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Investigating Untrue Thoughts

--by Byron Katie (Dec 25, 2006)


I have never experienced a stressful feeling that wasn’t caused by attaching to an untrue thought. Behind every uncomfortable feeling, there’s a thought that isn’t true for us. "The wind shouldn’t be blowing." "My husband should agree with me." We have a thought that argues with reality, then we have a stressful feeling, and then we act on that feeling, creating more stress for ourselves. Rather than understand the original cause –- a thought –- we try to change our stressful feelings by looking outside ourselves.

[...]

Investigating an untrue thought will always lead you back to who you are. It hurts to believe you are other than who you are, to live any story other than happiness. If you put your hand into the fire, does anyone have to tell you to move it? Do you have to decide? No: when your hand starts to burn, it moves. You don’t have to direct it; the hand moves itself. In the same way, once you understand, through inquiry, that an untrue thought causes suffering, you move away from it. Before the thought, you weren’t suffering; with the thought, you’re suffering; when you recognize that the thought isn’t true, again there is no suffering.

[...]

Inquiry is a way to end confusion and to experience internal peace, even in a world of apparent chaos. Above all else, inquiry is about realizing that all the answers we ever need are always available inside us. Inquiry is more than a technique: it brings to life, from deep within us, an innate aspect of our being. When practiced for a while, inquiry takes on its own life within you. It appears whenever thoughts appear, as their balance and mate. This internal partnership leaves you free to live as a kind, fluid, fearless, amused listener, a student of yourself, and a friend who can be trusted not to resent, criticize, or hold a grudge. Eventually, realization is experienced automatically, as a way of life. Peace and joy naturally, inevitably, and irreversibly make their way into every corner of your mind, into every relationship and experience. The process is so subtle that you may not even have any conscious awareness of it. You may only know that you used to hurt and now you don't.

--Byron Katie


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9 Previous Reflections:

 
On Aug 23, 2007 vikky wrote:
whasup vikky u lost!Ihope u love this one

On Jun 15, 2007 shruthi wrote:
A very true information!!very touching.

On May 28, 2007 victor wrote:
this is very true and the mere knowledge and understanding of the origin of any "stressful thought" should helps us not to be stressed but appreciate the thought.

On May 28, 2007 Patty Joy wrote:
Wow, Alicia, I love your poem. I'd love to hear it set to music. Has kind of an Indigo Girls flair :)

On May 28, 2007 Alicia wrote:

I found this article extremely interesting and it reminded me of a poem I wrote last summer. When I re-read the poem I was stunned by the fact that it reads on this article. I hope you enjoy. Sit beside yourself and contemplate Hear your truthful soul pontificate About an ancient civil war within Between two images oft' viewed as twin The first, a kindred film projection Directed by neighborly perception An interpretative tale of your biography Still-life objective lens photography The second, akin to an indie film short Disclosing secrets you could not retort Diaries honestly guide this documentary Your story told when life and film marry You'd be stranded on the Isle of Paradox Where waves of truth crash upon the rocks Where life's lived on your terms alone Uninfluenced by opinions not your own The moral of this little story I'm selling Is that life is more than perpetual dwelling On what a neighbor thinks you should do Because he real  See full.

I found this article extremely interesting and it reminded me of a poem I wrote last summer. When I re-read the poem I was stunned by the fact that it reads on this article. I hope you enjoy. Sit beside yourself and contemplate Hear your truthful soul pontificate About an ancient civil war within Between two images oft' viewed as twin The first, a kindred film projection Directed by neighborly perception An interpretative tale of your biography Still-life objective lens photography The second, akin to an indie film short Disclosing secrets you could not retort Diaries honestly guide this documentary Your story told when life and film marry You'd be stranded on the Isle of Paradox Where waves of truth crash upon the rocks Where life's lived on your terms alone Uninfluenced by opinions not your own The moral of this little story I'm selling Is that life is more than perpetual dwelling On what a neighbor thinks you should do Because he really hasn't got a material clue About the needs of she who lingers nearby Beneath your porcelain skin and azure sky But it's your job as the film's producer Enlighten the intermeddling seducer But don't let them define who you are Keep an eye on your motion picture's star It's a burden to choose which self to cast The one perceived or the star that's rising fast.

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On May 28, 2007 Bijay wrote:
So soothing, so subtle, and so powerful. Thank you.

On May 28, 2007 RLE wrote:
What a great lesson compacted in very few words.

On Dec 26, 2006 nardine wrote:
So beautifully spoken; expressing the process of being.

On Dec 25, 2006 a.k. wrote:
very true, very very true. this is the only way to really live life, and not just survive.