I have just finished reading Byron Katie's Loving What Is and thought I'd share some of her powerful insights into the things that bind us and paths to freedom. She is basically an advocate of self-inquiry as a means to self-realization; no metaphysics are required, just honesty. And as I have said previously, I find her approach to be a wonderful expression of the heart of Zhuangzi's proto-Daoism without any of the religious trappings; it is as if she took Daoism to the laundromat.
Many of her statements are so simple, yet so radical and challenging to our 'normal' way of understanding ourselves and our worlds, that they open us up to an altogether different way of being in the world.
The world is your perception of it. Inside and outside always match—they are reflections of each other. The world is the mirror image of your mind. . . . I am the story of who you think I am, not who I really am. . . . I am, for you, your uninvestigated story, your own myth.Like most things 'true', this turns conventional thinking on its head. Rather than the mind mirroring the world, it is the (interpreted) world that mirrors the mind. We make up our own little worlds based on our perception of it, and that perception is determined by our emotional and mental predispositions. If our perception of the world, 'how things are', causes us suffering, the way to relieve that suffering is not to change the world, but to change the way we see it. And this is accomplished through inquiry into our uninvestigated assumptions about reality. If, for instance, I assume the world should be other than it is, I have set the stage for suffering. My task is to reveal to myself the hollowness of my assumption that the world should be other than it is. One does not eradicate thoughts; one exposes them for the lies that they are; they then fall away without conflict.
It is such a powerful thing to realize that my perception of you is a projection of me on you. What I find disturbing in you, for instance, is a reflection of a disturbance in me. I cannot truly know you, nor can you truly know me. We can only know ourselves and can come to do so, in part, through an investigation of how we perceive others. Everyone is our teacher; the more disturbing that other is, the better teacher they are. It's always about me. It's always about acceptance.
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