By Reza Ganjavi
Byron Katie is a new age guru. I wrote about her in one of the Krishnamurti circulars. You pay big money to get your ego crystallized. Same ol', same ol'. Werner Erhard, 30 years later. These people make a ton of money because there are so many gullible people around who have never been taught to look within...
So they look without -- enriching these so called gurus, to help them look within.
While some of Byron Katie's "work" may have helped some people, the fundamental issue with her work is that the ego remains -- and people I've met who are really into her are psychological monsters. Also, "the work" has some fundamental stupid flaws like saying everything that happens is perfect -- well try to say that to a person who was raped.
Byron Katie is a popular "pop psychologist" [I don't mean it literally] who's making a ton of money. Her system helps some people but have some fundamental flaws. I met several people who are really into her -- oh my god - they're so complicated psychologically!! Simplicity is a virtue!
Like Eckhard Tolle and many other such new age gurus, they never address ending of the psychological self -- why? They either don't see it - or they see it and prefer not to address it b/c it will make themselves redundant -- and -- people like continuity so it's great for marketing. So they crystallize the self instead of helping people explore what it means to be selfless.
Someone sent me two quotes by Byron Katie -- I had asked her to send me some of her favorite writings of BK. My response below:
It sounds like the typical self-centered, self-crystallizing pop psychology which makes a person very complicated psychologically, and, perpetuates the self. I wonder if people like Byron Katie and Eckhard Tolle really don't understand and haven't come to that wonder of psychological death - ending of "me" - or they have and have intentionally deleted it from their work because the self sells. The self likes continuity - glorification - and is willing to pay big money for it -- and people pay big money to go to a Byron Katie superficial workshop which strengthens the self. Superficial solutions sometimes help people but ultimately it doesn't heal the mind because the very structure of psychological self is thought which is divisive and therefore in conflict.
The psychological self is a bubble - it's a fictitious entity - a bundle of memories - a bunch of thought. It tries to sustain itself in many ways but it's still a transient entity with no real substance except what thought puts together -- and how noble that can be. It is however highly noble to be nothing, absolutely nothing, psychologically. There's seeing but no seer, listening but no listener, other than the senses and organs of the body. No thought to interfere perception. When it does, it only distorts. The beauty of sunset can best be perceived with an absolutely quiet mind -- a sensitive, alert, acute state of natural quietness that comes with insight into "noise" -- and not a forced quietness that is induced by repetition, or hypnosis. There's no place for self in many areas of life and certainly in relationship. It's easy to project images of oneself and others but all images are in the field of time and thought. It's possible to live without any image. Then the being rides on the wings and waves of spontaneous love which is immeasurable.
Byron Katie: "The moment you project what’s going to happen it costs you your life."
This statement makes no sense whatsoever. I project it will rain this afternoon. It hasn't cost anything let alone my life!
More BS from Byron Katie:
“Don't be careful. You could hurt yourself.”
“There is nothing that isn't true if you believe it; and nothing is true, believe it or not.”
“No one will ever understand you."
Imagine paying thousands of dollars to Byron Katie to feed you that nonsense!! No wonder some people I met who are her followers were so confused!
“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it—it’s just easier if you do.”
Bullshit! Try to say that to a rape victim! Oh but wait! Byron Katie stupidly has said: "Victims are violent people"!
Another bullshit quote by Byron Katie who has no idea what she's talking about. Ya, X was raped. She's the victim. If you follow Byron's thought the raped is one who's violent. That's as thick as bullshit gets! I don't care if she means anything else by that. What she says is the most important indication of what she means otherwise, she should take a logic class and learn how when you say 2+2=5 people are going to laugh at you.
Larry Duff responded: "Thank you, Reza. If she wanted to initiate thought and discussion about how someone who is victimized, if not healed, or healing from the effects of that victimization, can act it out on themselves or others, she could have done that. The need is not for a stupid, simplistic, black and white statement like this, but for compassionate help for real survivors of victimization to be able to process their feelings, to heal and have a better chance not to act it out in a destructive way."
Exactly Larry. Byron Katie's "work" is full of such black and white nonsensical statements and gullible people pay a ton of money to listen to that BS and in turn get extremely complicated psychologically because of trying to turn nonsense into sense, and applying thought to where it doesn't belong.
"Right on, Reza. Thanks for your comment. There are other possibly even worse things she has endorsed, I believe, and I'd like her to respond. Have requested a response to some of my comments but haven't gotten any. Real inquiry/The Work can be useful in some ways, but as you said not to lead people to "turn nonsense into sense", deny reality (primarily simple emotional reality), that she says she's in favor of accepting."
Larry, we're talking BIG BUCKS here. Have you heard what she charges to feed what I believe is nonsense, to people? Typical case of a guru using a bit of truth she found to build an institution which then misleads people. I've talked to some of Byron Katie followers and OH MY GOD. Talk about psychological monsters!
"Thanks, Reza. I try to not jump to conclusions, or be 'black and white' myself, but the more I see and hear, I find myself agreeing. There are some very destructive ideas coming through her that, as you said, are swallowed without 'inquiry’.
(copying part of another comment I made here) A person posted on another site that in one of her paid workshops, she read a participants letter to her father, who had sexually abused her, in which she apologized for “being a whore”. She read it and smiled with approval (according to this person who claimed to have been there). The commenter said he,or she also wrote a similar letter to their perpetrator parent, after doing ‘The Work’. I have no proof that this happened the way it was recollected (I wasn’t there myself), but as unbelievably outrageous it sounds (beyond words to me), it doesn’t completely surprise me. There is a ‘blame the victim’ tone to what she teaches, a definite agenda, which is destructive, not healing.
I’d like to put it to Katie to explain or refute that one and see if she responds. She hasn’t yet to any of my comments addressed directly to her, and probably won’t, although she did post a youtube video explanation of another comment. Didn’t really explain it for me, though."
An Thys wrote: "I went to a Byron Katie workshop some years ago in Amsterdam. As a trained therapist most of her responses and interactions with her audience made me very uncomfortable, if not nauseated. Irresponsible and damaging. I walked out before it finished because I didn't want to waste my time any further."