QA254 QUESTION: We would like your guidance regarding the financial aid program and its administration in the Path and at the Center. In a recent Saturday night group, the committee worked on where we are blocked. We clearly saw our negativity in our own self-deprivation and self-righteousness about it, as well as our unpreparedness as Helpers and confronters in this area. At the same time, with the new restructuring in the Pathwork, there has been a great influx of applications for assistance, and the work of the committee needs to proceed despite our painful awareness of our inadequacies.
Our first question is: What is a just and spiritual philosophy for the financial aid program? We have so far adhered to our existing policy that everyone receiving aid must return the giving to the Center in the form of work. While basically still agreeing with this, it seems that it could also be right to offer outright grants in some cases, or loans to be paid back at a future date. Would you comment on this?
ANSWER: There may exist exceptional cases where help should be granted without the recipient working for it. Such exceptions will become very obvious. But as a general rule, it is essential that the recipient also gives commensurately for what he receives. His or her lower self may not want that, but one does not have to dig very deeply to find that the total personality rebels against receiving something for nothing.
It lowers self-esteem, which is then often covered up and projected, so that the givers invariably wind up being resented and distrusted. The work does not have to be given only in your Center in the country. There is a lot of help needed with the new organization in your Center in the city. If this is systematically organized, a beautiful mutuality will arise that will give a foretaste to the recipients of how fulfilling it is to earn and provide for all their needs. It will become clear that this is neither as difficult nor as impossible as it may appear.
QUESTION: Should there be restrictions on what types of Pathwork activities are eligible for support by financial aid? Should certain types of expanded Pathwork activities – such as Core sessions, training classes, special groups – be considered as extras, or is it valid to assist a person in affording these things?
ANSWER: The assistance should be given for any Pathwork activity that is important for the person’s development into a full-fledged, self-responsible, creative, joyous adult. The choice should be made by the Helper and perhaps also by the group leader.
However, the decision may change. For instance, at one point, physical work may be the most essential additional activity. Perhaps some time later a couple’s group may be what is required in order to eliminate a disharmony that blocks the further way, or in many cases, vocational work may be most important.
QUESTION: How can we on the committee prepare ourselves better for the task we are already doing? Clearly we need to continue our personal work to open our hearts, feel our need, caring and love, and at the same time risk confrontation and taking a stand. Are there additional things we can do to enlarge our capacity to face the challenge of this work?
ANSWER: Awareness – cultivated awareness. It is a training that needs to be undertaken. Every case has to be taken individually, with all your attention, with a waiting, searching attitude, asking for guidance. As you grow in your own strength, you will become more objective. You will have less emotional stake to please or to prove yourselves as authorities. Do not worry. The truth will always reveal itself.
You work together with the respective Helpers, your own Helpers, and if you do not know the right answer immediately, give it some time. Do not believe that you must know at once. This belief that one must know immediately is such a contributing factor to wrong decisions, to guilt and insecurity. You can afford to let the answer simmer and ripen.
QUESTION: As a committee, we have experienced a separation from the organism we serve and our desire to represent it in our philosophy, our policy and our decisions. I have had the growing sense that the function of this committee needs to be more a part of the Center administration. Is it wishful thinking that by so doing it would heal the separation, or is there truth in pursuing that direction?
ANSWER: The separation may exist, but not necessarily in actuality. It may be in you as an expression of your fear of – and rebellion against – the authority the administration represents. On the other hand, you also want to shift your responsibility on them because you fear making mistakes.
A closer cooperation with the general administration can be very favorable, but you still need to learn to shoulder the responsibility. This does not mean not taking advice and counsel. The ability to ask for it is in itself a sign of maturity. Do not worry. Your task is blessed and you are all learning and growing in it and with it.