It is easy to see that when I am caught up in my beliefs, I am not able to meet people where they are. I see them through my stories of them (as I always do), and am also limited in where I can go through my own identification, through the stories I take as true about myself, others and life.
When there is a freedom from a particular belief, there is also a freedom from a particular identification, and more options in terms of where to go. I am more free to meet people where they are, go to the stories they hold as true – or are just familiar with and find useful – and try them on, see how the world looks through those particular stories. And if it looks like some variation of hell, I can find some clarity in myself around those stories, a way out of identification with them. And by doing that, there is an invitation for the other to find clarity in themselves, or not, depending on what is available to them and where they wish to go.
I am not aware of any better example of this than Byron Katie. She is completely free to go wherever the other person is, and she is more than willing to go into hell with them and shine some clarity on it for herself, which can then help the other find clarity for themselves.
Of course, meeting someone where they are is also a story. In this context, I can only imagine what story they take as true here and now, and then try it on for myself. What happens if I take that story as true? How do I live my life? How do I see myself and others? And who am I without that belief? How do I live my life without that belief?
When I see Byron Katie work, I am sometimes reminded of the beautiful story of Christ going into hell to rescue Adam and Eve. In this context, it shows someone free to try on any story as true, and through their own clarity help others find clarity in themselves.
It also shows someone who recognizes all experience as the play of awakeness itself, and is free from identifying with any particular content. Here too, there is a freedom to allow – even welcome – any experience, independent of its content, because it is all recognized as the play of that which is untouched by any of it.
The third thing that comes up for me, from my own experience, is how hell (knots) tends to come up in a process of healing (as who we are) and awakening (as what we are). It wants to be recognized – seen, felt and loved – as awakeness itself.
Each of these are really just different flavors of the same process.
- free from beliefs, free to meet people where they are (free to go there with them, and shine some clarity on it for oneself – which may also help the other)
- ground awakening, freedom to go anywhere (all recognized as the infinite)