Having started to spend time with Lucid Dreaming lately, I wanted to take a moment to review the multiple ways I have found to effectively tap the unconscious mind in order to review our base beliefs about the world.
I will review them from (in general) hardest to easiest, with some comments on each.
Breath Therapy. Yeah, I did this twice, and it was very cool. My guess (and it is only a guess, people) is that it is like taking drugs without taking drugs. While I did ultimately tap my unconscious, it seemed to be more like a movie, and not a productive way to control the process of communicating with the unconscious mind. I also found it very uncomfortable.
Hypnotherapy, which I tried for about 10 sessions around twenty years ago, then again about ten years ago, seems to allow others to access my subconscious and communicate with the unconscious mind (I use the two interchangeably). While I did find it somewhat effective, in both cases it was used to plant productive thoughts into the subconscious, but not to allow my subconscious to communicate it’s thoughts. The upshot was that any change to my action was only temporary. I would think that a more effective way to use hypnotherapy would be for the therapist to share with you what they find when they query the unconscious mind, since in a hypnotic state they have access to this information. Based on my personal experience, it seems that this aspect is not the priority for this technique, but perhaps others focus more on this aspect of things.
Dream analysis, involves a wealth of knowledge of dream symbols and other people’s dreams, to do absolutely correctly. I have yet to really try dream analysis, since it really needs a therapist to help you with, due to the background information that is needed, but I do hope to start this over the next few months and see what I uncover about myself. One thing I will be weary of is that the analyst bias the meanings of my dreams using their own world filters, which may be very different than my own. (Having said the above, I do think that one CAN do their own dream analysis and probably have decent results. I have certainly done this, and would encourage others to do the same. However, again this is one way communication from the subconscious to the conscious mind.)
From there, we move into lucid dreaming, which allows the individual to actively communicate with his subconscious mind in the dream-state. This technique is very powerful, however, takes a lot of work to do correctly. However, it does allow for two way communication, which is key in my mind for self-therapy.
The next method, Focusing, and relies on noticing a physically sensation of a sense of relief upon correctly accessing the unconscious. I have a full explanation in this post. This is a good tool to use in conjunction with the data gathered via the other methods.
The easiest method that I have found is to use Active Imagination. I talk about AI here, and is probably the simplest method, and the place I recommend people start due to its simplicity, ubiquitous, and ability for two way communication.
Wow, I had no idea that I have experimented with so many ways to access my unconscious mind over the years, until I sat down to write the post.
One take away that I did notice is that some methods involve another person, and I would think that overall a mix of individual work and work with another person (be it a therapist or even just a friend), allows for the maximum benefit to be derived overall.