I read a brief version of Byron Katie’s story and was struck by three things. First, that her success in business continued after her shift. It used to be real estate, now it’s spreading The Work through BKI.
Then two passages:
One night six months after her awakening, Katie experienced a kind of spiritual agony from the tension of trying to live and love in a world that did not yet understand or accept who she was. An old woman appeared to her, sitting in a chair beside the bed, “a wonderful, voluptuous old lady with her hair tied in a bun.” Katie merged into this lady, and found herself looking out through ancient eyes. In this altered state, she saw herself and Paul, lying on the bed, as two primal beings who didn’t yet realize that they didn’t have to suffer. Life itself was unfolding perfectly.
For the next seven years, the marvelous old woman appeared to guide Katie: What I’ve come to know is that I projected the lady…like a movie…as a result of painful limitations I was experiencing in this dimension. We give ourselves exactly what we need. We supply our own medicine….Today I don’t wait for angels. I am always the angel I have been awaiting, and so are you.
It’s not out there, it’s in here….Some people would project Christ, others Krishna….I projected a fat lady with a bun on her head wearing a paisley dress — that’s who I could trust. Now I trust All. I woke up knowing that God is everything….There is no exception in my experience.
A great story and understanding of the process of projecting.
Katie’s thoughts returned, of course, as thoughts do — and with them judgments, fears, and expectations. At such times she felt herself slipping from the freedom of her awakening into the mind of suffering. But whenever this happened, she worked her way back by a compassionate vigilance, inspecting the thoughts, beliefs, and false assumptions that separated her from others and set her against life. Doing this “Work,” as she called it, returned her gracefully to the pristine awareness of her original awakening.
The Work became her constant practice. Through this process, and her unconditional acceptance of life, Katie made peace with each moment — and with every event past or present. “All that I went through — every breath,” she said, “was what it took for me to finally wake up. All teaches love in the long run. All needs are supplied….Every experience of life is for this.”
Old beliefs would surface even after the shift, so she would take them to inquiry. In my experience, a more “general” shift in identification (or out of identification) doesn’t necessarily take care of the variety of different beliefs that may still be here. They each surface to so there can be more clarity around that specific topic.