I’m often surprised how a strategy for sorting out some personal issue becomes clear after sleeping on it. the advice to sleep on it has some truth behind it. The same applies for coming up with a new perspective about something on my mind.
The ideas that sort out some uncertainty must come from the working of the unconscious mind, that 90% of our brain activity we have no idea about. And that dark brain works hardest -uses the most electricity – when we sleep.
The idea becomes conscious to me as if from somewhere else, not from my own thinking. When I was younger, and I had some issue that bothered me, I’d go to a movie and by the time I was leaving the movie theatre, I’d have resolved at least the emotional side of the issue concerning me.
Since 1983 when I was required to keep a journal of my experiences for two summer counselling courses at UVic, I have continued writing in a journal. I kept the journal with me all those decades writing millions of words. It was the writing, my medium, something I was able to do even at the most challenging and lowest times of my life, the writing that kept me sane.
The journaling and the movies got the question I was wresting with outside of me, and that gave me perspective, and I was able to manage myself and make good choices.
It would seem then that the activity of my dreams and of the unconscious mind are as well an experience I could say were outside of me. That leads to wondering if the unconscious, busy inside our skull, is really our Self or is it something else other than us. Jung spoke of the collective unconscious. I won’t pretend to know what that represents, but the idea of it is in the name. It’s not an individuality exclusively.
The clarity of thinking I awaken with at times doesn’t seem to come from me. It feels it comes as a gift, from somewhere else. Many creative people speak this way about their work; it appears before them, comes to them from somewhere else.
Early indigenous peoples have in their cultures a visioning, a seeing, sometimes through controlled and ritualized use of hallucinogens. Let us acknowledge they are wiser than us, for one living as a people within their tradition for thousands of years. Second, they are far closer to the natural world, converse daily with the natural world, often contending with the natural world for their lives. West Coast indigenous sea peoples go into trance in the winter to communicate with the whale calving in the southern hemisphere. A whale will offer itself to them and in the spring in a deeply ritualized and spiritual undertaking, will go out in their craft to meet the whale at a designated place, to receive its gift of life for sustaining their lives.
The unconscious we all possess seems to be that seat of wisdom and seeing, seeing into the future which is what sorting out my amounts to. I am imagining the best possible future and in the morning it is revealed even through it is in the future. The mind has determined the best course of action that lays ahead of me.
It’s not something we do in this culture: listen to our wisdom, trust our own wisdom, paradoxically a wisdom in its hiddenness that seems outside of us, to which we surrender, trust. It’s a wisdom of clarity; we know what is right without question. There’s an elegance to our resolve.
In effect, to live my life wisely, I do not trust the conscious determination of my logical Self. As a wise person i surrender to the darkness, to the unknown, surrender as in sleep giving up all sense of empowerment, and to be that wise person I listen to what is not myself, allow the darkness to bide its time and show the way. I get to know what is unknown. Vision my life. Live within my imagination. Live within the consciousness that is of all things, knowing all things, knowing what I cannot know my Self.