Byron Katie: The mind establishes itself as a victim

 

The mind establishes itself as a victim only to get what it doesn’t want.

– Byron Katie

Why does the mind establish itself as a victim?

At one level, it’s a way to try to protect the self. It’s the mind’s reaction to fear that’s unloved and unexamined.

Apart from that, what do I find I want to get from taking myself to be a victim? To answer that, I am looking at a specific situation, and I find…. I hope for sympathy. Allies. Support. Love. I hope taking myself as a victim will help protect me, including through being prepared for future victimization. I wish to not be surprised by life again so I victimize myself before life does it.

What does Byron Katie mean when she says “only to get what it doesn’t want”? What is it about all of this that I doesn’t want?

I find that I don’t ultimately want sympathy, support, etc. from others. What I really want is to give it to myself, and if it comes from others as well that’s a bonus.

What about protection? When I look, I see that protection is ultimately not possible. I would rather be open to life. (While being a good steward of my life in all the ordinary ways.)

What about not being surprised by life? Life surprises me always anyway, and I know that anything can happen at any moment. Again, what I really want is to be open for it.

And victimizing myself to nip life’s victimization in the bud? I don’t really want to victimize myself, it’s not ultimately a comfortable position. Also, life doesn’t victimize, I do it to myself anyway. Here too, I would rather be open to life.

So yes, I can find that what I get and hope to get from victimizing myself is what I don’t really want.

What else do I get from victimizing myself? I get to feel like a victim of life and the world. I get to live in fear. I get whatever reactions I get from others when I present myself as a victim – from pity to unsolicited advice to avoidance. (None of which I really want.)

How is it true that I am not a victim? The idea of victim is our human idea, it’s not inherent in life. I make myself into a victim, and it’s all from an idea. In my specific situation, I still have a lot of freedom in how I relate to situations and live my life. I have tools to work with beliefs and emotional issues.

How is it true I am a victimizer (opposite of victim)? I victimize myself. I make myself into a victim, in my own mind. Also, I am sure I have acted in ways so others saw themselves as a victim. (When I act on fear, and when I am absorbed in my own issues so I lack concern for others.) I can find specific situations.

By examining this, preferably much more thoroughly than I have done here, I get to see the idea of victim more clearly. I get to see it’s something I create for myself. I victimize myself. There is no victim in herent anywhere in life. And what I hope to get from it are things I ultimately don’t want.

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