Inquiry: He shouldn’t assign views to me

 

He shouldn’t assign views to me (that I don’t hold). (One of Bernadette Roberts’ students whom I had a somewhat strange email exchange with.)

  1. True?
    Feels true. And as usual, I can find stories telling me it is true, and others who agree.
  2. Sure?
    No. Not at all.
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • Frustration comes up. Agitation. Especially since he made it clear in the initial email that he didn’t want dialog or to hear from me. I feel locked, trapped.
    • I go into stories about him: He is blinded by his own projections. He doesn’t want me to respond to him, or engage in a dialog. He acts out of fear.
    • I go into stories about what he is saying: How can he make all those assumptions about me, which are so obviously far off base even on the surface of it? How can he say he “knows” something about me for certain, without even checking? I feel hurt.
    • I make him wrong: He doesn’t play by the rules. (Of making sure someone agrees with how you describe them, before you do so. Of being receptive to a dialog after you make a connection.) He doesn’t get it. His take on what he writes about seem naive.
    • I make myself right: I am receptive to a dialog. I want to check with him before I make assumptions about where he is coming from. I want to find the truth in what he is saying, and also explore it further from there.
    • There is a sense of split.
    • When did I first have that thought? Probably when my parents told other grown-ups cute stories about me, which didn’t fit my experience.
    • What do I fear would happen if I didn’t hold onto that belief? That I would go around doing the same, unchecked. (Which is not likely, not that I would do it more than I already do.)
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • Compassion. Receptive to the truth in what he is saying, and also take it further – exploring a more comprehensive and nuanced picture. Sense of being on the same side as him, independent of what he says or does.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • He should assign views to me.
      • Everything in his past tells him it is the right thing to do. Infinite causes leads up to it. Who am I to argue?
      • Whatever he, or anyone, can say about me inevitably has a grain of truth in it. It is an invitation for me to find it in myself, in a genuine way.
      • It helps me notice my beliefs around it, my fixed positions, and inquire into it.
    • I shouldn’t assign views to him.
      • Also true. When I believe the initial story, I go into stories about him and want to make them true for myself. I am doing exactly what I see in him.
      • When I do, he will just retreat even more. It reduces the possibility for a genuine dialog.
    • I shouldn’t assign views to me.
      • Even more true. Whenever I go to a story as true, I assign a view to myself. I create a fixed position which I then feel I need to protect and defend. There is less receptivity. Less sense of connection.

Additional statements:

  • He acts out of fear. He doesn’t get it. He is blinded by his own projections. He doesn’t play by the rules. He has a naive take on it.

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