It took only 10 minutes of meditation to uncover how scattered and internally conflicted I was. One part of me wished to quietly observe my thoughts for 10 minutes without moving. Another part insisted I would die if I didn’t scratch the itchy part of my ear immediately.
Meditation is intimidating because it challenges an understanding of ourselves as coherent and rational. All it takes is observation to see that the untrained mind is a clamour of competing voices.
Last week I discussed dreams as an expression of latent creativity. Dreams are also expressions of inner multiplicity.
There’s the “you” in the dream: the figure you think you are while dreaming, which may or may not bear resemblance to how you look and act while awake. In your dreams this “you” traverses inner landscapes and interacts with inner figures that are also parts of you. These figures and landscapes are those clamorous voices and stirrings in your head. They take on rich symbolic form in your dreams.
It’s helpful to get to know, understand, and appreciate (though not necessarily agree with) these voices and figures. Conflicts or disagreements with them are manifestations of conflicts within you.
- Write down your dreams immediately upon waking up. Leave a pen and paper by your bedside and they’ll come.
- Once you have 5 dreams recorded, read through them. Who was the most compelling figure in your dreams? Pick the figure you are most curious about.
- Set aside 20 minutes alone with a pen and paper. Close you eyes and imagine yourself as that dream figure. Picture and feel yourself as them for at least 30 seconds.
- Write questions as yourself and answer them as the dream figure. Interview the figure and see what they have to say. There are no right or wrong answers, but being surprised by what comes out is a good sign.
You may object, “Aren’t I just making this all up?” Yes, you are, but the imagination carries a lot that the conscious mind is not fully aware of.
Remember, the point is not to convince the figures you interview of “your” way of thinking. They can have their own opinions and priorities. Sometimes we are best served by valuing their priorities a little bit more. After all, they are parts of us. Great possibilities open up as we bring more of our multiple selves into alignment.
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