Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Dreams and Self-Construction

At the highest level, the concept of "self" is constructed from narratives that we impose on our life experiences. Hence, "Self Knowledge" is more like "Self Construction". The tricky part is that the construction, for the most part, does "NOT" take place at the conscious level. I believe, the subconscious processes involved in the construction of a "self" are very similar to those involved in "dream construction." Reaching a coherent self (i.e. Buddhist's enlightenment?!) is limited by the scope of our conscious influence on the process. I am convinced that the main challenge of the 21st century will be in understanding these subconscious processes and integrating them in our elaborate conscious knowledge of the world (i.e. science and technology). It's the ultimate science-fiction! LOL

"I sometimes discuss dilemmas or problems with them, or ask their opinion about decisions, although I would never let them dictate something to me that I didn’t want to do – it’s like negotiating between different parts of yourself to reach a conclusion ‘everyone’ is happy with. So, for example, maybe there’s a voice that represents a part of me that’s very insecure, which will have different needs, to a part of me that wants to go out into the world and be heard. Or the needs of very rational, intellectual voice may initially feel incompatible with those of a very emotional one. But then I can identify that conflict within myself and try to resolve it. It’s quite rare now that I have to tell them to be quiet, as they don’t intrude or impose on me in the way that they used to. If they do become invasive then it’s important for me to understand why, and there’ll always be a good reason. In general, it’ll be a sign of some sort of emotional conflict, which can then be addressed in a positive, constructive way.

I think there’s actually more continuity between voices and everyday psychological experience then a lot of people realize. For example, everyone knows what it’s like to have intrusive thoughts. And most of us recognize the sense of having more than one part of ourselves: a part that’s very critical, a part that wants to please everyone, a part that’s preoccupied with negative events, a part that is playful and irresponsible and gets us into trouble, and so on. I think voices often feel more disowned and externalized, but represent a similar process."

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