Nature of the Psyche, Session 764
You experience yourself in a certain way topside, so to speak, and so in order to take advantage of information at other levels of awareness, you must learn to experience those other organizational systems with which you are usually unfamiliar.
Often the seeming meaninglessness of dreams is the result of your own ignorance of dream symbolism and organization. For example: You may also misinterpret “revelatory” material because you try to structure it in reference to your ordinary conscious organizations. Many valuable and quite practical insights that could be utilized go astray, therefore. I am going to suggest, then, some simple exercises that will allow you to directly experience the “feel of your being” in a different way.
First of all, the various kinds of organizations used by the psyche can be compared at one level, at least, with different arts. Music is not better than the visual arts, for example. A sculpture cannot be compared with a musical note. I am not saying, then, that one mode of organization is better than another. You have simply specialized in one of the many arts of consciousness, and that one can be vastly enriched by knowledge and practice of the others.
First of all, these other organizations do not deal primarily with time at all, but with the emotions and associative processes. When you understand how your own associations work, then you will be in a much better position to interpret your own dreams, for example, and finally to make an art of them.
There are several approaches to these exercises. The idea will be to experience emotions and events as much as possible outside of time sequences.
As I have mentioned many times, cellular comprehension deals with probabilities and encompasses future and past, so at that level of activity time as you understand it does not exist. You are not consciously aware of such data, however. The psyche – at the other end of the scale, so to speak – is also free of time. Often, however, your own stream of consciousness leads you to think of events outside of their usual order. You may receive a letter from your Aunt Bessie, for example. In a matter of moments, it may trigger you to think of events in your childhood, so that many mental images fly through your mind. You might wonder if your aunt will take an anticipated journey to Europe next year, and that thought might give birth to images of an imagined future. All of these thoughts and images will be colored by the emotions that are connected to the letter, and to all of the events with which you and your aunt have been involved.
The next time you find yourself in the middle of a like experience, with associations flowing freely, then become more aware of what you are doing. Try to sense the mobility involved. You will see that the events will not necessarily be structured according to usual time, but according to emotional content.
Thoughts of your own next birthday, for instance, may instantly lead you to think of past ones, or a series of birthday pictures may come to mind of your own twelfth birthday, your third, your seventh, in an order uniquely your own. That order will be determined by emotional associations – the same kind followed by the dreaming self.
What did you wear to work three days ago? What did you have for breakfast a week ago? Who sat next to you in kindergarten? What frightened you last? Are you afraid of sleep? Did your parents beat you? What did you do just after lunch yesterday? What color shoes did you wear three days ago? You remember only significant events or details. Your emotions trigger your memories, and they organize your associations. Your emotions are generated through your beliefs. They attach themselves so that certain beliefs and emotions seem almost synonymous.
The next time an opportunity arises, and you recognize the presence of a fairly strong emotion in yourself, then let your associations flow. Events and images will spring to mind in an out-of-time context. Some such remembered events will make sense to you. You will clearly see the connection between the emotion and event, but others will not be so obvious. Experience the events as clearly as you can. When you are finished, purposefully alter the sequence. Remember an event, and then follow it with the memory of one that actually came earlier. Pretend that the future one came before the past one.
Now for another exercise. Imagine a very large painting, in which the most important events of your life are clearly depicted. First of all, see them as a series of scenes, arranged in small squares, to be viewed as you would, say, a comic-book page. The events must be of significance to you. If school graduation meant nothing, for example, do not paint it in. Have the pictures begin at the upper left-hand corner, ending finally at the lower right-hand corner. Then completely switch the sequence, so that the earliest events are at the lower right-hand corner.
When you have done this, ask yourself which scene evokes the strongest emotional response. Tell yourself that it will become larger and larger, then mentally watch its size change. Certain dynamics are involved here, so that such a scene will also attract elements from other scenes. Allow those other scenes to break up, then. The main picture will attract elements from all of the others, until you end up with an entirely different picture – one made up of many of the smaller scenes, but united in an entirely new fashion. You must do this exercise, however, for simply reading about it will not give you the experience that comes from the actual exercise. Do it many times.
Now: Consciously construct a dream. Tell yourself you are going to do so, and begin with the first thought or image that comes to mind. When you are finished with your daydream, then use free association to interpret it to yourself.
Some of you will meet with some resistance in these exercises. You will enjoy reading about them, but will find all kinds of excuses that prevent you from trying them yourself. If you are honest, many of you will sense a reluctance, for certain qualities of consciousness are brought into play that run counter to your usual conscious experience.
You might feel as if you are crossing your wires, so to speak, or stretching vaguely sensed psychic muscles. The purpose is not so much the perfect execution of such exercises as it is to involve you in a different mode of experience and of awareness that comes into being as you perform in the ways suggested. You have been taught not to mix, say, waking and dreaming conditions, not to daydream. You have been taught to focus all of your attention clearly, ambitiously, energetically in a particular way – so daydreaming, or mixing and matching modes of consciousness, appears passive in a derogatory fashion, or non-active, or idle. “The devil finds work for idle hands” – an old Christian dictum.
Unfortunately, certain aspects of Christianity were stressed over others, and that dictum was based upon the belief in a wicked self that needed to be disciplined and diverted into constructive activity. The belief in such an unsavory self stops many people from any exploration of the inner self – and, therefore, from any direct experience that will give them counter-evidence. If you are afraid of yourself, if you are afraid of your own memories, you will block your associative processes, fearing for example that they will bring to light matters best forgotten – and usually sexual matters.
Sexuality is the only strong area of energy with which some people are connected, so it becomes the focal point for all of their beliefs about the self in general. In doing some of these exercises, you might come across images of masturbation, homosexual or lesbian encounters, or simply old sexual fantasies, and immediately backtrack because your beliefs may tell you that these are evil.
You will not remember, or want to remember, your own dreams for the same reason. Many people, therefore, tell themselves that they are very impatient to discover the nature and extent of the psyche, and cannot understand why they meet with so little success. At the same time, such beliefs convince them that the self is evil. These beliefs must be weeded out. If you cannot honestly encounter the dimensions of your creaturehood, you surely cannot explore the greater dimensions of the psyche. This blocking of associations, however, is a very important element that impedes many people. The psyche’s organizations are broader, and in their way more rational than most of your conscious beliefs about the self.
Many individuals are afraid that they will be swept away by inner explorations, that insanity will overtake them, when instead the physical stance of the body and personality is firmly rooted in these alternate organizations. There is nothing wrong with the conscious mind. You have simply put a lid on it, allowing it to be only so conscious, and no more. You have said: “Here it is safe to be conscious, and here it is not”.
Many of you believe that it is safe to make a nuclear bomb, but that it is insane to use your dreams as another method of manipulating daily life; or that it is all right to be consciously aware of your viruses, wars, and disasters, but that it is not all right to be consciously aware of other portions of the self that could solve such problems.
The idea, then, is not to annihilate normal consciousness, but quite literally to expand it by bringing into its focus other levels of reality that it can indeed intrinsically perceive and utilize.
I will suggest many exercises throughout this book. Some of them will necessitate variations of normal consciousness. I may ask you to forget physical stimuli, or suggest that you amplify them, but I am nowhere stating that your mode of consciousness is wrong. It is limited, not by nature, but by your own beliefs and practice. You have not carried it far enough.
Some night as you fall to sleep, try telling yourself that you will pretend you are awake while you sleep.
Suggest that instead of falling asleep, you will come into another kind of wakefulness. Try to imagine that you are awake when you sleep. On other occasions when you go to bed, lie down and settle yourself, but as you fall asleep imagine that you are awakening the next morning. I will not tell you what to look for. The doing of these exercises is important – not the results in usual terms.
I said that there were different kinds of knowledge; so will these exercises bring you in contact with knowledge in another way. Done over a period of time, they will open up alternate modes of perception, so that you can view your experience from more than one standpoint. This means that your experience will itself change in quality.
Sometimes when you are awake, and it is convenient, imagine that your present experience of the moment is a dream, and is highly symbolic. Then try to interpret it as such. Who are the people? What do they represent? If that experience was a dream, what would it mean? And into what kind of waking life would you rise in the morning?
The qualities of consciousness cannot be elucidated. These exercises will bring you in contact with other kinds of knowing, and acquaint you with different feelings of consciousness that are not familiar. Your consciousness itself will then have a different feel as the exercises are done. Certain questions that you may have asked may be answered in such a state, but not in ways that you can anticipate, nor can you necessarily translate the answers into your known terms. The different modes of consciousness with which I hope to acquaint you are not alien, however. They are quite native, again, in dream states, and are always present as alternatives beneath usual awareness.
Sometime as you walk down the street, pretend that you are seeing the same scene from the sky in an airplane, yourself included. On another occasion, as you sit inside your house, imagine that you are outside on the lawn or street. All of these exercises should be followed by a return to the present: You focus your attention outward in the present moment as clearly as possible, letting the sounds and sights of the physical situation come into your attention.
The other exercises, in fact, will result in a clearer picture of the world, for they will facilitate the very motion of your perceptions, allowing you to perceive nuances in the physical situation that before would have escaped your notice. We will be dealing with practical direct experience. It will do you no good if you are simply intellectually aware of what I say, but practically ignorant. Therefore, the exercises will be important because they will offer you evidence of your own greater perceptive abilities.
Continue to rely upon known channels of information, but implement these and begin to explore the unrecognized ones also available. What information do you have, for example, presently unknown to yourself? Try your hand at predicting future events. In the beginning, it does not matter whether or not your predictions are “true”. You will be stretching your consciousness into areas usually unused. Do not put any great stake in your predictions, for if you do you will be very disappointed if they do not work out, and end the entire procedure.
If you continue, you will indeed discover that you are aware of some future events, when such knowledge is not available in usual terms. If you persist, then over a period of time you will discover that you do very well in certain areas, while in others you may fail miserably. There will be associative patterns that you follow successfully, leading toward “correct” precognitions. You will also discover that the emotions are highly involved in such procedures: You will perceive information that is significant to you for some reason. That significance will act like a magnet, attracting those data to you.
Now, in the normal course of events you attract experience in the same fashion. You anticipate events. You are aware of them before they happen, whether or not you ever succeed in conscious predictions. You form your life, however, through the intimate interworkings of your own conscious goals and beliefs.
While your future can on occasion be correctly perceived ahead of time by a gifted psychic, the future is too plastic for any kind of systematized framework. Free will is always involved. Yet many people are frightened of remembering dreams because they fear that a dream of disaster will necessarily be followed by such an event. The mobility of consciousness provides far greater freedom. In fact, such a dream can instead be used to circumnavigate such a probability.
Only if you understand your own freedom in such areas will you allow yourselves to explore alternate states of consciousness, or the environment of dreams. Such exercises are not to be used to supersede the world you know, but to supplement it, to complete it, and to allow you to perceive its true dimensions.
There is no need to divorce the waking and dreaming states in the particular fashion that currently operates – for they are complementary states, not opposite ones. A good deal of life’s normal dimensions are dependent upon your dream experience. Your entire familiarity with the world of symbols arises directly from the dreaming self.
In certain terms, language itself has its roots in the dreaming condition – and man dreamed [that] he spoke long before language was born.
He dreamed of flying, and that impetus led to the physical inventions that made mechanical flight possible. I am not speaking symbolically here, but quite literally. From the beginning, I said that the self was not confined to the body. This means that the consciousness has other methods of perceiving information, that even in physical life experience is not confined to what is sensed in usual terms. This remains fine theory, however, unless you allow yourself enough freedom to experiment with other modes of perception.