the few lectures I have read that deal with this topic seem to suggest some kind of mistake took place. Whether it was a matter of some beings rebelling outright, or whether it was a matter of beings expanding out into the creation and then slowly losing their way, in the end there is a feeling that something went wrong. Some of us managed to lose our way while others of us didn't. (You and I, of course, are some of the ones that fell.)
Since the Pathwork material that I have read about this topic is not entirely clear, it may not mean to imply that a grand, cosmic mistake occurred. It may, in fact, simply be commenting on how we left God and how we will eventually return. In any case, there is enough confusion to express concern. So here's the rub:
If we internalize the idea that a fall wasn't suppose to happen, but somehow did, then we are confronted with a terrible dilemma: somebody messed up. If it was God, then He is not the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-reliable Presence most human beings think He is and nothing is safe. If, on the other hand, you and I messed up, then we, at the level of our souls, are defective.
If you and I believe we are defective, we end up feeling guilty about ourselves. We also end up distrusting the deep soul forces within us (which, of course, are somehow responsible for our fallen condition). In addition, if we believe our world and universe is largely the creation of fallen beings, then we would naturally feel very bad (and guilty) about living here. It is a dream, a nightmare really, peopled by legions of souls who rejected God and trapped themselves in hells of their own making. Our entire stance towards ourselves, towards others, towards our world, towards the creation, even towards God (who somehow managed to create us imperfectly), becomes one of distrust, contempt and anger. Everything reminds us of our own defective natures which have caused ourselves and others untold ages of meaningless pain and suffering. Even the hopeful thought that we may someday be able to find our way back to Heaven is polluted by the thought that we somehow lost our way and, what's worse, that the same defect of soul that caused us to fall in the first place might cause us to fall again.
Those of us who believe humanity fell from Heaven may not consciously think all of these thoughts, but it is unlikely that such thoughts do not affect our lives and thought processes in some fashion. If we have difficulty imagining the harm that such world views might have on us, we have only to look at many of the religious movements in the world today that subscribe to similar philosophies. In the west, traditional Christian movements are full of people consumed with paralyzing guilt about the fallen (and defective) nature of their souls. While in the east, untold millions of people desperately seek to flee their bodies, minds, emotions and individuality and awaken from a dream world that they believe has no purpose beyond keeping them chained to endless pain and suffering.
How do we deal with this dilemma?
If we conceive of our decision to leave Heaven as a natural part of God's plan for us, then the whole picture changes. There is nothing wrong with God. There is nothing defective about us at the level of our soul, nor is there anything wrong with us on the level of everyday life where we are filled with all kinds of imperfections. We are where we are suppose to be, learning the lessons we are suppose to be learning. We have nothing to feel guilty about. We can trust God and our Inmost Being to lead us to ever increasing wholeness. We can fully embrace ourselves, others and the world around us instead of desperately trying to escape. We can feel the whole drama of creation has sprung into existence for a wonderful, exalted purpose: we chose to leave Heaven not because we were defective, but, rather, because we wanted to grow and mature, to become individualized and self-aware.
(This important issue is discussed in more detail in the NHNE Special Report "Discernment and the Spiritual Path.")
In addition to presenting Jesus as the leader of the human race, the Pathwork material also says that Jesus is "the most exalted of all Created Beings." He is (and was) better, higher and holier than you and I. Jesus, and the rest of humanity, are, in other words, fundamentally different -- at least in essence.
This, of course, creates a significant problem for those of us who believe that Jesus was like the rest of us. Those of us who entertain the belief that Jesus is like the rest of us -- an equal, albeit, older and more experienced brother -- can feel justified and empowered in thinking we can follow in his footsteps. If, on the other hand, we view Jesus as fundamentally greater, or different, than ourselves, then we cannot realistically hope to follow in his footsteps. In order to accomplish feats similar to his, we would have to be made of the same basic substance.
On the other hand, if Jesus did indeed accomplish what many, including myself, believe he did -- if he became the first soul to completely break the chains of this world and attain perfection -- then I think there is logical grounds to argue there may have been something different about him. A person could also realistically argue that you and I can now do what Jesus did because he will help us accomplish feats that we couldn't, left to our own means.
Whatever the Pathwork material's position may be on geological changes, the same Pathwork lecture that says geological changes are not going to happen does stress that a major shift in human consciousness is underway. What's more, it affirms that those who are not actively purifying themselves may end up placing themselves in psychic, emotional and spiritual jeopardy. Simply put, the powerful influx of new, healthy energies into our realm of consciousness will be too much for people to deal with who have not been clearing up their inner blocks. In addition, sources in the Pathwork organization indicate that the Guide did say that all kinds of political/social upheavals WILL happen.
While you and I may never know for certain the answers to my first two concerns (at least not while we are stuffed in tiny physical bodies and limited human minds), there are many questions we can answer. And these questions are the primary focus of the Pathwork Guide lectures.
As I mentioned earlier, the source of these lectures does not ask us to believe what it says is true. It asks us to put its ideas to the test. Furthermore, the main thrust of Pathwork material is not vague or hazy. It states, again and again, often in stunning clarity, what we need to do and what we can expect from our efforts. It is one of the few spiritual paths I know of that offers crystal clear guidelines and crystal clear markers to measure our success (or lack thereof).
And finally, although I have yet to master the Pathwork material myself and, what's more, have no formal Pathwork training of any kind, I can still bear witness to the fact that my attempts to understand and apply the material has changed my life. After eight years, I can say it is the most clearly presented, most strikingly practical, most deeply empowering material I have ever seen. Based on my own experience I believe it can indeed deliver the kind of inner (and outer) peace and happiness it promises to those of us who have enough patience, persistence and determination to follow the challenging path it champions.
Pathwork Contacts, Lectures & Resources:
CALIFORNIA & THE SOUTHWEST:
PATHWORK OF CALIFORNIA, INC.
PATH TO THE REAL SELF/PATHWORK
CENTRAL UNITED STATES:
PATHWORK OF IOWA
THE GREAT LAKES REGION:
GREAT LAKES PATHWORK
SEVENOAKS PATHWORK CENTER
NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, NEW ENGLAND:
NORTHWEST PATHWORK/CORE ENERGETICS
PATHWORK OF GEORGIA
There are also Pathwork contacts in:
(Contact the PHOENICIA PATHWORK CENTER in New York or the SEVENOAKS PATHWORK CENTER in Virginia for more details.)
Individual lectures are available from the following Pathwork regional centers:
PATHWORK OF CALIFORNIA, INC.
GREAT LAKES PATHWORK
SEVENOAKS PATHWORK CENTER
PHOENICIA PATHWORK CENTER
Many Pathwork lectures are also published in:
THE PATHWORK OF SELF-TRANSFORMATION
FEAR NO EVIL
THE UNDEFENDED SELF
*The Pathwork Press
NHNE MISSION STATEMENT, CREDITS & CONTACT INFORMATION
The mission of NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE) is to answer humankind's oldest, most perplexing questions: Who are we? Where are we from? What is the origin and purpose of life? Instead of relying on ancient or contemporary wisdom, or the knowledge of isolated experts, we are building a global network of seekers from all walks of life, from all parts of the world, lay people and professionals alike, that can pool talents, experience, and resources to unravel life's great mysteries.
We also believe that our planet is passing through a time of profound change and are seeking to create a global community of like-minded people that can safely pass through whatever changes may come our way and help give birth to a new way of life on our planet.
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