Byron Katie answers the question: What are some especially common stories and beliefs people realize they hold when they start doing The Work?
When I say, “People shouldn’t lie—is it true? How many of you think that’s true?” everyone in a room of, let’s say, a thousand people will raise their hand. Then I say, “Do people lie?” They all agree, “Yes, they do.” Then I ask, “Is there anyone in this room who has never lied?” No one ever raises a hand.
So, reality is: Should people lie? Yes. How do I know they should? They all do. This is not to condone lying. But realizing that people should lie when they do makes me a little more open-minded, a little more tolerant, when my child or my partner lies. Then, turn it around: I shouldn’t lie. I’m the one I need to work with. I’m the one who changes the world if I can follow what I think should and shouldn’t be lived in this world.
There are amazing beliefs a lot of people hold, like “They don’t care about me”; “I should be more successful”; “I don’t have enough money”; “I’m too fat”; “They shouldn’t have done it”; “I’m not good enough”—the beliefs go on and on. But when you begin to investigate these beliefs, the question “Is it true?” begins to live in you. It comes alive. It begins to rise as kind of a partner to all these stressful universal beliefs that people have been stuck in for centuries.
Also, the question “Who would I be without that thought?” begins to live, because you learn to identify stress with the concept that’s happening in the moment. And when that happens—oh, my goodness—what a world! In that moment, a state begins to happen that I call unceasing meditation.
You cease to be body-identified. The mind becomes a joy to itself. It dances with itself. It sees that it is its only self. It is its ultimate relationship and love and friend. It dances and sings, and the physical world cannot compete with that.
The nature of mind is that it loves everything once it loves itself—just as it opposes everything when it opposes itself.
Exerpt from an Interview With Byron Katie