Preamble: It seems to be a lovely ritual now, but when I’m in my little country cottage in the wilderness of north Wales where I live (when not in the City), I like to draw aside with some of the questions asked of me during the week.
At those moments, very early in the morning and before breakfast, I walk about a mile to my favourite location, sit, gaze from the rockface to the vista spread before me, and initially remain silent in awe and meditate, like the Anamcara [literally, ‘sould friends’] before me.
After sometime, I read the question(s) put to me that week to myself, and wait, and rest in complete silence, and ponder.
Awen or inspiration seems to drift upon the wind in this country, and when an answer comes, I record it on my trusty handheld recorder for later transcription. Any train of thought, then, is not interrupted by writing.
I hope the answers I give help the questioner, as I certainly benefit from the clarification each question gives me. In this way, I believe, we all benefit, as ‘iron sharpens iron’, and are blessed.
Ah, this week’s selected question…
Question from a discerning person: You’ve mentioned, Tadhg, using imagination for growth and maturing. I’m finding it difficult. The imaginal exercises – that I did with you in one-to-one sessions by Skype worked well – but in daily life I still find myself getting really annoyed, getting upset by events, and though I’ve been part of an organised religion for years, I really am immature sometimes. Help!
Answer from Tadhg: There are probably a few things going on here. When using imagination or creative visualisation to enter that imaginal realm to interact with your ‘self’, you’ll probably remember I talked about several ‘yous’. Yes, you are a wonderfully, complicated being.
‘You are fearfully and wonderfully made.’ Sacred Text
For brevity sake, imagine that there are two ‘inner’ yous.
- defensive person, and many like to see him/her, in their minds eye, as a funny character. His/her role is to protect you, to encourage you not to take risks, and if others upset you, his/her role is to make you feel better by (usually)blaming them. You could call this the lower or ‘small self’, and there’s the,
- noble you. Maybe shyer, quieter, sometimes elusive, but also so strong and powerful, able to stand still and stand tall, whose character is peace and love etc. I like to encourage clients, when in that imaginal realm, to see this as a being of light, and you could call this a ‘higher self’.
The challenge in daily life is to whom should you ‘listen’?
It seems our default position, in our daily life, is to listen to the ‘small self’, after all he/she has done us proud over the years and is surely a friend, if somewhat ‘small-minded’ and limited. And there’s the clue.
If you need a quick and limited response, say, to avoid a car crash or avoid somekind of danger then the ‘small self’ is perfect and will serve you well, and will give you a quick and decisive reply (and response) to get you out of trouble. The ‘small self’ is great for quick-fixes, but is lousy for a mature response and growth.
What to do now? For a more mature response, I would suggest that, when appropriate, that you spend more time in that imaginal realm in the company of a ‘higher self’, and there are various techniques we can both explore at your next one-to-one session with me.
The ‘higher self’ is whispering to you softly in the silence between your thoughts.
Also, in daily life, you can (when safe and appropriate) ‘day-dream’ or meditate (the way we explored some weeks ago) and so be in contact with a ‘higher self’; and so, bit by bit, that calming, mature nature will grow. When you want that ‘higher self’ energy and response you can also ‘affirm’ (by using an outward physical action to obtain an inner, beneficial reaction).
‘…though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day…’. Sacred text.
The feeling of not making progress arises when we try to obtain a ‘higher self’ response from the ‘small self’. As some say, ‘it aint never gonna happen’.
If you can think of the ’small self’ as a child, and the ‘higher self’ as the adult then it makes sense. It’s no good expecting adult behaviour from a child, nor answers about complex mathematical problems from them.
And yet, many try to ‘redeem’ or change the ‘small self’, and expect more from him/her than it can deliver, and it doesn’t work. The poor ‘small self’ doesn’t have the capability to give you a ‘higher self’ response. Don’t confuse yourself by working with the ‘small self’, when you need to be working with the ‘higher self’.
All the great teachers have left a similar message: Go within, discover your invisible higher self and know God as the love that is within you.
I would suggest you work with the ‘higher self’ in the imaginal realm, when it comes to growth, maturation and transformation.
Please note: All questions asked will receive a reply directly, but one, anonymised, question will be selected from time to time and appear here with my answer. If you have a question, do please ask. Tadhg can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, if you have any comments or thoughts about today’s topic, please do share.