Friday, September 25, 2009

Byron Katie vs Abraham-Hicks

Byron Katie's inquiry holds beliefs in a quarantined mental space so that one may determine the effects the belief has on emotion, thinking, behavior, and general well-being. It isolates beliefs and deals with them one at a time so as not to overwhelm the subject with the spiral of rationalizations that may occur in free-association.

The inquiry is an experiment in which the subject creates a model of himself with the belief and then without the belief. The way the questions are phrased invite the subject to actually feel the feelings generated by the belief rather than hold them in an indifferent, cerebral way. This is in contrast to the way most of us feel feelings: we generally latch on to the feeling first and then activate cerebral thinking to manufacture reasons as to why we should feel that way. We thus amplify and prolong the feeling:

Thought - belief - feeling - supporting thought ("reasons") - belief - feeling - repeat.

The questions of the inquiry, e.g. "How do you react when you believe that thought?" frames the belief as the creator of the feeling. We focus on the prior part of the cycle:

Thought - belief - feeling - supporting thought ("reasons") - belief - feeling - repeat.

Because belief is actually more a choice and feeling is more an automatic reaction, this line of questioning empowers us to choose how we feel indirectly by believing differently. The pivotal point in the inquiry is the reframing. If the subject jumps to the "feeling - supporting thought" phase too soon, he will reject the question and derail the inquiry. His mind will be so flooded with reasons as to why he feels that way that there is no room to catch the more useful reason, the one he can change, i.e. his belief in a thought.

Abraham-Hicks' philosophy mainly focuses on adjusting the feeling part of the cycle (though there are techniques such as the focus wheel which direct attention to the beliefs that take one in or out of a desired feeling). Their idea is that one can directly imagine a better feeling state and generate that better feeling immediately. Automatically, cerebral thinking will manufacture reasons why one should feel that way, and then the spiral flows upward.

Hence the two methodologies are complementary means to a better feeling life. Byron Katie's inquiry draws on curiosity while Abraham-Hicks asks for imagination. The inquiry is better suited for more severe emotional downturns, but requires at least a modicum of curiosity for the truth. Abraham-Hicks' focusing on positive aspects is better for brighter times as good feelings can snowball more quickly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What is the pain telling you?

I am willing to learn how to love the pain. I am willing to see the value in my suffering.
Your suffering tells you what you do not want. It tells you the thoughts that you do not want. When you hold on to a thought that isn't in vibrational alignment with the joyful version of you, the discordant feelings you feel are a direct experience of the discord between that thought's vibration and the joyful version's vibration.

Learn to sing in the key of the best rendition of your song. It's easy because it's instinctual, and mistakes are part of the process. Suffering is just a helpful nudge. Do not get caught up in the fact that you are nudged, but instead follow its beckoning so that you may become more in tune with your joyous song.

Congestion tells you you don't want to be near someone or some situation. You feel crowded, suffocated. To alleviate congestion, either get out of the situation or love it. There is no benefit or growth in strength in enduring the congestion. In this case, more pain, less gain.

Let go of each thought that makes you suffer one by one. Do it by first holding the thought in a quarantined area which you observe carefully. Observe how the thought makes you feel and act. See how it makes you suffer to hold it. Then open the door, and let it go.