In the Living Inquiries, the process is often explained as looking for a deficient self, or a threat, or a command to do a certain compulsive thing.
That’s true. At a literal level, that’s true.
And yet, what’s more true for me is that the process of looking for these things, allows us to see how the mind creates a sense of a deficient self, a threat, or a command. It shows how these are created by the mind, and how the mind makes it look real and true.
The process of looking shows us the words and images making these things up, and how these words and images are associated with certain sensations which lends them a sense of solidity and reality, or a charge, or perhaps a like or dislike.
This sense of reality, or charge, or like or dislike, all comes from how the mind interprets the sensations. First, it says that a certain sensation is connected with certain words and images. Then, it says that it means….. It’s real, true, solid. It’s a deficient self, or a threat, or a command. It’s a like or dislike.
By seeing this, and feeling the sensations, something may shift. The associations soften or falls away. The charge softens or falls away. It’s easier to recognize words as words, images as images, and sensations as sensations. It’s easier to see that the sensation itself doesn’t mean what the mind said it meant.