Dear Beloved Katie,
Listening to your webcast today, I suddenly woke up to an entire new level of enquiry that I had previously been asleep to.
I have done two nine-day Schools with you, and in each one I kept looking for the point of pain, the point of suffering. Of course this still exists—I continue to identify a lot – and yet there is another level of… well not pain or suffering in the sense that I had been thinking.
Maybe I can call it “existential suffering.” I do not feel sad, depressed, angry, irritated, or any of those most obvious emotions. And yet, I am not ecstatic. I am not full of joy and gratitude and excitement and enthusiasm, as I see you are ALL THE TIME.
I started to wonder about that—what is the Worksheet I need to do for this?
“I should be joyful all the time—is that true?”
And then I was watching you work with the concept “Physical pain is a projection of the mind” and the advice you gave to a woman from Idaho on May 17th. You said, “What I suggest is not very exciting, but still I suggest that you continue to do The Work on mother, father, sister, brother, children, grandchildren – whatever occurs…”
Then I had a flash of “OMG. What do I believe about the people most precious in my life?” Even that thought “These are the most precious people” can be questioned.
Yes. What do you believe about the people most precious in your life? And yes, “these are the most precious people” is a powerful assumption to question. I suggest that you complete a few Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets, one person at a time, or all of them grouped into one Worksheet. Maybe something like this:
- “These people are the most precious people in my life”—is it true? Continue through all four questions and turnarounds, with each assumption on your Worksheet.
- “I want these people to ____.” What do you want them to be, what do you want for them? Fill in statement 2 on the Worksheet.
- “These people should/shouldn’t ____.
- What do you need from them for you to be happy? “I need them to ____.”
- What do you think of them, in any specific situation or in general (only if you are not focused on one specific situation)? It is important that you meditate on the questions about each judgment.
- What is it that you don’t ever want to experience about those people (or that person) again? “I don’t ever want ____.”
And don’t forget that the turnaround for statement #6 is “I am willing to ____.” “I look forward to ____.”
You write, Maybe I can call it “existential suffering.” I do not feel sad, depressed, angry, irritated, or any of those most obvious emotions. And yet, I am not ecstatic. I am not full of joy and gratitude and excitement and enthusiasm, as I see you are ALL THE TIME.
I invite you to notice, to be aware of comparisons, the illusion of duality. You see in your mind’s eye an image of “you” (past/future) and an image of “Byron Katie” (past/future). Is that image of Byron Katie in your head really me? Is that image of you really you? Is it real or imagined? Aren’t you really just comparing images with images? Please take this simple process wherever you think “you” are, have been, or will be.
It had never occurred to me that this thought was a “problem” and yet—I realized, listening to you, that I need to question all the beliefs that hold together the identify I call Jeremy, until there is no “Jeremy” to find any more. Just this moment.
Do I have to find a “problem” and a “moment” before I can do a Judge-Your-Neighbour Worksheet? Can I instead just start to write down what I believe about my mother, father, sister, brother, children, best friends, etc. and then just question those beliefs, even if I cannot perceive any point of pain or problem?
Absolutely. At thework.com we also have a One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet, and have fun becoming aware of “yourself” and then losing that false identity. You cannot lose him without first understanding what he only appears to be from within, and then laughter, an apparent re-entry of what isn’t and can never be. What joy!
I would love to hear your experience of doing what I suggest above. All is possible in love.
Love and gratitude