The above is the subtitle to a short article by Byron Katie in the latest Shared Vision magazine. The article is called “Suffering is Optional“.
“What I came to see was that my suffering wasn’t a result of not having control; it was a result of arguing with reality. I 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.”
“The apparent craziness of the world, like everything else, is a gift we can use to set our minds free.”
“When you question what you believe, you eventually come to see you’re the enlightenment you’ve been seeking. Until you can love what is—everything, including the apparent violence and craziness—you’re separate from the world, and you’ll see it as dangerous and frightening.”
The rest of the article is here:
Byron Katie had an awakening in a halfway house for eating disorders, not unlike Satyam Nadeen‘s prison waking. Like Eckhart Tolle, she does not know how she came to awaken at that point, but a process became apparent to help others awake. From my perspective, I prefer a practice with a framework for growth. This is much easier than an accidental awakening brought on by peak suffering. But I still find value in learning of the myraid ways the Self finds to open to Itself.
An interview with Katie (a nickname for her middle name)
Last Updated on November 8, 2014 by Davidya
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I am in the process of awakening (cannot bring myself to proclaim I have awakened for I don’t think we fully do in this plane, some come closer than others, of course) and, for me, it came through suffering so I’m of the opinion I would not have come to this wonderful place of peace without the push from suffering.
Suffering can help give us the push, yes. The point is that it’s optional, as “It can be easier” points out. Sometimes the suffering is just seeing it so it can be removed as an obstacle. It did not provide a push but rather was a needed step to clear.
This comment began to get rather long, so I’m going to do a short post in response.
I would not describe awakening as having anything to do with physical reality at first, just our experience of it. Also, I would not think about it as “other planes”. That places them somewhere else, a misleading concept. All of reality is right here, now.
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Don’t think I could fully understand the meaning of joy unless I had experienced its opposite. I feel gratitude for everything that has come to me in this life for it has strengthend my spirit. My meaning in the use of the term “plane” would be the place we find ourselves when we are “out of form,” no longer bond onto the Earth. Hope your time of rest is everything you hoped for, Davidya!
What you will find is the other planes are not really other at all but here and now. There is no difference between inner experience and outer, except that we segregate them mentally.
As for joy, its true we can better appreciate joy after experiencing pain. But if you experience full unadulterated joy, it will be by comparison to prior memories of joy. It will overshadow any idea of “happiness” you may ever have help before. Whats really remarkable is that it’s possible to get used to that joy as a constant presence. That is what is now happening for many, many people.
We live in a most remarkable time.
(I’m back for 2 days, then off to internet-less land…)
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