Expectations = plan

M: … but in reality if he went out and used again, it could be tough for me.

Byron Katie: Oh, there’s a plan. “I think I will plan that.” [M laughs.] If you want to know your plan, look at your mind. It will show you. “That will be tough.” There’s a plan.

On my way through PDX to San Francisco, I read short sections of Who Would You Be Without Your Story and then stayed with it for a while, letting it work on me.

The quote above especially made an impression on me, maybe because it is something I have explored on my own lately.

When I have an expectation, I have a plan. I have a plan for how it will turn out, and I may either interpret what happens so it fits my expectation, or act so it is more likely to happen – to the extent it can at least.

And that includes the play of awakening. Do I expect it to be easy? Difficult? Drawn out? Quick? Follow a series of stages? Follow a particular map? To happen or not?

Maps may be interesting, and even helpful at times. But they reflect statistics, and statistics only says something about a group, and only after something has happened. It cannot be used to predict individual cases. That is not its role, and not how it is helpful. As we all know, any one case may be very different from averages.

I may notice I cling to a story, map or expectation, and then inquire into it. Is it true? Can I know for certain it is true? What do I get from holding onto it? Do I get to feel more safe? That things are more predictable? That I know? Who would I be without that story? What are the grain of truths in its reversals?

How would it be if I see the story or map as a pointer at most – of practical value in some situations and not other, and relax into and as don’t know? What is different?

The truth of it is that I don’t know. No matter how many maps and meta-maps I may be familiar with, and no matter how many stories I hear that seem to fit these maps, the truth is I don’t know.

It takes a lot of work to pretend I do. I need to tell myself I do. I need to remind myself of the maps. I need to gather evidence to support them. I need to defend the maps against anything that doesn’t fit. I need to create an identity to fit these maps.

It is much easier to relax into the truth of it. I don’t know. I really don’t know.

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