I have been exploring the inquiry process by Byron Katie some more, and it is surprising how well it seems to work.
Through examining beliefs that I – or a part of me – believe in, and act on as true, they loose their hooking ability. They arise, but with no charge around them, and nothing for the mind to hook into. They are disarmed.
The Inherent Qualities of the Mind
And what is left is awareness/mind/consciousness as it operates without being attached to/identified with its content – clear, spacious, responsive. Attached to its content, it brings contraction, confusion and suffering. Aware of itself as distinct from the content, it is clarity, spaciousness, responsiveness – free to engage in whatever way appropriate in the specific situation. It is joyfulness, compassion, engagement, intimacy, vibrancy. It reveals itself as the sun, always behind the clouds (its content) – and as spacious clarity, joyfulness, compassion, intimacy, vibrancy, engagement.
The content of the mind is always changing – joy, anger, fulfillment, dissatisfaction, pleasure, ecstasy, suffering, sadness, depression, stuckness, flow, engagement, withdrawal. And the inherent characteristics of the mind – clarity, spaciousness, responsiveness, joy, compassion – is always there. When awareness experiences itself as distinct from its content, these qualities are present and effortlessly expressed. When awareness is caught up in its content, they are hidden behind the clouds. One gives a sense of aliveness and bliss, the other of suffering, but the sun is always there.
Western Psychology & Eastern Philosophy
I am also reminded that western psychology typically focuses exclusively on the content of the mind – the sensations, emotions, thoughts. Eastern philosophy is more focused on awareness, mind, consciousness, as it is distinct from its content – its inherent qualities, how to awaken to a differentiation of the two, and of the relationship between them. Both approaches are useful and part of an inclusive and integral approach, although the second needs to be present for any real healing to occur.
When awareness awakens to itself as distinct from its content and to its inherent qualities, there is a realization that no healing is necessary. There is equanimity and perfection, even in the midst of illness, pain, wounds, imbalances and whatever else is happening on the level of the personality. No healing is really necessary because nothing was wounded. And through awareness shining its light on these, there is a healing even on the level of the personality.