The Spirit of Inquiry – What’s Real?

1trueWho hasn’t grappled with the question, What’s TRUE?

We now have mysticism & miracles colliding with deliberately deceptive media generating smoke & mirrors on a moment-by-moment basis.

I’ll be the first to say, how can we really know anything? How can we trust anything we hear, read, and even see?

Not only is the onslaught of (often convoluted) information overwhelming, the lenses & filters of our own minds typically add more mayhem to the mix!

2ruetrueI question – a lot. What this has shown me is that the more I question, the more comes in to BE questioned. The spirit of inquiry is an attractor factor in itself.

I entertain concepts beyond anything that would have even occurred to me a few years ago. I also question all kinds of things about myself, including notions I entertain, and why – which, right there, can quickly become a wild ride.

My – our collective – consciousness is having to expand exponentially by the day to digest all the befuddling strangeness coming at us at breakneck (or paradigm-busting) speed. The practice becomes examining what speaks to us and discarding what doesn’t. At least, for the time being. Perceptions can change in a heartbeat.

We can only venture inward to uncover what is real & right to ourselves.

There’s actually plenty of “realities” to go around in a quantum multiverse. No need to create battles over every blip that comes across one’s channel. Just observe and discern what you want to keep as you continually create your own unfolding journey, and flow forward.

When I saw this video in my feed of Byron Katie and her husband, author Stephen Mitchell, I knew right off I’d share it here. It’s good to “question authority, including your own” as the maxim goes.

What is “authority” but authoring a reality?

Katie’s highly popular “Work” is all about this. Now the couple has a new book, A Mind at Home with Itself, which they introduce here.

Following is the blurb and the interview. It will surely speak to many who are in the mental/emotional/perceptual “spin cycle” of the times.

Love & peace to you… Whitehawk

Susan Piver of the Daily Dharma Gathering interviews Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell. “As a busy Buddhist, it’s a delight to feel the cohesion between my Buddhist studies and The Work,” Susan says. “It feels like there’s no difference. And The Work is meditation that you can do off the cushion.”

“Yes,” Katie says, “it’s a practice that takes stillness, and we don’t have to leave meditation just because we’re walking and talking, going to work, and taking care of our children. And we don’t need that cushion once inquiry is alive in us. It’s an unceasing meditation to live in these questions.

As an example, if I meet someone and hold a grudge against them, it’s what I’m believing onto them that creates that grudge. It’s like I’m slapping post-its on them as if my judgments are that person. So I’m not talking to that person, but rather to the identity that I believe them to be.

So it’s no wonder we’re confused in our relationships. It’s my responsibility to meditate on and to question what I’m believing about you, so that I can see you and know you. Believing onto you doesn’t show me you. When I take my story off someone by questioning what I believe about them, I begin to experience compassion and love.”

Later they discuss Katie and Stephen’s new book, “A Mind at Home with Itself,” which is based on the Diamond Sutra. “A mind at home with itself is the end of war in your world,” Katie says.

“The Diamond Sutra is a text that centers on the issue of generosity,” Stephen says. “The main point is that the more you understand the unreality of the self, and see that there’s no difference between self and other, the more you naturally live a life of unfettered generosity. It came to me that this sutra would be an excellent framework for Katie to talk about her experience, because it’s so much in harmony with the spirit of The Work.”

“As Stephen read to me his translation of the sutra,”Katie says, “I wept with joy. I felt that any word I added to it would take away from its clarity. But Stephen encouraged me to speak out of my own experience, so I followed the simple directions, and we ended up with this book. We hope you find it helpfully alarming!”

The clearer the mind, the clearer the choices. —Byron Katie

3 comments on “The Spirit of Inquiry – What’s Real?

  1. One of the most profound discoveries I ever encountered, occurred in 1961 as a NROTC freshman at OSU. I was attending a Psych 101 class meeting in a “perceptual psychology” lab where we would explore the many ways our “senses” can trick us or can be tricked. The one “experiment” that shocked me to my core & has informed my thinking about the subject of “truth” ever since was the following: There were about 20 students & near the end of our time in the lab, we were asked by the instructor to be seated in a small room arranged with theater like rows of seats facing a blank wall. The instructor explained that he would turn off the lights & wanted us to then describe out loud & in unison, what, if anything, we observed. The lights went out & a small pin-prick of light appeared in front of us which slowly began to move randomly in that dark space. At first we all seemed to disagree on how or in what directions the light was moving but within a few short minutes we began to agree on what we saw as our comments indicated. At that point the instructor announced that a second light would appear & we were to continue our comments about our observations. When the 2nd light appeared next to the 1st,, they both appeared to stop but soon began to randomly move in unison just as the first light had done. The only thing new was that it took us less time to began agreeing about what we “saw”.

    Then a third light was introduced, same process but even less time for this group of “strangers” to agree on what was happening in that tiny room . Finally the room lights came up and the instructor pointed to a small box bolted to the wall in front of us & explained that the lights we saw had come from there but had never moved. The “apparent” motion was explained by our “individual” eyes trying to orient themselves in a dark space. Staring at an isolated star in a dark sky will produce the same result. The shocking, disturbing & most important part of that experiment, however, was that this diverse group of individuals had come to agree that they were seeing the “same” movements when in fact no movement was happening. In other words, we had come to agree on an observable “truth” that was not true at all. The instructor “explained” this discrepancy by saying that we are, “apparently sociologically wired in such a way as to have a VERY powerful need to ‘fit in’ to whatever group we are in proximity to (physically or psychologically). So powerful is that “need” that we are quite willing, even eager to abandon our own interpretation of reality in order to be “accepted by others.”
    The implications for me were staggering, scary & liberating all at once. All :authority was now a legitimate target for questioning. Our “criminal justice” system with its interpreted laws & jury trials was suddenly exposed as counterfeit at best & intentionally demonic at worst. All religious “belief” now turned on its head & open to serious inquiry as to its legitimacy & claims on our lives. And now here all these years later, Quantum Physics has also laid bare our misunderstandings & misinterpretations of the observable universe by its recognition that it is our act of observing & interpreting that “creates” the “universe” we each inhabit & that the “underlying stuff” from which everything arises (including us) and becomes available for observation & interpretation, is itself unknowable.
    I wonder to this day, why this knowledge has not become more widely known or applied? But I think I “know” the answer. Such a view of “the world” undercuts & de-legitimizes every human institution & the power of those who claim authority, power & special privilege. It would return us to a time when humans, like all other creatures on this planet, lived in awe of this place we call earth & were simply grateful to have the opportunity to experience “life” (whatever that is), without the “need” to control or reshape what we are presented with. But curiosity is also a very powerful force & our imaginations are always toying with “what-if”. What if I were God? What if I were able to make the rules for how living out our time should proceed? Clearly nothing has stopped us so far from doing exactly that. Humanity has taken that road & it has led us to the brink of oblivion. We can let it go, but will we?


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s