I DON’T LET GO OF MY
I QUESTION THEM, AND
THEN THEY LET GO OF ME.
BK: We see that there’s an amazing
world when we take the opportunity
to ask these four questions. It’s the
education that the world could use
right now. Anything less is war. We
want our leaders to end war in the
world, but we can’t even end war in
ourselves. We should always look to
ourselves first. That’s freedom.
If we do The Work long enough,
eventually we find ourselves in a
kinder, gentler world—a world of
peace where everyone is connected.
Here’s the short version of that: I
understand that every human being
loves me. I just don’t expect them to
realize it yet.
I love that, especially because as
your teachings so often point out, we
are all more alike than we are different.
BK: Absolutely. There’s no room to
judge. Judgment brings stress into
my life and until I get it squared away
I haven’t looked to myself. That is a
lack of compassion. How can we be
in touch with compassion if we can’t
clearly see our own innocence? How
can I forgive if I’m still judging? The
key to forgiveness is to question the
thoughts that block it and then to
understand that forgiveness is realizing
that what we thought happened didn’t.
I would say The Work both
requires and engenders a tremendous
amount of compassion, for yourself as
well as others.
BK: Oh, it does. When we see how we
treat ourselves and others when we
believe our stressful thoughts, we just
get still. This is a meditative process,
a practice. When we question who we
would be without those thoughts, we
see we’re not guilty of anything other
than believing our thoughts. That’s
innocence. We think we need to stop
the kind of behavior that hurts other
people, but how can we when we’re
believing our thoughts?
Do you think that as a society we
are addicted to emotional pain? Why
else would we obsess so much about
things that hurt us?
BK: We’re just lost. We don’t know
what to do. We grab what we think
we need, and we have a few moments
of reprieve. Then we feel guilt—and
guilt is where we’re at our worst. These
are all tricks of the mind. My job is
to break it down so people can use
inquiry to follow the breadcrumbs
back to their true selves.
I have to comment on the
turnaround—what an amazing aha
moment that provides.
BK: The four questions open the
mind, and then we turn the stressful
thought around and find the opposite.
For example, if you’re upset because
you think, He betrayed me, after you’ve
gone through the four questions,
you look at opposites, such as I
betrayed him, or I betrayed myself, or
even He didn’t betray me. You’re not
looking for right answers. You’re in
a meditative process, so you just try
these turnarounds on, respectfully
and gently, like trying on a new pair of
boots in the store to see if they fit.
So for the turnaround “I betrayed
him,” you might ask yourself, Where
did I betray him in that situation?
Maybe it was with a look, a word, a
groan, or an accusation. Then you
can go further, asking, Where have I
betrayed him in other ways? And where
have I betrayed other people in my life?
You get still and sit in that, and you
allow that question to be answered
through images that come to mind
because all the wisdom is inside you.
Then you can ask, Where is it I betrayed
myself, where I didn’t speak up for
myself? Then you may see yet another
turnaround: He didn’t betray me. How
could it be that when you were so
sure that he betrayed you, he really
didn’t? This takes a lot of stillness. It’s
so profound to sit in this meditation,
in these questions, and open our hearts
and witness what arises to meet the
questions in that silence.
You can peel back so many layers
with this process. The quick answer is
not what you’re looking for.
BK: Absolutely. If people would just sit
in it for 20 minutes a day, or just take
it into the practice they already have,
they will go from riding in a horse and
buggy to traveling at jet speed.
Why do you think we so often
deceive ourselves, and why is that
deceptive thinking our default?
BK: It’s like looking at a chair
and saying, “That’s a chair.” That’s