I did this inquiry a couple of weeks ago, with a facilitator, and thought I would share some from it here. This is a very abbreviated version.
SITUATION & STATEMENT
Situation: An acquaintance turning a friendly check-in to a lecture on why the Earth is flat, why everyone who received the covid vaccine will die within two years, and so on. (Trying to proselytize about conspiracy theories to me.) This happened in an online chat maybe one and a half years ago.
Statement: He should be more balanced.
- Is it true? Yes.
- Can you know for certain if it’s true? No.
- What happens, how do you react, when you have that thought?
I notice I get reactive. I want him to go away. I want to speak from reactivity. When I notice the reactivity, I am concerned I’ll say something I’ll regret later. I know that I usually regret anything I do or say from reactivity. My chest, belly, shoulders, and jaw feel tight. I feel agitated. I get into fighting mode. I get defensive. I want to find arguments to shoot down his view.
- Who would you be, in that situation, without the thought? How would you be?
I am curious. Receptive. Whole. I can see he wants to help and protect people and society. He is coming from a good place. I am able to say: “I understand you see it that way and that it’s important for you. I am not the right person for you to have this conversation with. And I am not interested right now, so I’ll go and do something else.”
TA1: He shouldn’t be more balanced. (Turnaround to the opposite.)
(a) There are likely infinite causes for him to have that view, and I can’t fight the whole universe. For me too, there are likely infinite causes for this human self to have the views I have. We are the same.
(b) It serves as a kind of feedback in society, and a correction or questioning of mainstream views. (The impulse to counter mainstream views serves as a correction and feedback, even if the content of the views may not always be founded in solid logic and research.)
(c) A part of me likes the fight and feeling right and righteous.
(d) My idea of balance is my idea. Maybe he is balanced in his own way. In any case, reality is free of shoulds and any ideas of balance or not.
TA2: He should be less balanced. (Turnaround to another opposite.)
(a) Maybe it helps him to complete a process in him. Often, impulses with a lot of energy behind them need to run their course before something else can come in.
(b) It would help me step back and not engage too much. I would go: “Wow, this is a little too much” which would help me return to my own sanity.
TA3: I should be more balanced. (Turnaround to me.)
(a) It would be exciting for me to explore how to deal with the situation in a more balanced way. (Similar to what came up in question four.)
(b) It would help me speak and act from reactivity, and feel better about it after.
(c) It helps me see and discover more. I can find the genuine validity in more viewpoints, and a larger picture that holds more or all of them.
(d) It would help him feel more seen, understood, and supported. It could help him to relax.
(c) It would help me not burn bridges. Who knows, maybe that connection would be important later?
(d) It helps me set boundaries in a way that feels good and right to me.
TA4: He should be more balanced! (Turnaround to the same, the yay! turnaround. At that moment, how is it good for me that I have that thought?)
(a) It comes from a good intention in me. I wish for connection and understanding, and that’s easier if I see him as more balanced. Also, I wish receptivity for him, and an ability to explore a range of views, and that’s easier with some balance.
I wrote this several days after doing the inquiry, and it’s difficult for me to get back into the same place. The session was one hour and went into a good deal of detail, and it did definitely shift something in me. For instance, it helped me get in a more visceral sense that most people into conspiracy theories come from a good place. They genuinely want what’s good for society and people.
I have done a series of inquiries over the last couple of months, after taking a break for some years. And it feels different to come back to it. It feels more fresh and more visceral. I notice that question number four now is what feels most powerful and transformative for me, while it used to be the turnarounds and question three. (They are still powerful, it’s just that number four seems to stand out more for me now.)
I did The Work of Byron Katie almost daily from the early 2000s to the mid-2010s, and then took a break from it while focusing more on sense field explorations (Kiloby Inquiry) and energy work (Vortex Healing), along with some prayer, ho’oponopno, tonglen, and mainly just noticing.