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Copyright 2002 Realization.org.

An Interview with Byron Katie  |  1, 2, 3, 4

SM: Many seekers are aspiring toward having a sustained transcendent experience. Can an STE be prepared for?

BK: If I say, if I talk about, 'I want to be enlightened…' it implies a future. And there isn't any. And then we attach to…one by one, by one, by one… I call it 'they get married and have babies.' It's reincarnation. You start with the…the I arises, and if you don't notice, then it has a baby and a baby and a baby and it splits, it's a cellular… [laughs] thing… it's like the atoms splitting… I call it instantaneous unenlightenment. But if you'll notice, then it ends. There's no more reincarnation. So if you don't notice, it continues. And that's time and space and place. It's an illusion. Like an internal optical illusion.

So there's only transcendence in the moment. Nobody can be transcended forever. That's why I say, 'who cares if you're enlightened forever? Can you just get it in this moment, now?' And that's what the investigation's about. I mean, that's all there is. I mean we're so attached to the concept we're in, that we really…it's such a vivid movie that it would imply a past and future with it all in it. It's just a concept now. So it is just in the moment now. There's no division point in it. There's nowhere where you know where it differentiates. It is so good. It, this transcendence thing is just a beginning. Until it comes back for itself and claims it, transcendence is just a beginning. It's just a concept. And that's what you were saying. It's a concept that people aspire to and they don't re-enter. And I don't know why people don't speak of it. But transcendence, there's nothing in it. When It comes back for Itself, the mere image of Itself… It's intoxicated. Couldn't have anything else. It's a matter of total greed.

SM: What is?

This article is reprinted from The Noumenon Journal. Click here for more information about it.

BK: Itself. It would have everything. It would just preen in front of the mirror. And you are that…and that…that beauty, and old and young, tall and short, and all things, and a flower and a tree…undivided. And that's a beginning.

SM: [Inaudible question.]

BK: Yeah, no story, no suffering. No attachment to story, no suffering. I don't even know what a sustained transcendent experience is. I only know that I have not seen a problem in 13 years that is real. And I have not met anyone or anything that I would change. Everything brings me such joy. I am everything. If that's what a sustained transcendent experience is, no wonder people seek it; even though it is always, always apparent.

SM: Um. Let's go back to that you didn't have any words or concepts, I'm guessing you had never read any books, is that correct, about…such things [that we're discussing]?

BK: No, no, not ever.

SM: Have you ever had a phase, like Suzanne Segal describes, about fear?2

BK: Suzanne Segal was a friend of mine and I couldn't relate to anything she said.

  2. The late Suzanne Segal wrote a best-selling book about her awakening, Collision With The Infinite. To read an excerpt from it, click here.

"The mere fact that they suffer from it tells me that they know better. I used to ask people, why are you pretending not to know?"

SM: You had the fear for 10 years, first? And so by the time your shift happened…

BK: Like U.G3…I totally relate. And Suzanne, nothing. She used to call me and I couldn't relate to anything she said.

  3. Reference to the radical mystic U.G. Krishnamurti (no relation to J. Krishnamurti). To read more about him, click here.

SM: Can a person having a sustained transcendent experience know if someone else is having one?

BK: No. I see everyone as awake, whatever that is. I see everyone as clear.

SM: But you know when they're talking about their story…

BK: I see they believe they're not. I see the mere fact that they tell the story shows me that they don't. The mere fact that they suffer from it tells me that they know better. I used to ask people, why are you pretending not to know?

SM: Would you say then, that Suzanne was pretending that she knew?

BK: No. No, I wouldn't say that. I just don't relate to anything she said.

SM: She described disidentification by saying that she was located to the left of her body. Do you have that experience?

BK: No.

SM: So, do you know if U.G. is having a sustained transcendent experience?


BK: He's as close to my experience…he's the only one I've met that I relate to.

SM: His description about his shift was that it was a calamity… I mean he tends to portray the good, the bad and the ugly.

BK: And, see, that's where U.G. and I tend to have a different experience. I didn't experience a calamity. I experience the opposite. The thought that I existed at all was a calamity. And the opposite of that is really delightful from here.

SM: So, if I were to one day wake up and be having some kind of transcendent experience, how would I know?

BK: You don't. You don't even care. There's no one to care. I can't even put it into words… self-love? [That would] be a guess. Words are always going to fall short, which is a sweet thing.

SM: Would I feel physically grounded in my body?

BK: No.

SM: Where would I feel located?

BK: Everywhere. Everywhere your eyes see.

SM: So my consciousness would be bigger than this location?

BK: Yeah. And when you're, when I'm driving in a car, everything's coming into me. It ends there. I am the beginning and the end of all of it.


Next page | If my joy were told, in a physical realm, it would blow the ceiling off of this place.
1, 2, 3, 4

This page was published on October 23, 2001.

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