Saturday, 20 January 2018 02:48

Byron Katie and Taoist Psychotherapy

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BYRON KATIE AND TAOIST PSYCHOTHERAPY

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

According to Byron Katie, there is mind; thoughts enter mind and will always do so for that is the nature of mind and thinking.

You cannot prevent thoughts from entering your mind; what you should do is let thoughts enter into your mind and then flow out and you remain calm.

If you identify with any thought that enters your mind and take it too seriously it might disturb your peace.

You are not your thoughts. The thoughts that enter your mind are not your mind; the nature of mind is for thoughts to come into it and go out.

Problem arises when mind accepts particular thoughts and says that they are who it ought to be.

Byron Katie:

"Discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn't believe them, I didn't suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. Katie calls her process of self-inquiry "The Work.Katie's experience, as described in her book Loving What Is, is that all suffering is caused by believing our stressful thoughts. This, she says, puts people into painful positions that lead to suffering, as she recognized to be the case with herself. Through self-questioning, she describes how a different, less-known capacity of the mind can end this suffering.Specifically. The Work is a way of identifying and questioning any stressful thought. It consists of four questions and a turnaround.

The four questions are:

Is it true?

Can you absolutely know that it's true?

How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

Who would you be without the thought?

The next step of The Work, the turnaround, is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you have believed. For example, the thought "My husband should listen to me," can be turned around to "I should listen to my husband," "I should listen to myself," and "My husband shouldn't listen to me."

Wikipedia

(Below are my views.)

ONES BODY DISPOSES ONE TO HAVE A SPECIFIC TYPE OF MIND

Mind is one everywhere but given our lives in bodies, the specific nature of one's body determines the ideas that enter one's mind or that one pays attention to.

For example, if you are weak in body and feel weak the wish for strength and power enters your mind. If you identify with that wish for power and superiority and pursue it you may become neurotic. If you actually believe that you are important and powerful you may become psychotic.

On the other hand, if the ideas of power and superiority flow through your mind and you did not become attached to them you would remain peaceful and joyous.

A COURSE IN MIRACLES SAID THAT OUT OF NOWHERE THE THOUGHT OF SPECIALNESS AND SEPARATION ENTERED THE MIND OF THE SON OF GOD AND HE FORGOT TO LAUGHT AT THE IDEA THAT INEQUALITY AND SEPARATION IS POSSIBLE AND TOOK THEM SERIOUSLY, IDENTIFY WITH THEM AND PURSUE THEM HENCE THIS WORLD, A DREAM FOR HE STILL HAS NOT SEPARATED OR BECOME SPECIAL

A course in miracles and Byron Katie's Taoist (Tao the Ching) derived teaching agree. Taoism teaches that one is mind and that ideas flow through one's mind and that one should let them pass through without attachment to them. This is what A course in miracles teaches.

CHINESE PSYCHOTHERAPY

Chinese psychotherapy is based on Taoism. In Taoist psychotherapy there is mind; mind is forever filled with thoughts.

We identify with some thoughts, become attached to them, defend them as who we are and as a result are stressed out by them.

We are supposed to see the thoughts as what flows through our minds but are not who we are and not become attached to them and that way remaining calm, peaceful and happy.

Mind is forever; it is not born or dies; it is there and the idea of body flows through it and it sees body and appear to live in body and the idea of death enters it and it seems to die, but it is not body; mind is not born and does not die when its body appears to die; mind lives forever.

Thoughts will forever enter our minds but we should know that we are not those ideals; we should let them pass through our mind without identifying with them.

Of course we are to think about things and take those that are scientifically useful to us and discard those that merely cause us stress.

For example, one can think about one's body and personality but while doing so know that one is not one's body and personality; one can detach from body and personality and think about them as if they are ideas to be thought about but not accepted as who one is.

Who one is one does not know.  I believe that our real self is part of what I call unified spirit, aka God; that spirit has mind; spirit and mind are eternal but body and personality are ephemeral and transitory.

HERE ARE FURTHER THOUGHTS ON MY DAUGHTER

In Karen Horney's (1950, Neurosis and Human Growth, New York: Norton) categories, my daughter rejected her real self and seeks an ideal self; he posits ideals of everything and uses them to judge me, her mother and all people. No real human being can live up to an ideation not housed in body. Thus, I do not live up to her ideals and so I am not good enough to her. Given her idealistic (neurotic) nature, she would never see me or any human being as good enough.

For me to be her ideal father is for her to create me; seeking ideals is seeking a people and world that one created. She did not create me or people so no one is her ideal self.

In the meantime, she will not respect me and people because no one lives up to her ideal, her mentally constructed idea of perfection (which she is not, either).

Having dismissed her parents as not good enough she talks about how her friends are better than them; but when she needs money she comes to her parents, not her friends, the supposed ideal persons!

To try to become the ideal person an idealistic person asks you to be is to become either neurotic or psychotic; you cannot become ideal; you must resist any temptation to become ideal; ignore people who expect you to become ideal before they like you; you do not need their liking you.

WOULD YOU TRY TO LIVE UP TO WHITE RACISTS IDEAS OF WHO BLACK FOLKS OUGHT TO BE?

White racists have idea of who black folks ought to be before they like and accept them; if black people try to become their ideals they become as mad as the white racists they are trying to please so as to be accepted by them.

You do not need to be accepted by anyone who asks you to be an ideal person before he or she accepts you. You are either accepted as you are or you are not accepted; only your façade is accepted by those who seek to accept the ideal you.

You should just be who you are; you cannot be another person, anyway. No matter how much you try you cannot be other persons. Your body and experience makes you unique.

FURTHER READING

Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. (Published 2500 years ago in China.)

Mitchell, Stephen (1988). Tao Te Ching. A New English Version. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

Schucman, Helen (1976) A Course in Miracles. Tiburon, California: Foundation for Inner Peace.

Mitchell, Byron Katie and Mitchell, Stephen (2007).  A Thousand Names for Joy.  New York: Three Rivers Press.

Katie, Byron with Mitchell, Stephen (2002) Loving what is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life. New York: Harmony Books.

Katie, Byron, with Katz Michael (2005). I Need Your Love—Is That True? How to Stop Seeking Love, Appreciation, and Approval and Start Finding Them Instead. New York: Harmony Books.

Katie, Byron (2007). Question Your Thinking, Change the World: Quotations from Byron Katie, edited by Stephen Mitchell. Hay House.

Katie, Byron (2008). Who Would You Be Without Your Story? Dialogues with Byron Katie, edited by Carol Williams. Hay House.

Katie, Byron (2009). Tiger-Tiger, Is It True? Illustrated by Hans Wilhelm. Hay House.

Katie, Byron (2010). Peace in the Present Moment, with Eckhart Tolle, Hampton Roads Pub Co Inc. Newburyport, MA.

Katie, Byron (2016). The Four Questions: For Henny Penny and Anybody with Stressful Thoughts. Illustrated by Hans Wilhelm, Tarcher Perigee.

Katie, Byron (2017). A Mind at Home with Itself: How Asking Four Questions Can Free Your Mind, Open Your Heart, and Turn Your World Around, by Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell, Harper One.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

January 19, 2018

www.centerformindscience.org

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176