Practical Action

Jan 27, 2020

By Esther Veltheim

In the words of Socrates, "The unexamined life is not worth living." But what did Socrates mean exactly? Was he advocating we spend our lives analyzing our childhood and analyzing ourselves? Just how much work does life have to be before it stops feeling like one big struggle!?
 
Conscience is a boxing ring
in which good and bad are pitted
against one another.
Guilt is the biased referee
we keep on the payroll to
mediate between our Shoulds and
Should Nots and to ensure
that all fights are fixed
before they even begin.

This internal clash of contradictions sums up our human plight in a nutshell. Most life situations require we choose between our conflicting shoulds and should nots, which are far more than just rules we have been taught. These shoulds and should nots are super strong convictions. We are convinced by them. And, as you know, "I am convinced!" means "I believe it is true!"

What this boils down to is that all of our internal shoulds and should nots act on us like absolute truths. Even those convictions that we believe we have grown out of or modified do not go anywhere. Guilt makes sure of that. And Guilt has been on the payroll so long that it's not going anywhere in a hurry either.

Here is an illustration of a common pair of contradictory truths:
  
"I cannot feel safe until I trust you." (I have to trust you first.)
"I cannot trust you until I feel safe." (I have to feel safe first.)

While this is a simple example, our minds are full of these kinds of contradictions. Most of the time we do not even realize the things we tell ourselves are contradictory. With this dynamic going on inside us, is it any wonder we feel like our own worst enemy? Which brings us back to Socrates and what he might have meant by, "The unexamined life is not worth living." Did he mean "we must endlessly analyze?" The preceding example did not analyze at all. We did not analyze our childhood, looking for clues as to why we think the way we do. We did not analyze ourselves, searching for explanations as to why guilt has such power over us. All we have done is use simple deductive logic about the shoulds and should nots that dictate our life choices. 

This describes our focus in BreakThrough. We focus on the convictions we hold and, by use of simple questions, we highlight their contradictory nature. We do not seek to get rid of these warring truths or to change them. We do not analyze. We simply shed light on the contradictory nature of the mind. This allows us to gain a clear perspective on what is going on, where before there was only confusion.
 
Being dualistic by nature, our mind can only think in pairs of opposites. This is why trying to get rid of anything in the mind or transform it with the power of positive thinking is a thankless task, giving temporary relief at best. It is a very different matter when we find a method that changes our whole perspective on our mind. That is when the alchemy starts happening. What transforms then is our relationship with guilt and the power it has over us. BreakThrough is just such a method. 

In BreakThrough, we do not put the responsibility of our convictions into anyone else's hands. This is the antithesis of BreakThrough, which is all about taking responsibility for our own experiences; taking our own life into our own hands. We take our inner, contradictory, absolute truths into every single situation in our lives. This means that our own inner conflict precedes all external ones. Nobody and nothing outside of us is to blame for how we feel. This does not mean the fault lies with us. We cannot possibly be to blame for the truths we hold. Just a little examination shows us there is no way we could have created such a mess of contradictions of our own free will. Somehow or other this is just the status quo in our heads. Nevertheless, as the holders of these convictions, we do bear the responsibility for them. It is our responsibility to take practical action if we are to live a worthwhile life. 

BreakThrough sheds light on this inexplicable dilemma by using a simple questioning process. Our examination of why we feel the way we do needs to go no further than examining the dynamics of our own dogma. No analysis is involved. We use life's challenges as the catalyst for our questions. Our focus is to hone the art of asking practical, deconstructive questions that assume nothing and do not guess. Formulating such questions is no mean task after a lifetime habit of asking questions we really do not want answers to, even if we have fooled ourselves into thinking otherwise.
 
Once we begin discovering the power of unassuming questions, it becomes clear, "There is very practical action I can take to help."
 
The BreakThrough System is complex yet very simple, challenging yet supportive. We explore the art of asking questions that, rather than evoking answers, invoke deeper and deeper questions. In so doing, we begin to live the mystery more fully.
Join the BreakThrough Matrix

If the concepts above speak to you, we encourage you to seek out a BreakThrough course or visit the IBA BreakThrough forums

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