I loved ‘Loving what is’ by Byron Katie. I’ve read the book many times, and what she wrote helped transform me. I recommend that book without hesitation to anyone who wants to detach from their stories, to develop equanimity, and otherwise purify aspects of their mind/ego/perceptions etc.
All approaches, all tools, all philosophies, are useful. For different things, in different ways, for different people, at different times. There is no one-size-fits-all, no cure-all, no magic wand.
Even things which are universally helpful aren’t like that – even things like reiki, meditation, EFT, the work, healthy eating, movement, yoga.. Being ‘good for anyone/anything’ isn’t the same thing as being the only thing that’s ever needed.
I hope I’m not saying anything controversial there.
But The Work…
There’s an excellent way it can serve people. It’s something like a sword, to cut through ‘illusion’. The loss of the particular belief, thought or conviction to the altar of “can you absolutely know that it’s true?” isn’t useful for the individual casualties, but for the space that’s created, the relationship that’s cultivated to a sense of abstract truth (which is, paradoxically, the unknown), and a disentanglement from absolute, personal, subjective truth (the known).
That, in my opinion, is the good it can do. It may sound like a small thing, but it really isn’t – it’s quite a major shift, an inner maturation, a surrendering, a wild fire through the chambers of personality.
What musn’t happen, is for The Work – or any other tool, philosophy or practice – be seized as a weapon, to be used in a Holy crusade against your self.
It’s my perspective as what I call a ‘therapeutic clairvoyant’ (ie – I’m happy to observe currents and motions in the aura, especially when they relate to the inner world – but don’t ask me to talk to a dead person or find a missing object..!) that the window of spaciousness that The Work creates, can be (and often is) used as a window of escape from reality. There’s an irony in that!
The place that this window leads to, is the realm of the neatly ordered mind. This mature, evolved, unatached, adult, awakened mind is SO content. It’s a product of The Work. It knows that suffering only exists within, and as a personal reaction to the world, and with that knowledge, it is cured of all neurosis.
… I’m not saying that that kind of mind isn’t a good state of mind to cultivate, just as a “strong and flexible” physical body is probably fairly ideal.
But this state of mind is still slumbering under the Great Illusion, which is that mind (egoic, conscious, yadayada) is all that there is. Or at least, all that matters. Or at least, the most important thing.
And it really isn’t.
It’s a good thing to liberate, heal, work on, detatch from, etc, the monkey mind, the busy thinking brain-self that HAS such thoughts as can have The Work applied to them.
But that mind isn’t the biggest part of our being, or the most important part. It isn’t in the driver’s seat of our life, although I’m sure it thinks it is (and a large part of the modern-day Self Help industry, of which things like The Work is part of, directly and indirectly support this notion).
Using The Work, or whatever modality/approach/technique you use, past the point of useful returns, past the point where you’ve stimulated yourself to your next evolutionary step, is to then force yourself into a particular window of experience.
It’s useful, VERY useful, to step into particular frames of mind, into individual realms, along the way, to do particular work, to develop a particular aspect of ourself.
But don’t get trapped there. Don’t abuse yourself to the point of cutting yourself off from your feelings, your intuition, your heart. Don’t bully yourself into premature egoic nudity.