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Re: Myth of the Given and the Work of Byron Katie

  •  07-28-2021, 6:14 PM

    Re: Myth of the Given and the Work of Byron Katie

    Hi ravinathan,

    I wasn't saying the two practices are equivalent at all. Just that there is implicitly a certain amount of inter-subjectivity inherent in doing anything in the world, including "the Work," and that you have noticed and brought to you're own awareness some sense of this in you're own practice. But what is lacking in Byron Katie's teaching is an understand, explicitly and consciously, of the Myth of the Given.

    I think it's great that you have found a way to include a sense of the second person perspective in you're own practice of "the Work." And I think you're right, inter-subjectivity probably is an easy add-on to the Work. In a way, I think that was Ken's point in including it in appendix III, this stuff is fixable.

    It's important to keep in mind that Ken gives Byron Katie some pretty great praise in addition to his very one-pointed criticism:

    "Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie. I include this book because it is a good example of a wonderful new set of techniques for spiritual intelligence and glimpsing causal emptiness, but in not understanding (and therefore implicitly accepting) the myth of the given, "the Work" allows postmodernists to completely dismiss it, which is a shame - they could use a little of her work, not to mention Hameed's and the rest of the authors critiqued here."

    "The Work" takes a charged feeling, or disturbance, and uses it as a fulcrum for gaining a glimpse into causal emptiness (and this is where the healing effect is.) It leads you through a process which catapults you into the realization that all duality is simply two sides of the same coin.

    The 321 process, on the other hand, is about taking something that disturbs you and getting a genuine awareness of the fact that it disturbs you precisely because there is some part of you just like it that you have repressed. So, to use you're example, you're partner would begin the 321 process by describing you the monster in the third person (It) - "he is such a monster, he scares me to look at him, I am afraid he is going to eat me..." Next she'd move to 2nd person (We) and engage in a conversation between herself and the monster (a conversation in which she herself plays both roles, because after all, the real monster she is trying to get at lives inside herself.) Finally, she'd becomes the monster, or takes the first person perspective with it. By the time she's through, she has hopefully gained awareness of how she is in fact projecting a repressed part of herself onto you, and with that awareness is able to move into a better understanding and acceptance of that part of herself which for some reason she previously could not accept. 

    The 321 process and "the Work" have different goals. To compare them is like comparing apples to oranges. They both could have their place in an ILP. The work is about gaining a realization of the non-dual, about stepping out of the suffering of the manifest world into the bliss of causal awareness. 321 process is about gaining a fuller more complete embrace of the manifest world. They are both important aims.

    Take care, Don

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