When I believe in a thought, I have to act in a certain way
Recently, I have mentioned to a couple of people how I – through the Byron Katie inquiries, can see more clearly how we all have to act in certain ways when we believe certain thoughts.
There is a belief in a thought, and this brings up relatively predictable and universal consequences in our experiences and actions. Although it is all also modified by our other beliefs.
Seeing this brings up a great deal of compassion for myself and others. We are all innocently playing out what has to be.
Tonight I mentioned the same, and immediately the question came up is it true?
When I believe a thought, I have to act in a certain way.
- Yes (It certainly seems true. There is a belief in a thought, and the consequences seem pretty predictable and universal, modified by our other beliefs.)
- No (I cannot know it is absolutely true. Since it is just an opinion, it is probably not absolutely true.)
- When I believe that thought, there is…
Compassion, from seeing how we are all playing it out – innocently, although also sometimes with great drama. Also, a sense of stuckness, of being trapped, although I know there can be release through inquiry. A sense of smugness, that I have found the “key” and not everybody else has. Which in turn brings up compassion, and sadness for the suffering we are all creating for ourselves this way. The sense of being trapped comes up more strongly, of there being no way out. Of being trapped in habitual patterns, and completely impersonal patterns. And of not knowing if there really is a way out. Maybe there is not?
- If I cannot have that thought, there is…
Peace. Openness. Receptivity. Freedom to explore it further, to see both the ways predictable patterns play themselves out, and even other options. Freedom to explore it further, with receptivity and curiosity, just for the sake of seeing what is there. Not needing or even wanting to know in advance what I will find.
- (a) When I believe a thought, I don’t have to act in a certain way. (How is this as true as the initial statement? Can I find a place in my own life where it is true? Yes, I can. I see that through inquiry, there is a liberation from the belief. I can notice the typical signs of a belief, such as a sense of contraction and narrowing of possibilities, and then take it to inquiry. Sincerely see what is true for me there, behind the assumptions of the belief. And who knows what that may lead to? Maybe a certain freedom from having to act according to particular beliefs, or not. Both are OK.)
(b) When I don’t believe in a thought, I have to act in a certain way. (Yes, I can see how this is true. When there is a freedom from beliefs, there is still an impulse to act in a certain way – maybe now from more clarity, and this too comes from somewhere. It is not unconditioned. At the very least it may be conditioned on whatever is present and available in the moment, including whatever insights and obscurations are there, whatever skills are available, what comes up in the outer situation, and so on. I see how the whole idea of conditioned or unconditioned is somewhat silly, just a struggle between two ideas.)