I finished A Cry in the Desert: the awakening of Byron Katie, and noticed a reaction come up a few times during the reading. When quoting Byron Katie, it was clear, simple, to the point. Yet this simple clarity often drowned or was embedded in the confusion, stories and hangups of the author. The same reaction came up when I read Fire from Heaven about the diksha process, and also when I listen to (quite a few) spiritual teachers.
Byron Katie, Adyashanti, Ken Wilber, Douglas Harding, Joel Morwood, Genpo Roshi and others have a beautiful clarity to what they say. It is simple, clear, to the point, and – maybe most important to me, fits my own experience. Yet, when so many talk about the same (or think they do!), it becomes convoluted, confused, muddled and complex to me.
And both are my mirrors. The confusion and muddleness mirrors me, every bit as much as the clarity and simplicity mirrors me.
She shouldn’t muddle it through her own confusion (the author of A Cry in the Desert).
- Is it true?
No (only feels true sometimes). Can see that she only does what she has to do. She does as well as she can.
- Can I know what is best for the author’s path and the paths of each of the readers?
No. I see that the confusion may be just what is needed.
- How do I react when I have that thought?
I get confused. I confuse myself.
There is a contraction in my stomach. Muscles tense.
I go into an internal monologue: She shouldn’t add thick layers of her own confusion and beliefs onto such beautiful clarity and simplicity. The book is mostly just her own long winded and confused interpretations, which often seem to stray far away from the clarity and simplicity of the Byron Katie quotes. No wonder it is out of print and The Work foundation does not promote it.
I cut her down in my own mind. I belittle her. Exterminate her.
I experience separation from her, the book, what clarity is conveyed in the book, and myself. And this separation brings a sense of confusion, of being muddled.
- Who would I be (reading the book) without the thought?
Clear. Simple. Enjoying it. Taking it for what it is. Curious. Interested – in the clarity that shines through, as well as in the process of the author. I would be interested in the process of the author, as it is reflected in this book. I would see the beauty in it, how she is in the process of unraveling knots and beliefs. How she sincerely appears to want clarity.
- (a) She should muddle it through her confusion
Yes. It honestly reflects where she was at when writing it. It is a mirror for her, and also for each of the readers. I see my own confusion by reading the book, and the same may be the case for others. It provides material for the readers to work with by inviting the readers to see both the clarity and confusion in themselves. Also, I found it interesting to sort out the clarity from the confusion as I read the book, it added a challenge to the reading.
(b) I shouldn’t muddle it through my confusion
That is more true. I am the one who is confused, especially when I think she (and the book) should be different. I am out of touch with reality. I battle reality. Whenever there is confusion, I can take statements to inquiry and find some clarity.
(c) I shouldn’t muddle it through her confusion
Yes, also more true. I can stay with my own truth and clarity, whatever it is in the moment. I can stay in my business, and find clarity there.
(d) I should muddle it through my confusion
Yes, because I do. I am the one muddling it for myself. It is my process right now. It allows me to see myself more clearly. It allows me to see the confusion right here, and examine it – bring statements to inquiry.