Seeing with “Rinsed” Eyes
Philadelphia Pathwork Commencement Address
— Moira Shaw
I once asked Eva what her favorite color was. In her inimitable way, she said “What! I love all colors. I don’t have a favorite color.”
The Pathwork Guide speaks so eloquently about color. He once said, “the brilliancy and variety of color exists only on the dimension of divine Reality” — in our parlance, in the dimension of “100!" He said there are no color schemes available for mankind that can remotely reproduce the kinds of colors that exist on that spiritual level and dimension. The Guide also said the Pathwork was about learning to truly see in Technicolor — to literally see color in all you think, will, feel, see, touch, hear, and smell.
He said that when you “see” in duality, in “100/100”, you see only in black and white. But when you’re in the dimension of divine Reality, that experience colors all of life.
Then he also said each one of us stands out as a special color, scent and tone. And that we should, “See, hear, and smell each other — in color — as you go about your daily tasks.”
But, specifically, what does color have to do with your Pathwork process?
One of your wonderful teachers in Philly told me that your soul’s journey together during these last years has been to know yourself, to know others, to know God — and then to know you and others are God!
The Guide’s teaching to truly see in Technicolor may have ultimately been a code word for “God.” But this may not make any sense at the beginning of a soul’s journey – Technicolor, God, “100” or whatever. At the beginning of our soul’s journey, we’re defended. So we see mostly in black or white. If we’re lucky, we see in shades of gray. Most likely, we don’t see God — at least not on a regular basis — in ourselves or others.
That’s okay, but on this Path how do we come to see God in ourselves and others. How do we become God? How do we come to see in Technicolor?
The answer is first by becoming “merely and utterly human.” Because the Guide says we can’t become God unless we first become the best of who we are as ordinary people!
When an anthropologist once asked a Sioux Indian elder why his people tell stories, he answered, “In order to become human beings.” The anthropologist then asked, “Aren’t we all human beings already?” The elder smiled, “Not everyone makes it.”
Over these many years, Graduates, your Pathwork helpers and teachers have enjoyed helping you “make it.” They’ve helped you through your black and white world with your own stories — to become human.
According to the Guide, we become “merely and utterly human” by learning to face and accept our “beautiful problems.” St. Benedict called problems “happy faults!” The Guide says our problems are “beautiful” because they give us a chance to discover and love who we really are by working with them. But, paradoxically, in order to discover who we are, we need to discover who we aren’t. When we discover who we aren’t, we discover who we really are! The Guide loves paradox.
When we face our problems in this way and have washed our eyes clear with tears and honesty, we see clearly. We see ourselves with “rinsed” eyes. We see we are both human and divine. On this level, we’re in the state of “50/50”.
But the Guide doesn’t stop there. Finally, after facing even deeper levels of untruth in ourselves, we come to see that the beautiful problems which we’ve learned to humbly and painstakingly accept turn out to be “non-existing imaginary problems.” They were just illusions all along. Because we are already God! We never stopped being our Eternal Self!
In an ancient cathedral in Turkey, there’s a mosaic in a small alcove off to one side. The scene is of one bird drinking at a fountain while another bird looks on. The birds are gold against a deep Byzantine blue background. Though it’s an early Christian image, a mystic of any religion senses the meaning. One part of us, the personality, goes about its daily business of eating, drinking and “working” with our beautiful problems, while another part, our Eternal Self, watches over us all the while. These two birds are companions. We don’t have to choose between one or the other. We need them both, for together they make us human.
Yet even in spite of our illusions, some of us already see in Technicolor. Others of us, as the Guide tells us, are “stirring up our imagination for what’s possible.” But, for sure, you Graduates are all preparing to go out into life “merely and utterly human,” undefended, and ready to give everything. You are preparing to see more and more in Technicolor — and preparing to ask for everything!
The Guide says in this state of self-realization, a new area is awakened in you, located in the center of your body, in your solar-plexus region. Out of this area, new life flows. Everything is endowed with a new luminosity and a deeper meaning. Everything becomes fuller. The self becomes at one and the same time, intensely personal and individualistic as well as universal.
At the beginning of our path, the Guide tells us, 95% of the time we don’t experience this state because we don’t “approach life’s experiences freshly,” — that is, with rinsed eyes. In fact, he said, if we happened to see the color red, we were conditioned to think how we should feel about “red.” Or when we saw a tulip, we didn’t experience the tulip as though we were seeing it for the first time. But with “rinsed” eyes, we see the color red, or a tulip, or a worker — each time for the first time. This was and is what the Pathwork is all about. This is what the Pathwork has taught you and is teaching you. This is what you new Pathwork helpers will be doing. Seeing your workers with rinsed eyes and helping them see with rinsed eyes. Seeing in Technicolor. Seeing and being God!
But whether or not those of you who are graduating from TP5 continue into Helpership Training, your process will continue. You will continue your soul’s journey. How could you not? Look what awaits you.
When you doubt, when you forget what awaits you — as you will — remember these words spoken by a wise teacher:
“There are some who ride on white chargers and leap over the moon. There are others who plod along a muddy road on their own two feet often slipping back in a day, as far as they have advanced in the past month. But both sorts of travelers arrive at the same place in the end.”
You travelers have come a long way. And now, we celebrate with you another beginning. Again, some of you will become helpers. Some of you will begin your training to become helpers. And some of you will go on your spiritual merry way. But whatever direction you take, Graduates, never end your wanting, working, and waiting to see in Technicolor.
Thank you and God Speed.