Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Unconscious Self-Betrayal

Metaphor is a kind of communication that relies more on images than words. We find metaphor in poetry and myth and dreams and art. Where language defines and separates ideas, metaphor connects and relates.
We need them both.
Most of everyday life can be described with words, but there's a whole level of life below the surface, an overwhelming, messy web of stuff we just can't sort out. And that is the realm of metaphor.
The conscious is primarily concerned with the physical world: making a living, planning and judging. The unconscious is hooked into the behind-the-scenes infrastructure, the great mysteries of life, the ultimate hows and whys.
The conscious and unconscious are constantly exchanging information. The unconscious feeds the conscious mysterious tidbits regarding what's going on behind the scenes. The conscious gives the unconscious news bulletins about the physical world. Sometimes the conscious is baffled by the stuff that comes from the unconscious. Sometimes it just doesn't want to know.
Here's where it gets interesting:
We manipulate the physical world consciously. We make decisions, we move around and we change things. This is at the heart of being human.
So why not assume that we also manipulate the unseen world, unconsciously? We wouldn't do this by making decisions and doing, but unconsciously? And the affects wouldn't be linear and straightforward and predictable, but magnified and far-reaching, precisely because we are dealing with the underpinnings of the physical world, not just the surface.
What if all of the stuff that we can't put into words is even more important that the stuff we know we are doing? What if just through our bumbling existence we affect the infrastructure of the world?
Wouldn't that make you want to change the thoughts you don't know you have? Wouldn't that make it urgent to decipher the metaphors that come bubbling up from your unconscious, the ones that you've been ignoring? At this point, wouldn't it be useful to know if your unconscious doesn't quite agree with your conscious, and is following its own agenda?
For example, if you are pretending that everything is okay but below the surface you are seething with rage, wouldn't it do you good to try to get those conflicting selves into alignment, and try to find a way of living that will satisfy them both? Wouldn't it be easier to live if your unconscious were not betraying you behind your back?
And you might discover that the unconscious is much wiser than the conscious, with all of its words and plans.
But there's more (like they say on the infomercials), and this is the really exciting part:
What if we can find a way to manipulate the unseen world consciously? What if, once we get our conscious and unconscious to agree, and get them communicating regularly, we can train ourselves to speak back to the unconscious in its own language, the language of metaphor, and thereby manipulate the infrastructure of the physical world not just by accident, but purposely?
How amazing would that be?
*