The Challenger
(This is extracted from the middle of work with an individual at a training session)

Dick: What was that like growing up with your father?

Cl: There was a distinct change between a father that I looked up to until the age of say 11 or 12, and some other fucker who I used to live in his house afterwards. But in my youth, I had a person who I looked up to who I had a very strong kinesthetic experience with. I used to sit next to him, and touch him.

Dick: So you looked up to your father. What happened then when you were about 11? Did he go out of your life, or did your relationship change?

Cl: His relationship with himself changed so it changed it with me.

Dick: How did it change with you? That is what counts. What happened then? Did he begin to ridicule you?

Cl: No.

Dick: Did he become more distant?

Cl: Yeah.

Dick: And with this distancing, he became less available to you. When that was happening, what was happening with the relationship with your mother? Was your mother manipulative?

Cl: She could be a demanding bitch but she was very open about what she did. She wasn't manipulative, she would outright tell us. Whether we liked it or not was irrelevant, but she was clean and clear with herself.

Dick: How did she get along with your father?

Cl: That was hard to tell, because there was the illusion of how they acted in front of us and then how they acted behind our backs, I wouldn't know. I always felt that there were two relationships. So you had your real life behind your children's backs, and then you pretended a life in front of the children. That was my sense of it, I don't know how accurate the statement is.


Dick: Do you remember the house you lived in when you were six years old. ... Let's say you are aged twelve now, for this little psychodrama. See the house as you see it when you are twelve years old. Now the entire family at this moment that you are seeing it. The entire family is home. You are home. You're mother is home, your father is home. All of your sisters and brothers are home.

Cl: Even the two who aren't born yet?

Dick: No. They wouldn't be there. So how many kids are there?

Cl: Two older brothers, my sister, and a younger brother.

Dick: So there are five kids altogether. Now at this moment that you are looking at this house from the outside. There are seven people in it. The father and mother and five kids. Now I am going to ask you, one by one, where they appear. What you have to guard against is not figuring out where they probably would be. That is the easy thing that people to do is say they probably would be here, or they probably would be there. And they probably would be there because.. Just where do they appear, how do they appear? First of all, where do you see your mother?

Cl: I see her at the dining room table. I can see where we are at. I don't see ourselves in any other situation.

Dick: Who is we?

Cl: Our whole family.

Dick: Are you aware of what you just did? What you have to become aware of, what you do, is you just changed the exercise. You are doing it your way instead of my way. I asked you where your mother was, and you didn't answer that question, you immediately told me the whole family are all here.

Cl: When you asked, I saw my mother at the end of the table.

Dick: Okay but you didn't answer that. That is not important. What is important here is your process.

Cl: So I interpreted it in my context.

Dick: Yeah, but your process was to change it to do it your way instead of my way. You know what I am saying? And you are going to see how this comes up again and again and again. This is what you have to work with.

Cl: Yes, I am aware of this. It is my pattern.

Dick: Yes. And what you need to do is to look at that pattern, and see what you have not yet seen in it. "What is there here that I have not yet seen?" So you see your mother sitting at one end of the table. What is her affect? How does she look to you? What is her emotion? What is her mood? Just as you look at her, what is she doing at the end of the table.

Cl: She keeps getting up and down. She s making sure there is plenty of food on the table. And if my youngest brother needs to be fed, she is feeding him.

Dick: Right. She is very busy. Serving the family. What seems to be her mood as she does that.

Cl: She is present. This is who she is. This is what she does. And I think she is very comfortable in doing that.

Dick: Yeah, she is comfortable doing it, but does she exude a lot of warmth, or is she just doing it effectively like she knows how to do this and she is just doing her job?

Cl: She is who she is.

Dick: Right, and who is she?

Cl: She is connected to her presence.

Dick: Yeah but can you translate that into terms that are a little less subjective? In other words, is she happy? Or is she not happy? Is she warm and loving or is she just impersonally effective?

Cl: She is a Gemini, and she is both of those.

Dick: No. What is she doing in the image? Don't try to remember your mother in general and try to give me the picture of her. This is a single picture. A single snapshot and she might be something that she never is before or after. This is unique. What do you see in this uniqueness?

Cl: I am glad you asked me that question, because I have never been able to answer that.

Dick: Ah hah! So we are at this point: what more is there here? What more is there that I haven't seen yet, right?

Cl: Well, I never paid attention to her. She is just the person at the end of the table. I am reacting to my father. My father is right here and I am in his aura. My mother is at the end of the table and she is like a non-living person.

Dick: But look at her. She is like a non-living person. That is the way you see her. Then she is doing all this stuff, but she is like a non-living person. You just told me. I asked you what her affect is. She is like a non-living person. She is totally out of touch, isn't she.

Cl: No, my awareness of her is what you said. I don't know what she is like, I am not paying attention to her.

Dick: Well, you can only talk about your awareness of anybody. That is all you have. You don't know what the person is outside of your awareness. That is what I asked you when I asked what her affect is, I am asking what is your awareness of her, I am not asking whether you are sure whether you are right or wrong. Just what do you perceive, and you said she is like a non-living person.

Cl: I said, my awareness of her, I think she is very alive, but I am so hung up in my father that I can't see her.

Dick: Yeah, but this picture is made up of your awarenesses. So in this image, your mother is a non-living person and your father is a living person. And you don't know for a fact whether your father is a living person or not, that is just your awareness. All right. So you see your mother as a non-living person. That means that you are not having any contact with her. You just said, you are all caught up in your father, you don't have any contact with her. Now this is not a matter of assigning responsibility, whether that is your fault or her fault, we are just talking about the way it is. And you are telling me, you are not aware of any contact. You are just seeing her as a non-living person. Right? That's right. So your mother in your image is a non-living person who is very effectively carrying out her duties. Okay, so where is your father sitting?

Cl: To my left.

Dick: To your left. And your mother is to your right?

Cl: Yes.

Dick: Okay. Your father is to your left. Just what is he doing? What do you see him doing?

Cl: On the physical level, he is eating slowly.

Dick: On the physical level he is eating slowly. What seems to be his mood, his affect, his vibration as he eats slowly. Just look at him back and forth in this second. Again I don't want you to evaluate your father over a period of time, just this one moment where he is sitting there eating slowly. And that might be totally different than what he was like for ten years before that and for ten years after. It is this image that counts. It is all we are looking at. So you don't go back and forth in time. Don't try to figure him out. Just look at the image and tell me your impression.

Cl: I am definitely under his dominion.

Dick: I am asking you where he is at. I want you to be aware of how you keep doing it your way. You keep answering questions your way, which is OK with me, because it gives me the opportunity to point it out to you. I ask you what his vibrations were and you said, I am definitely under his dominion. There is this tremendous need you have to define the question, not to answer the question as asked but to answer some other question that you somehow define. This is your central problem. It is called Upward displacement. That is what we are working with. I am making no secret of this. And I told you that I would point out to you again and again and again how you actually live it out: "If we are going to do this, we are going to do it my way, or we won't do it at all." And you keep changing it on me, and that is Okay with me. In fact, it is great. In fact what I want you to do now is to deliberately change everything. Everything that I ask you to do, I want you to respond to it, but to deliberately somehow change it so you are doing it your way. Do you got it? Is it clear?

Cl: I am not going to say yes, but I'll say, I think so.

Dick: Ah, you are doing an excellent job. Congratulations. You are doing exactly what I want you to do. That's it. You are doing it. And I want you to keep doing it. I want you to keep doing it. So this is an excellent start. You started out right at the start with, you know, sort of getting the upper hand on me. That is Okay, so that you can experience it, otherwise you can't experience it.

Now, your father is eating slowly. Now you have told me that you are under his dominion, but now I am asking you the question, "What are his vibes? What do you see?"

Cl: Did you say vibes? What are his vibes?

Dick: That is very good. Yes that is what I said. Do you see what you did, you avoided answering me.

Cl: I was going to answer the question.

Dick: Oh, you have a good reason for it. That's right. That's correct. His vibes, or his vibration, or his affect, or his mood, or the impression that he leaves, but now try to find a way to not answer me as you answer me.

Cl: He is doing his normal, which is more subjective than objective. And the only reason I can say to not answer you is that he is doing something that he assumes and I am assuming with him.

Dick: Very good. Good. Excellent.

Cl: He is assuming that it is his table and I am his kid and sitting at his table, so it is never verbalized, it is just assumed.

Dick: You are doing a very good job. You are giving me a really keen, insightful analysis, but I didn't ask for an analysis of what he is doing, I asked what his emotional vibrations were, what his motor affect were.

Cl: He is playing boss.

Dick: He is playing boss. So that is not loving and caring either, is it?

Cl: Hell no. It doesn't have anything to do with that. He went to work, he made the money, he bought the food, so god damn it, we better sit there and appreciate it.

Dick: And what are the other kids doing?

Cl: My two older brothers are just ignoring him. He is just the asshole that provides the food. One is a year older and the other is three years older. And they couldn't care less about what he thinks.

Dick: And your little sister?

Cl: I don't pay attention to her. Not on this level.

Dick: Okay. Now this is the familial filter through which you look at life. In Eidetic Psychotherapy, we postulate that everyone is always looking through a filter at an unconscious level, and they don't know what the filter is. By asking you to describe the family like this, and how you see it, you are going into your own unconscious, and you came up with an image that is pretty much the filter through which you look at life.

Now let me describe that image to you and see how close it is.

This is an image of a family of five children and two adults and this family is characterized by a total lack of contact. That is the most characteristic thing you could say about them. A total lack of contact.

Cl: Uh huh.

Dick: The mother is not neglectful, she is doing her job as a mother and as a wife as she sees it, which is to take care of her family at this meal. So she jumps up and down and sees that the food is there, having prepared the food in the first place. She has done that very well. She jumps up and down and makes sure that food is always available. She takes care of the little one but she does this all without almost any emotional contact. She is doing her job. She is doing her thing, but there is no contact.

Cl: That's pretty good.

Dick: The father is playing a parallel role but he is playing the role of the boss father who is the provider. It is his job to provide this food that is on the table and he did that. and it is there and now he sits in his place as the boss. The boss. Your older two brothers are totally out of contact. They just think he is this asshole who provides the food. They couldn't care less.

You, yourself, are not in contact. You would love to be in contact with your father, but you are not. So even though you want the contact, the contact is not there. So you look at life and you see life as a family in which the rule is: no contact. That is the rule in this family. Not because somebody said it should be. Or not because they took a vote after discussion. That is the way it is in this image. This image of a large family in which there is absolutely no contact. Not necessarily friction or fighting. That may or may not come. But the essential thing is that there is absolutely no contact. There is a total avoidance of it. There is a total avoidance of it. And the role models in this family are the mother who is very effective in doing her job, and the father who is the boss, and things are done his way. Those are the role models. Am I giving you a fairly accurate picture?

Cl: Yes. The clarities you have set up are very good.

Dick: All right. Now there is a poem that I like to quote at this point, it is from the Rubiatt of Omar Kyam. He says,

"Ah love, could not you and I with fate conspire

to change this sorry scheme of things entire.

Would we not shatter it to bits,

and then remold it nearer to our hearts desire."

And of course, love, if you and love together could conspire with fate, you probably would change this sorry scheme of things. This image where there is no contact. I want you to drop the image. I also want you to also drop all your experience, all your knowledge of what your parents were like, all of that, and just create a new image, just make it up, that just fits your hearts desire. You are there, twelve years old. Show me an image of you and your family in a way you would most want it to be. The sky is the limit. It has nothing to do with what is possible. We will agree in advance that it never was possible. But the point is, what meets your hearts desire.

Cl: Do you want me to experience it or just describe it?

Dick: Please describe it so I can see it. Where are you all? What are you doing? And what it is like? And this is a made-up fictitious image of the ideal, of what would be for you the ideal.

Cl: I have experienced the ideal, not necessarily with my family, but with other people. We push back from the table, just a few inches. It doesn't matter. But just so the table brings us together. We sit back, we offer our hands out.

Dick: Yes.

Cl: And there is a connection.

Dick: Yes. Let yourself experience it, and let your tears come. You don't have to control them. Just let them come. That's right. Tell me one at a time. What is your father doing? What is your mother doing? What are you doing? What are your brothers doing? Go ahead.

Cl: There is eye contact.

Dick: Yes there is eye contact. Your mother now. Specifically, what is your mother doing? We will take your father next.

Cl: Having eye contact with the family.

Dick: With you, she is having eye contact with you and the rest of the family. Are you experiencing that?

Cl: yes. Acknowledgment.

Dick: Okay You are experiencing it. Good. Now, anything else that she is doing?

Cl: She is acknowledging that we exist as people.

Dick: And moreover that I exist as a person. And that I am part of this family and that we as a family see each other as people.

Cl: And then we dance together. The I and the We dance together. We merge. I am accepted as who I am, and my family is a unit.

Dick: And you feel that in this image?

Cl: My heart is open, and its dynamic, and I am allowed to cry. I don't have to keep my shield up.

Dick: And what is happening with your father?

Cl: He is looking at us and he is appreciative of his own personal experience. And he is holding my hand.

Dick: He is holding your hand. Let yourself feel that in your hand. He is holding your left hand isn't he, with his right hand. Just let yourself feel that. And perhaps he makes a little pressure, a little loving pressure.

Cl: And he is looking at me and doing the acknowledgment.

Dick: Right. right. How do you feel in your body right now? Just briefly. Just a couple pointers. Whatever you are experiencing?

Cl: My heart is open.

Dick: How does your solar plexus feel?

Cl: There is a distinction between one and the other?

Dick: Well, one is higher up. Your solar plexus is down below near your belly button.

Cl: Actually, there is only about two inches physical difference in them.

Dick: You are doing a good job, yeah.

Cl: Down by my belly button is my hara.

Dick: Yeah, how are you feeling right now.

Cl: I know my territory.

Dick: (to the group) Do you hear the avoidance? (yes) How he changed it. He answered a different question. He knows his territory. I didn't ask him that. I asked him how he was feeling. I am feeling this and this. You know your territory. Yeah, I'm sure you know your territory.

How does it feel to know your territory?

Cl: I can breathe through my heart.

Dick: Does it feel good?

Cl: Open.


Dick: But my question was, Does it feel good? There are only two words that you could possibly use: you could say yes or you could say no. Does it feel good? (Pause) Get in touch with how hard it is to do it my way and answer my questions directly.

Cl: Uh huh.

Dick: That is very difficult for you.

Cl: If I answered in the image of good and not good, it is totally an irrelevant question to me.

Dick: That is right. You just did a masterful job of getting out of that one. That's terrific.

Cl: Yeah?

Dick: Yeah. You are doing very well. I just want you to be aware of how: do it my way or not at all. And come hell or high water, you have to change it a little bit, because when you change it, then it is your way, see?

Cl: If I answered you, if it was yes to good, I would be bullshitting you. Because I couldn't care less if I feel good. To be good is totally irrelevant. (laughter from the group)

Dick: Ask me how I feel working with you. With you sabotaging me at every point. Ask me how that feels to me.

Cl: How does that feel to you to work with me?

Dick: It feels very good. You are doing such a superb job of demonstrating the point that I am trying to make. You are doing it exactly the way I would want you to do it. In my wildest dreams, he couldn't be doing it better.

Cl: I am keeping my integrity up.

Dick: You are keeping your integrity up? I don't know.

Cl: Well R. the lady that I live with, would say, N, you get hung up in your integrity, that no matter what happens, you keep your integrity. And I just wanted to know if that was pertinent to this.

Dick: I don't know. So open your eyes, come back here. Look around. Here are your friends. Look at them.

Cl: They were at my table when I was doing it. These guys, I have sat at a lot of tables where I held their hands a lot, so when I pushed back, not only my physical family, but my spiritual family could be included. And that made my father more unique, because he allowed my friends in. He allowed my life and he included my life in his table.

Dick: Now this is what I am suggesting to you to continue this work after you leave here. The way you continue it is to go back and recall that ideal image that you made when I said, "Make the ideal image." You came up with that image. Just recall it and just let it be there and just let it enlarge itself and just continue to be there. And just allow yourself to surrender to those feelings, the key word is surrender. Now think about that word. There are two words. One is to surrender. And the other is to be vanquished or defeated. Now I don't think you are able to distinguish between surrender and defeat. I think you would say that they both mean the same thing. You march out of the town and your troops all throw down their arms and you present your sword to the conqueror. And then say, "I surrender." There is a huge difference. Surrender means that you choose to give in, that is surrender. To be vanquished means that you do not choose to give in, but you are just overcome. That is defeat. The difference between defeat and surrender. And I think you have a problem that surrender feels like defeat to you. That surrender feels like you lose your integrity. You do not lose your integrity when you surrender.

Cl: But a parallel image would be when I asked you about trusting authority. If I give you my trust, I give you my authority.

Dick: You can give me your trust without giving me your authority. And you can surrender without being defeated or vanquished. In fact, by surrendering you can really come into your own. You can only experience contact by surrendering. That is what contact is. And the contact is the great need. I was very deeply moved by this work. Your great crying need for contact. The way is not to think about it and figure out how to do it, the way to do it is just take this familial image where you are really in contact, with everybody, where your two older brothers come in contact, and make it up. The hell with history. You see what I am saying? So thank you very much for working with me.

Cl: Thank you very much for sharing. I am very appreciative of this experience. I have heard a little bit of it on your tapes. I have watched the two experiences yesterday. When I am out there in the audience, I had one experience. Now having gone through this experience, what you are doing, and what my experience is of you; I didn't know how to put into perspective your ability to guide. I got hung up in those words, I didn't know if you were talking too much or dominating or whatever. I didn't know. These are things that I wish I could have said to my father, I appreciate the path that you have taken, and your ability, your talents, and your day to day things and how you can turn that into wisdom. And to be able to actually demonstrate that with me, and share it with the group, I, as you can sense, I have no need to snow you, but I need to share appreciation, this moment, this time that we have had together and I just appreciate it.

Dick: Would you like sharing from the group?

Cl: Yes , but I would like to have the next person work first and then I want to have time to let this sit.

Dick: What are you doing? I asked if you wanted sharing from the group?

Cl: Yes, but not first, but maybe if it fits in, we will do it later.

Dick: That is your way of doing it. That is not the way we will do it.

So you don't want sharing right now. I do.

Q: Wonderful lemonade.

Dick: The rule is: "If you can't lick them, join them".

Q: N. said that you lead so well, but it is how well you follow.

See also:Eidetic imagery