I mentioned The Work to a friend, and noticed a – very understandable! – misunderstanding that may easily happen if we haven’t explored it for ourselves.
She took it as operating at the level of thoughts, which is true. But real inquiry happens outside of thought.
Thoughts ask the questions and guide attention, often wordlessly after the initial question has been asked.
The main body of the inquiry happens wordlessly as well, at the level of awareness and feeling it in the body.
It takes time. It’s a mediation, as Byron Katie often reminds herself and us.
I bring awareness to the dynamics around it. Do I know it’s true? What happens when I take it as true? Who would I be without it? Can I find examples of how each turnaround is valid as well? How would it be to live from the most juicy turnaround?
I allow it to sink into the body. Get a feel for it. Feel it in my body.
How does my body feel when the story is taken as true? How does it feel when the thought is not there? How does it feel when I find the validity in the turnarounds, with specific examples?
How does it feel when I allow my body to reorient to this new insight? What happens when it sinks in, reorienting the body?
And in additional to thoughts guiding the inquiry, they reflect it back into words to bring it home further. It has a power to it when wordless insights are worded.
This came up through a turnaround to a previous inquiry:
I can unravel my beliefs –> I cannot unravel my beliefs.
Hm. What’s this “I” that can or cannot unravel beliefs?
Can I find it outside of a thought?
I find it in a thought. An image.
A thought saying “I did that”.
I cannot find it outside of a thought.
–> Can a thought unravel beliefs?
No. Inquiry may be guided by thoughts, but real inquiry happens through awareness and feeling it in the body.
And even then, it’s just an invitation for beliefs to unravel. They may or may not unravel, they live their own life.
I can unravel my beliefs –> My thoughts cannot unravel my beliefs.
Hm. Yes, that’s true.
Thoughts can guide inquiry and *invite* beliefs to unravel, but that’s all they can do.
The real inquiry happens through awareness and feeling it in the body.
And beliefs unravel or not.
They life their own life.