The Myth of the Magic Bullet and Short and Long Term Fixing

The myth of the magic bullet and the myth of being fixed comes up quite a bit for some on the spiritual path. 

It’s easy to get into a particularly delusional way of looking at reality when these two myths are placed together.

The magic bullet myth is the idea that there is one teaching, one method, one practice or one moment in time that, by itself, can eradicate everything negative in one’s life. There is no magic bullet. Those who have realized the deepest freedom and peace in their lives did not stumble upon something that would help a self no longer think or feel something. If anything, they saw the illusory nature of that self who would even look for a magic bullet. 

If you notice, the idea of a self is tied directly into the idea of time.  If I am looking for a magic bullet, I am looking for some way to eradicate “me,” – that story of psychological time in my head with a past and a future. The notion of a magic bullet is a notion that the self carries, in its hope for something to eradicate itself. The closest thing to a magic bullet is to recognize the arising of this self in the moment and see it for what it is – a temporary thought here, a temporary emotion or sensation there (no inherent self is there). If you look from a direct observing presence, what you are seeing is that thought, then that emotion or sensation, and then another thought that says, “I wish there was a way to eradicate those earlier arisings so that they don’t happen again.”  That’s all that is happening. Arising A, Arising B, and then Arising C that makes a comment about the first two arisings. The third arising, which is a thought about wanting a magic bullet, is just another thought about a self. It’s no better or worse or more or less enlightened than any other thought. Most seeking comes from wishful thought that someday, somehow the self will stumble upon a magic bullet that will stop all arisings. 

Even if you look in one moment and see that there is no self there, that there is only a thought connected to an emotion or sensation (which then falls away), that is not insurance against similar arisings happening later. In the very next moment, more arisings may happen and there is either a belief in a self or not. There is either a seeing or not in that new moment. Whatever you saw in some previous moment is dead at that point. It’s a memory. No past recognition can help you in the current moment. Every moment is fresh and new. A new opportunity to look. To say that you have realized that there is no self in some past moment or found a magic bullet and that somehow that seeing can stick with you forever is still a belief in a self in time. It’s the attempt to carry over something in time. “Forever” is the story of time.

Looking for a magic bullet or believing that you have found one is a thought that presumes a self that lives in time who needs to be fixed. This brings us to the concept of fixing, both short and long term fixing.

Fixing ourselves is based on an unexamined assumption, again, that there is a self that lives in time in the head. It doesn’t matter whether we place our bets on a long or short term fix. We are still thinking of ourselves as selves that live in time, either way. Fixing is trying to procure some sort of insurance against the future arising of, mostly, negative thoughts and feelings. It’s like trying to predict or control the future. Imagine trying to procure insurance against any rain falling or any hurricanes hitting the east coast of the United States. Nobody in their right mind would seek such insurance because life is uncontrollable and unpredictable. It is in constant flux. When we are looking for a fix, we are acting out of fear. We fear the future arisings so we frantically look for something that will fix that self that sees itself as a story of time, with a past and future. 

The very idea of wanting a fix is a rejection of our present experience. We notice what is arising now, maybe pain, anger, sadness, guilt or fear. We then believe we are selves who are broken and need to be fixed. The moment we think this way, we look for either a short or long term fix. Instead of resting with what is, noticing that everything that is being experienced is a temporary arising coming and going within a space that remains unchanged, we want to move beyond what is to try and fix what is. There is no such thing as a fix. That’s as illusory as the magic bullet. “Short term fix” and “long term fix” are both concepts of time, of selves. The very notion of wanting our present experience to be different is a seeking for future. And that seeking comes from the idea of a self that is broken. Examine that self as it arises, without looking for a short or long term fix. When you see that there is no self there that is broken, that is not insurance from believing in a broken self in the future. The future is another arising thought. Just look again, if it arises. There is no insurance. There is no fix. Those are self-concepts.

It is true that such a moment by moment examination of our present experience decreases suffering gradually or, in some cases, can bring about powerful experiences that reduce or eliminate suffering. But the reduction or elimination of suffering comes from the moment by moment seeing, not the belief in a self that has found a magic bullet or a short or long term fix. Those latter concepts will most likely just bring more suffering because they involve measuring ourselves in time, in story, which almost always produces more seeking as it is seen that fixes aren’t real. There is nothing to hold onto. Nothing to find. No moment in time saves you from another moment in time. No thought saves you from other thoughts. Examine the self notion as it arises, including the notion of a self that is broken, that needs a short or long term fix and a self that is looking for or has found a magic bullet. It’s the belief in a self any way you slice it.

"Working with Dan has been nothing short of transformational. His open heart, honesty about his personal experience and permission to be real and not hide have helped me unlock those qualities in myself. And that has been a total game changer. I've been truly blessed, not only to have him as my KI Facilitator, but also as my mentor. Without a doubt, working with him has helped me to show up authentically, helped sharpen my tools and made me a better facilitator than I would've been on my own. I can't recommend him enough."
Darby Totten
Certified KI Facilitator

Dan McLintock is a Certified Facilitator, Trainer and the Co-Developer of the Kiloby Inquiries method/approach the New Model of Recovery along w Scott Kiloby. 

A Jacksonville, Florida native, Dan graduated Flagler College in 2004 with B.A. in Theatre Arts and English Literature and has played music professionally in bands for over 20 years. But his true passion lies in sharing the context, possibility and practicality of healing, awakening and release. 

Dan has worked one-on-one with clients in and out of the Kiloby Center since 2017 and has an unconditionally loving and earnest approach to healing trauma, dissolving the drivers of addiction/suffering and unhooking long-held toxic beliefs about ourselves, others and the world at large. 

He’s also worked intensively, side-by-side with Scott Kiloby for the past three years to develop the transformative tools of the Kiloby Inquiries as well as the principles and approach of the “New Model of Recovery” rooted in unconditional love and non-judgment. Much of this approach was borne out of Scott and Dan’s work with each other on their own personal traumas as well as their work with clients at the Kiloby Center. 

Scott and Dan have simplified, demystified and condensed some of the principles and practices of eastern/non-dual spirituality into an easily accessible set of tools most anyone can understand, learn and utilize to free themselves from their own suffering. 

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To book a clarity call, select your preferred facilitator (hover over their picture and click the “Meet” button). Then, enter your email and click “Book Your Call.” From there, you’ll be able to select your preferred date and time and schedule your clarity call (please double-check your time zone before booking).

Valerie Vinger is a thriving survivor of life’s painful challenges and growth opportunities. She has worked with 12-step programs and is currently a 13-year stage-III cancer survivor. Her cancer recovery journey started with the traditional “cut, poison, burn” approach but eventually led her down a natural path to healing her body, her pain and suffering, and her buried emotions.

Valerie first stumbled upon Scott Kiloby at a workshop of his in Boulder, Colorado in 2012, which she says is one of the most transformative experiences she’s ever had. She is filled with gratitude for the person she has become through her journey with cancer recovery and with the Inquiries, which she describes as “coming home to myself.” She loves working with people who are ready for relief from their pain and suffering.

Julianne Eanniello is a Certified Trainer and Facilitator of both the Kiloby Inquiries and the Unfindability Inquiries (formerly called the Living Inquiries). She is also a Certified TRE Practitioner, and the developer of the somatic movement process called Natural Flow Movement. She works with clients all over the world on virtually any topic, including spiritual seeking, stress, anxiety, depression, pain and health related issues, traumatic experiences, repression, relationship issues, and general unhappiness with ourselves and our lives. She does this through online sessions, deepening courses, workshops and facilitator certification training.

About Julianne:

For most of my life I’ve wondered who I am and why I am here. As I was growing up, no one else seemed to be talking about these things, or even thinking about them, so I buried it deep inside and tried my best to fit in the way I was “supposed” to, all the while feeling like there was something desperately wrong with me and that I needed to fix it.

In my early thirties, the death of a young relative left me feeling hopeless and helpless, wondering what is the point of life if we’re all just going to die anyway? This launched me on a search. I didn’t even know what I was looking for, I just knew that there was a longing – a desperate longing for something that actually made sense about life. I learned several alternative spiritual and healing techniques. I meditated. I read books and watched videos. I eventually learned of non-duality teachings, and I read more books, watched more videos, and even sat with several ‘awakened’ teachers. Yet I was still searching, something still felt missing. I was looking for the key that would unlock the mystery of me and of life.

In my early forties, I developed a chronic health condition that left me unable to work for several years, and most days barely able to get out of bed due to extreme fatigue, brain fog and pain. I lost my banking job, and eventually lost my home. I saw a multitude of doctors to try to find out what was wrong with me, and used every tool in my metaphysical and alternative medicine toolkit to try to heal myself. My seeking became even more intense, and I was looking for a way to escape my pain.

In 2009, I met Scott Kiloby. Since I started working with him and doing the Living Inquiries, the seeking for enlightenment has stopped, and the question of ‘who am I’ is no longer relevant. My victim stories around my health started falling away. Once I started looking at my experience through inquiry, everything changed. I stopped chasing something ‘out there.’ I no longer seek some future state of happiness or peace. This is not to say that I don’t have problems, or ever experience pain. Quite the contrary. I still use the inquiries regularly, and now there is much less avoidance or resistance to what I’m experiencing. I experience more and more freedom in the present moment, exactly as it appears.

Having trained with Scott, I was one of the first to be certified as a Senior Living Inquiries Facilitator and Trainer in early 2012. In 2014, I moved to CA and became a business partner with Scott at The Kiloby Center for Recovery, where we worked with people suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression and more for the next 8 years.

I can’t imagine my life without these inquiries. They saved me from myself. If you are still suffering, searching, longing… I encourage you to give this a try.

As a young child I saw a picture of Jesus gazing lovingly at some children around his feet. I immediately longed for the unconditional love I saw in his gaze. At the same time, I was being read fairy tales, like Cinderella, and came to believe that romantic love would satisfy that longing for love.

So, I married my handsome prince at age 19. But then, by age 29, I found myself alone, as a single mother, with four young children. I was devastated and convinced that something was terribly wrong with me, to have ended up in such a predicament. 

I had learned to love and please others, but not how to love and respect myself. I was a “good girl,” and repressed my urges to have my own needs acknowledged and met. A wise teacher later told me, “We need to love everyone, including ourselves.” This was an amazing revelation for me!

Learning to meditate helped immensely to bring moments of peace, while I was sitting still, though I was still being triggered regularly in my relationships. Finally, the Kiloby Inquiries taught me how to turn my attention inside in daily life – towards the trapped thoughts and emotions I’d been running from – so that I could face and release them. It was like some tender, lost children began coming home, to take their rightful place in my inner world. 

I am honored and excited to be able to facilitate these wonderful inquiries for others.

Sumitra lives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai with some of her family. She has four grown children and six grandchildren. For many years she lived and worked in a yoga retreat community in California, and has taught yoga, meditation and Compassionate Communication in addition to facilitating the tools of the Kiloby Inquiries (since 2013).

Sumitra also loves working with couples and others with relationship challenges in a simple (though not always easy) deep listening practice that allows each person to be truly heard and acknowledged.

Alina is a certified KI facilitator & a founder of Presence Alchemy – An advance mindfulness platform dedicated to liberating suffering & limiting core beliefs through Kiloby Inquiries & non-dual awareness. Presence Alchemy was born eight years into Alina’s embodiment journey of an inner shift from ego to wakefulness. Alina works one-on-one with clients, hosts online intensives and training, and organizes local retreats & workshops.
Alec Rodrigues has been certified to facilitate inquiry since 2015 and brings a keen sense of intuition to his work. He believes that in connection, the deepest healing takes place, that the mirror of relationship is the best crucible for transformation. Through rest and inquiry, Alec has found the empowerment to meet others authentically and stop running so damn fast from the seeming “ordinariness” of life.

He currently lives in Washington state with his girlfriend and works as a training assistant for the KI Personal Mentorship Program, where he empowers enrollees by teaching them the KI tools.