The Pathwork Teachings

The teachings known as “the Pathwork Lectures” are possibly the best kept secret in personal and spiritual growth. They were channelled in the 1950s, 60s and 70s by a woman called Eva Pierrakos, and are attributed to an entity known only as the Guide. With amazing clarity and wisdom, they emphasise the need for honest self-examination on the path of self-realisation.

Eva Pierrakos

Eva Pierrakos was by all accounts a beautiful, intelligent, sensual and spirited woman.

Born in Vienna in 1915, she was the daughter of a well-known Austrian-Jewish novelist, Jacob Wassermann (1873-1934). In 1939, shortly before the Nazis entered Vienna, Eva (then Eva Broch) managed to leave Austria. For a while she lived in Switzerland, but later emigrated to the USA, settling in New York City.

The young Eva grew up among Vienna’s intellectual elite, with such figures as Herman Hesse, Thomas Mann and Rudolf Steiner popping round for dinner.  She had no taste for the intellectual life, however, and much preferred physical pleasures such as dancing, skiing and sunbathing.

In her twenties, though, she suddenly discovered a gift for mediumship in the form of automatic writing.  From that moment on she devoted herself to the development of her spiritual abilities.

Then one day while meditating, following advice received through her automatic writing, Eva entered a trance state from which her inner guidance manifested far more clearly. Thereafter she became a trance channel, one who mentally steps out of the way in order to allow a higher consciousness to speak directly.

Eva realised that spiritual channelling was her life task. By making a commitment to use her gift only for helping people, she eventually succeeded in becoming a channel for a highly developed spiritual consciousness that offered, through her, astonishing insights into the human condition and the spiritual path.

Eva always referred to the entity manifesting through her as “the Guide”. The Guide never identified itself, and pushed away inquiries of its identity.

In New York, the ballet benefactor Rebekah Harkness became Eva’s patron and set her up in a beautiful penthouse apartment on East 74th Street. There, in her living room, she would go into a trance and deliver channelled lectures or answer questions for all who came seeking, both in groups and in private consultations. She never advertised, trusting that those who came would be guided to come.

From 1957 to 1979, Eva and the Guide produced a series of 258 lectures. These offered profound concepts and tools to help us undertake the process of self-transformation. The lectures came to be known as the Pathwork Lectures or the Guide Lectures, and form the basis of the Pathwork approach.

In 1967 Eva met the psychiatrist John C. Pierrakos, and in 1971 they married. John was a Greek expatriate who, like her, had moved to the United States as World War II approached. He had been one of the founders of bioenergetics, a system of bodywork therapy based upon an understanding of how psychological energy blocks manifest in the body. Eva added some of the energy teachings to her own work and developed the Pathwork approach. In 1972 she opened the first Pathwork Center in the Catskill Mountains near Phonecia, New York. Eva’s husband went on to develop the Institute of Core Energetics.

Eva died in 1979. Since that time her work has been carried on by her students and here new Pathwork Centers have opened up not only in North America but also Europe, Africa, South America, and Australia.

The path

There are many who seek a path to enlightenment or to God, but the Guide emphasises that the specific path we each take will be ours alone and cannot be laid out for us. There is no predefined programme which will turn you or me into an enlightened being. We each have to take responsibility for finding and following our own path.

In doing so, we become pathfinders.

Paradoxically, it is by recognising ourselves as “utterly and merely human” that we open up to the divine within, our Godself. Whatever prevents us from being joyous beings, full of energy and light, is in our own psyche. We have put it there, and only we can remove it.

This is why the path of spiritual evolution is really a path of self-discovery and self-purification. We find our own way, step by step, through our own personality towards ever greater spirituality.

According to the Guide, our everyday consciousness serves as a bridge between the highest and lowest parts of ourselves. We must turn our conscious attention to that which has become unconscious or hidden — our childish, self-centered and negative aspects. We must then turn our attention to our higher nature to help us heal and transform these lower aspects.

The Guide’s focus on confronting and transforming the darkness within distinguishes these teachings from many others. The Guide insists that the darkness within us cannot be glossed over, ignored, or suppressed. It has to be confronted, brought to light, and transformed.

Further reading

I will be adding articles here based on specific topics in the Pathwork teachings.

The entire set of lectures is available in both plain text and PDF form at the Pathwork Foundation website.

Most people find that the lectures must be read slowly as they are so densely packed with insights and food for thought.

Many people (myself included) prefer a book in the hand to online reading. Fortunately, a number of books have been published which contain selections from the Guide’s lectures. These are highly recommended:

The first published was Guide Lectures for Self-Transformation by Eva Pierrakos (1984).
The Pathwork of Self-Transformation by Eva Pierrakos (1990)
Fear No Evil: The Pathwork Method of Transforming the Lower Self by Eva Pierrakos and Donovan Thesenga (1993)
Creating Union: The Essence of Intimate Relationship by Eva Pierrakos and Judith Saly (2002)
Surrender to God Within: Pathwork at the Soul Level by Eva Pierrakos and Donovan Thesenga (1997)

The Pathwork Foundation has an Internet site at www.pathwork.org.

12 thoughts on “The Pathwork Teachings

  1. Your summary of the Pathwork is quite good and fluid.

    One visual concept which might be useful is that the higher or divine self is largely encased by lower self material — often formed as a defense — and this is further encased by the mask self, how we wish the world to see us in our illusion that if we are seen this way, then we will be safe.

    So the work actually begins with dealing with the outer level, our masks, while simultaneously strengthening our connection with our higher self so that we can face the often very unpleasant material of our lower self.

    Another central concept and goal of Pathwork is to strengthen our ability to live in unitive consciousness, to fully accept all — pleasant and unpleasant, good and evil, life and death — the apparent dualities of life on earth.

    Gene Humphrey, Senior Pathwork Helper

  2. Thank you so much for this pathwork information on your website. It is interesting to me that while on a spiritual path for the last 15 years the 2 anchors that I keep with me and always return to are the Michael path reading I had many years ago and the ongoing study of the Pathwork lectures. You have an excellent website and I thank you.

  3. The Pathwork is exactly the path I discovered on my own! So thrilling to find this. Especially the encasement and masks mentioned by Gene Humphrey above. I call these often unwelcome aspects of self layers or characters. They are my beloved teachers, carrying my power as well as my fears. At the core is divine essence, soul, what I call Spark.

    thank you for this validation and resonance. Yesterday I was feeling a bit overwhelmed but now I feel blessed and empowered to continue my life work: creating stories and songs to teach everyone about this process. Because it is as natural as life itself.

    Here’s my story in a little slideshow: http://christinecastigliano.com/what-is-spark/

  4. The Pathwork Lectures are so complete that I find other teachings only get the ‘gist’ of what is covered in depth in The Guides words.
    Sometimes I have needed these teachings as a stepping stone to understanding The Lectures!
    I have been growing into the lectures for the last 3 years.
    The more I think I know the more I realise there is for me to uncover.

    • Yeh, I find I can barely finish a page without having to put the book down and spend the rest of the week trying to take in the latest insight!

  5. When we understand that this entire universe is nothing but a hypnotic mesmeric carnal mind , believing in duality and opposites . Our higher consciousness is the knowing pure
    light, love and life which is the reality of our beings , recognized, abide in this truth then and only then we are free.

  6. Hi Barry,
    Can’t thank you enough for all the hard work you’ve put in through this blog to help the rest of us despite your health challenges. Your articles and replies to comments give much insight and clarity….with a sense of lightness and some humour too. 😉

    I found your site last night via a google search (what else?!) for “grand cycles Michael teachings” and am still making my way through all of what you’ve posted here. This morning, I found this page and have downloaded all of Eva’s lectures. Once again, thanks for this link. If it helps to know, the link has now changed to: http://pathwork.org/lecture-categories/pathwork-lectures-1996-ed/

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