Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Personality and Its Dreams

From Session 173 in Volume 4 of The Early Sessions of the Seth Material:

"I will ... begin a discussion concerning the personality and its relationship to those dreams which it creates.

"We have discussed this subject to some degree. However we have not begun a study in depth. It is now time for us to do so. The personality as you know is composed of energy gestalts. The dreams created by the personality can be considered therefore as a part of the changing personality. We are speaking here in one context only, for we know that the dream universe is also to some extent independent of personality.

"In this particular context however the dream world will be considered in its relationship to the personality. In many ways the dream universe does operate within this context, and is part of the personality framework. As the personality is changed by any experience or any action, so it is changed by its own dreams. Here again we see how energy or action operates within itself. We can even trace the actions and interactions.

"As a personality is molded by his exterior circumstances, so is he also molded by the dreams that he creates, and which help to form his interior or psychic environment. To the whole self there is little differentiation made between actions that are of an exterior nature, and actions that are of an interior nature. While the ego makes these distinctions, the basic core of the personality does not do so.

"A particularly vivid dream is every bit as real to the inner self as a vivid psychological experience that occurs within the waking state. It is important here that we realize that as far as the basic self is concerned no distinctions are made in this respect. The personality creates its dreams; the dreams are then experienced. The experience is indelibly recorded, and then changes the personality, again, in the same manner that any experience would.

"The individual therefore reacts to his interior environment or psychic environment in the same way that he reacts to his physical situation. And as he changes his physical situation through reacting to it, so he changes his interior or psychic situation as he reacts to it.

"It goes without saying that the dream universe is every bit as real to the inner self as the physical universe is to the conscious egotistical self. The physical universe is relatively as unimportant to the inner self as the dream universe appears to be to the egotistical self.

"The core of the self is obviously aware of all realities to some extent. If portions of the self did not coincide then it would be impossible for the whole personality to ever operate as a unit. Here we simply have spirals, so to speak, of ever-moving actions that compose the whole self. But portions of these spirals coincide, and in this analogy the spirals of action not only have those dimensions which you understand, but other dimensions with which you are not yet familiar.

"The designations put upon these units of action are highly artificial, and represent limitations that are quite arbitrary. We mentioned in an earlier session something to this effect, in that you simply perceive a small portion of such action, label it as a unit, can perceive no further, and so suppose that what you see or perceive is all there is to see or perceive.

"The self is limitless. Where your perceptions fail, boundaries seem to appear. This has much to do with your conception of the reality of dreams, for it appears to you that dreams cease when you are no longer aware of them. Another portion of the self however is aware of them.

"On one level the personality does attempt to solve problems through dream construction.

"In many cases these problems are not those belonging to the ego, but to other layers of the self. We spoke in a fairly recent session of illnesses as impeding actions.

"In dreams the personality first attempts to solve many problems, and to give freedom to actions that cannot be adequately expressed within the confines of the physical universe.

"If the personality handles his dream activities capably, then the problem action finds release. When the ego is too rigid, it will even attempt to censor dreams. When the personality in general is too rigid, freedom of action is not entirely permitted even in the dream state.

"When this solution fails the impeding action will then materialize as a physical illness, or as an undesirable psychological condition. The dream experience however is much more richly varied than you suppose. There are ways which we shall discuss that will enable a personality to deal more effectively with the dream situation, and to use it more effectively with the dream situation, and to use it more effectively.

"This is a rather simplified explanation. Consider however a situation in which the personality needs to express dependency, but feels that such an expression is not possible within his waking experience. If he is able to dream in such a manner that he can construct dream dramas in which he plays a dependent part, then the action is satisfied.

"In many instances this is exactly what happens. The individual would not of course as a rule remember such a dream on a conscious level. Psychologically however the experience would be completely valid, and the dependency therefore expressed.

"Dreams can be interpreted as you know from many viewpoints, since their reality exists within various aspects of actuality. The dream experience itself, and I cannot stress this too strongly, is as real as any experience to the basic self. It follows that instructions may be given to the self, so that various problems can be solved within the dream situation.

"The solution may or may not be given to the consciousness. In many instances this would not be necessary. The inner ego of which we have spoken is the director of such unifying activities, and while the inner ego is mainly concerned with inner reality, it is also aware of physical existence.

"The inner ego is indeed the "I" of your dreams, having somewhat the same sort of position within the inner self as the ego itself has to the physical self. Actions however merge within the inner ego. The scope of awareness is more complex. We will at a later time discuss this inner ego in connection with the dream situation and health.

"Dream dramas are not nebulous theater-like productions. Their own dimensions, in their way, are every bit as valid as those of waking life. They are as coherent. They affect the self sometimes to an even greater degree. The dream personalities are indeed fragments, projections of the self, all working out various roles, seeking various experiences, searching for solutions and gratifications.

"These dream personalities or fragments indeed have their own consciousness. They are as unaware, and as aware, of you as you are of them. They exist once you have created them. No action can be withdrawn. It must complete its nature according to the dimensions in which it exists, and so the dream personalities or fragments continue to exist whether or not you are aware of them.

"The inner ego however is to some degree still familiar with their activities. Solutions found by these dream personalities are automatically picked up by the inner ego, and transmitted to the various levels of the self. The dream world changes as the personality changes, so that it is always a part of the mobile personality framework.

"It is always within this framework, but not always does it maintain the same relative position within it. The stability of the personality depends in some degree upon the effectiveness with which it handles and manipulates these dream situations. It is realized that the personality manipulates within the physical universe, but the fact is not generally accepted that similar manipulations must be made within this dream universe.

"Much work has been done in the attempt to interpret dreams. None, or very little, has been done to control dreams, or to control the direction of activity within dreams.

"Upon proper suggestion the personality will work out specific problems in the dream state, as earlier mentioned. If the solution is not clear to the ego, this does not mean that the solution has not been found, necessarily. There may even be instances where it is not only unnecessary but undesirable that the ego be familiar with such a solution.

"This problem-solving aspect of dreams is rather important, and can be utilized with rather impressive practical results. We are merely beginning to scratch the surface here in this discussion, and we will devote a number of sessions to it. We have spoken about the importance of expectation. With practice dream activities can also be directed in this direction.

"(For some material on expectation see the following sessions, among others: 79, 135, 157, 158, 159, 160, 163, 164, 169, in Volumes 2,3, and 4.)

"Dreams do express a personality's basic reality. Negative dreams tend to reinforce the negative aspects of the personality, helping to form vicious circles of unfortunate complications. Upon suggestion dream actions can be turned toward fulfilling constructive expectations, which can themselves effect a definite change for the better in the personality involved.

"I am speaking now of general circumstances, since there are occasions when negative actions seek expression quite legitimately, and without any danger to the personality involved. We will have much more to say concerning these connections between dream actions and the balanced personality. Again, there are many ways in which dreams can be used beneficially, and with deliberation.

... "Do you have any questions?

"("Do you dream?")

"I do dream, but not necessarily while in a sleeping state. I am conscious of these actions that occur within the psychological framework of my personality. Theoretically the human personality can, or could, be conscious of dreams even while he was in a waking state. Practically however this does not appear to be of benefit, nor does it seem to occur.

"The human personality within the physical system cannot juggle realities with any ease."

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Personality As Motion In The Spacious Present

From Sessions 166 and 167 of Seth's Early Sessions:

Session 166

Personality Never Isolated

"... the personality cannot be considered alone, but it must be thought of in its relationship to action and to all those aspects of reality of which it is a part.

"When it accepts an illness as a part of its own self-image, then the illness becomes an actual part of the reality that is the self. The personality must therefore be considered as a biological reality. It must be considered as an electrical reality, as a psychological reality, for any experience is automatically translated into all these systems."

Session 167

Personality As Motion In The Spacious Present

"The personality must always be considered as motion, for no aspects of it are ever still.

"With the exception of the ego, the various parts of the personality do not react to time as a series of moments. All is experienced as present. The child therefore within the adult personality is not dead, nor are his reactions considered, basically, as reactions which are part of a past behaviour pattern; but these reactions exist side by side with adult reactions.

"This should be clearly understood, yet the personality is far from static. But what it was always changes, but that which was is always taken along.

"That which was is constantly taken into what you call the present. The ego may choose to use or not use various reactions It may reject various reactions as a part of the past, for it is the ego alone who is concerned with past, present and future. The ego's denial of a reaction however does not cause the reaction to disappear from within the personality, at least as part of possible pattern reaction.

"Many reactions, many patterns or reactions, are rejected by the ego upon some occasions and accepted upon other occasions, but as a rule such alternate behaviour is annoying to the ego itself. The ego deals with cause and effect, and often denies particular reactions because it decides that they are not effective. The ego is fairly rigid, comparatively speaking. Rationalization is one method by which the ego justifies its acceptance of a reaction which it once rejected as ineffective.

"Such alternative reactions frighten the ego because they seem to injure the ego's self-image. Yet all characteristic reactions, whether denied by the ego or not, are kept for use as alternative actions. In many cases actions unacceptable to the ego may be precisely those actions that are necessary for whole other areas of the personality. When too many actions are restricted by the ego, they may begin to form impulse patterns or groupings of various rejected impulses. These then adhere through attraction, and attempt to find expression regardless of the ego's attempts to restrict expression.

"The ego must act therefore as a director of activity in the personality's relationships with the physical environment. The ego is concerned with purposeful action. However when the ego is too restrictive its conception of purposeful action becomes so narrow that many legitimate and necessary impulses are dammed up, forming these rejected action patterns.

"As the number of rejected impulses grows, more and more energy is of course concentrated in this area, the energy that is inherent within the impulses themselves. This sort of grouping together of rejected impulses will occur mainly when the ego's restrictions are too severe, so hampering that very deep and basic needs of the whole personality are being denied expression. It is therefore for the benefit of the whole personality that these impulses be given expression.

"In many instances the ego then feels a lessening of available energy and a definite shortage of energy may occur, so that the ego finds it more difficult to handle its relationships with the outside environment.

"It feels the concentration of energy that has collected to form the rejected action patterns, and indeed it may feel that this unified rejection pattern is then even an enemy to its own superiority. It may, with more force than ever, attempt to hold back the expression of these impulses, and its fear of them grows.

"The rejected action patterns, however, will find outlet. The nature of the outlet will be the result of the nature of the particular action patterns themselves. The quality of the outlet will depend upon the intensity of these patterns, and the necessity or the degree of necessity, for their expression. Unless some adjustments are made at this point, the ego will have nothing to say with the direction that these patterns may take, simply because it will not accept their legitimacy.

"The strength of the ego of course is also a factor here. If the ego is not a particularly strong one to begin with however, the conflict will seldom reach these proportions. Instead the ego will merely be slightly surprised at behaviour which it does not condone, but eventually will accept because it has been forced to recognize its reality.
"When the ego is a very rigid one however, it will not accept the reality of these rejected patterns so easily, and according to the nature of its rigidity it may restrict so many areas of activity that the inside action, or the inside impetus for expression, almost equally balances the ego force itself.

"As this point is reached the ego obviously becomes more disturbed. In very few cases however does the conflict reach this sort of proportion. A lack of communication between the ego and the inner self is obviously one of the main causes for such difficulties."