[An ASKLEPIA FOUNDATION Book]
EGO AND THE PROCESS OF HEALING:
A MODEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS
ABSTRACT: Experiential psychotherapy is based on the premise of guiding the client through a transition in that "foreign land" we know as the psyche. All guides require maps of the territory if they are to successfully guide others into the hinterlands of experience.
Therefore, a working map of the psyche outlining the relationship of the ego to the personal and transpersonal subconscious is useful. Among the vast panoply of symbols, certain imagery is typical of certain "levels" of consciousness. Dreamhealing is the result of reordering images at the deepest levels, correcting distortions.
This consciousness map is not necessarily the ultimate accurate picture of the psyche, but it provides a useful working model which seems to cover all observable contingencies as they appear in dreamhealing. This is a map to the underworld: the landmarks, milestones, and signposts along the route to healing the soul. To use dreams in a healing sense, it is necessary to have an orientation for recognizing what depth you are working in.
This theme of bringing gifts to the newborn child is part of the myth of the birth of the hero which, we can add, is also the myth of the birth of the ego.
--Edward Edinger, EGO AND ARCHETYPE
Pain and discomfort are among the earliest factors that build consciousness. They are "alarm signals" sent out...to indicate that the unconscious equilibrium is disturbed. The function of ego consciousness, however, is not merely to perceive but to assimilate these alarm signals. ...The ego, keeping its detachment as the center of the registering consciousness, is a differentiated organ exercising its controlling function in the interests of the whole, but is not identical with it.
--Erich Neumann, ORIGINS AND HISTORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS, p. 297
CHAOTIC CONSCIOUSNESS AND EGO FORMATION
Enter a space with us. There are fields. Electric. Magnetic. All undefined pure energy-stuff in motion, existing beyond space and time. In fact, time itself is a field--a dispersion of time-stuff, undifferentiated and evenly dispersed. All these fields occupy all space simultaneously. There is another field of stuff -- consciousness -- within these fields.
In certain places in the chaos of intermingling energy-stuff, the consciousness begins to concentrate. As it does, it interacts with other fields and begins to create order (i.e. strange attractors). Fields begin to interact to create matter and time flow. For example, energy plus mass plus electromagnetism is the basis of Einstein's equation E = MC2.
The bit of chaos-consciousness that is us begins to form a structure. CONSCIOUSNESS ALWAYS STRIVES TO TAKE ON FORM. It is still connected to the timeless/spaceless whole, but limits are being imposed on the structure being created. Consciousness is becoming "frozen," concentrated in a limited form. This coming together of fields is the same energy that we call love (cosmological Eros), a primal attracting force.
This represents not only the formation of the human individual, but all other matter in our reality. The interaction of fields, and the formation of a vortex of energy, the attractor, represents the beginning of our consciousness structure. This process culminates in the formation of separate identity, the ego.
We can conjecture that in the intermingling energy, somewhere and sometime the beginnings of awareness arise synergistically. If we trust the dream and consciousness journeys, awareness begins at about this point. It is the first emergence of individual essence from source.
In one sense the strange attractors may be the genetic materials, the DNA spirals that come together in an animate condition. It may also have something to do with the inanimate portion which comes together to create the material part of our bodies and beings.
Awareness, perception, and sensing are discrete faculties. Perception is seeing through, like the glasses or lenses we put on to see the world. The senses are far more basic than that. We can feel heat in our finger, but the way we perceive that may have many different impacts, based on circumstances and attitudes. Consciousness is base to our awareness. Dream journeys back to the beginnings of awareness reflect this initial description.
Ego arises from this ground state over time through interaction with the environment. Ego is that part of us that is an "I", distinct from a "Not-I". The ego develops a more and more rigid structure over time, as habits and behaviors become "frozen" in the personality. For healing, parts of the ego need to let go and dissolve the old structure.
If you can say there is an "I" or a "Not-I", somehow the ego is involved. This even comes in when you are speaking of the soul. There is soul and there is something that is not this soul. That is really just an ego-model of the soul. One of the problems with many psychological models of the ego is that they do not take into account what exists beyond the ego very well if at all.
Freud's view of the personality includes the ego, the id, and the superego. His view of the superego depicted it as functioning essentially like an authoritarian conscience for us. The id was considered a mass of unresolved psychic energies (in many cases self-defeating or self-destructive), which nevertheless run us.
Freud gleaned some understanding about the id and its effects on the ego through the process of free association. But his conceptual maps were rough. Words are, after all, only symbols. Like a map, they can only provide second-hand information about the complex energy dynamics of the psyche.
We can reclaim from Freud his emphasis on the mythological dynamics of Eros and Thanatos. Eros or love is the essence of the prime attractor, the principle or energy that draws from chaos to create the structure and form which we are. Thanatos is the entropic tendency, the tendency of what is structured to break down into chaotic forms of energy. It works on both our thought processes and physical matter itself.
Most people who consider Freud's Thanatos concept see it as negative--perhaps it touches their own mortality complex. In reality, it is not only negative, but probably one of the more important aspects of healing -- this tendency toward "death." For an ego to change, the old ego must die. Not much attention has been paid in conventional psychological science to that. Most attention is paid to strengthening the ego, to building it up.
Jung revisioned Freud's idea of the ego and the imagery of the "Not-I." He came up with the idea of archetypal images from the collective unconscious. In terms of dreamhealing work, one of the most important aspects to come out of Jung's work is his emphasis on the image, and remaining true to the unique presentation of the image in therapy.
Jung investigated the transpersonal dimension to understand what existed beyond personality or beyond the self-concept. He stressed the primacy of the archetypal image. The image may be visual or it may be a multi-sensory image. A simple gut-feeling is also an image. It may combine many sensual aspects.
If you can find what the image of the self is, you find that the person's physical and mental make-up takes on the contours of that image. If a person's image of themselves, their very deep primal image is somehow a faulty thing with deformations in it, then the personality will reflect that, and so will the body. It will be disease-ridden and so will the mind, perhaps twisting even the soul.
IN THE CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS PROCESS AND DREAMHEALING WORK, WE HAVE DISCOVERED THAT DREAMS ARE SHAPED BY THESE EXISTENTIAL IMAGES MUCH AS THEY ALSO SHAPE OUR LIVES AND DESTINIES. Thus, the surface presentation of the dreams, its symbols and story lines, are doorways that open to a multi-sensory experience of these states.
In turn those states of frozen or "differentiated" consciousness can be released or dissolved into the even more primal and base state of "undifferentiated" or CHAOTIC CONSCIOUSNESS. As chaos theory predicts, a new primal existential image (or attractor) emerges, but one more evolved and more in a state of ease with the flow of natural order. These new, more easeful states provide a new model, a new base for healing the entire organism.
One of the powers of dreams is that they lead us to the image of the self, and that is where the healing generally takes place. Things transform at that level. Observing a series of consciousness states, and mapping these states, we have noticed over time that there appear to be distinct areas of depth that are identified by characteristic imagery experiences.
Dreams can be used in a lot of ways. Examples include using dreams for stepping outside of space and time, to see the future and the past, to visit future lives, to visit futures in this life, because dreams come from outside of time and space. In terms of therapy, dreams can be used as an evolutionary force to take people from a small sense of self and expand them toward a larger image.
To use dreams in a healing sense it is necessary to have an orientation within the dreamscape, to recognize which depth you are dealing with. As interesting as the other uses of dreams are, such as lucid dreaming and interpretation, they do not necessarily lead to healing. They may not even access the state of dis-ease that is troubling the individual, much less be able to re-link essence to source.
IN DEALING WITH SPECIFIC ILLNESS THERE IS ALWAYS A SPECIFIC IMAGE THAT UNDERLIES THE AILMENT. AND THAT IS WHAT YOU LOOK FOR WHEN GUIDING A DREAM JOURNEY. And when you find it, you guide the self that this state represents into that state of chaos and dissolution--into a death and subsequent rebirth. From this chaos, a new image of self emerges. You can go deep in dreams into transpersonal places where there is no sense of self, into true connection with the universal consciousness field.
THIS IS THE PLACE OF CHAOS, OF ALL AND NO STRUCTURE. IT IS THE SOURCE OF CREATIVITY. IT IS THE ULTIMATE SOURCE OF HEALING. IT IS THE UNIVERSAL SOLVENT, THE PANACEA. IT IS THE HEART OF THE DREAM.
THERE AND BACK AGAIN
For orientation within the dreamscape, we use a model which is simply termed an ego map. With it you can find out where you are within the creative consciousness process. It helps you keep your bearings as you guide someone deeper into their journey. It provides clues to help determine if someone is stuck in a fantasy about their belief system or personal mythology.
As a map of consciousness this model evolved from our shared consciousness journeys with people as they descend into the depths of their being--their personal underworlds--using dreams as a doorway. The creative consciousness process flows through the underworld like a powerful river of consciousness, welling up from the subterranean depths.
This model is not really specific in terms of psychological theory, but it does help identify the level of imagery you are experiencing. These levels or zones identify levels of ego functioning and development. They are characterized by a quality of imagery and sensory experiences.
We can journey imaginally, yet experientially, through the layers of the psyche with this map. This virtual experience affects self-image, emotions, attitudes, thoughts, etc. creating real-life natural consequences.
First we will look at the model from the outside in. Beginning with that which is known, overt behavior, we will move deeper and deeper into the unknown. Moving from the superficial to the transpersonal depths, we notice layer after layer of distortions, and perturbations of psychic energy. These include faulty thought patterns, negative attitudes, and self-limiting belief systems. These are the symptoms of the dis-ease.
THIS WHOLE PROCESS OF GOING DEEP INTO THE PSYCHE PARALLELS THE SHAMAN'S JOURNEY INTO THE UNDERWORLD TO FIND AND RETRIEVE THE LOST SOUL. It is the natural cure for "loss of self." We seek the lost soul primarily because of the intense degree of wounding in modern culture--alienation. This very wounding has "opened" us to transformation--to healing.
The levels of this consciousness map are not firm-boundaried. They are more like landmarks, familiar zones we have noticed on the journeys. The journey to the underworld, or "the center of the earth," is a metaphor for the depths of the psyche and the wonders we find there.
What we find there, experientially, certainly qualifies both as a "treasure hard to attain" and as the retrieval of that which was previously lost or unavailable. It is a process of re-membering. By repeatedly diving deep and then re-surfacing, we bring into the daylight world very important experiential material focused around the very core of our being. This promotes healing through the imagination. It is a form of meditation, like the alchemical meditatio, in which psyche "matters."
The descent and subsequent ascent, going deep into the dream journey and emerging transformed, is a form of death/rebirth, a powerful archetypal theme which is initiatory in character. Before the core, (or soul), is found there are many adventures in the labyrinthine caverns of the deep psyche. There spirit and soul merge in the union of opposites.
How do you judge a person's personality? The first thing you notice is their behavior. You notice how they behave. Whether it is listening to what is said, noticing what is done, personality is revealed. This is the outer manifestation of self, that being shown and acted out in the social world. It is the level of acting out our scripts and games, the patterns of behavior that reflect the dis-eased primal image. We can use these behavioral impressions to help identify the diseased primal image at its various levels.
Sometimes what a person does and what they say are inconsistent. Right away that tells you about a dis-ease. Generally, you can trust the behaviors more than the words. Watch for incongruent behavior and body language. Body language will tell you the basics of adjustment to life and the situation in terms of openness or closedness, approach or avoidance. From this arise issues of safety, security, acceptance, and therefore self-esteem.
Scripts, games, ego states, and emotional rackets are the foundation of Transactional Analysis. T.A. looks at the behavior patterns and provides a sense of order about them.
The basic behavioral patterns are self-reinforcing. People seem to find a way to reinforce their particular pattern whether it is healthy or not. For example, an ego that has come to believe, think, and feel that it will be rejected by others will engage in behaviors which make that a self-fulfilling prophecy. That helps maintain the (distorted) ego structure.
The client's standard games are bound to come up in therapeutic interaction. That is how they relate, cope, and assimilate their experience. You know they are bound to wind up playing the same games in therapy that they play everywhere else. They are going to try to prove the same thing.
This is what Freud referred to as the transference, a projection of either/both positive or negative parent. When the energy flows toward the client, it is called countertransference. It is an unconscious, automatic process.
For example, clients might come saying, "Well, you can't prove to me that this therapy works." If you respond, you have fallen into their game. As soon as this happens, both become involved in a power struggle. Clients who try this game essentially use it in most of their lives. This skeptical, confrontive, challenging attitude creates problems in all areas of relationship, but can generally be managed in short business exchanges.
In this example, just asking the question is the expressed behavior. And it will reflect, however abstractly, the basic dis-eased primal image. Within the symptom is the shape of the disease.
In the dream, this level often shows up in the interpretive level in dream work. In Gestalt experiential dream work, in the experience of being the parts of the dreams, one often notes how well the dream parts and their interactions reflect the dreamer's outer maneuvers.
Behavioral psychology tries to deal with change at that level, as do many other superficial psychotherapies. In dreamhealing and creative consciousness work, however, it is merely noticed as providing information about the shape of the diseased consciousness state that we will eventually encounter in the depths of the psyche. It acts as a map to identify the shape of the personality, to help us guide the dreamer beyond this level.
Transactional Analysis provides an excellent means of conceptually understanding this level of the personality. It provides structure to help identify the repeating patterns that are the behavioral level, reflecting the dis-ease within. These are probably just symptoms of the dis-ease you will encounter.
The literature of T.A. covers behavior patterns quite well. Perhaps the best single source is BORN TO WIN by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward, (Addison-Wesley Pub., Philippines, 1977). Conditioned behaviors are catalogued in behavioral psychology which concerns itself with basic instincts like fight/flight, how habits get formed and broken, and manipulation of behavior through punishment/reward systems.
How we behave is largely shaped by how we think and feel about what is happening in the environment. This means "feel" in the emotional sense as well as in the opinion sense. It is a deeper zone than the behavior, which is mostly acted outside the self. This zone lies beneath the surface, a zone of thoughts and emotions, competing and dancing with each other to create patterns that shape our behaviors, but are themselves merely reflecting the even deeper patterns of dis-ease.
In this aspect the dream journey reflects the experience of delving deep into the structure of a fractal image, where each layer repeats the basic structure of the levels above it and below it. The probing of the structure of dreams and personality is probing the nature of chaos itself.
Cognitive-emotive therapies, such as T.A. and Gestalt, most of the psychoanalytic and Humanistic therapies, and techniques such as affirmations work within this level. They often try to produce changes at this level. Models to explain the structure and function of this zone proliferate, and often contradict one another.
But in the creative consciousness process, it just provides the dream guide with another clue, another perspective on the shape of the deeper dis-eased primal image. It adds another sensory configuration to the patterns and shape that will eventually identify the primal dis-eased state to be encountered further on in the journey.
IT IS RARE THAT THE SEEDS OF DISEASE ORIGINATE AT THIS LEVEL.
This level is encountered and revealed in dream again at the surface presentation level, and slightly below that. It is revealed in the emotional content, plot lines and first levels of symbol experience, as for example, encountered in Gestalt work. The imagery is discreet, that is this dance of emotions and thoughts is experience with easily recognized patterns of imagery--cognitive and emotional process.
The first step in a dream journey is to re-experience the dream. In that re-experiencing, these emotional, cognitive and action sequences are experienced by both the guide and the dreamer. These sequences usually reflect the behavioral and script game patterns noticed prior to the journey, and round out as well as reinforce the emerging sensory image the dream guide is developing out of the state of disease.
Dream interpretation deals with this level of the dream and is a well-developed art. Surface symbol manipulation, as practiced in techniques such as Gestalt, or dream psychodrama also explore this level and promote change at this level of personality. But in the creative consciousness process, the dream guide only notices this level of experience and these dynamics. The patterns experienced at this level are models that will help identify deeper patterns and eventually the "source."
Let us present an example, an illustration of a typical journey:
In the dreamer's dream, he is continually frustrated as helplessly he is drawn into an impending disaster that it seems cannot be averted. At this level of presentation, the dream is noted to reflect the dreamer's outer emotional-thinking dynamics and patterns. In outer life he feels like a helpless loser who is constantly beset by crisis and disaster. He is constantly in no-win situations.
Most dream therapies, analytical, interpretive, etc., would attempt to deal with changing these patterns and dynamics at this level by whatever therapeutic techniques they espouse. Even experiential Gestalt would seldom venture any deeper than exploring this level of dream experientially.
But in the creative consciousness process, the dream guide instead co-experiences these patterns and energies. If the mind is involved at all, we may speculate that the deeper experiences and patterns of disease may exhibit a sense of "stuckness" or something like that. Having noticed, and speculated, the guide then lets go to journey even deeper into the dream and the psyche.
BELIEF SYSTEMS ZONE
The next zone we encounter in our journey into the ego, and what is the same thing, into a dream, is the belief system zone. The answer to "What shapes the thinking-feeling patterns?" is what we believe about self and the world.
This is still a somewhat intellectual zone in that most beliefs can be succinctly stated with a few words or sentences. But beliefs arise also from much deeper levels of sensations. Deep feelings, senses of credulity, rightness, wrongness, all help identify the boundaries and shapes of our beliefs.
Of course, in the dynamics of life, experience of this zone is a dance with the emotional-cognitive level. That is how it affects the pattern of the dance. But functionally it can be justified as a discrete zone.
Again, many conventional therapies from T.A. to Freud deal at this level of ego functioning. Indeed changes in belief systems is an integral part of depth therapy healing. In T.A. this is the level at which deeper script and existential patterns are revealed and re-decided.
But seldom does the diseased state originate at this level. However most therapies attempt to deal with the disease at this still somewhat symptomatic level. The creative consciousness-dream guide again just notices these sensory patterns. They provide yet another, deeper and new way of identifying the essence of the primal dis-eased image that will eventually be encountered.
At this level the imagery as we approach the boundaries of the beliefs, or the area of the known often takes the shape of dangerous paths, or other fear-filled images. At this deeper sensory level, images appear such as walls felt as solid barriers, or ugly sensations and colors, or perhaps odors or sounds, monsters or evil creatures of cold and dark. These are energies that keep us in bounds, and trapped in our belief systems.
At this level the dream journey is indeed the hero's journey. The dream guide must lead the dreamer through fears to even deeper levels. It is often sensed as a journey into death or worse.
For example, the frustration in the dreamer's dream might suggest a deep red color, which when experienced takes on the feeling of sticky pools of blood on a cold tiled floor. In essence, the message and belief is that it is death in a cold sterile place to go beyond this point. In essence the outer message is that it is better to be a failure and be stuck than to die. On this outer level the dream guide might speculate about a child having these deep feelings and deciding in essence to never surpass their father because...well, it doesn't really matter why.
The point is that it is an experiential memory of a reaction to something that happened once. What that is does not matter to the dream guide. What is important is that this represents the energy or psychic boundary that keeps this person trapped in their belief system of helplessness and failure.
We are getting closer to the primal image now--to the state of disease. There is an essence of woundedness and death in it, maybe even a sense of drying up and becoming sticky. But again, to the creative consciousness-dream guide, it is only speculation what this all means. In fact that is often far from mind, as the quest is to push on ever-deeper to the source of this pattern-form. If anything, it is now stored in the guide's deeper senses to emerge later to support the intuitive feeling of "fit" that identifies the deepest level of the diseased primal image, when it is reached.
PERSONAL MYTHOLOGY ZONE
The next zone can be best characterized as the "Personal Mythology" or Archetypes Zone. This is the level from which our belief systems are formed. To the ego, there is still some slight component of rational process. For example, this level is often revealed by the fairy tales (personal mythology) that underlie the scripts (belief patterns) in T.A.
The imagery in this zone is, in most cases, significantly more superficial than the archetypal images suggested in Jungian psychology. In a sense they are distorted versions of the archetypes (complexes). These are the distortions caused by the organism's very early interactions and experiences with its environment. In some cases they are direct representations of archetypal energy patterns (remember the strange attractors we discussed earlier). WE ARE VERY CLOSE NOW TO WHAT FORMS US OUT OF CHAOS. The archetypal patterns or myths adopted are the ones which most closely reflect the organism's shaping experiences.
Stanley Krippner and David Feinstein have described this level of consciousness and its impact and role in the human condition in their book, PERSONAL MYTHOLOGY. It does not conflict with what we find in dreamhealing experiences in any important way. They speak of five stages in the process of integration with one's evolving mythology. Their work is one of the first serious forays of traditional psychotherapy into the mystical realms, other than anecdotal reports. They are actively working at the mythic level with therapeutic interventions.
The five stages include the following: 1). Identifying areas of conflict in the person's underlying mythology. 2). Bringing the roots of mythic conflict into focus. 3). Conceiving a unifying mythic vision. 4). From vision to commitment. 5). Weaving a renewed mythology into daily life. Krippner and Feinstein have used Graywolf's life story to illustrate their model on many occasions, including Krippner's DREAMTIME AND DREAMWORK, (Tarcher, 1991).
It is probably no coincidence that this closely resembles the four stations of the Medicine Wheel: identifying the problem, letting go, new vision, and empowerment or actualization. This is the archetypal healing model operating at the mythic level, no matter how it is stated.
We don't seem to automatically jump into a belief system from an experience. It has to go through a mythologizing process, and thereby become entrenched as an image. That is an important part of how the image gets in there. We turn an experience into a belief through the process of mythologizing. The mythological layers form a sort of border between the ego and the personality, separating it from the deeper collective psyche.
THE MYTHOLOGICAL LAYER IS THE BOUNDARY LAYER BETWEEN THE PERSONAL AND TRANSPERSONAL. That is why the archetypes are so clear there, yet they are also in a logical context, story, or drama. It is the melding of rational and irrational. Mythology is a precursor of evolution.
New guiding myths are arising today, such as the new myth that "personal power arises within." We follow an image or myth of who or what we expect ourselves to become. This is our existential myth. Identity crisis follows if it doesn't work, creating an evolutionary crisis.
This level of consciousness is profound and indeed AT THIS LEVEL THE GUIDE MAY ENCOUNTER THE PRIMAL DISEASED STATE ITSELF. Most often one must forage deeper, but sometimes it rests in this level.
These consciousness states/images are frozen into form very early in life, within the first year or so. They manifest as deep sensation and sensation patterns and are a level of memory experienced pre-verbally, or at barely verbal levels of cognition and experience. In a way they can be viewed as the time when the organism is beginning to shape its "self."
The organism has rudimentary experience at the sensory level, but no cognitive-emotive existence. It seeks the archetypal energy forms rising from its chaotic origin, and selects the ones which most accurately match its experience so far. It modifies those archetypes to match its experience and this provides a strange attractor that becomes the nucleus of personality.
This zone holds very little "mind" content and is purely sensual in nature. The visual imagery (if there at all) is simple, perhaps surrealistic -- disembodied eyes or faces, frozen statues, pools of molten red lava, animal faces, jaws full of sharp teeth, etc.
But still deeper strata exist--a deeper zone of psychic energies and patterns that represent memories of even more primal levels of consciousness and experience. When we reconnect with them experientially, we re-member our deepest self and heal our fragmentation. Here we find experiences of the WOMB, back even to the dance of energy, matter, and consciousness at CONCEPTION.
These images are close to the stuff of our creation, the primal chaos or consciousness field that seems to underlie all matter. This zone is one of archetypal ENERGY WAVES AND PATTERNS, existing on the edges of infinite creation.
In this zone the imagery is beyond surreal. It is PSYCHEDELIC or mystically sensual, much as described by individuals in the deepest of L.S.D. experiences, or during moments of ecstatic healing, or religious experiences. These strata are catalogued extensively by Stan Grof in his works on LSD therapy and Holotropic Healing.
Here are revealed shifting, dancing energy patterns that sometimes only suggest forms, or may assault the senses -- deep whorls that suck one down in spinning spirals, black holes in black space, gray clouds of nothingness. Senses are extraordinary and seemingly infinite in variation (including the controversial psi phenomena such as extrasensory perception (ESP) and the sensory melding of synesthesia).
IF THIS ZONE IS CLEAR, THE DIS-EASE EXISTS AT MORE SUPERFICIAL LEVELS. It is a zone of great ease, and an experience of timeless flowing creation. It resonates as deep rightness and peace, ageless antiquity.
If the dis-ease exists at this deep level, the experience is similar to the above, but somewhat modified. For example, a deep red stab wound with a black center might become a swirling vortex pulling the dreamer and guide into a blackness. It is cold and empty, and the spinning of the vortex has dismembered the dreamer. In fact, he has experienced a sense of being disintegrated.
In this state of nothingness a throbbing sensation of pulsating red becomes a sphere of softness surrounded by a shell of resistance. At the same time spikes are puncturing the shell. Becoming both the punctured and the puncturer leads to a deep-felt sense of flowing togetherness and peace. There is acceptance of conception and creation as deep-felt senses adjust to this yielding.
CHAOTIC (OR CREATIVE) CONSCIOUSNESS
The zone of chaotic consciousness underlies all of the foregoing. Within our theory this is the level at which all structure dissolves and from which all structure comes. It is the "universal solvent" of alchemy, the liquid form of the Philosopher's Stone.
It could, in fact, has been called by many other names. It is a sea of universal consciousness, timeless and infinite. It is chaotic consciousness, a level of being and energy that is virtually random and unformed. It is a state of pure creative energy with infinite possibilities. It is the Tao. It is the timeless, spaceless quantum leap. It is a higher order dimension of self -- existing in hyperdimensions or virtual realities. It is the healing, creative HEART OF THE DREAM. It is the selfless Self.
The imagery? To borrow from Taoism, "the Tao which can be described is not the Tao." It is remembered on returning as being all that has ever been, all that is now, and all that is yet to be.
Here lie buried memories of conception, the instant we begin to develop a "consciousness" of the self from the collective consciousness. In so many of the conceptions we hear about in dreamhealing, the energy is wrong. For instance the mother is being raped, or nobody cares, or it is an accident, or father was drunk, etc. Conventional psychology has not dealt with this phase as an experience of trauma very much. Even the alternative therapies focus more on the birthing experience.
Eric Berne, founder of T.A. used to pose the question, "Make up a story about your conception." That was part of the script questionnaire. You can discover a lot from that simple exercise. We are only beginning to realize just how much of a person's form and structure, not only genetically, but also psychologically, comes out of that initial experience.
The dreamhealing method has a big advantage in that it views memory differently than most people view it. It is more than the conscious process of recall. "I remember this happened," is usually a visual or auditory memory. When you begin to leave that perspective, you can perceive that the deep memories come to you in other forms.
Genetic memories come to you in different forms. They are not discrete memories. They are sensory imagery, and structural characteristics. Then memory expands to include a lot of recorded experience you just cannot get at in other ways. Just to process, re-experience, and reorder those memories is therapeutic. IT MEANS GOING INTO PRIMAL CHAOS TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF REFORMATION FROM THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL BEGINNING.
The process of conception parallels chaos theory in that these initial conditions are very critical, and slight changes in those conditions can bring on the exponential disruptions of the "butterfly effect." Chaos theory uses the metaphor of a butterfly in the orient flapping its wings thereby causing a gigantic storm on a far-away part of the globe.
During conception, we have the initial chaotic conditions which begin forming the initial structure. The slightest things that are wrong here may have horrendous effects down the line.
HAVING DESCENDED TO THE FORMATIVE DEPTHS, WE CAN NOW BEGIN TO ASCEND THROUGH THE CONSCIOUSNESS MAP THROUGH THE TYPICAL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT.
LEVEL 0: THE SPACE/TIME CONTINUUM AT CONCEPTION
Conception occurs with the interaction of the space/time continuum with collective or universal consciousness. The ephemeral soul enters real-time experience as a tangible entity. Yet we are still totally immersed in the unified web of awareness.
Direct experience of this level is a true sense of oneness with all. It is not just a metaphysical ideas, but a real field that exists -- a permeation of space/time with consciousness. The collective or universal consciousness may be seen as an all-pervasive consciousness that exists through all of space and time. Each one of us is a part of that, and connects intimately with that. Jean Houston has called this the I AM experience.
Our consciousness is only a manifestation of this larger consciousness. It is spoken of as a union of opposites, or God, Unity or the Tao, etc. It exists in stars, in ourselves, in all things. It is also totally undifferentiated. In it there is no sense of separation of self, or anything else.
LEVEL 1: COLLECTIVE OR UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS AWARENESS
This level where we are ALL ONE is a very healing state of consciousness. Consider the idea of the space/time continuum, with the three spatial dimensions plus the fourth dimension of time. If our consciousness is trapped in space and time, we essentially live a Newtonian cause/effect life. This happens which inevitably results in that happening.
At surface levels we experience a causal world. At deeper levels of the psyche we can make the quantum leap in consciousness to a seemingly timeless/spaceless realm where we can experience ourselves differently. In this acausal awareness we are reconnecting our essence with our Source.
Consciousness exists like an ocean. Jung spoke of it. The mystics call it the Father (or Mother), the Source, Great Spirit, etc. Communing with this energy, experiencing this state of consciousness, was the practice of shamans from the beginning of human history. They developed many techniques for "getting there."
Consciousness always strives to take on form, and spirit urges us to cast off gross form and return to primordial unity. What creates the space/time continuum may be the interaction of consciousness with the other fields that exist, such as the time field, EM fields, gravitational fields, and the "strong" and "weak" force within our atoms. These fields are virtually inseparable; they nest within one another. At the level of the still-elusive unified field theory they are one -- and we are that. In fact, Jean Houston terms this experiential level, WE ARE.
No matter how we define it, this is the core or source from which we come. What happens is that as we enter four-dimensional space, we develop increasingly complex dynamic form and structure over time. These energies crystallize around the nucleus of consciousness interacting with the space/time continuum, and perhaps other (hyperdimensional) dimensions.
If you can consider a dimension beyond that of space/time, it is without form -- a vast non-linear, pre-geometric ocean of disintegrated virtual energy -- pure potential. IT IS CHAOTIC--A CHAOTIC DIMENSION--A CHAOTIC CONSCIOUSNESS. Everything is de-structured here, dissassembled. It is hard to envision form or structure existing beyond that.
From this infintely vast ocean of potential arises a wave. It differentiates like a wave on the ocean -- a "standing wave" in four-space. As this consciousness differentiates and begins to enter local reality, we can CALL IT THE SOUL, if you like. We are not solid matter at all, as the materialistic view teaches us. Rather, we are dynamic wave fronts in the ocean of the continuum.
At the moment of conception, the organism begins to exist in the space/time continuum, in the physical world. It begins to be trapped by the deterministic laws of cause and effect, and is still subject to the bizarre-yet-determinstic laws of chaos. Within these parameters, the entity begins to have experiences which develop awareness. The organism somehow stores this "pre-experience."
LEVEL 2: ENTRY INTO SPACE AND TIME
With entry into space and time, the unconsciousness wave enters the realm of material reality, and hence duality. The genders merge in act of love (or merely sex). The dynamic interaction creates an attraction (an attractor) or agitation in the virtual energy of the collective consciousness, which becomes a "wave" in the ocean of consciousness. Conception takes place as the wave finally enters into material reality--sperm meets egg.
The wave might be considered an individual soul, but the embryonic soul has the dual nature of being purely collective at this point yet invested with the potential for individuality through ego and personality. The divine collective interacts with material reality and begins the process of forming the physical and psychic self.
Since at this point, we don't have much of a body, or mind, or form, or structure, this early experience cannot really take on much of a sensory memory. We can't remember much of how it felt, or how it sounded. But we can remember it in terms of energy itself.
SO MEMORIES OF THESE VERY EARLY IMAGES AND IMPRESSIONS ARE STORED IN TERMS OF ENERGY.
With this conception we envision a metaphorical rebirth, a rising from the depths of the underworld. WE HAVE FOUND THE LOST SOUL--THE LOST SELF. This process of remembering the deep self, the core self, heals dismemberment. By re-membering, we re-create, and re-new ourselves.
Conception takes place when the attraction of love draws a wave of consciousness into interaction with space/time, as the sperm symbolically pierces the egg. "Love" in this sense is the power of primal attraction, mythologically the cosmic Eros, not necessarily love of the partners in the sex act. Love is a creator, healer, and unifying force in all human experience, spanning both scientific and mystical reality. Love energy is "sex-red," similar to the red of Buddhist reincarnation theory.
LEVEL 3: PRE-SENSORY, GENETIC CONSCIOUSNESS
CONCEPTION IS THE AWAKENING OF GENETIC CONSCIOUSNESS. ITS DYNAMIC MANDATE IS SET IN MOTION AT THAT POINT. At this instant of creation, prenatal awareness begins and memories begin at the molecular or cellular level.
The collective consciousness is given the material with which to create its body, but it is now restricted by the laws of material reality. At the same time, energy experiences (the situation in the womb) begin to form the psychic body or the ego.
At the moment of conception, the collective consciousness begins to exert its influence and create a body and an energy, and/or psychic shield to give it both protection and to allow for the perception of and interaction with material reality. Thus, two "bodies," physical and psychic, are now forming in the womb.
There are pre-sensory images. These appear at the deepest levels of dreamwork as a totally expanded sense of self -- no boundaries or limits. Another way to say it is that consciousness first intrudes and then limits part of itself to the constraints of space/time.
Input to the fetus is very basic at this point. Nutrient input yields a sense of getting or not getting. Emotional input from basic chemicals borrowed from mother and mother's body sensations are stored as pre-sensory images. If mother's chemistry is toxic it sends the message that the physical world may not be a safe place to be.
If mother is an alcoholic, the fetus is exposed to poisonous blood. It damages self, causing it to see the world as poisonous. It is a sensory image based on the whole environment being poisonous. Or, if the moment of conception is a moment of hate, violence, or rape there is going to be a lot of energy attached to that moment of conception.
The very creation of self, the very act of formation of self is based on that, whether or not these circumstances of conception are later made conscious or not. The process of personality formation covering soul is like an oyster forming a pearl around an irritant. The subsequent layers of personality that overlay on top of that take on these very early shapes.
Early hormonal reactions of both mother and child are also experienced at this level. If you guide a person to this level so they are experiencing it directly, they can actually affect their hormonal balance. If you start with dreams, they sometimes heal physical problems, too.
When their awareness enters this level, you can help them to change some of these images. They reenter this state of consciousness and come back out to build a new sense of self, a new personality, even a new body and chemistry. If you penetrate to the primal level, you touch back into the collective matrix.
In the womb there are experiences which leave imprints, such as chemical memories. As the fetus grows, it develops early sensory apparatus -- nerves -- so that these memories are stored now as basic sensations. These are pre-visual sensations. This is usually a very basic visceral or gut-level perception. It signals the awareness of comfort/discomfort.
This awareness provides the earliest sense of value for physical existence. Is it nurturing and friendly, or does it abandon and reject the well-being of the fetus? Is initial sensory experience comfortable or uncomfortable? During the time in the womb, sensory abilities become more and more complex.
So, the pre-sensory level takes on the form of colors and heat, without any visual form or imagery. The impression is of drifting things, maybe a void. Very subtle sensations, color, and elusive impressions characterize this level.
Clients have trouble describing what they are experiencing in the dreamwork when they reach this deep level. It is based on very early experience. It is a conceptual experience, a womb-like experience. It is so basic it comes before the brain is even formed, so it is totally raw.
The genetic consciousness is acting on the genetic material supplied by the mother and father. Following the laws of genetics, it creates a physical being which can sense and interact with material reality. As the embryo grows new senses are added to visceral awareness including sound, sense of color, and images, etc. Memories of space/time consciousness are stored in this way. It is still an undifferentiated sense of being.
The psychic consciousness is creating the various aspects of the energy body. They are connected to the physical body through such structures as the ego, the astral body, and the meridian system. Our conscious awareness is usually limited to just a segment of the ego, but the ego reacts with material reality also.
Around the second or third month of life, we develop nervous systems which exhibit some discrimination. Then the pre-sensory images evolve toward sensory images. A new way of storing experience is developed. In process work, people can explain their experience more in terms of the known senses, excluding vision.
These sensory images still have a lot to do with throbbing, pulsations or sounds, and colors like pure red and black. This is very often the fetal heart or placenta beating rhythm. Experiences of this phase can impact how a person forms or builds a personality in a very profound way.
LEVEL 4: BIRTH AND SENSORY IMAGES
Birth occurs during this phase, and the sense images increase in complexity. The undifferentiated slowly becomes differentiated into images of self-world as shapes, colors, tastes, motions, feelings, emotions, sounds, and acts. This is how memories are stored. Birth imagery includes tunnels and caves, feeling pushed or expelled.
As the differentiation sense grows, the perception of I and Not-I, and sense drives come into awareness. Comfort/discomfort perception continues and becomes even more acute. Another impression becomes perceivable which we will term EMPATHY. Images begin to take definite shape via sound, taste, odor, etc.
The birth experience may be stored deep in the subconscious, and sometimes becomes the subject of a dream. Frequently these dreams come up in midlife when psychological re-birth becomes an inner urge or drive of personal evolution.
The original birth experience can characterize or color the rebirth experience, whether it comes through dreams or process work. For example, one client who was delivered by Caesarian section had the following dream, which for her amalgamated the images of both birth and rebirth.
"CRAWL-AWAY": I'm with a group outside looking at a house. We watch a person struggling to get through a hole or opening in the foundation. There are lots of comments about WHY he's having such a hard time. We go inside and look around (apparently there's some problem). For some reason the men in the group are going somewhere, in or out of the house, to do something.
Something happens (explosion or earthquake or something) and the problem is much worse, and there is little or no light. I tell them that I will go and look for the/a way out, the problem or something. I go down a hallway (with another female, closely, quietly and apprehensively behind me).
king it for some safety reasons or something.I/we have some kind of illumination (not very bright). The hall changes into a smaller passageway and then very small, like the crawl-way beneath a house, and it gets smaller all the time. The one behind me gets more frightened and pushes closer making it a lot harder for me to move along at all.
I come to a slight turn on my right and find that the regular way out is blocked by cement blocks and rubble. Passage through there is impossible, and there is absolutely no way to turn around and go back!!! The one behind me is so close and won't move back at all. We remember that WE, the group, have something to do with blocking it for some safety reasons or something.
The passage is so very small at this point. I noticed that there is a small crack in the foundation to my left and behind my shoulder, but I've passed it a little and it's sooo small I'm not sure that my head will even fit through it! For the first time I'm scared!
The one behind me crowds even closer if that's possible, and makes it even more difficult! WE CAN'T GO BACK...OR FORWARD!!! There is no more illumination...our only chance is to go through the crack. I squirm around and maneuver so that I can try to squeeze out. I manage to get my head near the crack and put it up to it...and all of a sudden I'm in the bright light on the outside. I look back at the crack and remember the other having a hard time getting out.
The first thing that came to my mind and feelings was that I had just been born, again? I was in an adult body all the time even when I got back into the light, on the outside.
LEVEL 5: THE DEVELOPING SENSES
During the first months of life, the eyes and ears develop completely, and the brain discriminates more and more. As time goes on, we get more and more from the senses, learning how to use them more in the outer world. We then begin to form sensory imagery. These images begin to put things together, to create associations and natural metaphors.
The organism strives to define self. Primal images of world-self begin to form. Body ego and much of personality ego will reflect this shape, (perhaps contour is a better image). The edges may be softened by later experiences but it still will determine the base shape of the personality/body.
This level is the basis of physical disease and susceptibility. It is the level of predisposition. At this time using a combination of genes, even basic body chemistry, processes are set in motion which may result later in cancer, heart disease, etc. Here it becomes established and becomes a strong potential.
At this stage of development, material reality is filtered through both body and ego-mind. At first, it is mostly just impressions of images of the immediate environment. It forms a layer of sensory images of the world, a base range, against which all future ones are checked.
Clients often describe imagery of this level as a paradoxical union of opposites, such as a full/empty or hot/cold feeling. There are also many extrasensory impressions from this level, which are often contradictory. Language is virtually inadequate to describe these dichotomies.
More structuring of the original chaotic consciousness of pre-conception orders a personal reality as the baby develops. Senses become discrete perceptions. Sight, taste, and odor become differentiated rather than melded in synesthesia. There is finally a glimmering of the separation of mother and self. This takes place at the pre-intellectual, pre-conceptual stage, but the awareness comes into being and is the seed of ego development.
Some people's entire basis for a fear of the world is the image of an angry face. When they go back, they eventually discover it is usually a parent's angry face, maybe just impatiently telling the child to go back to sleep. But the child sees that annoyance, senses that, and internalizes that anger.
A small child stores that impression, as a physical and psychological (psychophysical) gestalt. It becomes encapsulated in that vision of the angry face, which seems to reappear in later situations, creating the same automatic response of disproportionate fear. All angry authority figures somehow become that angry parent. Each repetition reinforces the image. Later, the person walks in to see the boss, and he's got an angry face, so immediately the individual folds.
Psychology is good at sometimes reaching down to this level to resolve those issues by helping the person realize there are alternatives. There is usually an image that is stored in the mind that is a complete image, that has emotions attached to it.
These are olfactory, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic sensations that encode its essence. It involves more aspects of your total sensory being, or sense of being. These images can be processed with NLP techniques such as the "re-frame" and "change history," but the results are limited and sometimes do not "stick." Changing imagery at this level is not necessarily the whole answer, because it is just a reinforcement of more primary belief systems.
LEVEL 6: MYTHOLOGICAL LAYER
Underlying the ego layers of personality is the mythological phase of development. It directly underlies the personal belief system, and is instrumental in its formation. The other component is experiential--the interaction of the personal and transpersonal.
Much of the appeal in myth derives from the fears and fantasies every child experiences as part of the way he defines himself.
This is also the level of fairy tales and heroic epics. Our role models and cultural heroes glean their appeal from their identity with the mythic characters. The structure of the heroic, upwardly-striving ego also resonates with this imagery which is influential in its formation. One of the realizations we need as modern people is that this heroic, perfectionistic, overachieving ego model may rob us of our humanness. There are many other, gentler archetypal tales.
A favorite fairy tale can condition an entire life. Many a Cinderella laments that, "one day my prince will come." This is the old rescue fantasy. Our youth-oriented society asserts it will "never grow up," and rejects wholeness by disowning its shadow like Peter Pan.
Another example of the mythological layer is the tale of the Emperor's New Clothes. Embarrassment might be encoded something like this: "Somebody pulled a fast one on me. Here I am walking aboutnaked, and someone pulled a fast one on me." And that is how we store it; as a child that is how we experience that. This is why fairy tales enchant children through identification with the metaphors behind the story. The identification begins with personal experience and is validated in the story -- "Hey, that's what I felt, thought, imagined, believed."
For example, this embarrassment ("bare-ass" ment) might have its precedence in earlier childhood when parents insisted a child perform. They may want something simple, like saying DaDa, but the child can become the object of derision. When he can't perform, and receives ridicule instead of praise, the small child may feel betrayed, exposed, and abandoned emotionally.
Many incidents repeat the essence of the experience, basically confirming the more basic existential beliefs. How many adults today would freeze with fear asked to speak before a small group of people, because of shaming in school?
These levels tend to be stages of memory stored in images of the senses we pay the most attention to. As we get deeper and deeper in the mythic script, we begin to get into other senses than the normal five we use to deal with the outer world. This is the psychic aspect of psyche, and involves phenomena like telepathy, clairvoyance, and synchronicity.
In dreamhealing practice, these are spontaneous aspects of the co-consciousness journey. They arise within a no-boundaries or no limiting expectations condition.
LEVEL 7: BELIEF SYSTEMS AND INTELLECT
In the more surface level of belief systems, beliefs are stored in the form of actual memories, stories which are almost mythologies. They become mythologized over time much like our real culture heroes become the stuff of legends.
To continue our previous example, the memory of being laughed at in class can develop into a memory of the world as a place that is always going to ask me to do things and then laughs at me for doing them. This embarrassment can lead to introversion or avoidant behavior, and negative self-talk about self-esteem. Images stored around that memory become a whole belief system about "who I am" and "what the world is," and "how I behave."
At the sensory level colors, sounds of throbbing, warmth/cold, comfort/discomfort are typical experiences we hear about in session. As we continue to grow we add intellect to this imagery and begin to form belief systems. They are our minds' way of making sense and putting things into a structure.
A desire for order is basic to our survival instinct. Structure gives us an easier way of dealing with things. Belief systems form as we begin to make a structure with basic existential beliefs and later fairy tale beliefs.
As abstracting ability begins (programmed genetically), the images take on aspects of a dynamic story with interactions. These are fairy tales and basic personal mythology--archetypal shapes and sequences. This is the level of Freud's id. Identity is a key issue here. The sense of who one is leads directly to emotions, thought patterns, and behaviors. Of course, behaviors always feedback and reinforce the beliefs, which reinforce the behaviors, ad infinitum unless there is intervention.
As perception sharpens and words and ideas are processed by the brain to add to sensory impressions, word images are formulated and create the very first and most basic belief system against which all future experiences are compared. In later life the touchstone of familiarity is generally chosen over well-being, so this imprint is extremely important.
In T.A. this layer of beliefs is known as life scripts. This thinking activity later becomes a resource for the adult self. Conceptualization and generalization begins and images of experience form the foundation of belief systems.
As the brain begins to develop abstract ability, it tries to organize experiences. First comes the level of personal image, the mythology of infinite self-god, a solid world relationship. As the intellect develops still further ability to abstract, there is emergence of a belief structure about self.
This is the earliest form of SCRIPT DECISION. This level summarizes all experiences of self-world interactions. It may take on attributes eventually of several "intellectual" belief systems as intellect cannot describe the entire sensory gestalt by a single belief.
Belief systems give rise to how we react (feel, think, and emote). As we perceive what is around us we compare it to our stored impression of what reality is, what is I and Not-I. We determine its nature, make a judgement, and this determines how we think-feel, and this in turn determines how we behave. These games and patterns manifest on the ego level.
LEVEL 8: EMOTIONS
The unique emotional reactions of the individual are directly based in the belief system. It gives rise to certain emotional patterns which are coupled with or complexed around each belief. For example, a "mother-complex" conditions all other relationships and keeps the inner child infantile. A "father-complex" may inspire a rebellious attitude which also creates dysfunction in other areas of life.
Each belief generates an emotional response that surrounds it. This forms the core layer of the ego. We can speculate that all experiences that separate us from universal self are uncomfortable, chaotic, painful, and fearsome to some extent.
Sorrow, pain, and suffering are inherent in the nature of a self-reflective consciousness. Both psychologists and mystics share this notion. This pain of alienation leads us to question, wonder, and experience awe. Fear "freezes" us rather than allowing our energy to flow in a balanced manner.
In fear, the I is hurt by the Not-I, even at the earliest ontological point. Pain helps us define I and Not-I; a hot stove lets us know right away. Circumstantial pain may not be useful at the time. But pain can lead to fear, which leads to a belief which complexes as a fear of pain.
In dreamhealing the remedy is to go through the fear and pain to get to the heart of the multi-sensory image. Past the fear and chaos is a peaceful, calm center, a special place, a transcendent state which is naturally healing.
In Transactional Analysis this layer is represented in the racket system and emotional aspects of games.
LEVEL 9: THOUGHT PATTERNS
Almost back to superficial reality, we find that emotions in turn give rise to the thought patterns that cluster around these emotions -- belief clusters (complexes). This is the next ego layer of thinking, which may not be an entirely separate layer from emotions. They interact in lock-step.
For example: Through the senses I trigger 'belief system A' which triggers the set emotional response. At the same time, by my intellect, I give myself the thoughts that rationalize the belief which is also combined with the emotional trigger or particularbehavior response. The body tells the mind it is not safe, and the mind iterates to the body that it is not safe. Through this mutual negative feedback the whole individual is destabilized.
According to Transactional Analysis., the adult self uses the game patterns and the script patterns. The organizational activity is the parent self. At a higher level of organization this results in individual complexes. So, levels 7-10 are script-game-racket patterns. We can further speculate that when we experience self as "I/Not-I" we are into the above.
LEVEL 10: BEHAVIORS
This level gives rise to behaviors and the use of the body. Behavior is the interface of the organism with the world. So are the senses, but they are inwardly directed. Behavior is an outwardly directed dynamic.
This creates a reaction in the outer world which the senses can perceive and then back to re-evolve belief systems. If this feedback system is flawed or closed, or based on false assumptions, negative beliefs about the self become self-reinforcing. In this manner we create a solid reality that is familiar, predictable, and one with which we can cope.
And we find ourselves now back at the surface, having dived deep and discovered experientially the nature of the pure soul and chaotic consciousness. Changes at these deepest levels effect even the surface layer of behavior in a sure and profound way which unfolds over time.
THE SOURCE OF DREAMS IN THIS MODEL IS THE MOST PRIMAL OR RUDIMENTARY LEVEL OF THE PSYCHE. They are a pure spontaneous phenomenon of the brain's experience of itself, turning itself on and off during sleep, sorting and processing input from without and within. They originate in the collective consciousness level as pure consciousness which, as it passes through the layers of self, picks up shapes and plot at all levels to create the dream as we experience it (symbols and plot).
Dreams may be the leakage, or extrusion, of this consciousness to the surface level. This basic, healthy, undifferentiated, collective God-force within percolates into the upper levels of our consciousness. And as the dream images filter through each of the levels, they take on shapes which become the images and the plot you see at the surface of the dream.
The strength of dreamhealing is that it gives us the shapes of the dis-ease, the discomforts, the shapes of fears, and of pathology. Playing with just the images of a dream tells us a whole lot about different aspects of the ego, such as how we get along. The dream symbols are portals which you can follow back down into deeper levels.
Awareness which has made this journey gains a self-transformative power which can be applied to recreating the personality and changing behavior. Then awareness is changed fundamentally. THE LOST SOUL IS FOUND, AND RETRIEVED, AND RESTORED. A new sense of wholeness emerges, which is reflected in the personality.
Dreamhealing takes the sense of self (-awareness) back into symbols to its root levels without interpretation. The interpretation has led in the past to distortion of the information or message from the primal source. The surface level of dream is reflected by plot and symbols.
Freud and Jung tended to interpret and intellectualize about dream reality. Fritz Perls approached the dream experientially, with the goal of unifying the elements. Perls remained at the ego levels in his dreamwork. But now the dreamer can learn directly, experientially that (s)he is all parts of the dream.
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CHAPTER 5 of DREAMHEALING
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