Dick: There is no such thing as a confused person. There is only a person with a self image of confusion. And those people compound those images of confusion by judging themselves that it is wrong to be confused. By saying, "It is wrong to be confused. I am not a good person if I am confused." See if you can let go of those judgments. and as an experiment, allow yourself to feel confused without judging it in any way.. Tell me, can you feel what the confusion is like, not what you are confused about.
Cl: Like continental plates moving apart.
Dick: Now I don't think the earth makes a sour face and says that this is terrible. I think it says that this is just a happening. So instead of giving in to the semantic reality that this is a big deal, just begin to experience it as it feels like. Replace your apprehension and your self condemnation with an attitude of curiosity, just pure old curiosity. What is that like, looking at confusion with curiosity instead of any judgment? And without any kind of opinion about its value, just see it as something. We call it confusion. ....... Is it pleasurable?
Dick: Experience that. ...... You have been taught that if you were confused, something terrible would happen, and now you are experiencing it and it is pleasurable.
Now confusion's first cousin is ambiguity. Ambi is her first name. Guity is her last name. Ambiguity, and you know what ambiguity is, don't you? It means a thing can mean more than two things or two different things at one time. And that is a reason that cousin confusion comes around often time because ambiguity is always there. What are you experiencing? ......
Well I will tell you something about ambiguity. she is the cousin of confusion but she has got a brother, a twin brother. His name is Para, Para Dox, and the twin brother of ambiguity is paradox. which means that two things appear to be true and contradict each other, that is a paradox. Remember Gilbert and Sullivan, " a paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox (singing), So sometimes it looks like confusion is being called in by paradox and sometimes it looks like confusion is being called in by ambiguity. And there are some remote relatives, but they all belong to the same family. Like there is Relativity. Which means that some things are true sometimes, and not true other times. That usually call in confusion too. And probably the only way someone gets comfortable with confusion is to stop judging it as being something bad and see it as something that is called in whenever the twins are around of ambiguity or paradox, or where two totally opposite things are true at the same time. And there are the other cousins that are around like relativity., which means that things are true in one context but not in another. N, what are you experiencing?
Cl: The plates are broken through into space.
Dick: So you are expanding your awareness. Let your energy awareness expand to infinity as I count from one to twelve. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. This is what Robert Monroe calls Focus twelve that you are in now. It is beyond focus ten in which your body is asleep and your mind is very clear. your body is still asleep and your mind is clear but now your awareness expands to infinity. It stretches out in every direction, left, right, front, back, up down, infinitely. Just feel that, the incredible vastness. And you are in the center of it because you include it, and all infinity is inside you. And of course infinity contains everything that ever existed or will exist. And you are in a position to send out a question and receive back a sign. Say, "Give me a sign
Cl: Give me a sign.
Dick: Give me an insight.
Cl: Give me an insight.
Dick: Give me a lead.
Cl: Give me a lead.
Dick: How can I win through my confusion?"
Cl: How can I win through my confusion?
Dick: And send that question out into that infinity and open your heart with gratitude and take whatever comes back, whether thought or memory or image, sensation, or feeling and take it back and receive it with gratitude. (pause), and I will count you back from twelve to one which is ordinary wide awake being in touch with the here and now. 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Cl: I am slightly skewed.
Dick: Is that confusing to you? (laughter)
Cl: I allowed the universe
in and it came in and was a part of me. And I am not holding it
in here but I was into the mechanical part of it. And then it
started going in and out, and it just became so that it could
come there and not contain it.
Dick: ...... the relationship
between depth perception and schizophrenia. he would give him
a test that rated schizo and then he hypnotized them and told
them that they were going to lose their depth perception, done
over several weeks, and then he would give them the test again,
and then restore them to normal depth perception. He found with
these tests that when they lost depth perception, the schizophrenia
went sky high. I never knew until I read that article why he (Fritz
Perls) would make us look so far away. He used to tell us that
mystical insight happens most commonly at the seaside, in the
mountains and in the desert, where you can see vast distances.
.......and so metaphor has been used for may years in teaching. And teaching stories are related to that. You all know the importance in the Bible of parables. Those are a metaphorical way of teaching. But let us look at what a metaphor is. Do you know the difference between a metaphor and a simile. A simile is based of similitude, something is like something, or resembles it. Now metaphor is radically different. It is in the same ball game, but it is way out of the park, so to speak. A metaphor says that something is something. It is not based on similitude but on identification. Those are the key words and this is a very, very important difference. A simile simply means similar. Meta and phor, two words, meta meaning beyond, over, greater, beyond; and phor meaning form. Metamorphosis (is a related word) which is changing forms. It means two forms are the same. Thus when the lover says to the beloved, "Your eyes are like stars, your teeth are like pearls," he is drawing a comparison. But when he says, "Your eyes are stars," or "the stars of your eyes," he is not saying they are like stars but that they are stars. In reality, they are nothing alike but he weaves them together. In the metaphor, we join two unlike things and say they are the same. There are some interesting observations. There are some difference between similarity and identification. The primary distinction in therapy, and I am working with you as a client and I am going to use comparisons, I am appealing to your understanding. When I use the metaphor, I may think I am just illustrating similarities, but I am not. I am giving you an experience. Explanation gives us the meanings of things, so when I say this is like that, you see the similarity, but when I say this is that, you are more likely to have an experience, and it is experience that brings about change, not so much understanding. Understanding can make us more comfortable with change, it can give us hope of change, and give us warning to avoid change of certain kinds. So this is not useless, but experience is what we really learn from, like they used to say in Kansas from time to time, "Experience is the best teacher."
Now we can go even a little deeper than this. What is the difference between an understanding and an experience? What is the difference between prose and poetry? between magic and science? It is the somatic experience, the body experience. The somatic response is what makes it an experience. I can help you understand something with a simile but with a metaphor I can help you to achieve an experience, and that experience is that by which I can change. People can use a metaphor and use it as a simile, appealing to understanding. The principle purpose of a metaphor is to give you an experience so that you can learn. You have often heard me say that this is the difference between an eidetic image and an image. The ordinary image will go from the image to the meaning and we call that symbolization: I had a dream, you know, and I drank some tea and the bottom of the cup was full of tea leaves, and that means that I am going to get a lot of money. "That means." That is the kind of treatment that you find in dream books and it is amazing how many people, including therapists, who look at dreams as merely conveying meanings, which is totally false. Because dreams convey experiences, and it is the experiences that we learn from. It is one thing to see something, and to experience it is totally different. So it becomes I-S-M. Image, Somatic response and Meaning. And it is that somatic response that we work with in eidetic image........
Some therapists use a metaphor to illustrate how original, and poetic and creative that the therapist can be. That raises a whole different point. He came up with the black cherry. So in using metaphor with your clients that are almost archetypal that you can impose, and you can impose them, you are likely to present them as similes, but you can encourage your client to start to feel it and convert it to an experiential metaphor in that way. But by and large you are going to have an experiential metaphor if you look to the client and pick the metaphor from what they are presenting to you. All you have to do is sit and let them talk and sooner or later they are going to say, "It is like a ..." There they are using a simile, they are trying to explain what it is like. and you say, "Okay, I want you to take what it is like and see it now." "It is there." "And how do you feel?" And it becomes a metaphor. The metaphor is an experience as opposed to an understanding. Yes. And much more likely to be effective if it is presented by the client. And so be alert when you are listening to your client for their metaphors. Don't rack your brain trying to come up with metaphors, which I think is what is often suggested, that you should be so clever. Forget about it. ...
I use some metaphors that are very powerful. I often say, "Your consciousness is like a clear goblet. It isn't what you put into it. You can put a rare wine or pearls, or jewels, or you can fill it with something revolting like crankcase oil. But in either case the goblet is not what is in it. Then I make the application. I have this watch, but I am not this watch, I have this ring, but I am not this ring, I have these clothes but I am not these clothes. I have that car on the street but I am not that car. I have these thoughts but I am not these thoughts. I have these fears but I am not these fears, I have this personal history of trauma, but I am not this trauma. I merely have it, it is not I." Well that is a superimposed metaphor that I find is very effective to lead people into the experience. It is not to explain it to them but to lead them into the experience.
Exactly the same point is made with the Tibetan image
of the open sky and the clouds. And you say , "You are the
open sky, your thoughts are the clouds." And right now make
the experiment: experience yourself as the open sky and watch
your thoughts come up and disappear one after the other. That
is another use of the superimposed metaphor. And there are images
and metaphors and the metaphor is very, very close to the eidetic
image. So anyway, all that I woke up with in the middle of the
night, so now I blurted it out to you. Is that useful to you?
And stop trying to be clever and make up creative metaphors, let
the poets do that, it is their job. And of course what we did
yesterday was poetry, the black cherry, it was poetry of the first
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