Cutting Through Illusion

Byron Katie has been lauded as one of the key figures in the human potential field. You might know her name through something she calls “The Work”. Both in book version and audio, Katie educates people on issues such as fear, health, relationships, money, the body, and more. In essence, she shows people how to free themselves. What I found most interesting, is her insights into the mind, which run parallel to leading edge research in cognitive neuroscience. You can find other books and “The Work” on the following website:

“The Work” is a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. It is a way to find peace within yourself, and with the world. If you keep an open mind, you can do this Work.

Katie comes from the perspective that the only time we suffer is when we believe a thought which argues with what actually is. She suggests that, “if you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark.” Furthermore, she states, “Wanting reality to be different than it is is hopeless.”

Okay, I presume that makes sense to most of us, but then there are those who may argue that it would be disempowering to stop an argument with reality. If one simply accepts reality, one will become passive. A person may even lose the desire to act. Her response makes sense. “Can you really know that that’s true? Which is more empowering? I wish I hadn’t lost my job or I lost my job; what intelligent solutions can I come up with.”

Bottom line: What you think shouldn’t have happened…..should have happened. It should have happened because it did happen and no thinking in the world can change that. Remember we create our reality in the present moment, and when we can see things without resistance and without confusion, and take ownership of our creation, the confusion of our inner struggle will disappear.

No one wants to be in a car accident, or lose their home in a fire but when these things happen, how can it be helpful to mentally argue with them? It hurts more when you argue with reality because it just adds more tension and frustration. “When we stop opposing reality,” she says, “action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.” Give it a think!


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