Field Notes

Post-High Dreams: Cultivating Your Inner High Dreamer Self

June 30, 2019 - 0 Comments

Click here to listen to an audio recording of this Field Note:

 

As I suggested in the June Field Note, High Dreams are about creative imagination – and its cultivation and nurturance. They are also about an increasingly clear view of what your Dream is, where you are in relation to your Dream, what obstacles need to be addressed, learning how to address these, including finding the value in them, and how to step further into the overall process.

Beyond High Dreams and most central to the process is development of your High Dreamer self. I suggest to you that as a true High Dreamer you are in a process of becoming increasingly honest with yourself and the world, along with becoming increasingly clear about who can hear what, what is beneficial, and what requires different timing and/or careful wording. Often when I see someone who is looking for ‘what to do,’ the hope is that by finding the right thing everything will then be fine. It is now evident to me that knowing the person you are at your core, your High Dreamer self, is the way to discovering your Way.

H. E. Davey, the author of The Japanese Way of the Artist, says that the purpose of the art is the perfection of the artist. For the High Dreamer, the pursuit of the Dream is in the service of perfecting the Dreamer. What might this mean and what is involved? Here, we are not taking an end-goal and results-oriented view of ‘perfection.’ Rather, this idea of perfecting suggests a process orientation, which means viewing where you are currently in your own development and the development of your dream and where you are in relation to moving towards your dream. Thus, High Dreams are viewed as platforms for development and growth – about your growth and the growth of your dream as well as ends in themselves.

Again, the process is one of identity development. (To note, I have written quite a bit about, and referenced, identity development in my previous Fieldnotes.) This is not identity in any fixed way. You may rightly ask to know: how do you identity what is not fixed? Isn’t that notion an oxymoron? Yes, it would be, if we are talking only about identity as an end result and finished ‘product.’ What I am talking about is the process that we go through in creating an identity, and this process needs to go on, as you being human lead a highly complex life that continuously goes through multidimensional and multiphasic transformation: identity-in-flux. Buddhist and Daoist ideas of emptiness, which is best interpreted as ‘openness’ in the present context are very useful. In the container of such emptiness/openness, you come to see your egoic structures (sub-identities) that are constricting optimal expression of your life force as well as the vast possibilities of transforming these structures. In fact, you can think of your High Dreamer as one who represents or personifies this emptiness/openness! Emptiness/openness contains the dreams of infinite possibilities of you!

Hence, a central aspect of working with your High Dreams is identifying and embodying your High Dreamer identity: that is, getting to know who the High Dreamer within you is. I recommend that you proceed with this, without being hampered by thoughts about what is possible and what is not. You can Dream absolutely anything. This is also a process of getting in touch and working with your creative and imaginative self. Test and experience your ability to ‘think outside the box.’ Being outside the box in your way of being is in the service of living a creative and fulfilling life. However, even living creatively and consciously within the box can shine a light on great possibilities.

As part of the process of working with your High Dreamer, accessing your Low Dreamer is also crucial. Your Low Dreamer is mostly filled with thoughts and feelings that have worked against your Dreams. However, the usual process of eradication, or at least attempts to do so, is the opposite of what is recommended here. In fact, living fully into your Low Dreamer self opens the doors to Inner Alchemy: the creation of psychological gold out of the base materials of your inner Shadow, the dark aspects of your unconscious. Invariably, the Low Dreamer has a good intention and is, as it turns out, unskillful with how the message is delivered and the practice is undertaken.

Below are a set of High Dream exercises that were part of the recent High Dream workshop that Heesoon and I conducted. Hearing from some participants that they wish to revisit the exercises we did in the workshop, I am including these here for them, and for all readers of these Field Notes.

 

High Dreams: Practice and Process in the Relational Field

Exercise 1:

Take some time and space. Then imagine whatever your current High Dream is. Take your time with this. Flesh it out as broadly and deeply as you are able by imagining the self that embodies this high dream. This imagining is as much as possible in the four dimensions of thoughts, emotions, sensations, and life force/spirit/energy. What thoughts occur? What emotions are present? What body sensations are in your awareness? What is your experience of life force energy? Do the same with your Low Dream self. As much as you are able, bring these identities into being and become them. Do it at whatever level you are able. It may only be in one of the dimensions. Whatever you can do is a good start. No matter what you do, and no matter how incomprehensible it may initially seem, it is still a good start, and ‘staying with it’ will almost certainly reveal further knowing about your authentic nature and your greatest life possibilities, and your personal life history and patterns that were formed from early days in the interests of survival and protection, and did not mostly include the possibilities of high dream fulfilment and being.

Make use of four dimensions of being (thinking, feeling/emotions, body sensation, life energy/essence) when identifying the High Dreamer. Spend 7 or 8 minutes in your inner world; then share with another person (assuming a person is available; otherwise reflect on your own) for 5 minutes.

Exercise 2:

Actively search for the low dream and the low dreamer and the messages that are against the High Dream, again feeling this identity in the 4 dimensions. Do not dispute with your Low Dream self; rather be very affirming and validating of this reality. Help the Low Dreamer to be recognized, and, if possible, to be valued.

 

You can share as indicated in exercise 1 depending on circumstances.

Exercise 3:

Work with dialogue development between the High Dreamer and the Low Dreamer. Facilitate their relationship. Embody both sub-identities. Do your best to be both identities in your inner world and imagine some dialogue and connection emerging. Allow/facilitate the High and Low Dreamer to find some common ground. Feel the associated emotions and body sensations. Feel your life energy. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you are able to do this. Your interest is to facilitate the relational field development. If issues of conflict and/or rupture show up, allow these to emerge as a part of the process. Acceptance of how the relational field actually is, is an important part of the process in your inner world, just as it is in your outer/relational world.

 

You can share as indicated in exercise 1 depending on circumstances.

Exercise 4:

Now become the best possibility you can manifest of the integration of the high and low dreamer, and allow this integrated dreamer to conduct a dialogue with another dreamer. This is a process of discovery for both of you. Particularly work with being the best possible partner; the partner that is reflective of your imagination of what your partner would most like in terms of connection and support.

 

You can share as indicated in exercise 1 depending on circumstances.

 

Summary

It is quite possible that these exercises will open up more questions than they answer, and confusion may emerge. You have the opportunity to witness your own process of working on opening your creative self, and the potential for living and your way of being in a more creative and alive way in the moment – and each moment of each day.

Feel free to post any feedback or questions, or to contact me directly.

We are currently germinating the High Dream of a series of multi-dimensional relationship workshops. The Dream for the next one is about relationship beyond the egoic paradigm; perhaps post-conflict and in the zone of clear seeing and being (well, at least increasingly so, and more frequently).

As always, many thanks to Heesoon for her support with creating and presenting the workshop, and this Note.

Field Notes will be on a summer break in August and September and will return again in October.