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Question Your Thinking, Change The World: Quotations from Byron Katie

by Byron Katie

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A friend lent me this book in Danish, so I read it in that language. It is a collection of selected texts from the work of Byron Katie.

I’ve previously read this author’s book “Loving what is” and much appreciated it.

It is Katie’s view that the world would be transformed for the better, were we all to use the Work – her method of posing ourselves the following four questions whenever we have a problematic thought:

1) Is it true?
2) Can you really know that it is true?
3) How do you react when you believe that thought?
4) Who would you be without that thought?

When you’ve asked yourself these questions, try finding opposites to the sentence you wrote/your problematic thought. For example, if your problem is “My husband doesn’t listen to me”, try saying “My husband listens to me”, “I don’t listen to myself” and “I don’t listen to my husband”.

Katie’s basic premise is that the universe does not make mistakes. This means that whatever happens is what was supposed to happen, what needs to happen. Thus everything that happens to you or anybody else is good, even though your baby dies, your legs get chopped off or everyone in your village is massacred (note , she doesn’t use these latter two examples in the book). However, for some Katie’s statements are provocative.

When a suitcase falls on top of Katie’s head when she’s sitting in a plane, she says it “felt like a kiss”. She continues “How could I know that I needed a bang on the head? Because that was what I got!”

Katie tells us that everyone in one’s life, everyone one encounters (everybody in the world, actually) is God in disguise, and will show you all you need to see. When you see your partner as God, your work with The Work will be simple.

The worst loss you have ever experienced is the greatest gift you can get.

All our thoughts are projections. We are the only one here. There are no others here. This world doesn’t even exist.

The book consists of small extracts from other books, and thus can seem a bit disjointed,but the extracts all have the same theme of questioning one’s thoughts. There were quite a few parts of the book that didn’t seem to me to make sense. This may have had to do with the Danish translation, but then again Katie herself writes somewhere in the book that many have told her that some of what she says is nonsense, and she seems to admit that sometimes she talks “nonsense” or what could be construed as such.

In the books Katie discusses some of her own problems with her offspring. Now however both her children are doing the Work.

I felt good while reading the book because I kept being reminded of how to let go of difficult situations by accepting the reality of things. Katie’s work has the same precept as that of David R. Hawkins, among others – to let go of resistance and love everything, accept everything. When you do this, it is possible for healing to occur.

I recommend that you read the book – it will help you to manage your life with acceptance and joy. ( )
  IonaS | Apr 11, 2014 |
It really is amazing how powerful our thoughts about things are... ( )
  EbonyHaywood | Jan 2, 2010 |
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In this powerful book of quotations, Byron Katie talks about the most essential issues that face us all love, sex, and relationships; health, sickness, and death; parents and children; work and money; and self-realization. The profound, lighthearted wisdom embodied within is not theoretical; it is absolutely authentic. Not only will this book help you on many specific issues, but it will point you toward your own wisdom and will encourage you to question your own mind, using the four simple yet incredibly powerful questions of Katie's process of self-inquiry, called The Work. Katie is a living example of the clear, all-embracing love that is our true identity. Because she has thoroughly questioned her own mind, her words shine with the joy of understanding. People used to ask me if I was enlightened, she says, and I would say, 'I don't know anything about that. I'm just someone who knows the difference between what hurts and what doesn't. I'm someone who wants only what is. To meet as a friend each concept that arose turned out to be my freedom.… (more)

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