The Stages of Commitment: Stages and Questions Excertp from the Guides Message Initial Interview and Various Stages on the Path

No. 6 | February 01, 1978

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During times of change and a new influx of energy, old customs must often give way to the new. So it is now with the Path. Here are certain guidelines I should like to mention. Other points may be added later through the inspiration of various friends.

1. Everyone joining the path should, before being interviewed, read certain basic lectures, such as “What is the Path?,” a Resume of the Path as I gave it a few years ago, and the most recent lecture about tradition, that also sums up certain principles.

2. In the interview, the interviewer should stress that this is a spiritual path in that it develops man’s spiritual nature and faculties; that it opens inner channels to experience cosmic events, which is a very different process than superimposing dogma. It should be made clear that there is no obligation to believe in anything, but that all ideas need to be questioned, opened up, that an inner receptivity be established and all barriers be removed. Only this inner emptiness can release personal dormant faculties, as well as cosmic truth.

3. A choice should be given to the individual about the nature of his commitment and participation, which can always be intensified to a more advanced state later. It should be made clear that changing to a more advanced state later is much easier and better than retracting the commitment to a lesser stage. The latter alternative is a damaging process for the soul. I will now indicate some very definite phases of commitment that should be clearly defined. Until now it was better that there be no categorizing and the borderlines sometimes quite diffuse. Now the time has come when this is a detriment and where a more structured definition of a path member’s involvement will eliminate a great deal of unnecessary friction and misunderstandings. This might necessitate certain changes of existing structure. I will now indicate the different phases.

A. The new Path member is interested primarily in personal changes connected to certain problems he or she suffers from and wants eliminated. This person may have had conventional therapy and might feel that a more spiritual and holistic approach will be more effective. Or the new path member may be interested and inclined to start working on themselves within the framework of a spiritual path. Whatever the reason it must be made clear to the new person that the Path is not therapy; each new person must realize that although he or she is primarily concerned with a certain personal problem, they must be prepared to open up all aspects of their inner life because the connections to the conscious problems may be found underground, in an entirely different area than they expected. In other words no one who puts restrictions on areas to be challenged, worked on, investigated, should even consider entering the Pathwork. However a person who makes the decision to enter the Pathwork may not be inclined to involve himself or herself in a more extended group process and may therefore start his/her work on the Path only in private sessions, and perhaps a Pathwork Group. If a person who enters the Path chooses this less involved A category and has had no exposure to core energetics, the helper should combine bodywork with conceptual work so that two kinds of sessions will not be necessary. Reading old as well as current lectures is a fundamental requirement.

B. People who identify with this category may start here right from the beginning, with a committed attitude to more participation with the larger group, or they may enter into this phase later on. In this category, participation in additional groups (i.e. core classes, vocational, couples groups) is desired right from the beginning. If the new worker starts off with category B and desires to have special core sessions as well as conceptual sessions, then different helpers should be chosen who concentrate more specifically on either core or conceptual work. Category B people may also be interested in attending lectures and perhaps occasionally visiting the Center in Phoenicia. From this a greater awakening may occur that may manifest in adding committee work to the already existing program. At this point the person may become ready for the next category.

C. Here the awakening occurs in which the path is no longer seen as a mere personal venture but the sense of planetary responsibility is released within the soul. The sense of being involved with creating a new society in God and Christ, serving a larger cause, is beginning to flower. This does not mean that all doubts in God and/or Christ have necessarily disappeared, but there is an openness and a willingness in the personality to experience whatever the truth may be. Subsequently some such experiences begin to happen occasionally. When this category is being entered into the desire exists to enter a training class in order to understand the lecture material in depth and learn about helpership. As mentioned before, this does not mean becoming a regular helper for all participants, but it does mean the readiness to undertake some task in the great scheme for which helpership principles are necessary. This automatically implies a greater responsibility for the whole, which follows the awakening of personal responsibility that was developed in the previous phase.

D. Helpers and people involved in other activities of responsibility within the community; i.e. all leadership falls into this category. Here the commitment is total, the surrender to God’s will unquestioned, the openness to all existing possibilities unbarricaded. Last but not least, resistances fully admitted, rather than justified and rationalized. (Obviously everyone may have periods of darkness where this is all forgotten and strong defensive positions adopted. Throughout such periods, all peers should stand by with vigorous help, loving, caring, but also firmly removing all untruthful, justified defenses). This category is clearly motivated by serving the greater cause and God’s will. Each phase should be entered into with a certain celebration, a ritual of your own creation, commemorating the event. The rituals should contain first of all, an initiation in which the person should be asked certain relevant questions pertaining to the phase. He or she should be allowed to express, according to his own feelings, what this means to him. He should be welcomed by some representative of the community into this new phase. He should be given the force with the combined energies of all participants. Prayer and song should express the embracing, the welcoming, the good wishes. The person should clearly feel the boundaries of his choice involvement, his responsibility, his privilege, the gifts he receives from the community by belonging to it. Some of you should use your own channels in order to compile questions for each category; special responsibilities and privileges as they apply to each group, very clearly defined and stipulated. Then use your channel for creating different ritual celebrations for each group. I know that some of you are especially well suited for opening your channels for these inspirations and you could add them on to this message. Do not confine the future procedure to this message only, this is merely an outline to be expanded by many of you and commonly discussed. These ritual celebrations do not have to be undergone instantly. They can occur a few weeks after entering the path. You can have several new pathmembers entering different phases (or older members who wish to advance into a more committed phase). The best opportunity for this would be in the Saturday night group either in the City or Phoenicia, whichever may be more appropriate.

QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED AND COMMITMENTS TO BE MADE FOR THE FOUR STAGES AT THE RITUAL CELEBRATION

Stage 1.

QUESTION 1. Are you fully aware that this is a spiritual path and not an individual therapy?

QUESTION 2. Although at this point of your commitment, your involvement is still only on a more or less individual basis, are you willing to allow for the fact that you are entering a spiritual community whose aim goes beyond personal development?

QUESTION 3. Since this work is based on the teachings in the lectures, do you commit yourself to study the lectures carefully and, when not understanding parts of them, to allow yourself to be helped in this understanding?

QUESTION 4. Do you commit yourself to allow for any eventuality as far as the reality of Creation is concerned? You do not have to believe anything, but you need to remove a tight no in you that may barricade experience. Are you willing to let yourself experience, without preconceived ideas, whatever is real?

QUESTION 5. If you feel threatened in the process of removing a fixed prejudice, are you willing to understand the dynamics behind this fear in the process of your pathwork, even before you may actually dare give up the prejudice or fixed belief in question? The answer to each of these questions should be more than a simple Yes. It should come forth in verbalizing a commitment expressing the thought of the question in the words of the person. All the questions, for all stages, should be worked through in the private work of each individual before the celebration, so that there is full clarity.

Stage II.

QUESTION 1. Do you fully accept and commit yourself to all the questions pertaining to stage I?

QUESTION 2. You are now a part of a larger community and, as such, you share responsibility with all your Path brothers and sisters in the building of a new society. Are you willing to carry this awareness with you and consider it whenever issues come up?

QUESTION 3. As part of a larger community, concerned with a larger cause, you can be confronted by your peers about something they may see in you. They may be correct in their perceptions, or they may harbor hate or jealousy feelings for you, which would taint their perceptions. Are you willing to consult your innermost self, the truth of God in you, about the relevancy and accuracy of such a confrontation?

QUESTION 4. If you see something negative in one of your Path brothers or sisters, are you prepared to take the risk to confront them? Are you willing to chance their anger with you, for the sake of the truth, for the sake of their higher self, as a real expression of your love?

QUESTION 5. Are you willing to foreswear all kinds of collusion, active as well as passive by commission or omission; against peers or authority figures? Are you willing to muster the courage to confront the other person if the collusion comes from them and, propose to go together to the third person who may possibly be maligned or gossiped about, to question with an open mind what the truth is? This means giving up a momentary gratification and relief, a negative pleasure, and this would be your sacrifice for God, for the larger cause of which you have become a part.

Stage III.

You have now made a commitment to enter a Training Class to learn helpership, either directly or indirectly, in conjunction with another task on your path in this community. This imposes a much greater responsibility on you to live up to all the above points, for both Stages I and II, and whenever you fail, to work on it, so that acting out will become less frequent.

QUESTION 1. Are you willing to fully make this commitment, with all your heart and mind?

QUESTION 2. Are you willing to fully accept to participate in all fundamental pathwork activities: regular private sessions, your regular pathgroup, Core work, core classes, attendance of lectures and Q & As, study of lectures (also current ones not worked in the TCs) and attendance of weekends in the Phoenicia Center and the Saturday night groups?

QUESTION 3. Are you prepared to want to, not have to, contribute in some way to the growth of the community? Do you pray for the love of this venture so that giving to it will become your self-interest?

Stage IV.

You are now entering the 4th stage, whether you are an apprentice, a junior helper or a senior helper. This means, in addition to all the previous questions and commitments in the previous three Pathwork Additional Material No. 6 stages, (which you should specifically pronounce, each separately), that you carry responsibility for another soul. You need to think and pray very deeply whether this is indeed the path you wish to remain on.

QUESTION 1. Do you commit yourself to carry out your responsibilities faithfully with your workers in all ways?

QUESTION 2. Do you cleanse your motives daily that you wish to give to the person whom you help without ulterior motives, not withstanding any ego or power reasons, motives for personal gain, etc.? These motives may still exist, but they can be eliminated every day by making anew this commitment to Jesus Christ who personally guides you in this task.

QUESTION 3. Do you consider your own pathwork, apart from the benefits it brings you in your personal fulfillment, a necessary prerequisite for executing your duty as a helper, for being able to be the best you can be?

QUESTION 4. Do you commit yourself to become a model, an example for those whom you will help, and others who will look to you as an authority figure?

QUESTION 5. Do you do your utmost in your focus in your personal pathwork to resolve whatever authority problem you may still have? For how can you be a truly inspiring authority and leader if your attitude toward authority is still distorted? Are you willing to give up the seesaw between placating, submission, and rebellion and spite? Do you give up the ruse to use the latter as an antidote against the former?

QUESTION 6. Are you willing to be prepared to deal with inevitable hostility, hate, maligning of your workers, even though it is painful, rather than avoiding this issue, diverting your worker’s feelings onto others and in any way colluding with them so as not to have to deal with this pain?

QUESTION 7. In this ritual celebration of initiating your new status, you establish a strong spiritual root and bond. If you tear up this form by suddenly dissolving it on the material level, you inflict harm on your workers, those who have looked up to you and, most of all, on yourself. Are you fully aware of this responsibility and are you willing to honor it?

QUESTION 8. As a helper, it has definitely become your task to also contribute to the community in some manner, according to your gifts and talents. Are you prepared to give this? All four stages need to be worked through in private sessions. This should be begun as of now, so that, at the time of celebration, there is a good preparation. I will give the Force through the instrument for each group. It will be a strongly felt blessing and, as always with the Force, a mutuality. The same applies to everyone who has a job, working in either Center (Washington can be included). They, too, need to make commitments and be aware of their responsibility. They, too, need to prepare in their sessions. The following questions pertain to all those employed by the Path. For employees in any capacity in the Path. By working for your daily bread in the Path, you have an obligation to perform in the best way possible. To give your best. Until now, it was unfortunately often the case that a great deal of license was taken by pathworkers when they had jobs in the Path by virtue of their being on the Path.

QUESTION 1. Are you willing to give your very best to this greater venture and leave out your ego reasons, personal glory and vanity?

QUESTION 2. Are you always open to see and accept when being told by your supervisors when you act out on the job? Are you ready to stop doing so?

QUESTION 3. Are you prepared to give to your full capacity, as well as not strain for more than your present capacity? In either case your giving will be damaged and your inner peace disturbed.

QUESTION 4. Your work may leave nothing to be desired, but your human contacts may. This can be as disturbing as inadequate work performance. Are you willing to take this as seriously as any other impairment in the performance of your duty?

QUESTION 5. Do you commit yourself to start every day and each task with a full commitment to God to give your best in every smallest detail and to ask Christ to help you follow through?

QUESTION 6. Are you willing to give up stubbornness and other ego defenses for the sake of the truth?

QUESTION 7. Do you remind yourself daily (or do you intend to do so) that God is your boss and that you are working for a much greater cause, and not for human exploiters (which is often what you want to feel in your emotions)?

IF ANYONE HAS ANOTHER INSPIRATION FOR A QUESTION AND COMMITMENT, IT SHOULD BE INCLUDED.

by Eva Broch Pierrakos © 2000-2008 The Pathwork® Foundation