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Answering Question Number 4

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ray Hemachandra asked Byron Katie the following question during an interview :

Do people sometimes struggle to answer the fourth question? Because you’re having the thought—it’s become part of you—so you are essentially imagining yourself as someone else, even if that’s your true self you’re imagining.

This is what she replied:

No. What I invite people to do is to look at their lives just the way they have lived them. Not to change anything, and not to do positive thinking at all. Just look at yourself going to the market yesterday. Look at yourself going to work yesterday. Look at yourself having breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Just look at your life without that thought.

Look at your life without the thought “Something terrible is going to happen” or “No one cares” or “I’m not good enough.” It’s the same life, but without the thought. It’s quite an amazing experience to see the same life with and without the thought. You come to see how crazy a thought can make you when you believe it.

And then you turn it around. For example, the opposite of “Something terrible is going to happen” is “Something wonderful is going to happen.” You can now find genuine examples of possibilities without being crazy—genuine, real possibilities of what can come out of a situation you’re experiencing. Your little child is asleep in the closet, and instead of thinking “Something terrible has happened to him,” you’re thinking “Something wonderful has happened to him.” Then, you start looking for examples and possibilities. It really helps when you’re looking for a little guy.

When you call the police, and they say, “Did you look in the closet?” you can honestly say yes, and let’s look again, but without the panic. With the panic, sometimes you can’t even answer: “I don’t know where I’ve looked.” You’re just panicked, and then you’re blind.

Fear is blind. There are some options in it, but they’re very limited compared to the options available to the fearless mind.


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