helpme2times, I agree I think being critical and questioning other people's thinking is good, so i welcome it. And while critical of what I'm saying you still asked good questions I'll try to answer them as best I can from my own understanding.
""""To say that a tantrum is useless is an interesting thought, but one I take issue with. I think that part of being human is to experience a whole range of feelings, thoughts, etc. in response to various life circumstances. Why try and "work" certain thoughts away? Also, why on earth would you consider someone who finds killing people abhorrent to be engaging in a "tantrum"? That's how you see such a thing? Pardon me while my mind boggles over this.""""
I agree, in my own experience that is part of being human. However, it is also easy to get bogged down in feeling sorry for oneself or wishing things weren't the way they are to the point that it is disempowering. I imagine other people have had this experience. Because I want to be effectual in my life, happy as possible it makes sense to question whether things are true. Someone would engage in method's such as the four questions of Byron Katie, or Self-inquiry or even just meditation because they see ways in which their way of relating and thinking and beliefs are not working in the world.
"I dare to say it is impossible to be without one's story. Unless one is suddenly struck brain dead."
This I don't know, I haven't really set up as an aim being without my story, or without thinking. But to get to deeper levels of consciousness, of knowing who I am. Peeling off the layers. And I don't see the aim of the Work or any other method of self-questioning as to become brain dead or contemplate your navel for years. Infact the opposite. For instance there are alot of misconceptions about Eastern Enlightenment but if you read the actual texts such as the Bhagavad Gita or others, Ribhu Gita, upanishads. The state described is a highly functional one, yet acting from dispassion or with non-attachment. Dispassion and non-attachment in my experience heighten, not lessen functioning in the world. Infact being caught up in all sorts of worries, fears, longings can be in my experience a kind of brain death.
"""Has it occurred to you, Kassy, that your visit to this forum is a case of getting out of your own AND God's business and into ours? As well as a case of engaging in, God forbid, a story? Perhaps something you will consider as you go about questioning your thoughts."""
Most methods of self-inquiry or self-questioning or questioning thoughts have very little to do with external actions. It would be pointless for my developement emotionally to repress going to forums and talking about things or any other actions. Or repressing a story, as I said Byron Katie's method involves questioning stories not getting rid of them, she's explicity said this over and over again. That seems sound and sensible to me. I have lots of stories going on, but one is disempowering, clearly untrue and causes me to not do things be a vegetable or a rock (lol), it makes sense to question it's reality to me. I came on this forum because it's fun to discuss things, it's fun to debate, and question other people. When it gets to be not fun, not interesting, I'll do something else. Maybe work on my blog.
Also most of the "stories" that go on in my head often have very little relationship to anything actually happening. For instance jealous thoughts, angry thoughts depressed thoughts. My understanding is that it is not good to repress thoughts and feelings, or get rid of them. But Byron Katie's method, which other people have come up with also, to question them. Byron Katie in her description of the method for instance one of the questions is "How would I be without this thought?" she has been explicit that this is not an invitation to drop the thought, or repress the thought. But just to call attention to the freedom, happiness that could perhaps be awakened by not being attached to it.
On the Killing people. For instance right now, there is alot of killing in the world, and not just killing but people abusing eachother and just not being nice. But the way I look at it, is that there are also tornados, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, meteors. Other people killing others is out of my control, it's as in my control is a hurricane. I cannot do anything about their actions. Obviously physical self-defense and even war may have their place, as is preparing for a hurricane.
But I look at other people's atrocities as natural disasters. I don't get mad at a natural disaster. I prepare as best as possible or even move out of it's way. I also may not notice in what ways those habits and tendencies are within me. For instance in the War on Terror, there has been a habit on all sides to demonize the opposite side and both sides have commited pretty horrible atrocities. 9/11 and Abu Ghraib. Byron Katie made the statement several times about being a victim and victims are violent people. She's talking about, in my opinion being a mental victim. yes, if I'm assaulted, I had no control over that. But atrocities, and oppression are often motivated by a victim mentality even though the perpetrators are quite privilaged compared to those they are oppressing. I've never found a victim mentality to be useful.
"""Who would I be without my story, as Byron Katie would have me be?
I'd be a nonentity, a vegetable, a rock. Not things I aspire to. """
My experience is the opposite. But then again if your story is working for you, and your doing good or good as you define it, then yeah, do you need Byron Katie's the Work? Mine wasn't working for me, it involved alot of feeling sorry for myself, and blaming others instead of taking responsibility for my actions and acting an empowered manner to live a good life. So I was vegetable, a rock and then I questioned my thoughts and started acting more like an animal. (lol)
I was actually exposed to other methods besides Byron katie's but her methods were in accord with what makes good, sound sense to me. Because is the story of who I am true? Now, if I like the story, then good, but if I low self-esteem if it's a negative experience why dwell in it? Why not question it's reality? Can a story ever be true? Any story picks certain events and anecdotes and leaves out others, it has to because there are zillions of happenings in any given moment. So the story had very little to do with what happened.
"""If that's what you want for yourself, to be without any story, then go for it with all you've got. But... what if you really go to town with "the work" and in the long run end up going.... crazy? """"
Umm, this really contradicts my experience. Insanity, schizophrenia has alot to do with believing faulty stories. aka delusional. I was alot more schizophrenic-ish before I started to really work on myself, question myself, and question my thoughts. Now, if people are doing the Work, or some other method of self-questioning, inquiry, and they start to lose it because maybe something they hadn't expected rises to the surface. I've had that. However, if questioning if things are true, leads to intense anxiety, or worse experiences. How was the denial of these deeper experiences less pathological? Many people walk around and "function" but you look at human history and what the so calle sane people are capable of, how much their empathy is masked by their ideologies.