Scott Kiloby Living Inquiries
Scott Kiloby Living Inquiries
“What am I?” “What is really true?”
We've been conditioned to believe that the mechanical thinking mind has all the answers to these fundamental questions. And if your so-called all-knowing mind says, “You are flawed, not good enough;” or conversely, “You are special, better than others,” and you automatically believe "This is who I am", then the life experience is one of constant stress, separation and unhappiness. However, no thought-made identity, that a mere thought insists is true, holds up in direct experience.
For example, if it's true that “You” are not good enough, you would have to be able to point directly at the “you” who is that. You would have to be able to identify this "self" as a direct experience. Can you do that?
You can identify thoughts, (words and sounds) “about” that supposed one. You can identify energies (sensations and emotions) that are triggered by thoughts; you can watch images that arise with thoughts. You can feel a vague yet persistent and familiar feeling of "me."
All of these arise and are perceived. Yet what is it that is perceiving all of these appearances? Are there two of “you”—You, which knows an experience, and “you,” the experience itself?
The Living Inquiries offer a radical approach to the suffering caused by unexamined beliefs about oneself. Rather than try to fix or change a story about an identity we believe ourselves to be, we can discover that the identity is a mistake. An error of misunderstanding.
Once we begin to see, we don't have to get rid of the false identity; rather it's a matter of re-identifying with what's really true, in our direct experience. How? By resting in the spaciousness of the perceiving presence, our real identity, instead of going along with the agitation (words, images, energies) of the false. Why is it that the Presence is our real identity? Because "Real" means: That which does not change. It takes just one look to realize that Presence is ever-available and un-go-away-able.
This self-inquiry is a process. Learning to rest and making Presence (the Real) our first priority so that the unreal dissolves, does not happen for most of us overnight.
To assist in the process of re-identification with the truth of what we are, there are three strands to the Living Inquiries: Unfindable Inquiry, Anxiety Inquiry and Compulsion Inquiry.
THE UNFINDABLE INQUIRY
Fundamentally, the Unfindable Inquiry is the starting point of focus to investigate identities and concepts such as these:
The sufferer; the thinker; the doer or chooser; any perceived deficiency; any perceived specialness; human qualities (gender, race, age, etc.); roles (father, mother, employee, employer, etc.); other people, objects, and any concept that lends seeming reality to the idea of me, a separate, autonomous person.
THE COMPULSION INQUIRY
As we investigate the truth of identity, compulsions come into consciousness, compulsions related to acting out the perceived identity. This shows up as the compulsion or urge to enhance or punish what one believes oneself to be; to protect (likes and dislikes), to get approval or prevent disapproval, to get control or to be controlled.
With the Compulsion Inquiry, we investigate compulsions such as these, which are prevalent when one is engaged in the activity of acting out the perceived identity:
Avoidance, obsession, eating disorders, alcohol use, gambling, risk taking, sex, pornography, drugs, shopping, relationships and codependency.
THE ANXIETY INQUIRY
Finally, the Anxiety Inquiry identifies bodily energies (emotions and sensations) which when triggered by sounds, images or words, give seeming reality to a perceived false identity.
Here is a short example of how this might look. Let's say you step out of your bathtub onto a snake. Yikes! The fight, flight, freeze response hardwired in your body will cause a upsurge of adrenaline and an intense physical response. But then you look down and realize it's a rope. Not a snake at all. Your body calms down and comes back to homeostasis.
But let's say you open your Facebook page and you see your former lover and their new partner smiling and laughing on their fun-filled holiday in Hawaii. Yikes! You may feel the exact same bodily responses as above: racing heart, shallow breath, inner collapse. The fight, flight, freeze response is triggered. Yet, what is the danger to your body? None. Who or what is endangered, then?
The truth is, no one. It is the imaginary psychological self that feels the shock. That self could be perceived as “Deficient” “Unworthy,” “Less than,” “Not enough,” “Unfairly treated,” “Unlovable,” and many other “flavors” of identification.
With the Anxiety Inquiry, we identify the shock, the sting, blow, collapse or other energies. Then, by allowing the energy to fully unfold from a resting place of conscious presence, we can inquire if the energy is truly a threat, truly a command to react (eat, drink, run, etc.) and if it's truly your “self.”
This is an example of weaving all three Inquires in one investigation.
You are learning how to separate out the observer—your consciousness—from the false in you.
After enough practice, the false self is exposed and cannot stand alone and so vanishes.
The task is to remember to be conscious.
What counts is the number of times each minute, hour, day that you remember to separate. Not how long you hold each separation.
As we win the battle within ourselves, we win the battle of life without.---Barry Long
Elizabeth has been a blessing as a Living Inquiries Facilitator. She has a deep knowledge of how to use the inquiries in every situation. Her skills are top notch! I recommend her to anyone who is interested in this work.
More on Scott Kiloby's Living Inquiries
Links below for in-depth information about Scott Kiloby's Living Inquiries. Note: The Compulsion Inquiry was co-created with Colette Kelso and the Anxiety Inquiry was co-created with Fiona Robertson.
Main Website: http://www.livinginquiries.com/
To find out more about Scott Kiloby, the founder of the Living Inquiries, visit his site www.kiloby.com. Scott’s Living Inquiries-based books The Unfindable Inquiry: One Simple Tool to Overcome Feelings of Unworthiness and Find Inner Peace and Natural Rest for Addiction: A Radical Approach to Recovery Through Mindfulness and Awareness are available here along with his other books.