What being a Pathwork Helper means.
Last August, a new group of trainees graduated from the three-year Pathwork Helper Training program at Sevenoaks Retreat Center. It was the culmination of the profound work they had been doing for at least the past 10 years in their Pathwork journey.
But what does it mean to become a Pathwork Helper?
As a Helper myself, I'll try to explain using my own journey.
Around 20 years ago, I realized that my living conditions, regardless of how good, adequate or successful they were, were not bringing me real happiness. I started noticing there was more to life than studying, having a career, marrying and hanging out with friends. When my marriage went into crisis, I thought I needed some kind of help. That was my personal door: knowing I needed help to make it through a crisis.
The first time I visited my Pathwork Helper, I thought I was going to a regular therapist. Little did I know about the rich, profound and awakening journey I was about to start.
Like everybody else, I thought there was something wrong with me – that I needed to somehow be fixed, or that, somehow, I should be able to fix someone else in order to find happiness.
In the very first session, I realized that I was not who I thought I was. The ideas I had about myself started to crumble. And so did the idea that I needed to anyone.
During the course of the next 20 years, I saw the ideas that I had about myself crumble, as well as the notion that I needed to be fixed in any way. Through individual sessions and group encounters, I took in the wisdom captured in the 258 Pathwork lectures by studying, experimenting, living, practicing, questioning and applying that wisdom into every corner of my life.
I have learned deep psychological concepts related to the ego and how it develops, exploring questions such as: What is the unconscious. What is child consciousness, as opposed to mature and developed consciousness? Why it is paramount that we dig into the unconscious to bring its content to consciousness?
I’ve developed skills to dig into the unconscious. I've learned the concept of duality and how it influences the way we think and relate to the world. I have developed the ability to question my dualistic thinking in order to find common ground and unity. I have also discovered that the person I thought I was is a mere idealized image of myself, framed out of the desire to avoid pain and be inhumanly perfect (a very successful recipe for suffering and unhappiness, by the way).
I've learned the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ways this idealized image of myself manifests in life, and I’ve felt the freedom and the lightness of letting it go, at least once in a while.
I've understood that my mind and my thoughts have a very limited ability to convey the mystery of Life, and that my emotions are the gateway to discovering deep-rooted immature beliefs and patterns that drive my behavior without my notice. I realized that I am not a victim of anything, neither am I in control of anything! I understood that the blame game is what makes me weak, and my vulnerability is my strength. I now comprehend the difference between judging and discerning, and have developed the faith to relax into the notion that everything is exactly what it is supposed to be at every moment – and it is only my arrogance that cannot grasp it. I understand that good and bad are only ideas, not truths, and that my best friend is my inner self-observer, who can see reality objectively.
Most of all, the Pathwork journey has given me resilience to deal with life’s limitations and challenges, and gave me a direction for my evolution, self-knowledge and self-development. It has given me a profound knowledge that I am lovable regardless of my imperfections.
At the end of the day, what I call "I" is another manifestation of God – just as you and everyone else is.
So, what does it mean to me to be a Pathwork Helper?
It means the availability to answer the call to go through this life journey, following a quest to discover the truth of who we are and developing the skills to support others in their own endeavors.