Byron Katie traces the cause of all suffering back to the ego-mind and then points the way to freedom. In a departure from her better-known vivisection of judgments and stories, here Katie examines at an intimate level the subtle nature of mental fabrications and that which illuminates them. Katie begins by taking a question from a caller who wants to discern the difference between answers that come from the heart or the head. Together they examine the truthfulness of the thought, “My daughter is in danger,” and make discoveries that go beyond a simple yes or no. “I see an image of me,” Katie says, relating her process of witnessing. “It could take years of meditation for some people to notice this, but I see that image of me witnessing her. Did you find it? So who is that?” Katie says that people think that when they’re observing, say, the image of their daughter, that’s all there is. But, she says, if you sit long enough, you may begin to notice there is “a very thin, subtle identity watching, and that is just one more image.” This, Katie says, is the false witness, a fabrication of the ego which she calls exciting and beautiful in its trickery. Once the mind is open to what is being shown through self-inquiry, the nature of identification clarifies. “This leaves the meditator as witness and not the inner or outer doer at all, until,” she says, “the meditator vanishes.”
Byron Katie: Constantine from Finland. Constantine: Hello, Katie. Hi, honey. Hi. So, what did you write? Thank you. I wrote: Dear Katie, thank you for this opportunity to ask a question. During inquiry or meditation, how can one make the difference between the ego or mind answers and the ones that come from a deeper intelligence or mystery? Some would say that the truth feels in the heart and for most it might be so. However, for the ones who do not know how the heart feels, how can those persons make the difference between an answer from the ego or mind or from something else? Thank you. OK, sweetheart. So, you say: During inquiry/meditation how does one make the difference between the ego mind answers and the one that comes from that deeper intelligence or mystery? Yes. So, one way is if you look at question 3: How do I react when I believe that thought? Let’s say I had the thought that my daughter is in danger. OK. So, I would question that. Is it true? Can I absolutely know that it’s true? And I would meditate on those two questions. And then when I moved to the third question, How do I react when I believe that thought? Then I can see right there that … And then I’d look at question 4, Who would I be without it? You can see cause and effect. You can see cause when you believe it, which is ego, and the effect when you’re just witnessing. And I’m not talking about in denial, pretending it doesn’t exist. I’m talking about just stillness meditating on that image that you’re contemplating; questioning. Like, “My daughter’s in danger.” How do I react when I believe the thought? I’m really experiencing everything from terror to, “Oh, you’re oh so stupid for believing that.” True. All of the emotions that go through. And then who would I be without the thought Sitting in that same image, my daughter in big trouble, dangerous trouble, like she’s in a lion’s mouth and he’s about to clamp down, whatever it is. Or gambling. And I’m; Who would I be without the thought? And we saw clearly from that dear mother, you know, it’s possible to witness that image, that moment that’s so frightened you out of a sane mind. True. Just to see it for what it is. So, one is ego. And one is something witnessing. Now, also, if I’m witnessing, you see a daughter playing on a machine. Yes. Now look at you that is witnessing. You see your body. You see your face. It’s vague. But I’m asking all of you out there to notice this identification witnessing that image. So, you have two of them going. A you and a her. Do you see it? OK. Yes. OK. Now, who would you be without the thought as you witness both images? You from where you are and the daughter… Again. I would still be me and the daughter … Oh, really? What you is that? That’s a very good question. It’s really important and I’ll put it closer to here. All right. So, I’m witnessing my daughter and I’m in terror. OK? That’s the third question answered. Very short answer, but I’m going to sit in it until I can really see. Then I go to question (that’s the ego mind); Then I go to question 4: Who would I be without the thought? And I’m witnessing her. I see in reality that she’s OK in that image. That what I was imagining that image to be is just an image. But I see an image of me. It’s so subtle. It could take years of meditation for some people to notice this. But I see that image of me witnessing her and it’s almost like a feel. OK. Did you find it? Yes. OK. So, who was that? Another image. It is indeed another image. OK. So, understanding that, what would you be without the thought, “My daughter’s in trouble?” I’d be just fine. No daughter. No you. No you observing. People think when they’re observing, like we’ll say the daughter, that that’s all there is. But if you sit long enough you begin to notice there is that just very thin subtle identity watching and that is just one more image. The ego is so beautiful in its trickery. Genius. That’s what I’ve experienced as well. Yeah. When I thought about this question, I thought about an experience that I was in meditation and inquiry and trying to find what is my fear. Yeah. And then of course; or what is my biggest fear right now? And then of course the answers came. But the distinction between mind-ego answer and the answer from a deeper intelligence, that was very difficult to make a distinction. However, after you explained it, now I realize that the images that came were just images and were mind-ego created images in that respect of my fears, let’s put it this way. Yes and that’s a beautiful understanding and yet the mind, it’s as though you have to make love to it. It’s like: OK, you love me. So what? You know? Right. Or: You understand me. Great. But it’s going to come in with my child is sick or I’m too fat, too thin. I. I. I. Then in your best day you identified, it’s like, “Ah, it’s such a beautiful day, I think.” Identification. Judgment, negative or positive. Identification. But you can always see that I you’re identifying as a meditator, because you have a lot of meditation in your life. So, you’re able to see that. And those of you that aren’t, it’s OK. I hope to support you in your sitting to be even more aware of the false witness. Like we think this is the I. Much more subtle than that. And you saw it. Yes. So, nice to sit in. It had a lot of subtleties. Yeah. Yeah. Exciting, isn’t it? It is. Oh my gosh, it is so exciting. For me it’s like that don’t know mind is like that. It’s just so… you know, words take away from it. OK. Let’s see, sweetheart, if there’s something else. Let’s see just what I‘ve … So, look at question 3 and see the ego mind at work. Working your inner and outer life to maintain its identity and feel the emotions. And we were closer than that. Feel the emotions that arise when you’re in question 3, ego mind. Then notice the contrast as you look at question 4. As you sit in that it allows you the answers to the question you just asked. The one where you refer to as deeper mystery remains unidentified to you. Once its mystery is understood, that’s no mystery at all. And you saw that, right? A little bit. Glimpses. No mystery at all. It’s like you’ve identified what isn’t real out of what could never name or judge. True. Sometimes the words are beyond and you can’t explain in words. Yeah. So a personal self and the other just is without judgments, as it apparently observes. The unidentified can’t identify without a reason and it’s absent of reason. There’s no reason to reason. Hmm, yeah. When the mind is open to what is being shown in question 3 and 4 and 1 and 2, and the turnarounds, it is simply understood and any claims, judgments , unnecessary. This leave the meditator as witness and not the inner or outer doer at all until the meditator vanishes. Very beautiful said. So, on; they you say: Some would say that the truth is felt in the heart and for most people it might be so. However, for the ones who do not know how the heart feels, how can those persons make the difference between an answer from the ego mind or from something else? And simply the ego mind, the identified mind, the mind that would believe its own apparent delusions to be the self, to be its judgments, is the cause of all suffering. Cause and effect. Inquiry evidentially shifts perception to the open-minded state of don’t know and the in-touchness of unidentified reunion or peace no longer is an I need it. So, you know, those of you that aren’t keeping up with this, you’re not supposed to and it all comes to you in the silence of inquiry, of self-inquiry. So, I was just thinking, you know, when I’m reading something, because I was with you this morning and it’s such a privilege to sit in these and then I consider how it must be for Stephen to have to translate my words so they’re more easily understood. But that is how much fun the ego can have, when it’s clear. Yes. Yeah. Thank you so much, Katie. You’re welcome. Fun spending time with you. Thank you. That’s what time is for. Who cares if it’s real or not. That’s so true. We just dance. We’re here now. Well, we’re here now, we think. You know, what would make you think that we’re here now? Yes. If I start questioning that thought right now, I’m not sure. Yeah. It’s like I’m here now. Why? I’d have to believe it, to be here now. Exactly. Yes. Very good. Because I hear my voice. I identity with sound and visual and so forth. And what sound would that be? The sound of yes. Yeah. Thank you precious. Thank you. Bye, bye. Bye, bye.