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Four questions that can change your life

Written by Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell


The ideas in this book don’t stem from any Eastern or Western tradition. The ideas originated in the mind of Katie, who had no intention of originating anything. They came from a long period of deep anxiety and depression and they totally freed her from that experience.

What’s true is always what’s happening, not the story about what should be happening. This book helps put every disturbing thought under enquiry, which leads to a calm place inside our head.

Katie provides a different way to look at life and encourages readers to ask four questions (Which Katie calls The Work or Enquiry) and free themselves from unnecessary traps created by thoughts.

Asking the below “Four Questions” of any situation / thing / person can free us from the stories we keep repeating to ourselves and enable us to see things for what they are.

Four questions:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do you react when you think that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

The book enlists real-life workshop experiences and as you read each conversation or rather questioning process, you will know how to do the work and what to expect from it.

Few points:

  • Wanting things /people the way they should be, is arguing with reality. These thoughts are ways of wanting reality to be different from it is.
  • Katie claims to find only three kinds of business in the universe: Mine, yours, and God’s. Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business.
  • Becoming aware of your stories – Stories are the untested, uninvestigated theories that tell us what all these things mean. We don’t even realise that they’re just theories.
  • Putting the mind on paper – For thousands of years, we have been taught not to judge, but let’s face it, we still do it all the time. This may not seem easy to put it on paper, despite us judging people all the time.
  • Katie doesn’t suggest dropping any thoughts and explains that Enquiry is not about getting rid of thoughts; it’s about realising what’s true for you, through awareness and unconditional self-love.


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