Byron Katie does The Work with Sauron, the Dark Lord
I’m a great Lord of the Rings fan and one night a few weeks ago I had this amazing dream. I dreamt that Byron Katie was standing before one of the Black Riders (the Nazgul), who was looming ominously before her. Katie's response: ”Oh sweetheart, what a beautiful black dress! I love it!” The Black Rider then drew his big silver sword and advanced menacingly towards her. Katie's response: ”Oh wow, what a beautiful silver sword! And look at those beautiful symbols!” The Black Rider then pierced her heart with the sword, the blood came gushing out. Katie's response was: ”Oh wow, how wonderful, you’re killing me. So beautiful and all the blood… Oh sweetheart…” And then I woke up and wrote the "spoof" below.
After I wrote the spoof I sent it to Byron Katie. She and her husband Stephen Mitchell enjoyed it so much that they put it in Katie's newsletter. Katie wrote: "Tim is my Danish translator. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did."
BK: So, sweetheart, read what you wrote on your Worksheet.
Sauron: This is really hard for me.
BK: I know, honey, and I admire your courage. So let’s hear it.
Sauron: I am frustrated and angry at all the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth - the elves, the dwarves, the men, and those annoying little hobbits, not to mention Gandalf the White and his fellowship - for consistently opposing my plans to become Lord of Middle-Earth. They should realize that I am the Master of the World and bow down to me. They should be my slaves. They should worship me and give me love, approval and appreciation. I want them to see that I am the greatest. They are weak, stupid, annoying, irritating. I never ever want to experience them rebelling against my plans again.
BK: So basically, that’s about it.
Sauron: [Laughing] I’m sure there’s more. But I ran out of space. This thing with the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth has been bugging me for thousands of years. In fact, ever since those blasted Numenoreans landed on the shores of Middle-Earth…
BK: I hear you. Okay, so let’s do the Work. Let’s look at what you’ve written, sweetheart. I heard you say that “they should realize that you are the Master of the World”.
BK: So “They should realize that you are the Master of the World” – is that true? [To the audience] See if you can find the place in yourself where you believe that someone in your life should realize that you are the Master of the World and bow down to you and worship you and do exactly what you want them to do. It could be someone you knew a long time ago or someone you know today. So, sweetheart, “They should realize that you are the Master of the World” – is that true?
Sauron: [Fuming] Yes!
BK: You answered so quickly.
Sauron: Yes, they should all bow down to me and realize that I am the Master of Middle-Earth!
BK: I hear you. And can you absolutely know that it’s true?
Sauron: [After a pause] Well…
BK: Well? What’s the reality of it, sweetheart? Do the elves bow down to you and say that you are the Master of the World?
BK: The hobbits? The dwarves? The Dunedain? And what about Gandalf the Wizard? Does he bow down to you and realize that you are the Master of the World?
Sauron: [sighs] No.
BK: So “They should realize that you are the Master of the World” – how do you react when you believe that thought?
Sauron: I get furious, angry, frustrated. I release my armies of darkness – the Black Riders, the orcs, the trolls, the werewolves and the bats on all the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth. I start a war and burn, hack, destroy, annihilate. It’s like my whole being is consumed by darkness. I get very focused and lose sight of everything else. It’s like I have only One Eye of malice, bent on destroying anything and everything that doesn’t do my will.
BK: Yes, sweetheart. The mind has a job. And that’s to give us all the stories that prove that what it thinks is true.
Sauron: It’s really quite horrible. I build all these defenses around myself, impenetrable walls of steel and mountains of horror. No one can get in or out. And yet all the time doubt keeps gnawing at my heart. What if someone really great and powerful, like Gandalf or Saruman or Aragorn or Galadriel gets a hold of the One Ring? That really worries me.
BK: Yes, I hear you sweetheart. So, whose business are you in when you believe the thought “They should realize that I am the Master of the World”?
Sauron: I can see that I’m mentally in their business.
BK: And how has that worked for you so far?
Sauron: It’s really quite hopeless. I’ve been trying for hundreds and thousands of years to bend them to my will. But they just won’t do it. I devised the One Ring to rule them all, but then they formed that blasted Last Allegiance of Elves and Men. And Isildur cut the Ring off my finger and I had to go into hiding for thousands of years. It was really depressing. And now the same thing is happening all over again. The One Ring has been found and I can’t seem to get a hold of it. The Riders of Rohan are proving more and more tenacious than I thought. Minas Tirith is still going strong. And the other day I realized that an heir of Isildur is still alive with the sword of Elendil reforged. That really worries me. I have trouble sleeping at night. I’ve started taking Valium. But none of it really works. It’s like a living nightmare.
BK: Yes. So can you find one stress-free reason to keep the thought?
BK: So, who would you be without the thought “They should realize that I am the Master of the World”?
Sauron: [After a pause] Hm. It’s… like a blank. I mean, I’ve been so used to that thought that it’s, you know, I really don’t know.
BK: So close your eyes for a moment. See Gandalf, Aragorn, the elves, the hobbits, the dwarves, the riders of Rohan, all the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth, just as they are. And you cannot believe the thought “They should realize that I am the Master of the World”. What do you see?
Sauron: [Taking a deep breath] Well, first of all I would realize that they don’t realize that I am the Master of the World. They just don’t. Never have and probably never will.
BK: I would drop the “probably”!
Sauron: Yes. And I would see that trying to get them to realize that I am the Master of the World is hopeless. So that would be a huge load off my back. Just seeing reality. And then I would be more realistic. I wouldn’t stress myself so hard all the time, constantly doing battle with reality. It feels more peaceful.
BK: So “They should realize that I am the Master of the World” – turn it around.
Sauron: They should not realize that I am the Master of the World.
BK: Okay, so give me three examples of where they should not realize that you are the Master of the World. Three genuine examples, and make them as specific as you can. [To the audience] I invite all of you to do this as well. [To Sauron] So, give me three specific, genuine examples.
Sauron: Well, at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields they sure as hell didn’t realize that I was the Master of the World! I mean none of them – the Dunedain of Gondor, the Rangers of the North, the Riders of Rohan, the sons of Elrond, I mean the list goes on and on.
BK: My goodness!
Sauron: And way back when the Valar, you know the Lords of the West, sent the Five Wizards – Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast and so on to help the Free Peoples in their struggle against me. The Valar sure didn’t think I was the Master of the World back then either.
BK: My goodness!
Sauron: And Saruman, that spineless worm, trying to get a hold of the One Ring himself and proclaim himself Master of Middle-Earth…
BK: That’s amazing.
Sauron: [Laughs] It’s amazing that I didn’t see something so obvious before!
BK: That’s what the mind does. It believes its story and then it finds all the proof. And in the end it can only see what it believes to be true, even though it isn’t. Okay, sweetheart, can you find another turnaround?
Sauron: I should realize that I am the Master of the World.
BK: Yes. And how are you doing in that department?
Sauron: [After a long pause] Well, I can see that actually I myself have some serious doubts in that department. Because, I mean hey, if I am really the Master of the World why can’t I get Gandalf and his lot to bow down to me and do what I want!
BK: Ah, you are good, sweetheart! So “You are the Master of the World” – is that true?
Sauron: [Starts to cry] No.
BK: And consider how you react when you believe that thought.
Sauron: It’s hopeless, hopeless. I mean I am totally in everybody else’s business, constantly trying to get them to do what I want. And it’s wearing me out. I don’t even have a physical body anymore. I’m just this one horrible lidless eye. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. Mordor is a total mess – it’s no wonder they call it The Land of Shadow. All my employees have this total love-hate relationship with me. The orcs both worship and loathe me. Not to mention the elves and the dwarves. It’s pure hell.
BK: Who would you be without the thought “I am the Master of the World”?
Sauron: I would just give up. Give up the hopeless struggle to try to control other people. End the war. Close down the Dark Land of Mordor and Mount Doom. Let all the orcs and Black Riders and trolls go their own way. And then I think I would just go into retirement for a while. Walk in the fair woods of Lothlorien and smell the leaves and the wind, maybe go to the sea. Just watch and notice how I am not the Master of anything. How everything is doing just fine without me. But I have to admit I am little worried that after all the insanity, murder and destruction I’ve committed over the last thousands of years, it won’t be easy just to take a stroll in the wood or by the sea.
BK: Well, sweetheart, if you’re really serious about your freedom and peace of mind, there’s a quick route called “making amends”. Making amends means to right your wrongs. So turn the thought around.
Sauron: I am not the Master of the World.
BK: Could that be as true or truer?
Sauron: It seems much truer now.
BK: So, give me three genuine examples of how the turnaround is as true as or truer than your original statement.
Sauron: Well, I’ve tried for thousands of years now and I still can’t control the wind, the ocean, the sun and the moon. They just do what they do with or without my interference.
BK: Good, that’s one.
Sauron: Heck, I can’t even control my own slaves! You have no idea what a logistics nightmare it is to command tens of thousands of brain-dead orcs!
BK: Good that you’re noticing!
Sauron: And then there’s that slimy little creature Gollum. You have no idea how much I tortured him to get him to tell me the location of the One Ring, but he still wouldn’t budge. Talk about frustrating!
BK: Excellent, sweetheart. Make amends, make it right. And I see another turnaround.
Sauron: I am… the servant of the world?
BK: Yes. How are you the servant of the world?
Sauron: Well, what comes to mind is that without the thought “I am the Master of the World” I could actually be of service to the world. I mean, I am after all one of the Maia, at least as powerful or more powerful than Gandalf or Saruman or the Balrog or even Tom Bombadil. I can actually do pretty neat things when my mind is not hell-bent on destruction. You know, build things and make magic rings and stuff. I guess I could use those talents and skills for some more constructive purpose.
BK: It’s good that you’re noticing. So how can you use your specific talents and skills to serve the world – to serve the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth?
Sauron: Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that I have quite a bit of clean-up to do! You know, repairing the great gate and walls of Minas Tirith, cleaning up Osgiliath and Minas Morgul – or Minas Anor. There’s a lot of work to be done in Rohan as well and up north by the Lonely Mountain.
BK: Seems like you could be busy for quite a while making amends!
Sauron: Yes, And I could let Gandalf and the White Council destroy the One Ring, so that the other rings would no longer be enslaved to it and could do some more good in the world. Although that would probably mean the end of a lot of my negative power, since I put so much of that power into the One Ring.
BK: Well, what do you need all that negative power for if everything is going on quite fine without you?
Sauron: [Laughs] You have a point there. And it would be such a load off my shoulders.
BK: Yes. And isn’t that what you wanted to be Lord of the World for anyway? So you could sit down one day and take a deep breath and enjoy life?
Sauron: [Sighs deeply] Yes. You know I’ve never told anyone about this, but secretly I’ve thought a lot about joining D-Anon lately.
Sauron: Dictators Anonymous. I heard about it from Darth Vader. He’s been doing The Work and going to their meetings for quite a while. He says it’s really worked wonders for him. His breathing is a lot better now.
BK: Dictators Anonymous – I love it! Okay, sweetheart, let’s move on. Read the next statement on your Worksheet.
Sauron: The Free Peoples of Middle-Earth should worship me – and give me love, approval and appreciation. Man, that statement just seems totally absurd now! I mean, first I kill, murder, destroy and annihilate their people and their country – and then I expect them to give me love, approval and appreciation! Talk about insane!
BK: It’s good that you’re noticing. Turn the thought around.
Sauron: I should worship me and give me love, approval and appreciation.
BK: Yes, honey. That’s your job.
Sauron: It doesn’t feel like I’m doing a very good job.
BK: How can you? How can you give yourself love, approval and appreciation if you’re so busy minding every elf, dwarf and hobbit in Middle-Earth’s business?
Sauron: Phew. That one is a stinger. But so true. In a way I think that’s the reason why I tried to control them all along. Because I wanted their love, approval and appreciation.
BK: I often say that if I had one prayer it would be this: “God spare me from the desire for love, approval and appreciation”. Because this belief is the direct route to the hell of a false identity.
Sauron: It sure was for me.
BK: Let’s look at the next statement.
Sauron: The Free Peoples of Middle-Earth are weak, stupid, annoying, irritating.
BK: Turn it around.
Sauron: I am weak, stupid, annoying, irritating. That’s so true! I mean they’re all just doing fine minding their own business in Hobbiton and Minas Tirith and Rivendell and then I come raising hell. Saying that I am stupid, annoying and irritating is the understatement of the century!
BK: Yes, I can see that.
Sauron: And being such a control freak has definitely made me weak. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I don’t even have a body, I’m constantly worried, and I obsess.
BK: Yes. Okay, honey, the next statement?
Sauron: I never ever want to experience the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth rebelling against my plans again.
BK: So now, “I’m willing to…”
Sauron: I’m willing to…
BK: “… experience…”
Sauron: … the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth rebelling against my plans again.
BK: “I look forward to…”
Sauron: I look forward to the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth rebelling against my plans again. Whoa! That’s radical!
BK: Yes. Because when you believe and feel that – and feeling will let you know what you’re believing – then you can put your thoughts on paper and begin again to question your negative beliefs.
BK: Thank you, sweetheart, it’s been a privilege to sit with you. Nice Work.
Sauron: Thank you so much, Katie.
BK: For my part, you’re welcome. For your part, thank you.__________________________