QA237 QUESTION: I would ask that I have guidance on my Pathwork, especially with regard to integration with the Center, where I am living now.
ANSWER: Yes. All the difficulties you encounter are very specific stepping stones for you. The outer difficulties will disappear the moment you have truly perceived the lessons they represent. Every obstruction you find on the outside reflects an inner obstruction. And I will answer you more specifically, if you ask me more specifically.
QUESTION: Where is the obstruction?
ANSWER: Yes, what do you think are the outer difficulties, and what do you think are the corresponding inner ones that represent a lesson for you?
QUESTION: I find obstructions more simply in adjustment to a completely different environment. There seems to be a tremendous jolt, especially in relation to living quarters and in relation to a difference in people that I’m meeting. I don’t say that I withdraw from it, but integrating my experiences in my life with a new environment is a difficult thing to do for me.
ANSWER: Yes. Now, what do you think is the inner difficulty?
QUESTION: I don’t want to!
ANSWER: You see, here is exactly the area where your greatest lesson lies – that you are, of course, like most human beings, focused on the outer and not on the inner. You separate the outer manifestation, and it is exactly that which you have to learn – the openness, the willingness to make precisely the hardship the fulfillment.
This requires that you give up certain attitudes of pridefulness, of separateness, of rigidity. Something very wonderful will happen when you truly connect emotionally with these attitudes, when you use the current frustrations and use your most productive, creative goodwill, not just to leave the outer obstruction, but to perhaps improve it, which will become possible when you accept first the meaningfulness of the lesson – that this is exactly what your purification process requires and what you could not learn.
You have been thrown from a situation where you were by yourself, where you were completely relying on yourself, where there was a minimum of interaction necessary and whatever interactions existed occurred on your terms. Your inner development could not proceed beyond this in this environment.
And this is why you felt – pushed by your own higher self and fortunately heeding it – the need to change your outer situation and come into a situation that reduced your range of outer freedom considerably, at least at the moment. It is precisely in that that you will gain your real freedom – inner and eventually outer.
But the outer freedom will then be of a totally different nature. It will not be sought as a necessity, because certain rigidities in your makeup make close intimate relating threatening for you. But it will come out of the richness where you can deal with closeness in such comfort and ease, and with such joy that you can then also avail yourself of the equally necessary solitude that must exist in healthy balance.
For many years, the balance was very one-sided, in the direction of solitude, partially out of reasons that avoided your problems of intimacy. Now, temporarily, the pendulum has to swing more in the other direction for you as a lesson.
When that lesson is learned, when you can learn to be comfortable in intimacy, when you can learn to be adjustable and flexible – much more flexible, much more creative – with the circumstances as they present themselves inwardly, then a new plateau will be reached where you can find your way back into a more comfortable outer environment, but that will then be on a different basis. Do you follow me?
QUESTION: Yes, I follow you, but I find it very difficult to follow this, because I don’t see where my rigidity is. I feel intimacy; I feel love; I feel open.
ANSWER: Yes, you have that, but there are other areas where this is not yet so. And you will find them. They are not so hard to find. The difficulty now lies that you have indeed grown, you have progressed, you have changed – considerably. That may then make it difficult for you to see where the old attitudes, in different ways, still prevail, where there is a measure of discouragement, of pessimism, of fear, of shame – these areas still exist, my dear. And you have to see, in this present condition, how much easier it will be to find them.
QA254 QUESTION: We, the resident community at the Center in Phoenicia, have often turned to the message of 1973 for inspiration and guidance in furthering our understanding and acceptance of our task here together. We have passed through many cycles of growth and feel ready now for further guidance in the following areas.
It seems that many couples and individuals in the community are facing various crises at this time. For some, it is a financial crisis, especially in relation to building at the Center; for some it is a job and task crisis; and for others it is a crisis in their relationship with their mates. We have a sense of finally dealing with certain unpurified aspects of ourselves, and the struggle we are in to maintain our love and connections to each other throughout our personal battles. But what is the overall meaning of such widespread crises at this point in our development of the community as a whole?
ANSWER: The more an organism grows, the more unpurified matter becomes untenable and causes crisis. The same material that could previously be accommodated by the entity is no longer bearable in the soul substance. I have explained this principle before, and it is important for all my friends to fully understand these dynamics of the expansion and purification of the human soul. The same principle applies, of course, to a group entity.
In addition to that, the entire organism of your Pathwork once again goes through tremendous changes. These changes are commensurate with the development I mentioned. Changes always create temporary upheaval and anxiety, and therefore throw submerged material to the surface. So do not fret about these manifestations. It is good that way and will lead to a better state.
QUESTION: We have a longstanding difficulty in nurturing real intimacy among us all. We love each other deeply through the work we share in various groups. We deal with each other in business relations, in work relationships, and in living together relationships. Yet, we feel each of these as separate realities. How can we move towards all these interactions becoming one reality? How can we live in the intimacy that we long for? We are aware that part of the problem is our fear of sexuality among us. We have worked on that from time to time as a group, but in what way can we focus our work in this area now?
ANSWER: Again I say, awareness of this fear is a most important factor. And then allowing the involuntary process to catch up with your conscious desire for greater intimacy. Now, let us examine more closely why this desire may be blocked. There is a feeling of discomfort connected with the intimacy you wish for and know you can ultimately experience. What is this discomfort?
You have given a good example. Fear of sexual feelings for each other. I would like to modify this by stating it thus: your childish willfulness that wants to act out every desire causes you to fear intimacy, creates discomfort and awkwardness. In turn, if the greater fear of total commitment to a mate is still lacking, then the feelings will be channeled toward another individual. It will then appear as if those feelings were the real fulfillment.
My suggestion is that all this be discussed openly. In a similar way, any frustration a close person may inflict on you may meet with a great deal of anger in the childish, undeveloped part of you – in that part of your being you would want to act out. And this is what creates fear, discomfort and a resistance to closeness.
By not being too intimate, you find an inbuilt barrier for the temptation to act out destructively, at least to a degree. It is always easier to let one’s guards go with those one is closest to. As I said, your awareness of these factors and your open discussion of them will help and contribute a great deal. At the same time, do not feel compelled to create the perfect state right away. Give your soul time to go through its processes.
QUESTION: Within the community many of us are Helpers to each other on a formal basis. This can make working on Helper/Worker issues difficult with each other on an ongoing level where we all stand revealed before each other. Any help you can give us will be appreciated on how to handle this special relationship and the transference involved.
ANSWER: The more you all grow, the more detached from your personal little stakes you will become, the more objectivity will grow. So it is entirely possible to be Helpers to each other and at the same time live in the greatest of intimacy. If this personal integrity is still lacking and you do color your vision with self-serving motives, again your awareness of this and your free admission will be of the greatest help, and will eliminate damage.
QUESTION: It also seems difficult to really have sheer fun and pleasure together. We complain of no time and scheduling difficulties, but our volleyball court is overgrown and our sweat house by the stream is neglected. How is this related to the above problem?
ANSWER: This question is being answered with what I said about the aspect of fearing intimacy.
QUESTION: The other area of serious neglect is the sanctuary, which, as the resident community, we feel is another important sign.
ANSWER: This question will be answered separately and specifically.
QUESTION: We have not performed the commitment ceremony “For employees in any capacity in the Path.” Would you please tell us why we are resisting this and how the omission is affecting the operation of the Center? Also, is it appropriate for people who donate time during the week and work program people on the weekends, to be included in this ceremony?
ANSWER: The reason for omitting the commitment ceremony is obvious. Employees do not yet want, with all of their being, to give all of themselves to God through their work for their daily bread. There is still a hankering for considering the work as just another job. This is then supposed to make it easier and less fraught with responsibility.
Whether you should have temporary work crews go through such ceremony depends very much on the circumstances, whether they are organic and harmonious, rather than contrived and forced. Beware of going into extremes.
The ceremony must never become more important than the spirit. In such instances, a short prayer of giving to God through this work may do more than creating a long ceremonial procedure that may not stand in relationship to the work hours involved.
QUESTION: Many of us are faced with expanding Helpership leading us into New York City, commuting back and forth to work for several days each week. Some of us have made relative peace with this and see it as important to keep ourselves from being overly wrapped up within the community and dependent on the Phoenicia Center for everything. Others of us find it difficult, especially when we consider our families and children. Can you comment on this for those of us who still consider this a difficulty?
ANSWER: Each case is different and needs to be evaluated differently. For some, going to the city is right and need not disrupt intimacy. Not anymore than the intimacy that should and could exist in the same way between the residents and those who come for the weekends. You are all part of the great task you fulfill together. In some cases, however, going away may be used as a means to avoid something. So you have to probe each instance.
QUESTION: Last, we have begun to really sense our common task together. We have individually begun claiming our manhood and womanhood. We are nurturing others, as in our intensive program during the year, and are assuming more and more responsibilities.
Many of us are finding our way into Helpership, into our tasks in the management of the Center, developing a way of life for families here; each developing our own contribution to the well-being and growth of the Center. Could you shed some light on our community task now and in the future, for we feel we are ready to cross over a new threshold together.
ANSWER: The task, as a whole, is obvious and has been discussed many times. Your community at your Center develops more and more into a purification sphere in which the healing of the soul takes place. This process requires work on several areas. Learning on the mental level is one of them. Governing your community in the best possible way is another.
Going through your own purification process is, of course, fundamental. The individual tasks will develop as you go on. Some of these tasks will change at various times and phases. Each person is unique in his or her specific divine talent and expression.
I want to say to all of you once more how blessed you are, as individuals and as a community.