How To Hack The Voice In Your Head: Byron Katie #532

(mystical music) – [Narrator] Bulletproof Radio,
a state of high performance. – [Dave] You’re listening to Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey. Today’s cool fact of the day
is that over the hill cells may cause trouble in
your brain as it ages. There’s cells called senescent cells, which accumulate as you
age, that are still alive, but are in a state of sort
of suspended animation. They stopped doing their jobs
and they stopped dividing and scientists have figured out that getting rid of
those cells in your body extends the lifespan of
at least a dozen mice. It also improves heart and kidney health. And new research suggests
that senescent cells make mischief in your
brain as you get older. At the Mayo Clinic, molecular biologists studied mice with mutations
that led nerve cells in their brains to build up levels of a toxic protein called tau. And damaging globs of that protein called neurofibrillary tangles
are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s and lots of other bad things you probably read about
in my book, Headstrong. In some of these mice,
researchers engineered a genetic trick, a kill
switch to destroy cells as soon as they became
senescent and mutated mice with that switch did not accumulate that toxic protein as quickly and those mice were able to
better recognize new smells in objects than mice
that had more of these suspended animation cells in their brains. And the trouble makers in
mice are called glial cells, the support cells that help nerves in your brain do their jobs. What does this mean for us? This means that we are
now engineering ways with natural compounds from plants, as well as lifestyle things and
probably some genetic things over time that can help you
get rid of that toxic protein or maybe even just get rid
of senescent cells entirely. I’m taking some experimental things to get rid of my own senescent cells in my relentless quest to live
to at least a 180 years old. And I think you’re gonna
find over the next five years that you have the ability
to remove these hangers on, these cells that aren’t doing
anything and hanging around, not getting out of the way. So the way I treat my mitochondria,
the way I treat my cells is if you’re not doing your
job right, it’s time to get out of here and be replaced
by something that is. In fact, I kind of believe
that about myself as well. (laughing) Today’s guest is a very well known author and personal development world leader. Her name is Byron Katie. You might of heard of her
book called Loving What Is. She’s an inspirational
guide who offers people a different way to think their thoughts, to change mindsets and their lives. And in 1986, at the
bottom of a 10 year spiral into depression and rage,
and as she describes it, self-loathing, when she was
43 years old, Byron woke up to a state of constant
joy that never left her. And what she realized, and
what she teaches to this day, is that when she believed
her stressful thoughts, she suffered, and when
she questioned them, she didn’t suffer, and that that is true for every human being. And she named her process
of inquiry The Work. And she’s been bringing The
Work to millions of people around the world for the last 30 years in public events, workshops,
intensive retreats, and something called the Turnaround House. I wanted to have her on the show today because on my own path
of being a biohacker and after I dealt some
of my biological things to lose 100 pounds, I
realized I had to deal with some of the stuff going on in
my head and I learned early on that my powers of self
deception are legion. (Bryon chuckles) And I’ve become aware of Byron’s
work, I’ve read her books, and I’ve learned you
don’t believe the thoughts in your head, you always question them. And when you build that into
your life, you perform better as a human being in
almost everything you do. And now we get to talk to
the woman who created this, which is a great pleasure.
Byron, welcome to the show. – [Byron] Thank you,
Dave, so good to be here. – [Dave] You are down in Ojai
– Mmhmm and you’re about to put on,
twice a year you have an event, a nine-day in-person event
where you teach people The Work. I think you have one in October
and one in February, was it? – [Byron] I think March, I’m not sure. But they can always
find it on But it’s a nine-day radical experience and yeah, it’s a good thing. – [Dave] If you’re at this state, and there’s millions of people here at Bulletproof Radio now,
but if you’re at the state where you’re saying, I
wanna know what’s going on with the thoughts in my
head, Byron’s body of work is powerful and one of the
things that launched me on my path of personal
development was a 10-day workshop many, many years ago, where
I sat down and realized, wow, there’s all sorts
of stuff I don’t know. So there’s great value to
sitting down and spending about a week with other
people doing the same thing. Something happens differently
than if you sit down by yourself for a week doing this, especially when you’re in the
presence of a great teacher. Now, Byron, I wanna understand when you talk about a 10 year spiral of rage and depression and all these things that happened, now awhile back for you,
what got you to that state? – [Byron] I was believing my thoughts, that’s the first version,
and the self-loathing, the anger, it was all an effect
of the things I would say and do, so guilt really
is the culprit here. And when that is running, I’ll say, as that was running in my
head, I had no way out, so it really was a downward spiral. And so the thoughts and
like, I’m not good enough, there’s something wrong with me, which was true, it was my thinking, but my thoughts were
aimed out at other people. It was their fault, and then when I would say or do something, I
would experience the guilt. So I had this vicious circle going, of judgment, guilt, judgment, guilt. And it was debilitating, agoraphobia, I experienced that. I couldn’t even, most of the
time unable to leave my bedroom toward the end of that, very painful. And I just, Dave, what I do with my life is I don’t, whatever I can to make sure that not one person has
to suffer at that level, or really any level because there is a way out. If there were not way out, I’d get it. But for a lot of us, there is no way out. We just don’t understand
how the mind works and then in that moment, as
I lay sleeping on the floor, just fast asleep, and I opened my eyes and I saw how the mind worked. And oh boy, oh boy, it was so radical that I was in the same body,
but the shift was so radical that my children and husband wondered who am I? (laughs) And it was, the shift, it was from a very confused, lost human being to my favorite, a kinder human being. – [Dave] A lot of the people
who’ve had the biggest change in their own
lives, and in the world, have gone through an experience
where they hit rock bottom or they almost died or some
of them actually did die in the hospital somewhere
and came back from that. Some of the people who,
especially in the fields of personal development, but
even just in medicine saying, I realized I had to do what mattered because things were just so crappy. My own life, hitting 300 pounds and having many of the
symptoms of being very old when I was in my twenties,
arthritis and brain fog– – [Byron] Yeah, yeah, I get that one. – [Dave] And so all
right, enough is enough. And I set out to consciously fix it. But I didn’t have an experience
where I woke up one morning and I had that level of clarity. I had lots of times where
an inspiration would happen or I would see why I missed that, but it seems like you just went to sleep and you woke up with
this massive knowledge. Where did it come from? – [Byron] Well, I just
saw how the mind worked. But it’s not as easy as it sounded. There was still this ego to deal with, this personality to deal with, so it was like there were two of me. There was this wisdom
and and understanding, the cause of suffering,
and I literally designed what I call the Judge
Your Neighbor Worksheet. I literally would sit
and identify the thoughts that were running through my head, the crazy thoughts, and it’s
like I was unaffected by them. I saw they were crazy, but
out of respect for the ego, I identified them, I put them on paper and we began to make love, seriously. The mind making love with itself. For example, if my mind would say, there is, something
terrible’s going to happen, I would write it down
and I would just sit. The mind with the mind, just sit it down. Is it true, something
terrible’s going to happen? Can you absolutely know that it’s true, something terrible’s going to happen? And then to notice how I reacted, what happened when I believed the thought. And that’s where people’s
blood pressure goes up, that’s where the heart begins to race, that’s where the physical
stress and wear and tear on our bodies from emotion, from the emotional life
that began to happen. And how do I react when
I believe the thought? I see images of, all these images of something terrible’s going to happen and they’re false images,
they’re images of a false future. They’re not images of now,
it’s fake, it’s like fake news. (laughing) And the images of the past
when every was wonderful and images of the future,
when it’s falling apart. And so when we’re
experiencing those emotions, we’re coming from that movie. That is the cause of all suffering, when we believe our thoughts. They’re not strong without the movie. So you have this movie, with
thoughts are the soundtrack, we believe onto it. And then the fourth question,
fourth simple question, who would I be without this? Who would I be without this
past, future, just now? And then here’s the world and
that’s how you get in touch with nature, your true
nature, and out of that comes our choices radically
shift, because we’re sane and there’s no mind there
to argue or talk us out of what we know is right in our life. It’s just that simple for me and if something
terrible’s going to happen, something wonderful’s going to happen. Well it just did, I’m
present, I’m out of the dream. I’m present, nothing
more wonderful than that. – [Dave] I had an
experience once years ago and I’ve done a lot of my
personal development work with neurofeedback, where
I have a computer sort of helping me know when I’m playing a voice or playing a story in my head that isn’t accurate and all. And I was doing some
self-inquiry and the little movie that you’re describing in your head, I was pushing on sort of asking for what I wanted, like we needed to move into a bigger house and I’d had some resistance
and just in my family from that for whatever reason, and
I was frustrated by it, but instead of admitting the frustration or at least admitting to
myself how frustrated I was, I was kind of watching
the video in my head with electrodes and my
consciousness presented an image of me pouring gas on myself
and lighting myself on fire. – [Byron] Yeah. – [Dave] And this was how, this is something I would never do. I’ve never been suicidal,
– [Byron] No. – [Dave] I’ve never thought
of something like that. – [Byron] No. – [Dave] And that was just so absurd because I had developed the
ability that you’re describing to sort of watch it and
look what was going on. And I started laughing, I’m like, seriously, this is clearly not
me, what’s going on in here? And it was that ability at
that moment to switch into an awareness of what’s really going on. And I was like, there’s
totally some irrational fear going on here and being able to see that for what it was, as something
that would never happen, but it was my body working to distract me from doing something
that it firmly believed was dangerous to do,
not pour gas on myself, but to actually say, look,
we’re moving into a bigger house already because I need the space
so I can do the Bulletproof stuff and because our
kids will be happier, and all the reasons I wanted to do it. But to just be insistent on something that was a requirement,
for whatever reason, I don’t know why, there were parts of me that were uncomfortable with
that and I got through it, which when I read your
books, that feels like one of those experiences
where you talk about becoming aware of the video in your head. – [Byron] Yeah or self, it’s the images, it’s like if we wonder
what we had for breakfast this morning, if we look back on that, you can see yourself at
breakfast, that self, you at breakfast, and you see
yourself at dinner tonight. That’s yourself, that’s
you at dinner tonight and it shows up that
vividly in your mind’s eye and we don’t even realize it’s going on until we begin to wake up to the mind and what’s real and what’s not but it sees you at
breakfast, you at dinner and then here I am sitting here now so I just, it’s just clear what self am I, this is the answer to who
am I, not that, not that, not that of the past, not
that of the future, present, present, and it’s very
everything we need to do can only be done now, and
in a sane state of mind, we’re really unlimited, or I can say that, I experienced that in my life. – [Dave] How does your work
or The Work as it’s called apply to people who are maybe engineers, people who are successful in their careers and saying maybe I want a little bit more, do you find that it works for them, that it’s attractive for them
– Oh absolutely, absolutely or is it too out there?
– Absolutely, absolutely – [Byron] You know, if you’re an engineer and you love what you do
then question anything that would slow you down, stop you, anything that would prevent you like you from buying a larger
house, it was nothing more than what you were thinking and believing and it could come out the other way but you’re going to come out
sane and right with yourself, not to buy the house until another time, it was time and we’re good with it, and you know we do things
that we don’t want to do but there’s no situation
we can’t make peace with because now is when we need the peace, now is where this matters. – [Dave] If you were
to describe what you do to someone who’s never
come across your work, how do you describe it
in a couple sentences, is there a way to do that? – [Byron] Clear the mind. – [Dave] Got it, that is
the shortest description of what someone does, three words, that I’ve ever seen but that’s actually a very powerful description. – [Byron] You know if I
don’t love what I think, I don’t love what I see. – [Dave] Yeah. – [Byron] Because life is
what we believe it to be so I look out and what I
believe on to the world like we put all these
Post-its on what we see and if we believe that, if those aren’t, if those thoughts aren’t, if they’re not, I’ll say it this way,
a match to the heart, or our true nature, I don’t
like what I believe in, I’m not going to like what I’m seeing so the way to the world is to, for me, was to question
anything unlike that emotion and for me, love is center. – [Dave] I think you’ve landed
on something powerful there, if you go through the four questions that are in your books in the
process of clearing your mind, what clearing my mind
did for me is it frees up a huge amount of energy
to do stuff that matters because if I’m putting
– Mmhmm the electrons that my body
makes from food and air (laughs) to work on judgmental thoughts, negative thoughts, playing
stories that aren’t true in my head, all the energy that went there didn’t go to somewhere useful
– Mmhmm and then I had to play even more energy to then counteract and deal
with the negative thoughts that I wasted the energy on so by building a process in
everyday in my case is based on gratitude and forgiveness
– Mmhmm and driving awareness, it’s allowed me to do way more in my
career and as a parent and all the different things I do and that’s why, even for
people who are hyper illogical in engineering mindset or someone who doesn’t have a particular
strong spiritual direction in what they do, The Work, that
you described in your books, is useful simply because it
removes drag on your life and everyone has drag, right? – [Byron] Absolutely, absolutely useful and in our life, if I’m an engineer say, why can’t I love my mind at the same time because when we’re saying our decisions, again our decisions are, they’re simple, they’re easy, we don’t even
have to think them through, they’re just natural, they’re logical, the food we eat, the choices we eat, I love like last night I’m wearing, I fell and I’m wearing this
heavy cast on my left foot and leg and I went to bed last night as energized as I wake up and because my energy isn’t
going to a make believe world, it’s present and what a radical life when I compare it to the unquestioned mind. – [Dave] There are a lot
of spiritual traditions that talk in different
words about the things you’re talking about, they talk about building awareness,
building consciousness, being able to see reality, I’m talking about Hindu
traditions, Buddhist traditions, ancient Christian
traditions and it seems like there’s many different traditions that are all circling around this ability to see what’s actually
in the world around you without lots of filters that
you don’t have control of, can you walk me through the four questions that you teach people in your books to do in order to quickly get
that level of clarity about a situation or just about their life like what are the questions? – [Byron] Well, the first question is, the first thing is to identify the thoughts that are causing
the stress in your life or in your moment and to write them down and then take a thought or a judgment that you’re holding on someone and then this work is meditation so we’re just going to meditate on is it true, what I’m
thinking and believing about that person, is it true? And I’m going to meditate
there and I’m going to hold an image of that situation with that person in my mind’s eye, maybe he said I don’t like you so he doesn’t like me, is it true? So I’m in that situation, let’s say it was something that happened yesterday and in my mind’s eye I can
see the two of us there, he said it, he said he didn’t like me but this is about my mind, what I believe, and no airy-fairy ideas,
I want to go to the depth so I’m just meditating on is
it true he doesn’t like me so I’m looking at his face, his posture, I’m seeing that, now the answer is either yes or no, it’s one syllable, so we just, we remain still in that
until that yes or no comes, the immediate answer is yes, he said so but no, you’ll get still in it, what else do you see in there, and again, don’t try to make nice in here, so the answer is yes or no, and then the second question, if it’s yes, I ask myself, can I
absolutely know that it’s true that he doesn’t like me and I sit in that and my
answer could still be yes, it’s true, he doesn’t like me, but I’m going to spend some time in there until I draw that conclusion for myself, until I’m shown in that image
of the two of us together, yes, and then the third question is to notice, how do I react, what happened
when I believed the thought that he doesn’t care about
me, that he doesn’t like me and then I meditate on
that and I get really still and I can see myself, I can see him there and I get in touch with
my, did my attitude change, did it become aggressive, did I look hurt and I’m not judging any of this, I’m just witnessing how I react
when I believed the thought in that situation and
oh, we learned so much about why the body
responds the way it does, it’s such a radical thing
to get in touch with and we seize to think
that it’s just happening beyond our that these emotions are
just happening to us, we’re seeing cause and effect, when I believe it, this is how I react when I believe the thought and how do I react where
I believe the thought I see in those images of past, future, I see him where he doesn’t like me and then I see him in the
future where he’ll never speak to me again or I’m meditating in how do I react, what happens mentally and physically
when I believe the thought, do I manipulate, do I strike back, do I get even, am I silent, am I giving him the cold treatment, I’m just witnessing a moment in time, we’ve heard the expression know thy self, so then the fourth and last question is who would I be in that
situation without the thought he doesn’t like me? And now I’m gonna meditate there, that I’m going to see him, now I may begin to
experience and compassion, I can see at the time he was really upset, he was out of sorts, I see enough to know that I wasn’t the cause of that
in that particular situation I see, I see, I see and compassion and what pours in there is haaaa, it sounds odd but it’s just our kindest nature shows up and we get in touch with
that at the same time as well and then I invite people
to turn it around, to just flip it over and to try it on like a new pair of shoes, just try it on, does it fit, he doesn’t care about me turned around, I don’t care about him, okay so where was it in that situation I wasn’t caring, where
was it I attacked him, I’m just going to
witness, I don’t even need to take questions in there, I’m shown, I’m meditating on that moment in time with that human being, and then we see how it fits, I don’t care about him, now this is that word you used earlier, the forgiveness, this is
where it starts happening automatically through this process, you can just fall on your knees to a person like that that pushes you to know yourself, to become
a kinder human being, now another way of turning it around, you never know how many will
be there but maybe just one, he doesn’t like me turn
around I don’t like me, okay now I’m going to
meditate in what is it about that situation, how did I treat him, what did I say or do, how did I react, that I don’t like
before, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t like me when I
hurt another human being when I say something or do something that is against my heart, it’s just simply not wise, it’s not airy-fairy, it’s
just not wise in life, aggressiveness in my world holds me back and it shows up here in this process so he doesn’t like me, he likes me, there’s another opposite,
okay now it takes a lot of stillness to go
back and listen to his words, look at him, what do I
see, I’m trying it on like a pair of shoes, maybe
it fits, maybe it doesn’t, but basically, Dave,
that’s the simple process and anyone that wants to heal their life, if I have anything of
value, it’s always free, no charge on – [Dave] I appreciate that, when you have really
precious knowledge like that and you choose not to share
it as widely as you can, it feels like you’re out of integrity, I would say I feel that way, I like to put the most important
things I know out there. – [Byron] Yes. – [Dave] And in this case, I look at this, I come from Silicon Valley,
I’m a former computer hacker, and there’s a portion of the
audience of Bulletproof Radio who is totally and spiritually tuned in, we’re all meditating, we’re
doing all these things and I’ve seen shift in the last 10 years where some of the very
best computer programmers, developers, tech CEOs, whatever they are, they’ve started meditating because they felt
performance improvements. – [Byron] They’re hacking their brain. – [Dave] The are hacking their brain and what you’ve described
there in those four questions, when I read it through my own filters, it’s a logic problem and
you can take any situation and you can make a little truth table and you can look at all
possible solution sets to that thing and the line of inquiry that your four questions
in The Work invite is to say alright, let’s
evaluate both sides of the equation or the
problem we’re working to solve and let’s look at all
possible angles from it which is what thinking
human beings do anyway but you’re providing a
framework for doing that which makes it much faster instead of eventually realizing there’s
some sort of murky answer in all of this by just
putting it in a Q and A format and putting in you
always look at both sides of each thing, you end up
with a very different solution to the problem than you would have– – [Byron] And you end up with a friend and they don’t have to like you back. – [Dave] Yeah, and– – [Byron] Yeah but you’re
connected under all circumstances, connected and in that
we’re excellent listeners and a connection like that, oh my gosh, being with people changes our lives, it always ups our game. – [Dave] It does up your
game and I love the way you think about that, that’s been exactly what’s happened in my life, and you said something
else though in your books and in some of your interviews, you said that when you discover that
all happiness in inside you, the wanting and needing are over and what replaces the wants and needs when people do The Work? – [Byron] You have everything you want and you have everything you need, it’s just simple like just
consider this moment now and I ask your listeners
to do the same thing other than what you’re
thinking and believing, look at what you’ve got,
look at what you’ve got and that’ll take you a while,
you couldn’t count it all if you just sat still
and looked around you and I mean I’m sitting in a chair, these clothes I’m
wearing, there are layers, I don’t need them all,
the chair’s holding me and the chair’s taken care of, it has these cushions and this color and then what’s holding
the chairs, the ground but that’s not enough,
there’s this nice rug under and what holds the ground
and what holds that and what holds, you can’t count it all, you can sit out in a lawn with grass on it and just look at one blade of grass and all the secrets of
the universe are there and it’s for you, you begin to experience, it’s just so close, it is for you, everything for you, oh my gosh, obviously I fall easily under rapture, I am so grateful for the way things are, now if someone stands in front of me and says I’m going to kill you, why is it I don’t have a problem, I’m not dead yet, now if I
imagine what he’s going to do, I have lost my life, I’m in a future that is terrifying and I am missing this
given moment in time, my life is here, I’ve joined it, now let’s say he shot me, okay, am I gonna scream and yell before I even see if it hurts? I don’t know, don’t know, so I’m saying this, it
may sound a little radical to some of your listeners but, but I’m about the end of suffering and to the beginning of
let’s do what we can do where we are and change things, it’s a powerful life we’re
given that if I’m in past, future, people say be here now, well why, well because this is where you are, this is where it works. – [Dave] You’ve cultivated
a sense of gratitude for wherever you are, even if
there might be better places you’d like to be. – [Byron] Well, I’ve just simply noticed and there’s no where I’d rather be, that would be crazy, where would I be, where could I be that I wouldn’t
take this thinker with me? – [Dave] But wouldn’t
you wanna be somewhere not with a guy with a
gun about to shoot you? – [Byron] Well, you know, I can run but I don’t think I’ll outrun a bullet but if I can outrun that bullet, I’m gonna run, I’m not crazy,
peace doesn’t mean crazy. – [Dave] Exactly, so you
could be in a state of peace even if you’re in a
– Running situation like that (laughs) peaceful running, I like that
– Yeah, yeah – [Byron] And you know
a man did put a gun, pull a gun on me when I, I
think it was about 2 a.m. but was the most beautiful
evening and the clouds in the sky and I could smell the river
that was running far away and it was a glorious
evening and a man I guess I frightened him, I was on
this property or something, I was just out walking as I tend to do and smelling the air and
I guess I frightened him ’cause he came up what are you doing here and I’m sure his language
wasn’t that polite and he put a gun on my stomach and he said I’m going to and
then he used the word kill you and I looked at, oh I don’t
know why I tell these stories other than I do (Dave chuckles) but it must be important,
he looked into my eyes, I looked into his eyes, I saw terror, I saw terror and at the same time, I can see the moon and
the sky and the clouds and how the light from the
moon hit the clouds in the sky, it was amazing, now the
other way is to imagine the bullet hitting me before
he pulled the trigger, to imagine the pain, to
imagine me not having my, not ever seeing my children again, to imagining me all of this
on such a beautiful night, now that to me is crazy
and I wasn’t in a position to run but I was in a
position to look into his eyes and experience compassion
and he put the gun down. – [Dave] Why do you think he did that? – [Byron] What I can tell you
is I was completely connected and I think, in that,
there’s a kind of meeting where there was no room
for his fear as well. – [Dave] So he just felt
that what he sensed from you was not that response to his terror that he was expecting and just decided– – [Byron] You know, I think so, Dave, that in the absence of
fear, what is there to fear? And no one pulls a gun
if they’re not fearful. – [Dave] That is very true. That’s a powerful story and the idea that you could stay present
even in a situation like that is a testament to the
growth that you’ve done. – [Byron] And also
again, who wants to miss the rest of their life, that can be it. – [Dave] What advice
would you have for the guy who pulled the gun on you if
you could talk to him now? – [Byron] You know I had a thought when he said he was gonna kill me, my thought was I hope he
doesn’t do that to him. – [Dave] Yeah, because that does come at a great personal cost. – [Byron] Yes it does. – [Dave] One they don’t
show you in the movies. – [Byron] I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. He was about to hurt himself. – [Dave] Do you think
that most people listening to this show can reach
that level of inner peace? – [Byron] You know I have a lot of people across the globe that
are saying their lives are shifting so dramatically,
they’re unrecognizable but I don’t call it The Work for nothing, you know it does take
stillness, it takes silence and it takes being
courageous enough to look at the thoughts in your head
without trying to change them and accept them the way they are. I spoke earlier to loving the ego, you can’t fight the ego, it doesn’t rest but you can love the
ego, you can identify it, question it with the
other part of the mind and allow it to speak meaning to show you like he doesn’t care about me, is it true if I get still, the ego’s
gonna offer it all up until finally, the last book I wrote was A Mind at Home with
Itself and that’s what we’re talking about, the
ego is like a lost child, and as long as it’s
lost, that’s frightening, it’s a frightened identity
so once it finds a home in itself, that’s all it’s looking for so I’ve given the mind a
home so it’s happy there. – [Dave] How do you define the ego? – [Byron] A false identity, he doesn’t like me, there’s
something wrong with me or I think and I should, I need, I, I am Byron Katie sitting
here with my friend, Dave, and I, I, I, so what happens in inquiry is identification falls
away and I just remain not before and after but here I am with my friend, Dave,
having this discussion and I hope it serves
people and I’m present. – [Dave] Where do you
think the ego comes from, why is it there? – [Byron] Well, you know, it’s really not. – [Dave] (laughs) What does that mean? – [Byron] Well, like you
just asked a question and you’d have to go back to the past to leave the impression with yourself that you even said it so there’s before and after and now and now, that now that
I spoke of, is gone. – [Dave] So ego doesn’t
live in the present is what I’m getting out of that. – [Byron] No, no, ego is,
it’s a will of the west. – [Dave] Why is the ego there? – [Byron] Well you know, I just spoke to, it’s not really but the ego is it’s got to be identified
because ego is mind and mind is nothing,
you can’t take it out, you can’t touch it, you can’t feel it, it’s nothing, it’s not even air, so it’s looking for a home
so it’s first identification, let’s say it’s I, well
that’s not much of a home, I am, well now it’s kind
of getting settled in, I am a woman, well now
it’s kind of settling in or I would say, now I
am, I and now it’s he, she, them, me, I, but it’s
all about this false I, I like to invite people to
consider on who would you be without your story and
to just get still in that and to notice how quickly
that story will come but it’s the ego’s looking for a home and because it can’t have one, it’s mind, it is not a physical, it is not an object, mind is not object, so I am sitting here with my friend Dave and who cares if it’s true or not, I’m present, I’m at home in myself and I’m fully aware, this
body, this object is not I but where’s the problem? – [Dave] One of the
things that’s interesting about the English language is that we say, I am hungry but in most other languages, we would say I have hunger and the difference there is
that we’re so clearly identified with our meat, with our body, some of it’s linguistics,
some of it’s cultural, when you say that you are,
or at least I’m paraphrasing but it sounded like you said
you’re not your body, right. – [Byron] Mind is not body. – [Dave] Right, so– – [Byron] Mind is not physical. – [Dave] So then what is
mind if it’s not physical? – [Byron] Well you know
we spoke to it earlier but mind is false identification and you know what, you asked me, Dave, so just tell you, mind does not exist, it cannot exist unless it identifies and
that is false identification, mind is simply– – [Dave] Isn’t that similar
to saying love doesn’t exist? – [Byron] Well you know
the nature of everything, I’m speaking out of my own experience, it’s like I loathe myself and now I don’t and what is that self, I don’t really care, I’m at home, to me, that’s love, love is balance, it’s connection, I used
to tell my children they’d say I want, I need and I’d say, oh sweetheart
make friends with mediocrity, stay in the center and I
understand why you wouldn’t and balance, center, it’s the closest thing to it, no name, no south, and no handicap, there’s power in presence. – [Dave] Absolutely, I’d
like to get your take on a technique that I use, I recognize that, as I mentioned earlier, my powers of self-deception are strong, I think all humans are and so
if I get to choose the story I’m going to believe about something then I might as well choose
the story that’s the least amount of work and the most
amount of joy and happiness. (Byron and Dave laugh) so the example, I used
to have a very overactive middle finger when people
would cut me off in traffic, I had lots of rippling muscles
on just that one finger. (Byron laughs) and so it was always that the story was they’re cutting me off because
they’re more important, they don’t respect me, blah blah blah, and in one of the personal
development workshops, I just realized well okay I can also say they’re cutting me off in traffic because they’re on their
way to the hospital to see their mom on her deathbed, right, I have no idea, both
stories are complete BS but I just choose to believe that story without any facts ’cause
neither story has facts backing it, all I know is
they’re cutting in front of me and I found that by doing that, it reduces the amount of stress and
friction in my life dramatically. – [Byron] Oh absolutely. – [Dave] Is there value to
choosing that may not be true just because it’s more
pleasurable than one that is false and unpleasurable? – [Byron] Well the reason
that worked to my mind is that it was just as logical. – [Dave] Right. – [Byron] And so you balanced out, I mean one is just an insane as the other, you don’t know
– Right but you balanced it could be just as true and so you got that center play. – [Dave] Is that a technique
that you would recommend for listeners who recognize
that whatever story you have might not be true which is partly spilled into your questions and The Work but then to intentionally select the story that is as equally likely to
be true as the first story but rather than saying
I don’t have a story, just making up the story
that hey, the universe is conspiring in my favor,
you know it’s not true but you can still choose
the story and say, since I’m going to choose
the story that isn’t true, I might as well choose, or one
that I don’t know to be true, I might as well choose the one
that makes me feel the best or is that still self-deception, it’s going to be harmful in the long run? – [Byron] Okay so here’s what I would say, for your listeners is try this one on, the universe is friendly and anything that doesn’t match that then
I would just open my eyes and see where it’s true
and then that balances it doesn’t have to be
such an individual thing, we can just take one and keep it and I’m for the end of
suffering and what you described beautiful, and the universe is friendly, when I fell and did that thing with
my foot and my knees about a week and a half ago, it’s my gosh, it’s a friendly universe, I knew that bawling, I knew
that when I hit the ground, I knew that as they were
putting the cast on, I know that as I sit here
so it shows up for me all the time. – [Dave] So maintaining
that mindset is a part of what brings you happiness
and presence all the time. – [Byron] And you know one
of the great, I think it was maybe Einstein, I don’t
know, anyone could look it up but he said the universe
is friendly, just that and so I would say the
universe is friendly and I invite everyone to test it. – [Dave] I feel like I
can’t prove right now with what I know that
the universe is friendly so I’m going to assume
that it is and tell myself that story because life
is a lot easier and better with that mindset than without it while at the same time,
holding the knowledge that I don’t have proof
that that’s the case, some would argue, though, that that is an unhealthy self-deception
or an unhealthy state of mind versus
being completely neutral, I just find it doesn’t work very well to be completely neutral,
I’ll choose the story that motivates me the
most, that encourages me to give back more and have more energy but I also recognize– – [Byron] But see, that’s very wise. – [Dave] Okay so you’re
in alignment with that ’cause I do question that
– Oh completely in a way, am I deceiving
myself in the right direction even though it’s not provable
and I’m sort of thinking I don’t care if its provable,
I like it better this way. – [Byron] Absolutely,
optimists have more fun. – [Dave] That’s true,
they also live longer. There was a recent– – [Byron] (chuckles)
optimists live longer– – [Dave] Recent study around
skeptics versus optimists and skeptics die, they tend
to have cognitive dysfunction earlier and die earlier than
people who are optimists so. – [Byron] You know the
reason it feels good is it’s closer to what I
have come to understand the universe is friendly, it’s
just a step closer each time. – [Dave] And so your
belief is that the universe is actually friendly? – [Byron] Oh actually. – [Dave] Actually, got it.
– Completely. I’d like to believe that,
I haven’t proven it yet but I’ll continue to believe that story because it’s just a lot easier
to do good work that way. (Byron and Dave laugh) – [Byron] I am still
a skeptic, believe me, I am a skeptic, and that’s why inquiry’s such a part of my life,
and it always comes out when I question this silly head of mine, yeah the universe is
friendly, yup got it, got it. – [Dave] How did you
keep your ego in check as you went from someone who was depressed and agoraphobic to
someone whose work is seen by millions of people and a leading voice in personal development, how
did you avoid the spiritual ego side, hey everybody look at me, I’m so good, other leaders
have fallen off the path, I’ve interviewed some of them, why did you not fall off the path, what was different about your approach? – [Byron] You know if I had the thought, oh I am so enlightened, I
would have to question that. (Dave laughs) I cannot think of a thought that wouldn’t end in a question mark, just wouldn’t serve me. – [Dave] So you would
run your four questions against oh look at me, I’m so special and say what if I’m not special. – [Byron] Oh my goodness,
yes, it can’t hold here. – [Dave] Got it, so that’s
how you can stay humble and still do that, that’s
actually a funny answer when you think about it, got
it, I just use my own work to not fall into my own
ego which is fantastic. – [Byron] And I don’t
know how humble it is, I’ve never really considered myself as humble
but I certainly do know what hurts and what doesn’t. – [Dave] That’s beautiful. Byron, I have one more question for you and it’s a question I’ve
asked every guest on this show for more than 500 episodes and a question that I statistically
analyze for my next book called Game Changers, it
comes out December 4th. – [Byron] Good. – [Dave] And I’m really curious
to hear your answer to it, if someone came to you tomorrow, based on all the things you’ve
experienced in your life and said I wanna perform
better at everything I do as a human being, what are
your three most important piece of advice, what
would you say when you had to just boil it all down? – [Byron] (laughs) oh my goodness, do The Work, do The Work, do The Work. (Dave laughs) Another way of saying that
is just identify any thought that would stop you from
living your highest dream, your highest good and anything that would stop you, question it. – [Dave] Beautiful, so
that constant self-inquiry, you’re voting with all
three of those answers is do that one thing and it’s
the one that matters the most. – [Byron] So ask it again. – [Dave] If someone said,
I wanna perform better at everything I do as a human being so that includes being in a relationships, your work, your giving
back to your community are all the things we do as humans, the three most important
pieces of advice you’d have and you would say all three of those is that one thing that’s self-inquiry. – [Byron] Yeah that’s
so, get still, question the thought that would get in your way and (laughs) have a happy life. – [Dave] So for you, it’s
all about getting in touch with the incorrect voices in your head, getting on top of them
and editing or at least becoming aware of what’s happening there. – [Byron] I would question
anything that would keep me from having a happy life. – [Dave] Byron, thank
you for your stories, your questions and for
your work and for The Work and I very much appreciate
what you’ve done for the world and I appreciate you being on Bulletproof Radio,
listeners can find your work at, your workshop in Ojai October 23rd to November
1st sounds amazing to be in in-person and in a group with other people who are doing that radical self-inquiry is a special opportunity. – [Byron] Yeah, thank you, Dave. We work on the things
we’ve discussed today, we work on fear and we
work on relationships, we do just really some heavy
work on the physical body, we do worksheets and exercises that I have for people on communication and just goes on and on, if we’ve a experience as a human being, most ashamed, oh the castles I have there that we walk through, it’s very transformative
and I do invite people to that nine-day event. – [Dave] Thank you, Byron,
have a wonderful day. – [Byron] Thank you, Dave. – [Dave] If you liked today’s episode, you know what to do,
go out and ask yourself those four questions, is it true, can you absolutely know it’s true, how do you react, what
happens when you believe that thought and who would
you be without the thought, give it a try, you’ll find it
works and if you like that, why don’t you pick up a copy
of one of Byron Katie’s works, they are definitely
worth your time to read, very, very powerful stuff
around not necessarily hacking your biology but hacking
the thoughts in your head, when you look at the
definition of bio-hacking and change the environment around you and inside of you, so
that you have control over your own biology,
the thoughts you have control your biology and
getting on top of those is as powerful as putting the
right stuff on your plate, thanks for listening. (mystical music)

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