14: Dream Sociogram Pattern Frequencies
Distribution of Pattern Types
When the criterion of degree of acceptance, degree of opposition and type of opposition are taken into consideration, three types of Dream Sociograms far outnumber all other possible patterns in this dream sample. Bipolar/bipolar patterns ( / ) are the most frequent category found in this series, (52%).Preferring/bipolar (+/ ) Dream Sociograms are the second most common pattern, (22%). The third pattern found in significant numbers is Highly Preferring/Preferred (+/+)* (14%). Preferring/Preferred groups comprise 10% of the sample. Only a few borderline examples of rejecting/bipolar (-/ ) Dream Sociograms are found. No examples are found of bipolar/preferred ( /+), bipolar/rejected ( /-), rejecting/rejected (-/-), highly rejecting/rejected, (-/-)*, indifferent/indifferent (_/_) or clear/clear* ( / )* Dream Sociograms. There are no examples of rejected element axis patterns: (-/-), ( /-), (+/-) ( -/- ), ( -/-)*. Only five of these fourteen possible categories have been discovered in this dream series.
The organization of the data in the following table is based on type and designation, with the preferring/preferred categories followed by bipolar distributions, followed by rejecting/rejected patterns.
Cautions Regarding this Data
A number of factors make this data extremely preliminary. The numerical value of scores is dependent upon:
– the number and variety of character, action and emotional elements listed across the top of the sociomatrix;
– the number and variety of choosers.
– The axis totals are dependent upon correct addition across and down; there are errors in these totals.
– The type of Dream Sociogram created is dependent upon both the accuracy of axis totals in the Dream Sociomatrix and accurate placement on the axes. There are errors in these placements in this data set.
– The percentage of each type of Dream Sociogram is dependent on all these factors; therefore, the above percentages are incorrect.
However, taking all of these sources of error into account, we can still arrive at approximate distributions, frequencies and varieties of likely types. Based on this highly tentative and approximate data, it is possible to make a number of provisional interpretations, which is what you will find here.
I apologize for these caveats. They generate many opportunities for you to improve upon an exploration that is in its infancy.
Treating the three element axes together ties actions and feelings to the fate of the characters that possess them. If characters are mostly accepting of actions and feelings but rejecting of each other, actions and feelings are categorized in such a way that attitudes solely related to them are not taken into account. If, for instance, a character dislikes most of his fellows but likes an action or feeling expressed by a character, this information will not show up in these categories. Consequently, only certain categories, those in which all elements present a similar pattern, ( / ), (+/ ) and (+/+) become highly likely. Each of the other categories demand unlikely relationships among choosers and chosen. Once these demands are set aside, as they are normally done in both waking and dreaming experience, other categories of Dream Sociograms become possible. This can be done within the context of Dream Sociometry by considering all axes but the Form axisin our categorization process, because the Form axis is the source of the contradictions that make many categories impossible in Dream Sociometry (but not in waking and dreaming experience).
This data basically reflects waking preferences in remembering and applying the Dream Sociometric method, so it remains psychologically geocentric. In this series there were nointrasocial groups without characters or actions, however, as we have seen, such a “group” could conceivably be created, (_/_)*, as a depiction of a clear state, such as empty wakefulness without any elements or preferences or as unconscious deep sleep, in which there is no chooser nor are there any chosen elements. We have also seen how the second creates an indifferent/indifferent (_/_) pattern, but in which there are no elements depicted in the central core of the Dream Sociogram, where they would be in a “normal” (_/_) pattern. This would be a pattern of complete unmanifested potential, prior to any self and therefore any self-awareness whatsoever. The first, the depiction of a “clear” state, would look like any configuration, but the difference would lie in objectivity regarding contexts, expressed as no preferences whatsoever. The contradiction, however, is that no preferences can mean either 1) the generation of no elements, that is no life, no beingness no nothing, no absence of beingness, or it can mean 2) a complete detachment without disassociation or decompensation in relationship to any and all patterns. It would be the first type that could conceivably produce a group without any elements or preferences. One would have to rely on elaborations in the commentaries to tell the difference.
Three dream accounts did not contain any feelings: Equine Cannibals, Sleeping Beautyand Subterranean Shootout. This is an example of error due to omission of critical elements, because it is obvious that in both Equine Cannibalsand Subterranean Shootoutthat fear not only exists but is a critically important element. Such omissions can lead to an incorrect categorization of an intrasocial group. The subjectivity and arbitrariness of creating Dream Sociograms, while not avoidable, can be reduced. The number and variety of elements included in the Dream Sociogram hinges upon each individual’s perception of his experience. While these choices can always be criticized in hindsight as partial and dismissive of important, forgotten elements, IDL emphasizes the state of consciousness of both the creator of the Dream Sociomatrix and interviewed elements, the growth in objectivity and lucidity derived from the examination of patterns, and the growth that comes from application of reasonable recommendations made by interviewed characters. Dream Sociomatrices will inevitably be partial and incomplete.
Those who are less aware of their feelings may find that they have less dreams with emotions or are less likely to record those feelings that they do recall. You will find that many previously unrecognized emotions are expressed both through the elicitation of preferences themselves while filling in the Dream Sociomatrix as well as in the elaborations of the various Commentaries. Many feelings are inherent to the experience of individual characters but is simply not recognized, at the time the dream is recorded, due to the psychological geocentrism of the dreamer. The discovery of important motivating intentions that were not part of the creation of the Dream Sociomatrix because they simply were not recognized is part of the value of Dream Sociometry.Compensate for this psychological geocentrism by including some emotional element even if you are an observer and experience no emotion whatsoever. Take a guess at what emotions might be depicted by the drama and include them in the elements you list across the top of the Dream Sociomatrix.
The Significance of Patterns Without Feelings
Strong character placements conjoined with weak affective placements are not unusual and probably indicate a cerebral, emotionally detached approach to the issue at hand. In such a pattern, interviewed choosers may express strong emotions but none are present in the choices of Dream Self, either by leaving out emotional elements, mis-stating them as something else, as in “sleepiness” rather than “anger,” or as emotional preferences that are weaker than other interviewed elements think is appropriate, as in under-reaction to a threat. While repression or denial may be at work, a more likely explanation is also simpler: we are simply not self-aware enough to recognize important elements of our own enmeshment in drama. Another possibility for non-listing of emotions is that they may be totally invested in the persona of the characters themselves rather than expressed externally (intrasocially) in character interaction. For example, devils may be presumed to be motivated by hatred and therefore hatred is not listed separately as an emotional element. If such is the case, we can expect to find strong recognition of non-differentiated feelings by characters in the Dream Sociomatrix Commentaries, as we do in Battle of the Flying Boats.
Significance of Low Scores, Low Ambivalence
Low scores on all axes without significant ambivalence may indicate little investment in the life situation expressed by the perspectives. Disinterest or apathy may be a key fact in this sort of life pattern (My Dirty Shirt). This may be an expression of a habit of thought or action that is so typical that it has become unimportant. Perhaps the life pattern is in the process of becoming more significant or beginning to require the attention of perspectives. An even less active pattern involves the total absence of elements on one or two axes and low scores on the others.
Such patterns can also be attributed to either an inability or unwillingness to identify with any interviewed perspective. Inability could be due to simple lack of experience with the process, a developmental lack of empathy, numbness, distractibility or general lack of awareness. Unwillingness may be due to afear of what may emerge, fear of loss of control or a favoring of other priorities than identifying with alternative perspectives on a dream or life drama. Consulting the various Commentaries will often clarify which of these possible motives is most likely.
- This data is highly tentative and is meant to stimulate further research, not to provide conclusive answers.
- A major benefit of Dream Sociometry is in the movement from unconsciousness to consciousness and then through levels of increasing clarity. This is a movement into increasing lucidity within the dream of life.
- Self-awareness is itself therapeutic, transformative and an act of creative synthesis.
Synthesis doesn’t have to be a fluke or an act of grace. It can be created by the intentional development of clarity, objectivity and empathy, core capabilities that are intrinsic to the creation of Dream Sociograms.
For each of the five levels of categorization (individual dream elements, individual character relationships, the intrasocial group as a whole, many intrasocial groups, intrasocial group patterns of different dreamers), there are nine major placements theoretically possible within the chart:
Preferring/Preferred: (+/+) All elements located on positive axes.
Preferring/Bipolar: (+/ ) All choosers on positive axis, chosen elements are of mixed placement.
Preferring/Rejected: (+/-) All choosers on positive axis, all chosen are on negative axes.
Bipolar/Preferred: ( /+) Choosers are of mixed placement, all chosen are on positive axes.
Bipolar/Bipolar: ( / ) Choosers are of mixed placement, chosen are of mixed placement.
Bipolar/Rejected: ( /-) Choosers are of mixed placement, all chosen are on negative axes.
Rejecting/Preferred: (-/+) All choosers are on negativeaxis, all chosen are on positive axis.
Rejecting/Bipolar: (-/ ) All choosers are on negative axis, chosen are of mixed placement.
Rejecting/Rejected: (-/-) All elements located on negativeaxes.
To these are added the following four theoretical possibilities:
HighlyPreferring/Preferred: (+/+)* All elements are strongly preferring/preferred.
Indifferent/Indifferent: (_/_) The only preference is indifference.
Clear/Clear: The only preference is the transcending of all preferences.
Highly Rejecting/Rejected: (-/-)* All elements are strongly rejecting/rejected.
While the first of the four, Highly Preferring/Preferred, has not only been observed but is in fact very common, the other three have not and imply very interesting states of consciousness, which will be discussed below. Due to the priority given to the act of choosing in relation to the state of being chosen, Acceptance axis placements are listed first for each category. Self-acceptance, as indicated by choices made, also takes a preeminent place in both development and integration. General characteristics of each of these categories as well as their application to one character or one Dream Sociogram are described below. Each of these possible combinations and the proportions in which each category was found in this sample is explained.
General Descriptions of Characters and Dream Sociograms
Some of the categories, such as “synergistic” and “highly accepting” apply primarily to interviewed characters and the intrasocial culture of the entire collective or holon, but others, such as “narcissistic manipulation” and “normal waking hypocrisy,” are clearly characteristics typically associated with Dream Self and waking identity upon encountering a particular pattern, whether it be social, intrapsychic or intrasocial. These assumptions, expectations, interpretations and reactions are perceptual cognitive distortions, projections and delusions that exist priorto interviewing and which normally go unchallenged and are therefore left to define reality in ways that create delusion and misery. They are generally reduced by immersion in the perspectives of the characters themselves and by repeated interviewing.
Characteristics of each of the fourteen patterns include historical representatives, humanoid, mythological, literary and non-human analogies, associated actions, world view, script position, affect, Drama Triangle position, defenses, stress management styles, favorite games, cognitive distortions and life sabotages, economic, political and, cultural modes, philosophy, stage of developmental dialectic, level of development, psychiatric concomitants, and usefulness. All of these can be applied to individual characters, this or that specific Dream Sociogram, or to Dream Sociograms in general.
Preferring/Preferred (+/+): “Highly Accepting”
(+/+) Preferring choosers/Preferred chosenplacements are found in non-rejecting and mutually accepting intrasocial groups. All dream elements either give or receive only positive preferences or, if there are negative or neutral preferences, the positives are stronger for all, placing every element on the positive pole of its respective axis. In the case where characters are listed along the top of the Dream Sociomatrix but are not included as choosers, these characters are also more preferred than rejected. Only positive Dream Sociogram axis placements occur for these groups. All choosers like, like strongly or love more than they are neutral, dislike, dislike a lot or hate. All choosers are themselves liked, strongly liked or loved more than disliked, disliked a lot or hated.
Description of a (+/+) Character
A character falling strongly into this category (+/+) tends to be nurturing, powerful and respected. In these groups we generally find several highly nurturing characters who express appreciation and supply a degree of wisdom which is at times almost frightening (for instance, Extraterrestrialsin ExtraterrestrialsDescend.) The caring of such members is not superficial. They are generally not speaking out of any desire to gain the approval of some other element. Instead, their comments are direct, to the point and clear. These highly positive characters are often non-human: trees, fish, mountains, sailboats or submarines. They may be human, inanimate and contrived, like a spoon or a natural element like a star or wasp. Because they speak with truth and love, there is a natural tendency to listen to and respect what such highly nurturing elements have to say.
Choosers in the (+/+) category usually prefer all the elements in the dream but it is not required; there may be rejections. On the whole, members of (+/+) groups remain supportive, but not invested emotionally in the group in a strongly positive way. Most characters will be well regarded by their fellows. Some choosers in these groups may not be highly nurturing; choosers may be largely neutral in their preferences or express little enthusiasm for any element and still generate this pattern, as long as the positive preferences outweigh negative ones. It is possible that a character will dislike some of his fellows, but this is usually not the case. Typically, choosers express few, if any, negative preferences. It is more common to find expressions of neutrality and least common to find strong negative preferences, strong dislike or hatred. How strongly specific choosers prefer particular elements is indicated by the individual preference patterns noted in the Dream Sociomatrix.
These patterns need not be positive. They can be extremely negative and a product of massive delusion and exclusion of vital dissenting perspectives. For instance, cults such as “Heaven’s Gate,” whose members committed collective suicide so they could rendezvous with a UFO they believed was following the passing comet Halle-Bopp, both accepted their deaths and the deaths of one another. When you live in a culture that tells you that bad is good and that death is life, and there are no dissenting voices, you are likely to believe it.
The (+/+) Dream Sociogram
A Dream Sociogram falling into the preferring-preferred category indicates inner integration and some degree of the synthesis stage of the developmental dialectic. Synthesis Dream Sociograms have a positive valence: the movement of their intention flows toward integration. This is because (+/+) Dream Sociograms manifest positive, non-oppositional awareness on all four axes. When centralizing and decentralizing processes are integrated through mutually supportive interaction and communication, telic integration exists. Integration is being directed by life in a more noticeable way, via the unique nature of one’s inner compass, as personified by generally accepting and nurturing emerging potentials. Interdependent and poly-perspectival development rather than psychologically geocentric development is occurring. This is significant or both personal development and human evolution.
(+/+) Dream Sociograms
Dream Sociograms falling into this category indicate a considerable proportion or percentage in this collection. Just over one fifth of the intrasocial groups in this sample fall into this category. The implication is that highly constructive and integrative life intentions are invested in specific life issues. It also implies that integration wants to assert itself intrasocially, particularly when almost half, 46%, of this sample has some form of positive emphasis on the Acceptance axis (combining (+/+), (+/+)* and (+/) categories). Examples of genuinely positive Dream Sociograms in this sample include: Moving Toward Health Education,Berry’s Praise, A Gold-Threaded Picture that Changes, Climbing a Mountain. These groups strongly support and reinforce related waking perspectives, feelings and behaviors. They contain neither strong bipolarity, indicative of inner conflict or ambivalence associated with confusion and fixations. As such, these intrasocial groups offer strong statements of support for particular actions, thoughts and feelings with which either waking identity has identified or needs to identify. There is inner support for and validation by intrasocial groups of directions pursued by waking identity. This is significant, because it indicates intracultural support that exists whether or not external cultural support does. Such support can make the difference as to whether we feel alone and abandoned in some direction or feel that even though others do not understand or agree that we are not only on the right track because we think we are, but because we have an internal consensus of support from perspectives that are healthy and nurturing. There are special uses to which these patterns may be put for resolving business, health, transpersonal development and interpersonal issues.
Summarization of Characteristics (+/+)
Basic Description: Characteristics of these groups include:
little or no ambivalence
strong positive profiles
All elements are on positive poles of all axes.
positiveAcceptance axis placements
Preferences are stronger than rejections on all four axes.
Historical Representatives:Identities that are widely viewed to be accepting and supportive but do not rise to the level of deities:Socrates, Confucius; St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis. It can include beneficent collectives like the Red Cross and Greenpeace.
Humanoid Analogies:Beneficent extraterrestrials and helpful deceased relatives or channeled beings.
Greek Mythology:Helios, Harmonia, the Muses.
Lord of the Rings:The Shire; Shadowfax. Bilbo and Frodo are not unconditionally accepting because they kill orcs, but their positive preferences outweigh their negative ones. Galadriel is largely positive although she has trouble controlling her power. These are in fact good examples of how (+/+) characters do not have to be perfect.
Harry Potter:Hogwart’s Express. Like Hogwarts itself, this train accepts Slytherins and dementors alike.
Non-human Analogies:Companion animals (dogs, cats as pets); the web of life; Gaia.
Associated Actions:respect, empathy, non-personalization, problem-solving, creativity.
World View:“I respect you and your needs and I can feel good enough about mine to be assertive in expressing them. I trust you and I feel you trust me. I can risk intimacy with you. However, this does not mean that I do not disagree with some of the things you do or say and even dislike them.” Solution focused, not problem focused. Avoidance of drama, but drama still exists.
Script Position: “I will treat you with respect whether or not you reciprocate, but in my experience, you probably will.”
Affect:Various degrees and types of nurturance, positivity and respect that may or may not be shared with Dream Self or recognized initially. Remember, this is affect that is generally not clearly disclosed until characters are interviewed. Positive affect does not have to rise to the level of love.
Drama Triangle Position: Whether or not individual choosers and entire collectives of (+/+) characters personify helping as an alternative to rescuing and drama, on one hand or mutual rescuing within the Drama Triangle on the other, must be determined by the Commentaries. It cannot be assumed that because everyone likes everyone else more than they dislike them and all actions are more preferred than rejected that preferring-preferred patterns are necessarily healthy or non-drama-based. You could conceivably have a group in which everyone supported some socially-sanctioned behavior, like killing animals or enemies or mass suicide, that other people would find morally reprehensible. However, your interpretations or judgments about the functionality, health and integration of these groups is largely irrelevant; what matters are the intentions of the perspectives themselves, which are typically disclosed in the Commentaries. If you strongly disagree with their values and preferences, consider asking the opinion of highly preferring choosers from previous interviews. Remember that your personal development is socially and culturally conditioned. What you find objectionable and repulsive may in fact support the development of emerging potentials that serve the priorities of life. Also, what is toxic or repulsive for you in your cultural and social contexts may not be toxic or repulsive for someone else, not for reasons of cultural moral relativity but because a particular collective of interviewed perspectives is supportive. Dream Sociometry teaches you to understand, respect and support multiple approaches to growth and integration that may well be at variance to your own; it is not about projecting your values and assumptions onto the experience of others.
Defenses:Consider the possibility of sublimation. If preferences seem too rosy to be real, challenge the character. Ask questions; be skeptical. IDL does not recommend that you take any perspective on faith.
Stress Management:Generally eustressful, meaning that stress is present, but that it is positive and constructive. For example, actions involving physical exertion may be present (Climbing a Mountain); sadness may be present (Jess’ Return). Characters that are not liked may be present, but in any of these cases, the positive scores are higher, which means that elements are placed on the positive axes. In A Party for Three Billionaire Musicians, Dream Self does not care much for “party” or “New York.”
(+/+) patterns depict accommodations to stress that are acceptable to all perspectives. While interviewed characters in Dream Sociometry are not asked how they score themselves in the six core qualities of confidence, empathy, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace and witnessing the way that is routinely done for the single character IDL interviewing protocols, their remarks in the Commentaries generally imply that they sore high in at least some of them. These choosers often disclose perspectives reflective of higher levels of functioning, with elements of the transpersonal often present, such as non-personalization, objectivity, clarity and confidence. If this is not the dreamer’s every day experience, then such extremely positive events are incongruent with his or her self-image and will either be ignored, dismissed as unrealistic or simply forgotten with the return to one’s habitual waking perceptual stance. Broader systemic eustress is being created as the dissonance between these two self-portrayals increases. If the gap is too great, that is, the characters could be expected to all score nines or tens in most of these six core qualities and the developmental chasm between your world view and that of particular interviewed emerging potentials is too great, the result is a rapid loss of the expansive state and broadened identity and a fall back into “normalcy.” Therefore, less extreme (“like” instead of “like a lot” or “love”) and mixed scores, that is, some rejection as well as neutrality, often provide more realistic and attainable emergent perspectives, representing developmental potentials that feel more sustainable. Consequently, state openings due to identifications with more modest expressions of acceptance are more likely to solidify into solid stage, developmental advances. Of course, repetition is extremely important. Regular re-emersion into identification with accepting perspectives reinforces your expansion into broader contexts.
Favorite Games: Preferring love and therefore tolerance over structure, limits and assertiveness. Confusing rescuing and helping.
Favorite Cognitive Distortions: Projecting your world view onto characters and the group as a whole. A common example is to think love is the answer for everyone because it is for you. Believing that perspectives that belong to characters are your perspectives. The problem with doing so is either taking too much responsibility or too little, of elevationism and grandiosity on the one hand or of reductionism and discounting on the other. Embracing the whole and glossing over everyday functional distinctions, stresses and conflicts is another common cognitive distortion associated with this type of group: “All is in divine order;” “This is the best of all possible worlds;” “Everyone is good;” “Look how noble and enlightened I really am.” Such cognitive distortions are much more likely to be found in Waking Identity and Dream Self than in interviewed perspectives, but there are levels of development at which such framings are actually improvements and therefore may be voiced by preferring emerging potentials.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Trying too hard; imagining that synthesis, positivity and acceptance are always better and preferable to thesis/antithesis, doubt, confusion and rejection.
Economic Mode:Acceptance as the preferred “money” or transactional mode. Acceptance as the preferred “food” or form of nurturance. Prosperity, abundance and generosity; non-ownership due to non-personalization; non-exploitation of resources or others. When this perspective is internalized by Waking Identity it may manifest as respect for human and environmental rights as a global imperative; redistribute income and resources; tax the rich. Such policies are often not wise and can indeed be counter-productive and those who advocate them are rarely stabilized at this level of consciousness. Nevertheless, such economic perspectives can be authentic presentations of (+/+).
Political Mode: Altruists; egalitarians; pluralists; advocates of human and animal rights; those who err on the side of the sick, old, young and poor; socialism; communism; Plato’s Republic, in which wise elites, similar to high-scoring emerging potentials, govern. The same caveats apply as with economic mode.
Cultural Mode: the arts; the six core qualities (confidence, empathy, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, witnessing.)
Philosophy:aestheticism; the Socratic triad; Spinoza’s monads; Marcus Aurelius’ stoicism; the Golden Rule.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic: Synthesis. While (+/+) synthesis patterns rarely pervade the entirety of identity but instead are associated with specific issues of concern to particular groups, they indicate congruence and coherence within and among emerging potentials invested in the life issues addressed by the intrasocial group. This coherence is similar to that observed in experienced meditators but it is accessed and achieved by a completely separate transpersonal practice, although effective meditation absolutely supports and provides inertia to this unfolding, which is why IDL advocates and teaches meditation.
Level of Development:It cannot be assumed that preferring-preferred is a pattern of enlightenment, as anyone at any age can generate (+/+) patterns regarding some specific and limited developmental line or life event/relationship, such as falling in love. Anyone can have a concussion, near death or mystical experience and access powerful, transformative synthesis integrative openings. While Dream Sociometric (+/+) patterns are associated with and tend to encourage greater clarity, wakefulness, lucidity and enlightenment, they represent access to transitional states, states that can and often are accessed in mundane (dropping acid) and religious ways. However, their main difference is both the consistency with which these states can be induced by Waking Identity by using Dream Sociometry, unlike meditation, drugs, religious rituals and positive thinking, and their subordination to waking control as a dream yoga and integral life practice. They also support responsiveness rather than reactivity, openness rather than reactivity, non-personalization and receptivity to other quadrants, both in self and the other, balance, coherence, harmony and inner peace. Therefore, attempting to generate more of these types of intrasocial groups is wise. It is also extremely valuable to attempt to carry the consciousness of this type of collective or context around with you through your habitation of your various daily social roles. This is done largely by identifying in waking life with the perspectives of those interviewed characters that fall into this category.
Psychiatric Concomitants:This pattern carries the strengths and weaknesses associated with late personal, vision-logic and multi-perspectivalism. The psychological dysfunctions to look out for that are associated with late personal include the rejection of those perspectives that are not accepting, egalitarian and pluralistic. That is, for example, the rejection of rejection. An expanded self that is not thinned or increasingly transparent is a grandiose self, one that is in love with its own ability to accept and its own acceptability. However, multi-perspectivalism in the absence of an intact sense of self can result in depersonalization and decompensation. While self-fragmentation is most unlikely, based on years of interviewing a wide variety of people with clinical issues, it is not impossible, particularly among those who are looking to force growth, openings or are tottering on the edge of reality testing.
Usefulness: (+/+) Dream Sociograms are constructive and reflective of growth and integration. They reflect a receptivity to emerging potentials and their internalization in specific ways in one’s everyday approach to mundane life events. Experiencing the acceptance of an unlimited variety of characters and objects breaks down categories of real and unreal, objective and subjective, sacred and profane, true and imaginary. This is a major way in which Dream Sociometry supports the development of transpersonal multi-perspectivalism. Accepting perspectives can be consulted for help in maximizing personality integration regarding life issues in which they are invested. The Beautiful Womanin Sleeping Beautyand Grace in Picking Grapesare examples of this type of character. Mutuality of choice, acceptance and synthesis are associated with these perspectives. With continuing exposure to this type of pattern this integrated sense of group purpose and direction becomes increasingly productive and reinforcing. Your waking identity will tend to take on the broader, open, accepting perspectives that are fundamental to the culture of these groups.
Becauseconflict resolution is not the priority of (+/+) collectives, this category supports the notion that purposes of intrasocial groups include but transcend the resolution of conflict. Their presence indicates that at least some intrasocial groups exist for broader ends than stress reduction. They imply that intrasocial reality is not inherently driven by adaptation, fear of death or loss of identity, as is most survival programming rooted in physical, emotional and psychological geocentrism, however, it does not discount those perspectives either. It is important that although we prefer these perspectives because they are positive and feel good, they are not inherently better or more important than other perspectives that do not feel as good and are not as positive.
Highly Preferring/Preferred (+/+)*:“Synergistic”
Harmoniais an attunement of opposites, a unification of the many, a reconciliation of dissentients…
Theon of Smyma
(+/+)* Highly preferring choosers/preferred chosenDream Sociograms are extreme examples of preferring/preferred intrasocial group constellations. Everything that was said above regarding preferring/preferred patterns is strengthened with this category. These groups contain little if any ambivalence and no bipolarity. The choosers like strongly or love most, if not all, chosen elements. Element placement is typically “floating” at some distance above and to the right of the center of the Dream Sociogram. Distance reflects the size of the group and therefore the number of possible preferences. It is that relative distance, rather than the actual distance from the center of the Dream Sociogram that is important, because distance is largely a function of the number of elements and therefore the number of preferences possible.
They contain at least one highly nurturing character and often several, that have the presence of a muse, a shamanic guide or a spirit guardian. These can easily be mistaken for genuine entities because of their wisdom, clarity, acceptance and the immediacy of their presence. They can feel more real than waking life and real people. In fact, to deny their reality does them and injustice and denigrates one’s own experience. Such figures can be consulted for assistance regarding waking concerns. The more that you do so the more you will come to recognize that almost any interviewed character can fulfill this role.
One of the most powerful statements of survival I have experienced occurred in a synergistic dream on 9/1/82. My best friend, Dr. Jess Young, an Arkansas psychologist and film producer, had been killed some weeks previously in a private plane crash. I had been hit hard by the tragedy and had done my share of crying. By the time I had the dream I had fairly well finished my grieving. In this lucid dream, I saw Jess and knew he was dead. He was returning to take care of some business and two relationships and to say good-bye. He had a comfortable attitude toward life after death. Although I cried and felt intense sadness in the dream, a deep sense of joy, happiness and love was also present. The dream and the subsequent Dream Sociometry I did created a synergistic Dream Sociogram pattern when I interviewed elements in it. The process served to heal and integrate my pain. In this group, Jess had several of the characteristics of a (+/+)* character. He was not afraid. He was not afraid of death. He was loving and caring. His purpose transcended his own needs. He personified a unity that transcends life.
I do not conclude from such experiences that there is life after death or that if it does exist that it in any way resembles my dream experience. Concrete thinking is a characteristic of the childhood of human consciousness, a mid-prepersonal level of development. What is important to me was the exposure to highly accepting contexts that carry markers of clarity, lucidity, wakefulness and enlightenment.
The problem with the perspectives of (+/+)* characters is that they tend to be so rarefied in their love and clarity that they are difficult to remember or relate to. The priorities of (+/+)* perspectives reflect more closely those of life and one’s life compass instead of your priorities, which means that they can be so elevated as to be incapable of integration, regardless of how much elation they generate. The greater the chasm between the two the more likely various forms of cognitive dissonance will prevail, blocking the integration and usefulness of these patterns, similar to the common problem people have with mystical, drug and near death experiences.
The (+/+)* Dream Sociogram
Every now and then we come across intrasocial groups that can be considered to be truly beautiful. They may be beautiful in the subjective sense of giving pleasure or they may be admirable in that they possess intrinsic excellence or perfection for us, like a mandala, a thoroughbred horse or the Socratic triune. Mythic patterns that transcend individual cultures, such as those dealing with death and resurrection, transcendence of pain and particularly those associated with sacred motifs, are beautiful in this sense. Mystical experiences of oneness that bring epiphanies of acceptance, joy and freedom generate harmony and a sense of inner peace that is transformative. All of these rare, highly attractive and synergistic awarenesses, emotions and experiences are commonly accessed in (+/+)* Dream Sociograms to one degree or another.
Highly synergistic life dramas and dreams may deal with patterns of triumph, of overcoming, of success. Some (+/+)* groups are involved in misleadingly simple pursuits. Picking Grapescontains a pastoral scene of abundance. On closer examination, it integrates a nurturing mother with productive work, alludes to taking flightthrough the inclusion of an airstrip and promises a rich bounty. The crop itself is interesting, because I rarely drink wine or eat grapes. It is easy and fun to speculate about what is intended, recalling Bacchus or the New Testament (water into wine; “I am the vine, you are the branches”). However, it is more self-empowering to simply go to the source and ask the grapes themselves: “We are bounty which is for enjoyment. We are the surplus of happiness that is coming to you because of your efforts.” Another example of earned enjoyment and pleasure is seen in
(+/+)*. Such group members often report satisfaction and completion in their elaborations. There may exist a considerable number of neutral preferences in the Dream Sociogram, but the strongest (+/+)* examples contain fewer neutral choices.
When I contemplate a synthesis Dream Sociogram, I sometimes get the eerie feeling that I am looking at the intrasocial equivalent of a molecular compound. The perspectives are the elements of the molecule and their preference patterns are the bonds between them. Could we, in some way, be observing the trying out of mixtures of compounds within ourselves, attempting to achieve those psychomolecular combinations that are most stable and suitable for building more integrated, higher order psychic structures? Is this the psychic precursor of cellular mutation at work? Following this analogy, no other structure will be as strong as a synthesis pattern, because bonds of mutual attraction are always strongest. That is not to say that combinations not involving mutual attraction do not have their place and purposes, just as they do in the mineral and biological kingdoms, nor is it to give too much reality to an atomic analogy.
(+/+)* Dream Sociogram
In this sample there are seven highly preferring intrasocial groups, comprising roughly 14% of this collection of Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms. What happens toconsciousness as the percentage of these groups decreases? Does problem solving deteriorate and reactivity increase? Are we more likely to react to stimuli with a General Adaptive Syndrome alarm reaction or to find ourselves stuck in long-term resistance to stress or to perceive ourselves as victimized, with energy reserves exhausted or to experience depletion, with pre-operational defensive strategies and prepersonal coping mechanisms prevalent? Are more relationships, bothintrasocially and socially, likely to be perceived as adversarial, necessitating defensive reactions? Is the externalization of stressors more likely, appearing symbolically through physical illness, interpersonal conflict, mental disturbance and accidents? Are we more likely to find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time? Is a paucity of synthesis patterns associated with isolation, withdrawal, fatigue and exhaustion?
On the other hand, what happens to consciousness as the percentage of these groups increases? Does creativity and problem solving improve? Does peace of mind and centeredness broaden and deepen? Does the ability to disattach from words and actions previously taken personally increase? Is there an increase in patience and the ability to follow through with wise and compassionate intentions? Is there a tendency toward disattachment from the drama of life, identifying less with victimization, persecution, love and hate? Are transpersonal resources and coping strategies more likely to present themselves in common, everyday situations? Are stressors less likely to be externalized, because they are met within? Consequently, are there fewer accidents, less illness, improved interpersonal relationships? Is there a greater likelihood that we find ourselves in the right place at the right time? Is there an increasing sense of connectedness, trust, rapport, intimacy, enthusiasm, spontaneity and vibrancy? This is my belief and bias, based on the responses of synthesis perspectives and on my own waking life when I have recalled few antithesis groups but a higher proportion of synthesis groups. I suspect that this will also be found to be true for others, but I have not done that research so it is only a prediction. I encourage you to perform your own experiments in your life and with friends and students of IDL and report what you discover.
Summarization of Characteristics (+/+)*
Basic Description:These Dream Sociograms are extreme examples of preferring/preferred intrasocial group constellations. Their characteristics reinforce waking attitudes, feelings and behaviors that are highly integrative, highly nurturing, constructive, spontaneous, creative, healthy, eustressful, aware, responsive and responsible. Characteristics of these groups include:
– no ambivalence. This lack of ambivalence reflects the relative clarityof the strength, power or force of individual choosers and the group as a whole.
– no bipolarity
– “floating” profiles
– strongly positive preferences: choosers like strongly or love most, if not all chosen elements.
– strongly positive Acceptance axis placements.
Historical Representatives:Sacred deities, messiahs, gurus, saints; idealized exemplars.
Humanoid analogies:Angels; deceased figures that possess transpersonal characteristics.
Mythology:The muses; Anyone who works for a while with their dreams finds clear examples of universal mythic patterns cropping up. We discover endless renditions of the heroic quest, the recovery of lost wealth, the discovery of the forbidden secret, death and resurrection. It is always pleasing to find one of these ancient themes reliving itself through us. On 8/27/82, for instance, I had a rendition of Sleeping Beauty,though unfortunately I was not astute enough to kiss and awaken her. The most important aspect of such mythic themes, when expressed within (+/+)* patterns, from the perspective of IDL, is that they encompass and integrate the complete dialectic of thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
Lord of the Rings:The elves, such as Galadriel, Legolas, Elrond, Arwen, because they do not physically age once they reach maturity and are not subject to illness. They are known for their wisdom, grace, fairness and harmony with nature. They are therefore personifications of transpersonal perspectives that are grounded as mundane, secular thesis.
Harry Potter:Dumbledore, due to his wisdom, compassion, courage, humility, humor and humanity.
Non-human analogies:Mandalas; chocolate, alcohol, (in their initial rescuing presentation); LSD, peyote, mescaline and other substances in their shamanistic context; orgasm; soul mates during the initial honeymoon phase of the relationship. These examples are meant to imply that synthesis and experiences of integration are not always healthy or beneficial. This is why IDL relies on a pragmatic epistemology and asks, “What are the results when I apply the recommendations of this interviewed perspective in my everyday life and dreams?”
Associated actions: Non-reactivity, lucidity, witnessing, multi-perspectivalism, suspension of judgment. Mystical and near death experiences are involuntary and total immersion in (+/+)* patterns.
Life Position: “I’m not just OK; I’m great and so are you!” In the waking world this type of life position is generally too good to be true. Consequently, we tend not to believe these experiences or in one way or another attempt to fit them into our world view instead of practicing listening to them in a deep and integral way.
Healthyskepticism toward extreme optimism and happiness is wise, because in waking life strong positivity is typically compensatory. That is, it is an adaption to deal with some significant deficit. Therefore, when we encounter a (+/+)* pattern, it is realistic to question its authenticity. Is it simply a statement of audacious conceit and irrelevant self-congratulation and delusion? The response to such skepticism in waking life, for instance the questioning by our friends as to whether our superficial and narcissistic new love is really our soulmate, is typically to “trust” or “have faith.” We often want to believe, not wanting to break the spell of unexpected profound happiness or to confront our own delusions. However, we do not have to be afraid that if we are skeptical of interviewed characters that they will change their minds or that their extraordinary clarity and acceptance will go away. It is not something for us to lose; if the character is a genuine emerging potential its nurturance, acceptance and clarity is intrinsic to the perspective of the interviewed character and, if pervasive within the collective, of the entire intrasocial holon itself. There is teamwork, mutual support and solid confidence that comes from luminous sources. No one is forcing these perspectives to make the choices they do; they lack the socio-cultural incentives and fears that generate the phony pseudo-life positions common to our waking perspectives. Authenticity is generally validated by checking the Commentaries and the opinions of other, trusted interviewed emerging potentials that have no connection to the collective in question. It is also validated, as always, by following the recommendations of characters and seeing what the results are in your life.
World View: Generally that associated with the dawning of subtle level transpersonal states, ananda, bliss, divine love, dharmakaya. It may therefore include, if authentic, characteristics of nirmanikayaand nature mysticism, including the absence of scarcity, abundance, connectivity, timelessness, spacelessness and cosmic humor. Do not expect all these qualities and experiences to be present, because the dropping of filters in these groups is contextual and not global, as is commonly the case with mystical and near death experiences. You will also find features of causal mysticism, samboghakaya and the non-dual in some of these perspectives, such as the absence of personalization, luminosity, the formless and awareness of the clear womb of creativity.
Accessing such perspectives does not mean that theirs is now your world view. This is a common delusion of mystics and near death experiencers. They assume that because they have accessed an experience of oneness, bliss and clarity that now their own consciousness, world view and level of development is the same. This is like a visitor to Bali returning home, believing he or she is now Balinese.
Affect: These perspectives tend to be either highly loving, accepting and even blissful.
Drama Triangle Position:There are worse addictions than to transformation, transcendence and synthesis. However, as beneficial as such desires are, they remain forms of self-rescuing that can generate states of deep victimization, such as “the Dark Night of the Soul,” and the conviction that earthly existence is life in an asylum or prison. However, I am yet to experience myself or see a student or client get addicted to either a character or a (+/+)* group. Therefore, I think that this possibility is less likely with forms of IDL, including Dream Sociometry, than with other forms of higher order awakening that I am familiar with.
Defenses:Denial of relativism: “I have seen and know the Truth, Reality, the Way.”
Stress Management:Highly eustressful.
Favorite Games:“Let’s See If I Can Convince You I Know Your Truth.”
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:Black and White thinking:truth and illusion, sacred and profane, purity and impurity, acceptable and unacceptable, wisdom and ignorance. The Pre-Trans Fallacy, elevationist version. These are cognitive distortions of dream self and waking self, not of (+/+)* characters.
Favorite Life Sabotages:These characters do not normally interfere with life because they have little investment in it. Waking identity tends to proselytize, withdraw or justify immorality as crazy wisdom: “I have seen love, know love, am love and know all is love; therefore I can do anything because it’s all love.”
Economic mode: These characters value the manifestation of their intentions; therefore one could say their economic mode involves the amplification of highly accepting intentions. While waking identity is likely to value most highly oneness with bliss, divinity, freedom or enlightenment, these do not seem to be hidden attractors for most interviewed characters with high positive preferences. When these characteristics are believed to accrue to a self, generally the soul or atman, ego inflation, grandiosity and narcissism are the likely result. We think we have advanced in developmental level when we have merely had state openings or developed a broader cognitive model of life. Regular IDL interviewing is an excellent antidote to this common transpersonal psychopathology because our delusional self-image is repeatedly challenged by interviewed perspectives that possess the necessary objectivity we lack.
Political mode:These characters express their power through their autonomy and persistent embrace of priorities that are broader than our own. Power for waking self at (+/+)* is likely to involve emulating spiritual and philosophical heroes and advocating democracy, because collective, pluralistic decision-making is more flexible and adaptable and therefore more conducive to creativity, problem-solving and development. The power of these groups as a whole lies in their anchoring or grounding of experience in an authentic collective culture that is highly accepting.
Cultural mode:These characters are likely to score high in the six core qualities. Waking identity will pursue artistic, technical or aesthetic perfection in architecture, sport, breed, skill, competence, appearance, meditation, business, relationships. Contemplation of these Dream Sociograms is likely to amplify, expand and broaden the qualities emphasized by these groups; confidence, empathy, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace and witnessing.
Philosophy: Idealism in its various forms, although these characters do not seem to consider themselves idealistic. While we tend to view them as transcendent to the point of being unrealistic, they themselves rarely do.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:High synthesis; transformational; integrative. While the synthesis stage of the developmental dialectic is normally transitional and temporary, these interviewed perspectives demonstrate a permanent stability at what is synthesis or highly integrative in comparison to where we are, no matter how developed we may or may not be. What is synthesis for us is ongoing thesis for them.
Level of Development:There is a strong tendency to believe this is the “best” pattern and that the more of them we have the healthier we are. This, however, is incorrect. As stated elsewhere, but which bears repeating, development requires thesis, antithesis and synthesis patterns in the range of an 85%, 10%, 5% ratio. While (+/+)* patterns are strongly synthesis, there is no reason why thesis groups cannot form them and antithesis groups cannot transform into them. For example, groups that form dreamages are essentially reorganizing themselves to form synthesis or high synthesis collectives. You can test this for yourself by creating Dream Sociograms using characters, actions and feelings from your own dreamages and draw your own conclusions. However, remember that it is equally true that synthesis groups are typically, from their own perspective, expressions of thesis, just of a higher order, not synthesis.
As we shall see, there is a pattern that is yet more “positive” and integrative than (+/+)*, involving groups that generate large quantities of transpersonal neutrality. The fact that transpersonal neutrality is rare in this series does not mean that it cannot exist or does not exist commonly for others. IDL predicts that regular, deep and effective meditation should create an increasing number of intrasocial groups that tend in this direction.
Remember, however, that most people cannot tell the difference between normal neutrality and transpersonal neutrality. Therefore, err on the side of assuming that expressed neutral preferences are of the normal variety (indifference), unless there is very strong evidence in the Commentaries otherwise.
Psychiatric concomitants: It is important to remember that contexts that we are sure are eternal, unconditioned, free and all-nurturing have their own boundaries, for that is the nature of holons. The most we can say is that we do no perceive any limits, just as a young child might not perceive any limits on the power and freedom of adults. However, interviewed characters of this type do not seem to be concerned with whether their truth is absolute or relative or whether their beingness is eternal or ad hoc. When you possess only a transitional and imaginary identity you are unlikely to care much about issues of permanence. The result is that much psychopathology is thereby avoided. IDL speculates that waking identities that generate these patterns are more likely to experience high level health: brain coherence, enjoyment and happiness, confidence, resiliency, healthy relationships, life effectiveness, balance, flexibility and adaptability. However, Wilber has described the psychopathologies that commonly arise with the path of the yogis, saints and sages (nature, subtle and causal level mysticism) as well as the non-dual.
Usefulness: State transformations, including identifying with first this, then that choosing character while constructing the Dream Sociogram or possibly in the contemplation of an intrasocial collective in a Dream Sociogram, while by nature temporary and transient, are also by nature transformational. Such identifications can vastly expand your world view. While these experiences are state dependent and do not last, each experience not only generates more expansion, a residue of which remains, while doing so in a variety of mundane life activities, such as brushing your teeth or commuting tends to generalize these expanded states into everyday awareness. High synthesis intrasocial groups emit powerful positive intentions that you can feel as you work with them. The integration of all elements seems to multiply power, like a battery or transformer. The effect is more than the sum of the combined forces of the elements; it is synergism in action. Dwelling on these elements and on the pattern as a whole brings identification with the intentions that these characters personify for you in something reminiscent of Tibetan Deity Yoga but with dog turds in addition to Avalokiteshvara.A synergistic Dream Sociogram is a mandala expressing transcendence. The contemplation of its significance is therapeutic to waking identity.
Synthesis and synergistic Dream Sociograms are not necessarily associated with behaviors that are painless, easy, consciously preferred, approved of by others, practical or enjoyable. All synergistic life dramas and dreams are not peace and love. An overriding harmony can obscure the fact that birth, death and conflict are perpetually occurring on cellular microcosmic and social macrocosmic levels. Many types of healing do violence to the body or the mind; we are reminded of the concept in traditional Chinese medicine that healing is accompanied by pain.
Learning to Flyis an example of this sort of dream, strongly synergistic despite several rejected actions and some fear. There is no radical change in preference type or quantity from its beginning to end. The dream indicates a high degree of acceptance and ability to integrate intrasocial conflict. Apparently conflicting actions are perceived to be part of a greater unity that reconciles their conflicting behaviors. This is exactly what could transform ( / ) and (+/ ) Dream Sociograms if we could only step back from ourselves and see the underlying patterns which provide continuity and purpose beneath the strife in our lives. This dream is an example of how synergistic Dream Sociograms provide reassurance that integration in a stress-filled world is possible. They provide assurance that we can be happy and relaxed without giving up lively, invested lifestyles and risk taking. Fieldsays, “I’m glad (Dream Self) is practicing and getting the hang of (flying). If he falls he won’t get hurt, although he doesn’t know that. He really doesn’t need that silly chair to fly, but he thinks he needs something to support himself so that he doesn’t lose balance.”
Preferring/Bipolar (+/ ): “Solution Focused”
(+/ ) Preferring choosers/bipolar chosenplacements indicate fundamental nurturance and acceptance accompanied by dissonance in thought, feeling and/or action. Accepting/bipolar (+/ ) patterns were found in 11 intrasocial groups or 22% of this sample. That is less frequent than ( / ) patterns (52%) and at about the same frequency as nightmare antithesis patterns. It is slightly less frequent than synthesis and high synthesis groups combined (24%).
These patterns are referred to as “solution focused” because issues of self-doubt and self-acceptance, both intrapsychically and with one’s macrocosmic, social self, have largely been resolved, not globally, but within the province of the concerns of the particular group. This allows it to focus on the resolution of issues that are secondary or exterior to issues of identity, such as what to do, think or how to express feelings in a healthy, balanced way.
In onedream of this type, Lois Clubbing, I am listening to a conversation between my father, my step-mother and a friend. While preferences are not strong, they are positive with characters preferring one another. The perspectives gathered here like each other and themselves, but agree with only some behavioral choices while disagreeing with others. This is indicated by opposition on the Process axis.
The (+/ ) category of Dream Sociograms indicates life issues in which invested perspectives are consistent and accepting, but these perspectives are not always expressed in a consistent, harmonious or effective fashion in our behavior. We can draw this conclusion from the fact that perspectives, which are the more stable substrate on which actions and feelings act themselves out, are preferred while at least some actions and feelings and perhaps some non-choosing characters are rejected.
In Lois Clubbingthere exists basic group acceptance of the actions eating, talking, opinion and companionship. There is strong group conflict toward other significant actions, clubbing, single, looking for men. These conflictual actions, as well as two rejected feelings, acceptance and surprise, express the conflict that ties up the intentions of this intrasocial group in the attempt to address unresolved issues.
In Long Talk Show, only one rejected element, fear, keeps this group from synthesis. Behaviors of interest to the group are productive and effective. Attitudes about the behaviors are acceptable. How much more powerful would this group be if rejected fear did not drag it down? This intrasocial group pinpoints what it sees as the problem. Choosers appear to be much more focused on supporting success rather than understanding the fear. The implication seems to be that focus on successful behaviors will themselves extinguish this variety of fear over time. Whether or not this is a realistic expectation is unknown.
Does this constitute an interpretation of the dream? Yes, and it is based on the interpretations of multiple interviewed perspectives that are themselves subjective sources of objectivity. This makes this interpretation much more broadly based than those based on symbology, experts, dream group feedback or “intuition.” Does it tell us what the dream means? No. All we know for sure are the concerns expressed by this particular collective. Even if a character were to tell us what the dream or life drama means to them, there would likely be other perspectives who would subscribe to other meanings or none at all.
(+/ ) Characters
A character falling into this category is accepting of attitudes and perspectives personified by other characters but is less accepting of or ambivalent toward some character, action or feeling associated with the life issue. This is rare, because by definition this pattern is genuine self-acceptance, because you cannot accept other characters in Dream Sociometry without genuinely accepting the parts of yourself that they represent. Most people do not do this. They act like they accept themselves when they are accepting of others but are secretly self-rejecting in one way or another – they lack self-confidence, are self-critical, compare themselves poorly with others, personalize or believe others are judging them. Therefore, a theme of this pattern is honesty with self and others regarding conflict, but within a nurturing, accepting context. You may know people who can do this, however the ability to do so is rare and deserves both admiration and respect.
The (+/ ) Dream Sociogram
A Dream Sociogram in this category still indicates basic acceptance, like a (+/+) distribution, but with a lack of group agreement regarding feelings, actions or possibly regarding characters that are not choosers. To the extent that these perspectives are subsets of the dreamer’s own consciousness, he is largely accepting but partially undecided or inwardly divided regarding how he should feel, what he should do or what he should believe. Most likely, in this pattern, all characters are accepting of each other, which is the reason why basic self-acceptance is as genuine and strong as in (+/+) patterns. However, it is possible that there are characters listed only on the top of the Dream Sociomatrix as chosen and omitted as choosers on the left. If any of those non-choosing chosen are themselves rejected, the non-acceptance in this pattern could extend beyond behavior and affect to this or that rejected perspective with which one is identified. That is why this pattern is possibly indicative of less self-acceptance, yet is much more likely simply to indicate strong self-acceptance combined with discrimination regarding the acceptance of behaviors and feelings. This is a very healthy and realistic life stance because it is firmly grounded in personal level rationality. If we are healthy, we discriminate between actors and their actions, meaning that we can respect or appreciate the actor and dislike or protest his or her actions. Acceptance of unacceptable perspectives and therefore characters, is not a sign of health andintegration but of pathology. This is a reason why all three positions of preferred choosers, (+/+), (+/+)* and (+/ ) have to be approached with common sense. Synthesis is not always healthy. If you use love and compassion to welcome molesters, addicts or the criminally insane into your home you will probably rue the day. There are perspectives, behaviors and conditions that magnanimity cannot, should not and will not contain. This is not likely, because in our experience there is always some perspective that calls out the abuse, but it is definitely conceivable and those of the “love will conquer all” persuasion need to study their own patterns of Dream Sociograms and draw their own conclusions. This is one reason why (+/ ) patterns are more common and perhaps better pursued than (+/+) and (+/+)* patterns; the (+/ ) category implies a healthy injection of common sense. Look at (+/+) and (+/+)* patterns more as fortuitous state openings that propel development but are by nature rarities and are not meant to becomestatus quo consciousness until other patterns, such as this one, are mastered. (+/ ) patterns, on the other hand, are something humanity can definitely aspire for and there is nothing about them which is incompatible with stabilization in any of the transpersonal stages, including the non-dual.
In Learning to Flythere is considerable acceptance, with floating scores for five characters. Nevertheless, there is considerable disapproval directed toward crashand some rejection of accidentally and lean back. In addition, afraidis rejected. We see strong positive group intentions that would be stronger yet if fear and fear-based thoughts and actions were eliminated.
The more characters that are included in a life drama or dream as chosen, along the top of the Dream Sociomatrix and not also listed as choosers, the more likely you are to generate some category other than (+/+). Therefore, remember that lack of conflict can be an artifact of the selection process. This is why you need to take care to include antagonists and objective, observing characters that may not agree with you, when you create your Dream Sociomatrix.
(+/ ) Dream Sociograms
Dream Sociogramsfalling into this category indicate some doubt, confusion or indecision intrasocially. However, there is fundamental resolve regarding some direction. We can see this state of affairs in the Dream Sociogram for Learning to Fly. There exists common resolve that “learning to fly” is beneficial, but identified obstacles must be overcome.
It is unusual to find strong bipolarity on the Form axis in (+/ ) Dream Sociograms. The choosers are all fundamentally preferring of one another and placed on the positive pole of the Acceptance axis. This reduces the chance that a perspective will be strongly or consistently rejected. But there are exceptions to this principle. Class Clownreflects fundamentally accepting feelings regarding the presentation of materials to groups. But several elements mar the experience because they are yet to be recognized and accepted. One of these is the character elsewhere,a switch of lecture focus to another topic. (The new topic is the character elsewhere.) This is arguably a miscategorization of an action. However, if we go with the decision made by the dreamer at the time he created the Dream Sociomatrix, the implication is that the dreamer would be more pleased with his presentations if he would stay on his subject. This theory is reinforced by the fact that the action switch focusis also rejected by the group. The net consequence of such behavior is a feeling of disappointment, which frustrates an otherwise successful experience.
While this category of Dream Sociogram generally reflects a healthy discrimination between being and doing, it may also reflect those life issues in which preferential inconsistency keeps us from solving our problems or from expressing ourselves to our fullest capabilities. This is often due to a simple lack of awareness of what we are doing to sabotage ourselves; at other times, we know but we simply choose not to see. Learning to Flyis an example that falls somewhere between these two categories. According to the character elaborations in the Dream Commentaries, the dream deals with meditation and those factors that thwart the dreamer’s progress in that area. Leaning back, accidentallyand contemplating crashingare three group processes or actions that are rejected by the perspectives. The root emotional cause, which crystallizes as these rejected processes, is fear, noted in the dream as the element afraid. Success at rising in awareness is associated with a fear reaction, which stops progress. Such a dream states an important life issue in concrete terms. This in turn allows it to be addressed with the construction of an appropriate Dreamage, the following of recommendations found in the waking Commentaries or in therapy. In this example the dreamer finds himself on the road toward integration. He is basically unconfused and is having some important successes in problem solving. Such patterns tell us how we can do even better. They point to even greater success if we will only take a few neglected factors into account.
It is intriguing that several psychic dreams fall in this (+/ ) category. ExtraterrestrialsDescend, precognitive of a move to Phoenix to pursue work as a psychotherapist at the A.R.E. Medical Clinic, was of this type. So was Long Talk Show, which accurately predicted that I would be doing a radio talk show of much longer duration than usual. Of course, most (+/ ) dreams are not precognitive or telepathic, but we are left to ponder why more of these dreams containing extended perception are not found in the more synergistic categories. This may simply be an artifact of chance recall. All dreams are precognitive to some extent, due to the repetitive nature of pattern. “Overtly precognitive” dreams are predictive of specific literal actions. More commonly, dream precognition is predictive of broad patterns of affect, perception and process, giving us important information about trends and proclivities, but not about details or specific instances. This sort of predictability can be found in almost all life dramas and dreams.
(+/ ) groups probably correspond to a very common waking state: those times when we are in agreement in perspective but are grappling with how to solve some problem. This could involve either internal agreement and/or agreement with our spouse or work associates, regarding the need to solve some problem, but there may be nothing to do but try different alternatives to see what works. Our efforts in such instances, common as they are, only partially satisfy us. These Dream Sociograms are one way of describing these situations and various options to consider to minimize blockages. It does not matter if the concern involves closing a corporate merger involving millions of dollars, the alleviation of physical pain or the healing of a relationship. These life dramas and dreams state what, in the opinion of the interviewed characters, stands in the way of integration and success. However, recognizing and reducing such blockages does not guarantee problem solving; it only makes the process smoother and a workable solution more likely to be found.
Sometimes the pattern is very obvious to us but previously impervious to change regarding a problem that is largely personal and emotional. In Seeking Privacy,I am wanting time alone for sex with a lady I have recently met. Peopleare others who the intrasocial group rejects as interferences. Well-traveledindicates an action that is rejected because interfering passersby are implied. Intrusiondescribes feelings of anger and fear that accompany this dilemma. On a superficial level, the issue and its resolution is simple: safeguard through planning what is regarded by the group as productive intimacy. But on a deeper level, the dream indicates a preoccupation with secrecy regarding sexuality that generates an accompanying anger and fear. This is the repetitive pattern which existed long before this lady came into the dreamer’s life and will exist in the future unless these underlying issues which exist regardless of a particular relationship, are dealt with constructively. This is itself an example of how increased, clarity, lucidity, objectivity and witnessing provided by IDL interviewing moves waking identity toward life change, even if specific recommendations given during interviews are rarely followed.
Summarization of (+/ ) Characteristics
– Choosers prefer each other more than they reject, creating a positive polar placement on the Acceptance axis;
– Choosers reject at least some element or elements; they could be characters, feelings or actions;
– Only slight bipolarity on one axis may prevent this group from (+/+) status;
– At worst, there is significant rejection on action and emotional axes;
– If choosers prefer each other more than they reject, characters will be polar preferred (+/+) even if actions and feelings are bipolar.
However, if there are chosen characters that are not also choosers, it is possible that these may also be rejected, creatingbipolarity on the Form axis as well. For example, you could list a tornado as a chosen character at the top of the Dream Sociomatrix. Perhaps most characters reject it, since it destroyed a house. Such a character should also be listed as a chooser, because if it were, the pattern would no longer be (+/ ) but most likely ( / ). Therefore, the conclusion to be drawn is that in a true (+/ ) pattern, that is, one in which group members really do prefer one another, without exception, the configuration is fundamentally positive and constructive thesis, even in the presence of multiple and severe conflicts on the Process and Access axes. This is because the context in which conflict occurs is fundamentally respectful and nurturing.
Acceptance of others is acceptance of those aspects of yourself that they represent. Therefore, (+/ ) is a position of authentic self-acceptance mixed with authentic rejection of at least some actions and feelings and possibly of some aspects of self. This is the basic position for problem solving. Focus is not on clashes among perspectives; instead there is a collective focus on clarifying, as a step toward resolving some issue or issues.
Historical Representatives:Group members differentiate between acceptance of persons and rejection of their behavior and/or feelings. Socrates and the ACLU come to mind. Or, these could be people or groups that experience little internal conflict and are focused on resolving external conflict, which is the normal stance of workers, business people, true believers and inventors. If there is internal conflict it is subordinated to mutual respect and nurturance. Another, darker possibility, is that these individuals consider themselves honorable and are widely considered so by their peers, yet act in ways that are dishonorable. However, even so, a context of mutual respect, in which group members prefer one another should prevent abuse, violence and persecution. For example, Gandhi attacked the principles and behavior of the British while refraining from violence. However, it is doubtful that the British government, if it were included in a historical Dream Sociomatrix, would prefer rather than reject Gandhi. Therefore, even in such a case of non-violent resistance, it is unlikely that a (+/ ) pattern would be created. On balance, this category is advantageous and represents confidence in focusing on resolving problems in the exterior quadrants of holons. Its worst aspects can be minimized and its best aspects strengthened.
Humanoid analogies:God, because of a near schizoid split between loving all people and omniscience, yet punishing sinners for their sins while justifying His permission of evil and failure as “trials” within the context of free will. Believers will generate such a pattern because they prefer God, even if they are punished by Him, because they believe they must deserve it. However, once you expand the group of choosers to include non-believers, who are likely to reject such a capricious deity, then you will probably create a ( / ) pattern instead.
Mythology:Beneficent gods, like most of the Greek and Hindu pantheons who generally like themselves, one another and their creation, yet are entangled with the dramas of worldly existence, may generate such groups.
Lord of the Rings:Boromir means well but is seduced and destroyed by his lust for the ring.
Harry Potter:Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, both genuinely accepting of themselves and others, still hate specific actions, feelings and persons. They are essentially excellent problem solvers. (Ron Weasley goes in ( / ) because he authentically questions his self-worth and acceptability) Of course, as soon as you include Voldemort, Death Eaters and Dementors in this group a (+/ ) pattern is impossible The implication is that (+/ ) patterns are an artifact of the exclusion of dissenting elements, which can always be found and included. While this is certainly true, such elements are often not of concern to the group in that they are not important enough to influence the work at hand, namely the clarification and hopeful resolution of some behavioral or emotional conflict.
Non-human analogies:It may be a complete anthropomorphization, but (+/ ) seems to be the most likely pattern or category underlying the consciousness of most animals.
Associated actions:Grappling with conflict from a position of confidence.
Script Position:Solution focused. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, emphasis is on finding solutions. “I like myself and I like you, even if I do not approve of all our actions and feelings.”
World View:Authentic self-acceptance and authentic acceptance of others underlies an ability to reject feelings and actions, as well as some others and some aspects of self, as long as in the end they are preferred more than they are rejected by the group. A distinction is made between being and doing, between self-worth and expression. “Because I fail it does not follow that I am a failure; because you insult me it does not follow that you are a bad person.” If we make a fundamental distinction between who we are and what we do, we may say that these groups are accepting of who we are but not of certain actions with which we identify. They deal with issues in which we accept, more than we reject, who the “other” is, but not necessarily what is done by the “other.” That “other” may be some attitude, our mate, our family member, a fellow employee or even some aspect of our waking identity such as a role we assume. We may like to dream but reject nightmares because they are scary. Accepting “beingness” while rejecting at least some “doingness” creates a mixed message and causes confusion, particularly if self-esteem is heavily based on what we do rather than upon who we are. The distinction between self-worth based on our beingness and what we do remains, however, an appropriate and helpful distinction.
Drama Triangle Position:Rescuer; will save the day by solving the problem.
Defenses: Sublimation; submersion in work. If you can narrow your focus sufficiently you will not hear and may actually be unaware of dissenting opinions.
Stress Management:When things don’t go according to plan or when we feel emotions we weren’t expecting or get emotional responses from others we hadn’t planned on, it can create distress. This is normal and “typical” stress, in that it is part of the ongoing balancing associated with thesis level “furniture moving” on the particular floor of our developmental “skyscraper” that we are currently occupying.
Favorite Games:“I know what’s best for you.” This is because people in (+/ ) are confident and so assume that their assumptions, plans, preferences and expectations are correct.
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:Blaming, because the problem is “out there,” not “in here,” and rationalization, because it reduces and resolves the dissonance between interior acceptance and exterior conflict.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Unwilling or unable to place external conflict within contexts of acceptance; avoidance of responsibility; unwillingness to empathize due to requirements of social, cultural roles.
Economic mode:At best, a focus on productive solutions to accessing socio-cultural “goods,” regardless of the economic model or means of exchange; at worst a tendency toward financial/commercial dualism: the elites vs, the proletariat; austerity economics; the Shock Doctrine.
Political mode:At its best, using political power to solve real problems to improve the human condition. At worst, the expedient expression of power for utilitarian ends, independent of ethical issues. Obama is a clear contemporary example of the latter. He will sincerely and believably tell you he respects and likes everyone and views himself as a strong champion of human rights. Obama is not the type of personality that would be likely to personally pull a trigger to kill someone, yet he routinely orders the execution of people, even knowing he is killing innocents as well as perpetrators, all in violation of international law. Obama sees himself as ethical and altruistically motivated while his actions demonstrate that he is morally bankrupt. The famous Zimbardo Stanford torture experiments strongly imply that we all are in this category. We consider ourselves ethical and responsible but when placed in roles that require abusing others, we are likely to do so. The representation of all invested perspectives in the Dream Sociomatrix eliminates political persecution through the disenfranchisement of dissenting voices, whether they are the victims of wars and colonialist dominance or animals harvested for food.
Cultural Mode:Norms are acceptance and mutual respect, which are likely to produce high self-scoring in other core values, such as confidence, empathy, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace and witnessing. Consequently, action is likely to be undertaken with the best of intentions. Therefore, there will exist a tendency to justify whatever is done in terms of one’s world view: cultural imperialism, exceptionalism.
Philosophy:Egalitarian; pluralistic at best, problem-focused without regard to ethical considerations at worst. An example of the latter is the typical soldier or general.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:(+/ ) is the principle healthy manifestation of thesis. Therefore, it is assumed that a reasonable and worthwhile goal is to spend most of our time in this position. IDL suspects that considerable waking time and even a larger percentage of dreaming is spent in less healthy patterns, such as ( / ). A balancing and sorting through of value and dependability is going on. “How can I trust you?” “How am I untrustworthy?” “How are you unreliable?” “How am I dependable?” Growth, balancing, consolidation and integration is occurring on one floor of the multiple-floor developmental skyscraper. Thesis makes up at least some 80% of life, probably closer to 90%.
Level of Development:Like all categories, (+/ ) evolves as you evolve through prepersonal, personal and into transpersonal stages. Also, it will manifest differently depending on developmental line (communication, empathic ability, moral development, rationality, etc.) and state. For example, the same issue may generate different categories when Dream Sociograms are created for both a life drama and a dream dealing with the same issue, such as a PTSD flashback/nightmare. Generally speaking, this sort of stance is most closely correlated with healthy personal and late personal levels of development. There is no reason why it would not be the majority position in well-adjusted hunter-gatherers and agrarians.
Psychiatric concomitants:(+/ ) patterns may be associated with role adequacy; that is, with competency within the context of expectations of a particular role. To the extent that this is the case, then the degree of pathology and self-delusion will depend on the assumptions of the role. For instance, the assumption of capitalism of maximization of profit and minimization of costs is a role expectation that is intrinsically anti-worker, because employees are essentially costs. However, within the context of capitalism, one could create authentic (+/ ) patterns, be well-adjusted and successful. As pointed out by the documentary, The Corporation, one can be narcissistic and sociopathic personality disordered and still generate this pattern. Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs has said,“I’m doing God’s work,” implying that if he were to create a Goldman Sachs Dream Sociogram that included God, his employers and his customers, that they would all mirror back to him positive preferences, implying the creation of a (+/ ) pattern. Just how delusional this is is a matter of speculation.
Usefulness:Most instances of this position are necessary, common and benign. Acceptance is generally conditional and wisely so; rejection of inappropriate, threatening or stupid behaviors or emotions is often important and practical. Although this position generates drama, most drama is not a barrier to development on any line. It is when this pattern is extreme, chronic and associated with a work or life role, a life script, world view or default value system in some unobjectified, unexamined way that it creates major problems. The best treatment for that is in the objectification of the pattern, which is a function of Dream Sociometry. Witnessing such a pattern creates opportunities to take a broader, more inclusive perspective that is therefore likely to be more adequate for the current conflict or circumstances. The life structures and processes that support thesis tend to generate habits of groupthink and mindless self-rescuing routines. Witnessing (+/ ) patterns create adaptability which furthers development by keeping us from getting stuck in one rigid approach to life.
Preferring/Rejected: (+/-): “Normal Waking Hypocrisy”
“What’s wrong with our children? Adults telling children to be honest while lying and cheating. Adults telling children to not be violent while marketing and glorifying violence…I believe that adult hypocrisy is the biggest problem children face in America.” Marian Wright Edleman
(+/-)Preferring choosers/rejected chosenplacements are self contradictory and do not exist in Dream Sociograms. In the intrasocial world, to reject any other is to reject the parts of yourself that they represent. You cannot accept and reject those very same aspects without not only creating a rational contradiction but a plotting impossibility in the Dream Sociogram. Equal rejection and preference will place the choosing/chosen element in the center of its respective axis, not on any pole. An uneven number of rejections or preferences will land an element on one pole or the other, meaning that in terms of Dream Sociogram axis placement, there is no way that a chooser or chosen element can be both preferred, that is placed on a positive pole and rejected, that is, placed on a negative pole. So if a character is preferred by its fellows, it will end up on the positive pole of the Form axis in a (+/+) placement, not a (+/-) placement. Even if all emotions and actions are rejected, which is indeed possible, only a ( / ) pattern would be created, because there will still be positive characters on the Form axis.
Because these patterns are impossible to create in Dream Sociometry there is no Dream Sociometric data on this and other “impossible” patterns that we will discuss below. Their existence is deduced from a table of possible patterns and then enquiring as to why they are not found in this sample of Dream Sociograms. Is it because the sample simply is not large enough, because they only show up in certain types of individuals or because they are impossible? If they are impossible in Dream Sociometry, does that mean that they are impossible in waking life or dreams? If they did exist in these realms, what would they look like?
Wakinglife, decision making and roles are full of rational contradictions and therefore we commonly find this (+/ -) pattern in our daily lives. In prepersonal development, which we all were born into and is thereafter a foundational part of who we are, emotional logic exists and reason does not. Later on, at personal levels of development, reason is often used to justify, rationalize and defend prepersonal emotional biases, prejudices and irrationality. Because prepersonal selves run on emotion and the “rationality” of preferences, not reason, these contradictions are normal, acceptable and assumed by humans. We encounter them everyday in the innumerable contradictions among the expectations of the various roles that we assume. However, the exposure of these contradictions in the realm of personal level rationality is one characteristic that indicates that Dream Sociometry is not a prepersonal or pre-rational exercise in recognizing preferences. The fact that it successfully objectifies the contradictions among and within “rational” roles strongly implies that it is rationally grounded. One might say that it uses a rational methodology to demonstrate that the irrational is actually the trans-rational in drag.
The fact that the (+/-) category cannot exist in Dream Sociograms in no way implies that it cannot exist in dreams. As we shall see, it most certainly does. The reason it does not exist in Dream Sociograms is, as we have seen, because the structure of Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms does not allow for it. I wish it did, because as it stands now, if you take a life drama that is full of (+/-) preferences and interview its characters and elements, your data will fall out in one of the other categories, most likely ( / ). You may be the wise person who is able to generate a variety of Dream Sociomatrix or a completely different methodology that does represent these waking and dream preference patterns clearly.
How and where does the (+/-) category appear in waking life? Any time you are in a situation where you are being dishonest or inconsistent this pattern is probably the most likely one present. You do not have to be aware of your dishonesty or inconsistency, as we normally are not regarding conflicting expectations we assume at work and at home. For example, when you are in school you have to respect your teacher, even if you think he is unfair and you dislike him intensely, because if you don’t you know he may fail you. You are in a situation where your preferences are contradictory. Your preferences, overt emotions and behavior say “like,” or, perhaps even “like a lot” or “love” when in fact you dislike, dislike a lot or hate. Actors, many employees, children and partners often find themselves in this position. Sometimes the job or life role requires it. Parents, teachers, bosses and customers certainly require it of children, students, employees and sales people.
We can speak of dishonesty when we are aware of the contradictions in our behavior even thought there is no sense of ethical trespass, as there generally is not. In fact, dishonesty is typically required by social obligations, making it necessary and justifiable in our minds. We are typically pleasant to customers, spouses, children or parents whether we feel like it or not because the alternative would complicate our lives in one way or another. To challenge this common, required dishonesty in waking life will get you labeled impolite at best and insolent or antisocial at worst. Questioning the lies that form the foundation of most jobs and institutions will get you fired. Great pressure will be brought to bear on you to give people what they want and what they require and that is generally more important to others than your true feelings or your sense of self-respect. As people get older they tend to get more of a pass on this by society than do children. For example, once we retire we don’t have to obey teachers or bosses. The penalties for being audacious and brutally honest to partners or children are likely to be much less severe because society is much less demanding of our compliance after we retire. For example, compare society’s attitude toward war resistance from seventy year olds and eighteen year olds.
Fortunately, interviewed emerging potentials do not seem to care much about whether or not we are independent, assertive, honest or consistent. There is more a sense of having these things pointed out to us, the price we are paying in drama and restricted development clarified, while some suggestions are provided regarding how to wake up and outgrow our inconsistencies.
Like society, dreams do not require that characters be honest. Dream characters may lie and freely admit that they were when they are interviewed. Of course, an interviewed character can also lie to you in stating its preferences or when explaining them in one of the various Commentaries. However, there are at least two factors that exist in IDL interviewing that do not exist in waking life and dreams that make dishonesty and the hiding of inconsistencies less likely. First, characters are at least partially aspects of yourself, which means that if an interviewed character is lying, you are not only lying to yourself, you will probably know it. While there are undeniable social and adaptive advantages to lying to others, this is much less so toward oneself, chiefly because it creates cognitive dissonance and internal stress. Secondly, interviewed characters do not have the incentives to lie that we normally do in both our waking lives or even in dreams. Lying is not a requirement of any interviewed character’s role description; there is no way that you can punish a genie if it tells you what you do not want to hear, the way parents, teachers, bosses and spouses can and do. To the extent that interviewed characters have needs or desires that motivate them to speak, lying is not likely to help them to get their needs or desires heard or met. Of course, there are exceptions for people who are compulsive liars or are incapable of getting into role. These are addressed below.
Dream Sociometry does not destroy your ability to make a living, tell half-truths to please someone or lie when you want or need to. Instead, it makes you much more conscious of when, how and why you are choosing to lie or to simply live within roles that contradict each other. Interviewed characters are rarely moral judges saying, “Don’t lie!” “Tell the truth!” “Always be the same person all the time!” Most of them seem not to care. What this awareness does is take all the internalized pressure of conscience off your decisions to lie or tell the truth. In the absence of reward or punishment, you are freed up to observe your intrasocial culture, which by and large lies much less than you do. This is an example of how Dream Sociometry teaches waking up, clarity, lucidity and enlightenment in a context that is not primarily ethical. It is not a moral teaching, but an awakening due to repeated immersions in a culture that does not demand that you lie or tell the truth.
Where then is your motivation for doing so? Truthfulness becomes based on simplicity rather than morality. Lying takes energy. Since it is fear based, it generates and sustains fear. Lying complicates life; we have to remember who we told what lie to and that takes effort. IDL makes it quite clear rather quickly that when we lie we are lying to ourselves. When we realize this is what we are doing the next question becomes, “Why do I want or need to lie to myself?” Rather like peeling an onion, Dream Sociometry uncovers layers of lies and self-deceit, peeling them off until the core of emptiness is exposed.
How can we speak of inconsistency when we are not aware of any discrepancies and so there is no cognitive dissonance? In fact, there would be no problem at all if it were not for the fact that the consciousness that creates our dreams and that, by implication, exists in the background of our waking dream as well, does have a problem with this dishonesty and inconsistency. In our dreams time and role often no longer separate disparate roles and motives. The problem is not a moral one; this contextual consciousness which creates dreams and which IDL calls “dream consciousness” is not a moral voice or an ethical judge. It is not an internalized social conscience, nor is it your soul, intuition, your “still small voice” or God. It is fallible and is focused on its own priorities, which are not unified and singular but diverse and multiple. It simply outpictures these contradictions in one way or another as certain types of dreams; when these are noted in a Dream Sociomatrix they may be depicted in a Dream Sociogram, but probably as a ( / ) pattern. However, we do not have to rely on dreams; creating Dream Sociomatrices of life issues will take normal waking hypocrisy and depict it as well. The clues that we are dealing with(+/ ) instead of ( / ) will be found in the Commentaries, not in the Dream Sociomatrix or Sociogram.
“To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.” Lao-Tzu
While Dream Sociograms falling into this category do not exist, we often find characters as well as action and emotional elements that are both accepted and rejected by several characters or even by themselves. In Returning Golden Jewelry, the action spoke Spanish is preferred by some characters and rejected by others. Group, Night and Father both prefer and reject the emotion attracted. Father loves himself yet does not like himself.
Characters that are both preferring and rejecting, preferred and rejected, particularly by themselves, are important, even if they are found in almost all categories of Dream Sociograms. They are focal points of intrasocial, perceptual, world view, values and cultural conflict associated with a particular life issue of concern to the group. Such conflicts tie up the intentions of the group and prevent integration, cohesion and harmony. The character placement and letter designation (italicized or with exponent) indicates the degree of ambivalence associated with the character. Give particular attention to what these perspectives have to say about themselves and about the fight occurring over them. Give particular attention to the recommendations for waking life that these elements have to make. All of this is important and useful even if groups with a number of preferred and rejected characters refuse to reach consensus on dream change, as is highly likely.
People who attempt to enact this ideology typically view themselves as saviors, martyrs and messiahs, whose death and destruction serves greater, transcendent purposes. This is evident in religiously motivated terrorists. However, very few people who commit suicide or who arrange for others to kill them have such black motives.
The (+/-) Dream Sociogram
As we have seen, this pattern does not produce Dream Sociomatrices or DreamSociograms because it is self-contradictory. However, we have also seen how prevalent it is as one possible world view normally taken on by psychologically geocentric waking identities.
(+/-) Dream Sociograms
While these do not exist, waking collectives that manifest this pattern are pervasive, and they are common in dreams as well. The Greco-Roman conception of competition provides an important example, because it underlies our assumptions about not only sport but military, business, professional and geopolitical competition. In this model, winning is everything, whether it is through an individual or team effort. To win you must be aggressive, which means to press your advantage at the expense of your opponent. To win you not only play by the rules; you stretch the rules or redefine the rules in ways that give you an advantage without getting you disqualified as cheating. If you do not do so you will not only lose to those who do; you will be considered foolish because you will not be maximizing your advantage in the competition. Consequently, the Greco-Roman model of competition inherently encourages cheating while professing honesty and victory through hard work, strength. talent and courage. In reference to (+/-), you and your teamlove each other, your sport or profession, competition and winning; those are elements on the positive end of the Acceptance and various element axes. (Notice that this already contradicts the (+/-) category because there are positive placements on the element axes. So far we have (+/+). But we also hate losing and, to the extent that our opponents stand between us and winning, we dislike our opponents, so we now have in reality a mixed, ( / ) pattern. However, in our minds the Greco-Roman model of competition is very much (+/-), because it can only be sustained through such a world view, and we want to sustain it because so much of our self-worth and identity is predicated upon it. This keeps us stuck or trapped in a (+/-) form of psychological geocentrism.
So what? A very interesting example arises when we consider that there are other models of competition that are not based on the one that we take for granted, the Greco-Roman one, and which we not only prefer but regard as superior to alternatives. This would not matter, except at least one other model of competition is proving itself to be superior to the Greco-Roman one, particularly in the realm of geopolitics. This is important, because the consequence is the spectacular and rapid decline of the Western empire, represented by the collective interests of Washington, the EU, NATO, Tel Aviv and the oil monarchies of the Middle East. That model is the one represented by Judo and practiced by Vladimir Putin, but more widely by oriental cultures, including China. It is essentially not aggressive. While it has passive elements, such as using one’s opponent’s energies to neutralize attacks, it is essentially assertive. This assertiveness shows itself in Judo by showing opponents what they need to do to beat you in the next match. It demonstrates that this Eastern mode of competition puts skill, proficiency and mutual respect before winning. This makes a difference in the way that Putin and China deal with the West. While the West presses its advantages in any way that it can, essentially ignoring the rules of the game, that is, international law, Putin avoids direct confrontation as best he can and bides his time, allowing his opponents to make mistakes and wear themselves out. This is exactly what is happening both within the US, EU, Israel and the oil monarchies. China’s approach is to focus on its own priorities. This is reminiscent of how tree roots deal with concrete and stone. They do not fight it; they simply grow. By using what resources are available to them they crack the concrete and stone. Placed in a Dream Sociometric perspective, the Greco-Roman model resembles (+/-) while Judo and the Chinese models of competition resemble either
(+/ ) or (+/+). If you are generous in your interpretations of the actions of Putin and Xi, you would say they practice (+/+) competition; if you are not, (+/ ). In either case, both are far superior to (+/-) because they require less energy and they are less likely to put you at war with yourself, and therefore in competition with yourself, in the context of competition with others.
Summarization of (+/-) Characteristics
– All choosers prefer other choosers more than they reject them;
– As a consequence, all choosers are on the positive pole of the Acceptance axis.
– All chosen characters, actions and feelings are rejected more than they are preferred;
– As a consequence, all chosen elements are on the negative poles of the Form, Process and Affect Axes. This sets up a contradiction, with choosers both preferring and being rejected at the same time.
– This category may also contain neutral elements and elements with direct ambivalence, both of which are located in the center of the Dream Sociogram.
– The (+/-)category exists in dreams and waking preferences and interactions but not in Dream Sociometry. Therefore, the following associations relate to dreams and waking preferences but not to Dream Sociograms.
BecauseIDL demonstrates that how you view and treat others is how you are in fact viewing and treating the aspects of yourself that they represent, this pattern is one of pretending to accept, like, like a lot or love yourself and others when in fact you reject, dislike, dislike a lot orhate yourself and others. Therefore, the fundamental life position is one of self-rejection and social/cultural hypocrisy.
Historical Representatives:Authorities who are guardians and enforcers of role expectations in families, work, politics, business, religion, government, cultural norms, education or other life areas fit into this category. For deists and monotheists, who draw their morality from the authority of deity, God is that authority. Humanists and atheists may follow a pragmatic standard, the authority of social and cultural expediency; the hypocrisy and self-contradiction is the same. Anyone or any tradition that upholds a set of rules or laws as more important than deeply listening in an integral way falls into this category. In Hinduism and Buddhism these would be Brahmans and monks that prefer those who conform to their definitions of dharma and karma and reject those who do not. In the West, followers of Judaism, Islam and Christianity have long scapegoated or persecuted those who do not accept their beliefs. Members of professional guilds to this day actively work to exclude and economically and professionally undermine other professionals who do not belong to their guild. This is hypocritical because the goal is protecting status and financial benefits while professing to be acting for the public good.
Humanoid analogies:God’s love is infinite and that is why he will throw you into eternal hell if you are disobedient. No contradiction there.
Mythology:Greek deities are generally capricious, immoral and selfish, with either no awareness of the contradictory nature of their statements and their actions or else a simple disregard for those contradictions because like all those in positions of relative power, they can.
Lord of the Rings:Gollum is both self-valuing and self loathing: “We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!”
Smeagol(Gollum’s other self): [shaking his head] No. Not master!
Gollum:[snarling malevolently] Yes, precious, false! They will cheat you, hurt you, LIE.
Smeagol:Master is my friend.
Gollum:You don’t have any friends; nobody likes you!
Smeagol:[closes his ears with his hands] I’m not listening… I’m not listening…
Harry Potter:Delores Umbridge:[to Harry] “As I told you, Mr. Potter, naughty children deserve to be punished.” Another example:
Dolores Umbridge:“Wands away. There will be no need to talk.”
Hermione Granger:“No need to think is more like it.”
Non-human analogies:Animals generally follow and fulfill role expectations, being peaceful one moment and in one set of circumstances and violent the next, in another, without experiencing any cognitive dissonance, because events are separated by time and differing role expectations. In dreams, with the collapse of time, different role expectations come into contact and conflict in dreams. We do not know whether that is also the case for animals, but probably not, because animals not only live in the here and now but probably experience little or no cognitive dissonance. If a lion attacks and eats you it does not wonder whether that was the right thing to do, unless you are tough and it gets indigestion.
Associated actions:Superficial or genuine acceptance and compliance potentially leading to underlying resentment and rejection. For example, if you play by the rules of culture and discover they are unfair, cognitive dissonance slowly builds as you experience the contradiction between what you do to play by the rules and how you feel about it.
World View:“I will do what I need to do to avoid punishment, get accepted, supported and promoted so that I will reach my goals. If that involves contradictions or hypocrisy, I will either ignore it or deal with it.”
Script Position:Conform to socio-cultural and internalized expectations and demands, with the consequence of alienation from the priorities of one’s life compass. “I’m OK, you’re not OK unless you are supporting my priorities.” To assume that you yourself are OK while rejecting other aspects of yourself is an inherent contradiction. In waking life, directed toward oneself, the position is, “I’m OK, I’m not OK,” which is honest and truthful. Directed toward others, “I’m OK, you’re not OK” is a position of persecution that only works if you have the power to escape significant punishment. It is likely to arouse a punitive response that will at best require much time and energy to address and at worse result in serious punishment. This is the classical stance of anger, projection, avoidance of responsibility masking a more deep-seated fear of invasion/violation. Of course, the powerful use it all the time because it maintains their power and control and because they can get away with it with others and even themselves in most cases. If they never learn about or practice deep listening they may stay happily oblivious in a state of unconscious incompetence regarding the entire issue. If fact, almost everyone does at this stage of the evolution of humanity.
Drama Triangle Position:Self-rescuing; fear of victimization by rules and the power of others.
Defenses:Blaming, role dissociation, submission, non-rationality
Stress Management:Role dissociation; “faith;” “belief.” Trusting in order, predestination, divine will.
Favorite Games:“If it wasn’t for you and these rules, I could be happy.” “What use are you if you’re not doing what I want?”
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:Blaming. black and white thinking.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Refusal to question, draw rational conclusions.
Economic mode:Profits before people; exploitation before preservation.
Political mode:Power before respect; power before sanctity of life.
Cultural mode:Tradition and role fulfillment before human rights.
Philosophy:The Golden Rule for this stance is, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Conform; follow prevailing norms and beliefs.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:Toxic thesis
Level of Development:Prepersonal or personal, because the degree of objectivity that the transpersonal as a stage requires undercuts the social compliance that maintains this pattern. These people can be gregarious, intelligent, well-liked and effective in their families and workplace because they are well-adapted to a socio-cultural delusional system that has nothing to do with their life compass. One cannot even say they are disengaged from rationality, since the rational thing to do may be to conform and avoid the consequences of non-conformance. Soldiers provide clear examples.
Psychiatric concomitants:Existential alienation. However, note that a person has to evolve to a late personal level before they are likely to experience existential alienation. The other alternative is spontaneous mystical or near death experiences that render social adjustment meaningless. Therefore, in the absence of these factors and a tool such as IDL, the hypocrisy of this level with its associated cognitive distortions, is likely to remain invisible.
Usefulness:Much of the stability of society depends on acceptance of this pattern. For instance, the caste system and the doctrines of karma and dharma that justified it created a stable society in India that survived multiple invasions over thousands of years. Families, professional guilds, businesses and governments depend on the widespread prioritization of authority over honest and open expression of preferences.
Bipolar Preferred: ( /+): “Superficial Support”
( /+)Bipolar choosing/Preferred chosenplacements indicate superficial consensus within the intrasocial group and therefore within self. It is superficial because it is not grounded in authentic self-acceptance. This is a position that is extremely common in waking life and dreams but cannot be duplicated using Dream Sociometry, although remarks in Commentaries indicating that this is going on are common.
Althoughintrasocial groups are themselves of indeterminate ontological status, that is, they cannot be reduced to any one quadrant and therefore not to individual psychological realities, they certainly contain self-aspects. We know that the consensus is superficial for those groups that generate ( /+) patterns because doubt and self-criticism lie beneath seeming agreement. These groups support various perspectives, feelings and behaviors but they still reject who they are as a group in various ways. They have basic doubts about their identity and therefore, so do we. Self-esteem and self-doubt are major issues for them. Boundary issues may be important, with a fear of invasion or annihilation present. The intrinsic contradiction between external acceptance and interior ambiguity is a major powerful culturally-induced stressor that throws constant sawdust in the machinery of evolution. It is like constantly dumping doses of Roundup weed killer on healthy plants.
In ( /+) patterns, acceptance is ambivalent but being accepted is not. This is a normal state of affairs in waking life because of two factors. On the one hand, we lack self-esteem and self-confidence for a variety of reasons. On the other, we commonly express positive preferences toward people, events, actions and feelings when we don’t really mean it. The first factor involves authentic self-doubt while the second one is founded on dishonesty. We say and do what we don’t mean or want in order to grease the wheels of relationships and also to convince ourselves that a shitty job or marriage really is part of some predestined plan – our karma, dharma, life plan chosen before birth, whatever. We also do so because we have no choice; if we are honest we will be fired, end our relationship or kicked out of class. We are wanting to be accepted when acceptance may not exist, is minimal or ambivalent. Workers thankful to have a steady job, students relieved to be accepted into college or university, lovers enjoying having a desirable partner or children who have not had a stable home and now do are examples of groups that feel accepted when they may not be or the acceptance is minimal or ambivalent.
This is why parents and cultures have historically taught guilt and conscience; if children and the masses of humanity can be taught to doubt themselves, their motives and their acceptability they are much more easily controlled and manipulated. If they are taught to internalize family and cultural standards of right and wrong, good and bad, then they validate, support, fight and die for the culture, believing that they are doing so for themselves. It is important to acknowledge that waking life normally and pervasively rewards us when we are outwardly accepting of our work, salary, parents and partners and punishes when we are not. This shifts the responsibility for acceptance onto the chosen from choosers, subordinates from authorities, to children from parents and from the powerful onto the weak, creating a fundamental imbalance in the expression of power that results in oppression. The socio-cultural macrocosm typically does not care whether we are inwardly accepting or not, nor does it care if we are congruent between what we say and do on the one hand and how we really feel on the other. What the macrocosm cares about is compliance and those people who can outwardly appear to be most compliant while successfully competing for superiority in some area, are richly rewarded. This superiority has everything to do with public validation and very little, if anything, to do with the microcosm and intrasocial realm of character. This disconnect is dysfunctional and pathological but goes largely unrecognized by both society and individuals because there are no reinforcers for doing so. Instead, awareness of this issue creates problems with “social adjustment,” raising cognitive dissonance and generating conflict between self-image, conscience and external authority.
However, another reality is even more likely, and that is that the world really is accepting, either because that is its nature, as is the case with the cosmos in general, or because it doesn’t revolve around you, your fears, hopes and expectations, which is the case for both the cosmos and society. The ( /+) position does not allow you to see, accept or believe that such acceptance is authentic. Therefore, you limit your own freedom out of your fears of rejection and non-acceptance. This is probably the chief value of near death and mystical experiences as well as romance: they fundamentally and profoundly validate our self-worth, challenging the ( /+) position and affirming the reality and grounded possibility of living from (+/ ), (+/+) and (+/+)*.
Unfortunately, your value to others is largely instrumental, regardless of what they may tell themselves or attempt to make you believe. We judge ourselves by our intentions; others judge us by what we do. If you can help them fulfill their dream by doing their work for them or by accepting their belief system and therefore at least not interrupting their own march toward greater power, then you have instrumental value. Your own lack of self-acceptance in the ( /+) position causes you to question your own value rather than the motives of others. In psychology this is sometimes referred to as having an internal “locus of control,” but we are talking about a phenomena that applies to everyone, regardless of their locus of control. If you choose anyone that has a strong external locus of control and closely evaluate their motives, you will probably find ( /+) playing an important role in their choices.
Becausechoosers in Dream Sociometry are at least partially self-aspects, we are not just lying to other people if we do not state our true preferences; we are lying to ourselves, which is much more difficult to maintain in Dream Sociometry than it is in waking life and dreams. We know we are lying to ourselves when we construct a Dream Sociomatrix and fill out the Commentaries and we are unable to use the tried and true strategies of ignoring or rationalizing the contradiction into insignificance. Consequently, this sort of duplicity, while common and easily maintained in waking life, is both meaningless and untenable in the intrasocial sphere. ( /+) patterns are also more likely to be recognized in waking life than (+/-) patterns because we feel phony and superficial in them, because we are. In (+/-) patterns we are likely to have confidence and a sense of inner security, which makes it easy to overlook, minimize, ignore or remain oblivious to our inconsistency and irrationality.
This may sound like Dream Sociometry supports honesty. Yes and no. Being honest with ourselves about our motives, intentions and assumptions lays a solid foundation for making healthy choices. If we aren’t looking at the facts clearly, how are we going to make good decisions for ourselves and others? However, honesty with others is not always the best policy, in fact we all know that we will be punished if we tell the truth. Those who value honesty above love tend to be viewed as non-empathetic, cold and anal, which may be true, or may simply be epithets designed to manipulate you into being more easily controlled. Interviews with emerging potentials will let you know what the foundations of your honesty really are. On the other hand, those who are loving are viewed by those who favor truth as being two-faced chameleons who change what they say and do based on who they are around, like a circus seal. The answer to this dilemma between truth and love is to realize that it is a continuum that changes based on the situation. In some situations you are wise to emphasize empathy and keep your opinions to yourself. In fact, IDL obviously strongly encourages empathetic deep listening. When you do so, those times when you do express your own views honestly are more likely to be heard and respected, because they are presented in a broader context of acceptance. Therefore, the solution to ( /+) patterns is not more honesty but evolution into authentic (+/ ), (+/+) and (+/+)* ones.
( /+) Characters
A character falling into this category may be either accepting or rejecting of fellow members, including himself. He is, however, preferred by the majority of his fellows. If this reminds you of the typical high school jock or cheerleader or politician, you are on track. The problem for choosers in this group, evident in Dream Sociometry but normally hidden from others and ourselves in waking life, is that by rejecting others we are rejecting ourselves. An analogy would be the index finger hating the ring finger when they are both part of the same hand and have to cooperate, for better or for worse. From such a perspective, conflict between fingers is absurd because their need to cooperate is so obvious. This obviousness is a function of our perspective of both fingers and our ability to witness their relationship. However, this objectivity does not evolve in humans until mid-personal levels of development, at best and most humans in human history have never developed to this point.Even when this degree of objectivity toward others is present, we rarely gain sufficient distance to recognize it in ourselves. However, Dream Sociometry quickly makes the superficiality and dishonesty of our acceptance crystal clear.
This pattern is less self-critical than those totally rejecting groups
(-/ ), (-/-), (-/-)* create. Nagging, pre-conscious self-doubt is accompanied by confusion and disownership of self. It would be as if the jock or cheerleader has an inkling that they are not liked for who they are but because they win or are attractive. On some level, they may sense that if they lose or grow old they will be exposed as all persona and no substance, but that is sometime in a distant future that may or may not happen. In the meantime, they feel the acceptance that reassures them and creates security and comfort. Therefore, the strong tendency is to top out developmentally and stagnate for years, at least until there is a crisis.
This is one way of understanding the human predicament; we largely base our self-esteem and our life choices on superficial competencies and the demands/preferences of others we want to please. When we stake our self-esteem on superficial competencies, we lack the objectivity we need to make wise decisions about what we do. Our decisions are calculated to maintain this veneer of acceptability and adaptability; self-honesty, self-disclosure and accessing the priorities of our life compass are drowned out as much more minor, less important factors for development.
The consequences are cumulative. We are likely to project our own non-acceptance onto others, both as rejection and as our assumption that underneath their praise they are critical of us. This tends to become a self-fulfilling prophesy, in that others will tend to be more cautious and protective around us.
The preferences of all perspectives contributing to this pattern,
( /+), are suspect because they are confused and anchored in the drama of self-persecution and victimization. Although you will not find Dream Sociograms that depict this group, once you recognize it you can be watchful for interactions and patterns of thought that reflect ( /+) consciousness: self-doubt, low self-esteem, over-estimation of the power, competency or character of others and compliance to standards, people and institutions that do not know who you are and don’t care about you as long as you support them. Therefore, question the motives of characters in
( /+)patterns whether or not they like or dislike some perspective, feeling or behavior. Ask questions. Get information. Listen to reasons and explanations. See if they hold water or if they are just excuses. If you treat both self aspects, meaning your thoughts and feelings, as well as others exhibiting ( /+) behavior as if they were characters in a Dream Sociogram, you may discover that some are fed up and want a way out. They may be angry with you and lecture you about what you need to do differently in waking life, because they are ignored and not heard. Rarely do interviewed characters respond to respectful listening by attacking. Interviewed characters, particularly if they choose to transform, are unlikely to be the voice of your conscience or some parental authority. Simply listen to the pain and remember that these characters are talking about theirpain, not yours, even if they are aspects of yourself.
The ( /+) Dream Sociogram
The amount of turmoil, ambiguity and confusion among and within ourselves allows this degree of self-deception to exist in the macrocosm but cannot be produced intrasocially. When these patterns do occur, intention is not clear and directed because choices are ambivalent. You both accept and reject values and perspectives that are core to whatever issue you are invested in. Consequently, acceptance of issues is superficial because it is ambiguous. Basic doubt exists beneath a facade of integration. A common analogy exists to leadership and authority, whether in the home, work, religion, military or government. Leaders justify their power and its use by their superior judgment and character. However, wherever transparency exists one finds frail, fallible human beings who are projecting a false front of competency which hides their authentic ambiguity and ambivalence.
When you experience yourself giving priority to social-cultural norms ask, “Am I being dishonest with myself?” “Am I listening to and following my life compass? How do I know?”Of course, most people cannot separate socio-cultural norms from their conscience or the socio-cultural norms that they internalized as children and now think are divinely ordained, the “will of God,” or their “intuition.” Unless a person has a methodology capable of differentiating one’s life compass from their conscience this is impossible to do. How can you follow your life compass and not alienate your cultural-social support structures? You probably have no idea, however your interviewed emerging potentials probably do. This is an excellent reason to do IDL interviewing.
( /+) Dream Sociograms
Dream Sociogramsof this type, if they could be created, would indicate a normal but dysfunctional variety of the thesis stage of the dream dialectic. In normal waking experience we typically adapt to social roles that are “figure” in our lives, but are less aware of emerging potentials that are wanting to be born within and through us. Our time and energy is directed externally in the “Atman Project” of building our sense of self, in pleasing others and developing various economic “goods.”
As with the (+/-) category, we see many more of these patterns if we exclude characters from our consideration. This is necessary because characters that are in conflict about how they feel toward characters as choosers are necessarily in conflict about how they feel toward each other as chosen group members. Our waking identity, comprised of a number of social roles, normally denies the legitimacy or represses the existence of conflicting perspectives, which makes it much easier for the contradictory values we hold in different roles to co-exist. When these aspects are all gathered into one intrasocial group, our inconsistency and absurdity is much harder to ignore.
Summarization of ( /+) Characteristics
– Choosers are ambivalent; some prefer while others reject their fellows.
– As a consequence, some choosers are on the positive pole of the Acceptance axis while others are on the negative pole.
– All chosen characters, actions and feelings are preferred more than they are rejected;
– As a consequence, all chosen elements are located on the positive poles of the Form, Process and Affect Axes.
– Because ( /+) patterns are impossible sociometrically – you can’t have authentic ambivalence and consistent acceptance at the same time, due to the numerical collection of preferences and the subjugation of pre-rational emotional preferences to a rational method, this pattern can only exist in largely non-rational contexts: normal waking and dreaming life.
– This category may also contain neutral elements and elements with direct ambivalence, both of which are located in the center of the Dream Sociogram.
Historical Representatives:Look for externally motivated individuals whose statements of conscience and ethics somehow manage to always conform to whatever way the socio-cultural wind is blowing in their peer group: George W. Bush, Barak Obama, your average torturer, salesmen, prostitutes, lawyers, NSA employees, armament manufacturers. Those who do not question their intentions while generally acting capriciously and in their own self-interest. Those who do whatever they do for money, power or status while rationalizing it as bringing democracy or fighting evil. Politicians and those whose success, incomes and popularity depend on the favorable opinions of others provide clear examples. Look for this pattern among people who are focused on outward appearance, social acceptability and who fear rejection.
Because this description fits all humans, this pattern is very common. People who are driven by the ( /+) pattern are not inherently evil; they may genuinely like most everyone or, like the military, detach themselves from the evil that they do by making it part of their job description. While it is endemic to the human condition, that doesn’t mean that it cannot or should not be recognized, reduced and minimized.
Humanoid analogies: The God of Job in the Old Testament demonstrates ( /+) characteristics. He accepts Job, the devil and presumably God’s creation. However, hedemonstrates authentic ambiguity in his support for Job, since he is willing to let an innocent man suffer and to do so for unethical reasons: a desire to win a bet against evil.
Mythology:Greek religion is full of gods who are capricious and rationalize their behavior. Where is the life compass represented in their decision making.
Lord of the Rings:Sauruman betrays his tradition and Gandalf when he falls under the power of Sauron.
Harry Potter:Gilderoy Lockhart. Harry:“You’re running away? After all that stuff you did in your books?”
Gilderoy Lockhart: “Books can be misleading…”
Harry:“You wrote them!”
Gilderoy Lockhart:“My dear boy, do use your common sense! My books wouldn’t have sold half as well if people didn’t think I’ddone all those things!”
Affect: Agreeableness masking fear of rejection.
Associated actions:Actions designed to please or placate the macrocosm without consideration of the priorities of the microcosm.
World View:“My self-acceptance is based on conformity to external sources of truth that I have internalized and call ‘conscience’ ‘intuition’ or ‘God.’” My acceptance of you is theoretically universal; I will tell you I love and respect you and believe it, but that will last only as long as doing so gains me the approval of others I want to please, including God.”
Script Position:In terms of transactional analysis, this life position boils down to “I don’t know if I’m OK or not, but you are OK.” This is the classical “faking it” position. “Maybe if I act like I know what I’m doing somebody will be fool enough to believe me.” “Maybe I can even fool myself into thinking that I’m capable and as good as everybody else.” “But I know that I’m really not and anyone that would choose to spend time with me I really can’t respect because what worthwhile person would choose to hang around with me?” “If you question my judgment or integrity I will vehemently deny it and tell you how wrong you are and how you have insulted me, but I will secretly fear that you are correct.” Fortunately, it is sometimes possible to “fake it until you make it.” But the external success of the ( /+) pattern is no substitute for the bona fide success of (+/+) patterns.
Drama Triangle Position:Authentic ambivalence in the preferences of choosers indicates confusion, which undercuts self-confidence.
Defenses:Compensation; overcompensation; emphasis on exteriors.
Stress Management:Self-rescuing of all sorts.
Favorite Games:“How can I please you?”
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:All of them, but personalization is probably at the root of them all.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Mistaking conscience and intuition for their life compass.
Economic mode:Most of the advancement of civilization has come from people who are lying to themselves in the ( /+) or (+/-) position. They build at the expense of others or themselves, but they still manage to build. They leave legacies of possessions, knowledge and wealth that benefit others who may not be so deeply immersed in similar delusions. The “goods” most typically sought after by ( -/ ) are status and whatever security, comfort and power money can buy.
Political mode: Authoritarianism: the externalization of my (confused) expectations onto you.
Cultural mode: Dogmatism: the mentality of True Believers, exceptionalists and nationalists.
Philosophy: Psychological heliocentrism: “There is one Truth and Path and my job is to impose it on my family, friends, culture and nation, because when I get outer concurrence it brings reassurance and validation that reduces my inner ambivalence.”
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:toxic thesis.
Level of Development: Most clearly identified with early personal, the realm of a group-based sense of self, but anyone at any level can exhibit this pattern.
Psychiatric concomitants:This is a position of normal waking neurosis. If we were sure we did not like ourselves, it would be the positions of depression or withdrawal but it isn’t that clear cut for most of us. We accept who we are at times and reject who we are at other times while largely accepting our social roles and our lot in life.
Usefulness: When we have been so enculturated that we think our socio-cultural script is who we are, we need mechanisms that keep us from accessing the perspectives of our emerging potentials, on the one hand, because they are too threatening to our status quo, and mechanisms that validate our atman project, our attempts to validate and justify our sense of who we are and the choices we make, on the other hand. These are primary functions of the ( /+) pattern.
Bipolar/Bipolar: ( / ): “Victimization in the Drama Triangle”
( / ) Bipolar choosing/bipolarchosenplacements indicate indecision, doubt or confusion of a thoroughgoing sort regarding life issues of concern to the group. It may represent a failure of (+/-) and ( /+) waking strategies. This category of intrasocial group distribution ( / ) supports those dream theories that view dreaming as conflictual and stressful. It also supports the idea that we spend much of our dream time attempting to resolve waking problems. The Hanging Corpsecreates a Dream Sociogram of this variety.
The ( / ) group is the largest category of Dream Sociograms in this collection. 26 make up 52% of the sample. They depict groups with patterns of preference that contain large amounts of opposition and ambivalence on both the Acceptance axis and at least one element axis. They are generally strongly bipolar on more than one element axis. In this pattern, normally unrecognized doubt about who you are, what you think, feel or do, is being expressed by the intrasocial group Significant intrasocial conflict exists regarding the life issue and an antagonist often has the upper hand. The protagonist, generally Dream Self, is often victimized in this type of oppositional pattern; perhaps he is running from a pursuing killer at an excruciatingly slow pace, as if stuck in molasses or he may be sitting down to take a crucial exam, only to have his mind go blank. Or, as in Sneaking Around School,because of the basic dishonesty of his choices, Dream Selffinds himself disliking both himself and others.
Bipolar choosing/bipolar chosen patterns ( / ) contain the highest degree of ambivalence of any distribution, relative to the number of elements in the Dream Sociomatrix. (17/8); (7/9), etc., etc.) Most nightmares fall into this grouping. In that nightmares address those life issues about which intrasocial groups are most unsure, self-doubting and divided, nightmares are mirrors of dissension either among self-aspects, among emerging potentials, or both.
As we have seen, (+/-) and ( /+) categories represent two strategies for dealing with waking life that are irrational, hypocritical lies. The (+/-) pattern lies largely out of awareness and indicates a rejection of self and others by an authentically self-accepting identity. Because this is a direct contradiction, either the rejection of others and self is a lie or the authentic self-acceptance is in fact narcissism and grandiosity. The ( /+) pattern is often in our awareness yet justified by the pressures of cultural conformity. It indicates the acceptance of self and others within the context of ambiguity and ambivalence, that is, non-acceptance. This pattern is also impossible in the intrasocial cosmos because it depends on the pre-rational ambiguity of emotional preferences to sustain it. IDL theorizes that while these waking and dream patterns cannot be depicted sociometrically, they can and do manifest as the powerful conflicts observed in ( / ) patterns. While alternative distributions reflecting greater degrees of intrasocial contention are possible, only a very few dreams in this sample fall into a more divisive category. This may simply be because I chose to repress highly negative dreams, but I have recalled and recorded some fairly gruesome and incriminating dreams over the period of this dream series.It may also be that my very worst dreams are relatively benign in relationship to some other individuals or populations. It appears reasonable to view ( / ) as a catch-all for all those patterns that show up in wakinglife and dreams that cannot be depicted with Dream Sociometry because they are self-contradictory. This includes (-/+), ( /-), (-/-) and (-/-)* categories. (-/ ) may also be included, since its representation in the sample is so limited. Therefore, it is wise to read the Commentaries accompanying ( / ) Dream Sociograms with the thought, “Which of the categories is this pattern most likely to represent?”
Acceptance axis bipolarity is a strong indicator of antithesis; the suspicion is that this antithesis, at least initially, before group members reframe it, is of a toxic sort. Antithetical groups invariably contain powerful, insistent perspectives that refuse to accept consensus. A particularly powerful type of antithesis is observed in those Dream Sociograms in which the forces aligned against Dream Self have gained preeminence (i.e., Sneaking Around School) by being most highly preferred. In another type of oppositional pattern, such as depicted in The Hanging Corpse, Dream Self is aligned with forces which are rejecting of integrative elements. In such patterns Dream Self is confused, afraid, angry, sad or sick (Never Eat Possum). There may be confused thought and action processes: such as procrastination or impatience. See the Investigators and the Robber in A Robber Is Killed: There may be abandonment to some addiction or a lessening, superficial ability to stay in appropriate role. See My Dirty Shirt.
( / ) Characters
Needless to say, Dream Self is not always the protagonist in ( / ) patterns. Not infrequently, Dream Self finds himself aligned most closely, in the eyes of the group as a whole, with those forces which repel waking identity most strongly. This is the case despite Dream Self generally either experiencing himself as the victim or detached witness in ( / ) patterns. The importance of such patterns as proof of the common and pervasive misperception be Dream Self of the intentions of fellow dream group members is important to emphasize. In A Western Street Killing, the group rejects Dream Selfjust as it rejects the murderer, although Dream Self is an innocent bystander in the dream and blameless. Why? Clearly, the intrasocial group holds Dream Selfresponsible in ways that he does not hold himself accountable. Perhaps it views his passivity as a “sin of omission.”
A characterfalling into this category may be either accepting or rejecting of himself and other elements. He probably has company in his preferences. For instance, in The Hanging Corpse, Wellis highly accepting of the intrasocial group and highly accepted by it. However, at the same time Dream Self, Atticand Young Manare all rejected by some of their fellows.
Thieves fall into this category. They like one another because they help each other steal and get away. These thieves may be bankers, brokers, politicians, CEOs, lawyers, economists, industrialists, corporate boards of directors or soldiers; all those who make a living through exploitation without generating or contributing any real goods that add to the collective advancement of society. They like one another because they validate ethics and support legislation that help each other steal, abuse workers, exploit the environment and get away with it while maintaining a veneer of respectability, while the bankers, etc. are in fact thoroughly disliked by all other perspectives, who view them as dishonest and corrupt and tolerate them as “necessary evils.” These are those whose major purpose for existence is to serve as examples of what your life compass is not.At the same time, both the thieves and other perspectives dislike the other elements in the dream or life issue, for instance stealing, accountability, transparency and fear. Note that most thieves like themselves and what they do, particularly if they are members of a guild that validates and encourages stealing.
Confusion is the keynote of ( / )patterns. Our preferred waking perspective, represented by Dream Self, is assailed from all sides by challenging points of view, represented by antagonistic dream characters. Judging by the testimony of the dream characters themselves in the Dream Sociomatrix Commentary elaborations, this state of affairs creates fundamental ambiguity and is inevitably accompanied by a rise in self-doubt and self-criticism. This self-rejection is a product of the discrepancy between various closely held values, actions, perceptions and feelings. Waking self identifies with one particular set of habitual and generally unquestioned behaviors that are role appropriate at some time and place. These behaviors conflict with the fundamental assumptions of one or more other life perspectives that are activated by the particular life issue. These ignored but relevant values, attitudes, feelings and actions first generate depictions of internal conflict, in undeniable statements of their existence. They depict basic contradictions that you are experiencing within your values, behavior, emotions and sense of self. ( / )groups address the lies that you tell yourself you can live with and get away with. This, of course, is the fundamental lie, the mother and father of all other deceits, that you can successfully fool yourself. The attempt creates psychic indigestion, represented in part by ( / ) patterns. Through bringing such inconsistencies to light, Dream Sociometry creates integration and supports development by convincing you that these strategies and perspectives are no longer sustainable and by offering realistic, testable means toward their resolution.
The ( / ) Dream Sociogram
A Dream Sociogram of this type generally contains moderate to high preference scores, indicating that the issue is of some significance at the moment and that attempts to resolve it are important. This is probably because so much inherent contradiction generates stressors that affect the functioning of a wide variety of perspectives. Consequently, a broad and insistent constituency for the elimination of these patterns is created. Unfortunately, the dramas generated by these conflicting perspectives usually only heighten fear, stress, confusion, guilt, shame and repression, primarily because their intent is misperceived. Dream Sociometry addresses this self-destructive blindness based on psychological geocentrism with phenomenalism and multi-perspectivalism which together generate create objectivity and witnessing rather than the typical reactive personalization of dream events by Dream Self. In The Hanging Corpse, several characters join Wellin approving of a drama even though it is horrific for Dream Self. We also observe strong rejection on the Process axis.
In Seeking Privacy, Gayle and Dream Selfare rejecting of actions associated with a lack of privacy and with Peoplewhom they view as interfering with their privacy. From their point of view intrusions create conflict. From the perspective of Country, however, they are uptight. It says, “I have no problems with them being interrupted. They will have many opportunities for privacy.” The basic conflict here appears to be between avoidance and rejection of other perspectives, on the one hand and inclusion and acceptance, on the other.
Antithetical Dream Sociograms have a negative valence. The movement of group intentions is toward increased disruption, confusion and pain. We see this in the resistance phase of group process, in adolescence and in the movement of countries out from under the protective/exploitative umbrella of colonialism. When the various subsystems of self depicted by an intrasocial group cannot develop and function effectively without a greater degree of independence and autonomy, “telic decentralization” is experienced. This phrase of Moreno’s is a way of talking about the intentions reflected in preferences of divided groups.
( / ) Dream Sociograms
Dream Sociogramsfalling into this category are very common, which is probably a testament to how contemporary socio-cultural conditioning produces humans that may be kind, intelligent, hard-working and well-intentioned, but are nevertheless divided within themselves, seeking first this goal then that on a conscious whim, because they have no connection to their life compass. ( / ) Dream Sociograms contain considerable ambivalence, indicating conflict, often of an apparently unproductive sort. Resolution appears difficult or impossible. For instance, the characters may not reach consensus on a Dreamage or make useful recommendations for waking change.
The struggle to give up an addiction provides an excellent example of thoroughly bipolar groups. One faction of perspectives is aligned with the body and aspects of mind identified with the psychological craving for relationships, cigarettes, validation, alcohol, caffeine, sex. sugar or self-criticism. The other is often rejecting of these cravings but is itself divided between acceptance and rejection. The Monkey Gets Meis a classical depiction of a conflict between fear and growth. The more fear and fear-based preferences are acted upon, the more overwhelming they become. When they become pervasive, annihilation threatens. The presence and activity of “addicted” perspectives reinforces and supports thoughts, feelings and attitudes associated with the addiction, even if no dream is recalled in the morning. Arrayed against them are those perspectives that are identified with non-addictive behavior. These are often outnumbered and appear relatively weak, precisely because optional behaviors, attitudes and feelings have not been identified with or rehearsed. In essence, non-addiction is a crowded out or ignored emerging potential. It wants to be heard but is constantly ignored, shouted down or repressed. Consequently, addicted perspectives often overwhelm and divide their non-addicted fellows, undercutting waking resolve to continue the fight.
Why Examine ( / ) Patterns?
It is easy enough for us to ignore most dream conflicts, certain that they can be quickly forgotten as soon as we drag ourselves out of bed. But at the other end of the day, things are different. At night, we typically dump our unfinished garbage into the lap of Dream Self. This alter-ego is even less equipped than we are to perceive dream events correctly, due to the dream suspension of rationality and its distortions of time and space. Massive and chronic misperception encourages intrapsychic conflict by generating thoughts, feelings and actions in reaction to dream events that are misperceptions of intention and level of threat. For example, if you are falling and you do not realize you are dreaming, you will experience an alarm reaction; if you see someone you find aggressive you may attack or run. Habitual emotional reactivity based on misperception, whether in dreams or life dramas, interferes with decision-making, emotional clarity and lucidity of awareness. It negatively impacts both psychological and physiological health. Because we do not want to remember unpleasant, irrational, embarrassing or confusing experiences, repression leaves such patterns unrecognized and misunderstood. This invites the intrusion of unresolved bipolar preferring/bipolar preferred patterns into waking life, through the residues of emotional activation that our bodies and minds carry over from ourdreams into our waking life, whether or not we remember our dreams.. In time, these unresolved life patterns may express themselves in a variety of ways, through impulsive decision-making, accidents, misperception of the intentions of others, personalization and somatically as complaints in one or another psychophysiological system. While regular, effective meditation can generate increased objectivity and rationality, less reactivity and more lucidity in our dreams, problems remain. Dream perception is still based on the assumptions made by Dream Self, which is conditioned by its level of development and particular socio-cultural context. The real solution is the evolution of a more evolved and lucid waking identity, because that is the self that perceives in dreams, whether or not a dream is lucid. This fundamental assumption is what makes IDL, and therefore Dream Sociometry, a dream yoga. It is a discipline for generating lucidity, or higher-order wakefulness, in all states, but particularly in waking life. While there is no necessary correlation between the ability to lucid dream and the ability to make healthy waking decisions, learning how to make healthy waking decisions is likely to improve dream decisions, because waking behaviors, emotions and thought processes are often repeated in dreams and the decision maker in dreams is no other than your waking identity, with the added competencies and regressed perceptual structures of Dream Self.
The more that you interview both dream characters and the personifications of your life issues the more likely you are to do so in your dreams, to question intent instead of simply trusting your perceptions, assumptions and preferences. This is a more important movement toward dream lucidity than actually recognizing that you are asleep and dreaming while you are dreaming. Doing so brings no guarantee of improved decision making; you are still trapped in your waking level of development. However, learning to question and interview characters in your dreams while dreaming will radically alter and expand your self awareness as dream self in your dream. The result should be less unnecessary conflict and opposition, both in your dreams and in your life dramas. By taking a more cooperative and less abusive approach to intrasocial groups, conflict can be reduced. This is a major reason for examining ( / )groups and understanding the life issues they depict. As long as the perceptual, proximal context indicated by ( / ) groups remains unintegrated with distal waking figure, significant maladaptive life responses are being reinforced. The more time that you spend in states of unnecessary, avoidable conflict, the more likely you are to experience unnecessary, self-inflicted suffering.
Purposes of ( / ) Patterns: The Necessity of Pain
Nevertheless, it appears that some oppositional intrasocial groups are necessary and a sign of balanced growth. Antithesis is a necessary and important stage of ongoing development and it needs to be embraced, not fought. Adaptation implies conflict, just as love cannot exist without opposition between attracting and repulsive forces. As aversive and uncomfortable as pain is, it is no more innately destructive than opposition is inherently evil. Life itself is not much concerned with either pleasurable or painful sensory stimulation. This is clear from many dream themes in which we are presented with uncomfortable or threatening circumstances. Is the explanation simply that we are wanting to scare ourselves or is something more sophisticated going on?
From atranspersonal perspective, what we dowith pain and suffering is what is important, not the suffering itself. Do we use it to adapt? Do we learn? Do we use it as a wake up call? Consequently, a great deal of conflict or intrasocial opposition is not only to be accepted, but preferredby life when the purpose is appropriate to its needs. Life states its priorities and preferences in the context of dream and waking life holons, rather like a particular unique snowflake precipitates based on atmospheric and chemical conditions. There is an intentionality involved, but it is not directed at anyone; that sort of thinking personalizes both dreaming and life; it makes them about an identity that is itself a self-created delusion.
Fasts for cleansing and the discipline of meditation are examples of processes that can be uncomfortable that have transcendent purposes. The painful withdrawal from a relationship that is unsupportive of our development may be observed in dreams as warring preferences between those perspectives which support the change and others which fear the unknown, miss the sex, the attention associated with abuse or the victimization associated with discounting or abandonment. Withdrawals from addictions of any type are generally accompanied by approach-avoidance conflicts that, while distressing, are nevertheless likely to be solidly supported in ( / ) patterns by healthy perspectives.
The Necessity of Death
Rebirth requires death. ( / )groups herald the annihilation of the existing order so that transformation may occur. They depict the antithetical or eliminative phase of the developmental cycle. Without antithesis there can be no synthesis. Without “the dark night of the soul,” the descent of the hero into the black cavern of the wicked Lord of the Underworld, there can be no rebirth. Without the maturational conflicts of the developmental cycle transpersonal adulthood is not attained. This corresponds to “conscious incompetence,” the knowledge that we do not know what we need to know, yet do not yet have the knowledge, the tools to become consciously competent. The urge is to either pretend we are consciously competent or to flee back into unconscious incompetence, to resolve the painful ambiguity in one way or the other.
Humanity worships comfort and runs from pain. But adversity, work and pain remain intrinsic and fundamental aspects of life. IDL doubts that ( / ) patterns will ever go away, because antithesis is essential to growth into larger and more adequate contexts, but there is no reason why they cannot be reduced and their destructive aspects minimized. This is a hypothesis that is falsifiable and can be tested. The problem is not in these patterns themselves – they are what they are – but that their lessons largely go unheard, trapping us in the endless repetition of variations of these same uncomfortable themes, whether dreaming or in life dramas. The solution is not to become either masochistic or stoic, but to realize that conflict and antithesis are not about us and to not take them personally. It is easiest to learn this if you start by not taking integration and synthesis, good luck and harmony personally either; they are not about you. What is about you is your ability to erect multiple filters and barriers in your own line of sight and path forward or to be confused or clear, or to get out of your own way.
Imagine that you have had a disturbing or frightening dream or nightmare. What do you do? IDL suggests that you suspend your assumptions and emotional reactions and instead interview a sampling of characters in the dream, including the antagonist. If you can suspend your assumptions and emotional reactions in the dream itself all the better. With such suspensions you temporarily move out of the dialectic; you temporarily stop caring whether or not you are competent or even how conscious you are, in favor of respectfully listening, in a deep and integral way, to perspectives that have the potential to light your path forward.
The Collapse of Identity, Space and Time
Bipolar choosing/bipolar chosen distributions appear to be common, which underlines how endemic self-deceit is and how it remains with us no matter how high up the ladder of the Great Chain of Being we climb. Avidya, or ignorance, is built into psychological geocentrism. Self-deceit exists as long as there is a perceiving self that separates itself from the perceived. However, a great many ( / ) groups express the dissonance that occurs when we put our priorities as well as those of the socio-cultural roles that we require of ourselves before the priorities of our life compass. The implication is that as we practice integral deep listening and apply reasonable recommendations made by interviewed emerging potentials that the percentage of ( / ) patterns we experience should decrease. It also follows that dreamages are the closest manifestation to the priorities of our life compass that are likely to be produced by any group and that if we want to know what those priorities are most likely to be in relationship to the dilemmas raised by any life issue or dream, the particular dreamage is a metaphorical statement of what that will look like.
Western tradition has long pursued an ardent love affair with the comfortable fiction of substances, with identity, whether referred to as self, ego, soul or atman, being the most notorious. Ontology appears to be largely an artifact of naming; when we give something a name we call it into autonomous existence. We differentiate it from other things with names and without names. We take the flow of experience and turn it into something unnatural, substantial and static. For example, I sit here on this balcony overlooking the Florida coast, listening to and watching the waves as I type. There is wind in the palm trees and summer evening clouds majestically marching across the horizon. And yet, none of that exists; there is only a unified flow of experience which would not even be differentiated into sights, sounds and smells but for my sensory filters. But we are so hopelessly psychologically geocentric that we cannot conceive of or grasp a reality that is not mediated by our familiar categories of perception, with naming being a most important variety. Therefore, from early childhood, we believe that names are not only very useful, which is true, but designate not only things, but things that are real, which is not true. One major problem created by this necessary evil is that we not only assume, but are taught and have this teaching affirmed and validated everywhere we turn in our societies and cultures, that we ourselves are real. Once that category is created, we have also created the category of unreality. Now we can choose to be real or unreal. Since we do not want to be unreal we choose to be real. However, life doesn’t make this distinction and therefore does not compel us to make this choice. This is a false dilemma that we create for ourselves, by calling reality into being through our use of language and its underlying mental constructs.
Any cursory examination of our experience conclusively demonstrates that we do not possess a stable identity; on the contrary, waking self is a constellation of identities. We change perspective, role and emotion as we change from lover to eater, to worker, to driver, to consumer, to player, to spectator, to church goer. The more we observe identity the more we recognize that it is made up of interdependent parts that have no existence of their own. There is no “lowest common denominator” or stable underlying reality other than our psychological geocentrism. Like a tornado, a gyroscope or strange attractor, the self derives its stability, autonomy and identity from its movement, its organized flow through time-space, not from the names it gives itself and those others that it encounters.
Eastern traditions, particularly Buddhism, are much more honest and responsible about owning up to this truth than are Western philosophy and religion. For instance, in Theravadin doctrine identity is an ever-changing product of different proportions of personality components called skandhasIn the Indo-European traditions the varieties of identity are projected outward as the multiplicity of gods which control man’s destiny. We need only remember the Greek pantheon and its function as a projection of both characteristics of human dynamics and of external social roles. When we change perspective from role to role in the course of a day we feel no inconsistency. After all, we experience the same “I” throughout; never mind that this “I”, now furious, was only moments before peaceful and satisfied. Never mind that this “I” changes like the weather, from interest to boredom, to confusion, to fascination, to sadness routinely in the course of a day. It is easy for us to justify and rationalize these changes as necessary and appropriate. And so they may well be in a reality of time and space.
But what happens when time and space collapse and disperse, as they do in dreams? With the collapse of time we can no longer isolate and disown ourselves as cavalierly as we do during our waking hours. Dreams remind us that like names and the concept of substance, time and space are convenient waking fictions that we allow to seduce us, but fictions nonetheless. The latticework endoskeleton that keeps our role inconsistencies from meeting, incestuously kissing or attempting nuclear fission, with all the radioactive byproducts thereof, dissolves. ( / ) intrasocial groups bring us face to face with our mutually exclusive roles and identities. This category therefore represents a partial collapse of the filtering mechanisms that sustain our sense of who we are. Near total collapses, as in near death and mystical experiences, are extraordinarily difficult to integrate and maintain. The opposite course, that of sustaining and strengthening our filters, is our common strategy because it is the “solution” required by our world. However, it is a dead end, because it leaves us trapped, encased, mummified in psychological geocentrism and in the delusions of our physical, mental, cultural and social filters. When we confront the partially filtered reality of our dreams we have three choices; we can recoil from them, we can interpret them so that they are caged or tamed animals, no longer expressing their vital and authentic nature, or we can listen to them.
The glue that brings these contradictions into volatile contact in our dreams is some commonly shared issue. Different perspectives approach a shared issue with different intentions and priorities. Stripped of their waking context, these multiple roles become intertwined, inexorably drawn together by the magnetic, centripetal attraction of some shared lowest common denominator. It is as if widely different personalities come together to act in a play or movie. They probably don’t care so much about either the plot or their particular role; what they care about is acting well and thereby accomplishing some goal – to be a good actor, to be recognized by others as a good actor, to be famous or rich. Apart from their individual motivations, what these actors have in common is a desire to act in this play. They show up and the script and director determine who and what they are and what they do. Although actors are typecast and are chosen for characteristics desired by the director, they have no intrinsic self; all is malleable. Both babies and the emerging potentials that “star” as dream characters and the roles in our life dramas are similar.
The problem with this analogy is that it implies that the actors and director are sentient entities when they are more likely to be more like weather, in which a particular mixture of substances and conditions create a particular manifestation of weather – rain, sleet or snow. The common or shared intention or purpose, what we referred to as the lowest common denominator, may be surmised by interviewing a number of characters and looking for shared themes and values or, more directly, by interviewing Dream Consciousness, the perspective that is equivalent to the role of director of the dream or life drama. Its purpose may be to stop a degeneration in ethics (Rob’s Flaky Metamorphosis) or to convey how fear-based avoidance creates greater threat (The Monkey Gets Me) or to indicate how casual sex has become destructive (Mickey Crashes His Biplane). To find out, one interviews Dream Consciousness and compares its comments with those of other interviewed characters. This has not been done in this sample. In any case, when various roles that relate to some fundamental and shared life issue in radically diverse ways are brought into interaction at one life drama or dream time and place, fur flies.
The fundamental purpose or common perspective, which unites many “I’s” in a temporally non-specific dream matrix requires identification with multiple perspectives, recognition, respect and appreciation of those perspectives, whether or not we agree with them, as well as acceptance or an allowance for a respect-based co-existence with the perspective, if multiple perspectives and waking identity are to become integrated. It requires that we elevate these perspectives to a status equally as important as our own. Such acceptance is necessary when and if we wish to integrate figure and ground, to move past self-deceit to a life of greater honesty and intimacy. It is necessary if we want to integrate ( / ) patterns. It is difficult to find alternative methods that rival the immediacy, relevancy, specificity and the accessibility of interviewing multiple perspectives invested in a particular life issue or dream.
Inverted Oppositional Intrasocial Groups
In extreme cases of antithesis when particularly diabolical perspectives are in ascendancy the typical configuration of the Acceptance axis seen in ( / ) Dream Sociograms is inverted. The group as a whole prefers forces that are obviously destructive. Nurturing perspectives are consigned to hell: the lower half of the Acceptance axis. Theyare the minority expressing self-criticism against the prevailing self-destructive behaviors that have come to control one’s life. This is the condition of dissent within a dictatorship or Orwellian dystopia. In such cases, those characters that reject an overwhelmingly destructive pattern will be portrayed on the negative pole of the Acceptance axis. A graphic example of this state of affairs is illustrated by the Dream Sociogram for Methodical Suicide.
Occasionally a Dream Sociogram is created in which the group accepts a destructive situation. This is the case with DeathIn Flying Cars. In this example, flying, flying carsand acrobaticsare all preferred on the form and process axes. But even in such cases the intrasocial group rejects those dream elements that do not accept self-destruction. Space Shuttle, Planesand Flying Carsare rejected on the Acceptance axis. I have yet to see a dream that did not have at least some perspectives who refuse to accept destructive dream elements. In this example, Boy is the holdout in this group. Of course, such a group could easily be created if one left a critical element out of the Dream Sociomatrix.
Summarization of ( / ) Characteristics
– Choosers are of mixed preference, with some preferring while others reject their fellows.
– As a consequence, some choosers are on the positive pole of the Acceptance axis while others are on the negative pole.
– Chosen characters, actions and feelings are also both preferred and rejected;
– As a consequence, some chosen elements are on the positive pole of their respective axis while others are on the negative pole.
– This category may also contain neutral elements and elements with direct ambivalence, both of which are located in the center of the Dream Sociogram.
– Ambiguity of preferences can range from minor, weak and inconsequential to strong, intense, pervasive and extremely threatening.
Historical Representatives:Look for individuals who are ambivalent about everything and therefore capable of great harm. For example, they may inflict pain or misery without conscience, guilt or a sense of personal responsibility. While these could be parents beating their children or employers firing employees, it is classically the stance of soldiers, police and the justice system: (“It’s nothing personal.”) It could also include famous torturers and psychologists, doctors who oversaw US torture in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mundane, secular examples are lawyers, because income is determined by successful client advocacy, not justice; politicians, because power is determined by one’s ability to manipulate support groups, not by ethics; and salesmen, because income is determined by one’s ability to manipulate customers, not by providing quality products or services.Tony Robbins: “Success is doing what you want, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.”
Humanoid analogies:Alien abductors. These run the gamut from saints to devils; you never know what the motivations are until you ask them. However, the stereotype is that they are nasty critters.
Mythology:The eagle that eternally tears out Prometheus’ liver. His name has been lost to the ages, so let us call him “Hepatius.” My guess is that he probably had considerable ambivalence about having to eternally fulfill this boring, sisyphean task.
Lord of the Rings:Sauron, Saruman
Harry Potter: Voldemort. He doesn’t want to die so he divides his soul and hides its parts in Horcruxes, but he only has dislike and disdain for others and shows no fondness for himself – only for his snake, Nagini.
Non-human analogies: Viruses, bacteria, cancers, disease processes. “Sorry. We didn’t mean to kill you; it’s just what we do for a living.”
Associated actions:Internal turmoil and confusion leading to conflicts in attitudes, actions and feelings.
World View: Survival-focused; regressive.
Life Position:“We may or may not be OK.” In terms of transactional analysis, this life position boils down to “I’m OK and not OK; you’re OK and not OK.” There is no clear path to security other than fighting and trying to eliminate those people or things that are thought to be the source of threat. Because we generate our own perceptions and attributions of meaning to our experiences, rejection of any character, action or feelings means rejection of those aspects of ourselves that they represent. Consult the Commentaries for elucidation of those aspects. Beneath equivocation, this position reduces to “I’m not OK; you’re not OK.”
Defenses:Rationalization, regression, attack, blame, projection.
Stress Management:“If I can disown my responsibility for creating my perception of threat and attack I can then make you responsible for my discomfort, thereby justifying me attacking you.” This only works as long as I am successful at making you “not me.” As soon as I realize that I am attacking myself this stress management strategy collapses.
Drama Triangle Position:Persecutor: “I’m only doing my job.”
Favorite Games: NIGYSOB “Now I’ve Got You, You Son-of-a-Bitch.”
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:Personalization (“I feel threatened.”) Blaming; Black and White Thinking; rationalization.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Disowning responsibility and thereby disempowering oneself. As long as the problem is external, the solution is beyond our control.
Economic mode:The economic “good” that is sought is security.
Political mode:“Power is the ability to impose my will on others.”
Philosophy: Darwinism; might makes right.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic: Antithesis.
Level of Development:Regression to early prepersonal problem solving.
Psychiatric concomitants:Decompensation, in the sense of chronic alienation from one’s life compass.
Usefulness:Like antithesis in general, wake up calls, even strong and harmful ones, can be beneficial if they force self-awareness. Unfortunately, because of a melt-down in coping mechanisms, including problem-solving ability, such as occurs when dreaming, regression is generally reinforced. This might be called “failed antithesis” because it does not promote synthesis. However, when almost any personification of ( / ) is interviewed and given the chance to transform into a more internally harmonious identity, it will choose to do so. Even if this does not lead to sufficient group cohesiveness to produce adreamage it is indeed a significant transformation of what appeared to be a hopeless conflict.
Indifferent/Indifferent (_/_): “Complete Apathy”
This pattern is theoretical. While it could conceivably be found in intrasocial communities, it has not been to date. This type of Dream Sociogram would contain every element in the center, without exponents, indicating that there is also no direct ambivalence. The designation of (_/_), two spaces with underlines, is meant to indicate indifference and is not to be confused with ( / ), which represents bipolarity or opposition on axes. (_/_) represents neither conflict nor acceptance nor rejection. Like “Trans-rational Witnessing” Clear/Clear, there are no preferences whatsoever. (_/_) signifies the type of indifference associated with numbness, unconsciousness, detachment, dissociation, trance or deep sleep, all characteristics of our normal waking state at this moment when viewed from the perspectives of interviewed emerging potentials. If you could make a Dream Sociogram of deep sleep, it would produce a (_/_) pattern. Of course, this is an impossibility because deep sleep lacks both choosers and chosen elements. However, there are waking life situations in which both exist but there is no interest or desire by any chooser to express any preference whatsoever. Events, emotions and perspectives could conceivably be so abstract or disconnected that no one relates to any of them at all. Or, one could be dealing with a group of choosers in a context that is oblivious to the issues of concern to some sub-context, such as waking identity in its various daily roles in relation to the various ongoing struggles occurring on a cellular level all the time. This detachment could range from no one caring to everyone thinking, “this is none of my business.” The first option, “no one caring,” is the normal attitude of most of us most of the time toward our dreams, intrasocial communities, people in other countries we haven’t met, stray dogs in Bangkok, or our own biological processes. Notice that in some of these cases indifference is necessary to maintain our sanity or get our work done; therefore, the implication is that indifference can be as important as caring.
Choosers in such a pattern have no interest, do not care or are too preoccupied with what they consider to be more important concerns, generally some drama, to invest any energy in having preferences. We could imagine that this is our common stance toward the 99.9% of experience that we are currently oblivious to. Approached from such a way, this is an extraordinarily common perspective.
The (_/_) Dream Sociogram
All choosers and chosen occupy the center of the Dream Sociogram, indicating no preferences whatsoever. If there is consciousness, it is somewhere else; it is not invested in this particular group or its issues. An unrecalled nightmare or a vanished, undiscovered civilization, forgotten event from childhood or everything and everyone you are currently unaware of also would be candidates to produce such a pattern, but probably would not.
The problem is that it is extremely difficult to imagine a group in which all members share that some degree of indifference. For instance, you are probably entirely indifferent to the air between your eyes and the words you are currently reading. Perhaps now that you are reminded of this invisible but quite real air you like it, because you are glad it is there. But normally and typically, you are unaware of it and you have no preference at all toward it. This is true toward the billions of things aou could be thinking about, feeling or doing right now, that exist but are out of your awareness. We are completely indifferent toward what we are unaware of. This would be true for any and all group elements as long as they remain unaware of one another. However, the act of stating preferences is an act of conjuring perspectives and relationships into awareness. Notice that it is rather difficult to think about anythingand to still remain indifferent to it. Now let us imagine that you could; how likely would it be that you would inhabit the perspectives of the other members of any group and allof them would maintain that same indifference in preference? While conceivable, this is highly unlikely. Perhaps the most likely source of such indifference would be pervasive apathy, so broad that it was shared by all the members of some group. While this is possible, if you actually create a Dream Sociomatrix for a group that you are sure is completely apathetic, you may not only find it extremely difficult to do so; the results will probably surprise you.
(_/_) Dream Sociograms
The (_/_) pattern represents the normal and typical relationship between everyday waking awareness and the intrasocial universe: waking awareness is coiled up, ouroboros-like, asleep, in the center of the Dream Sociogram, oblivious to the preferences of life manifesting continuously as emerging potentials.
Summarization of (_/_) Characteristics
Basic Description:Non-awareness; non-investment and the complete absence of preferences represented by all elements located in the central “null” circle of the Dream Sociogram. Unconscious potential.
Historical Representatives:Undiscovered civilizations, burnt and lost libraries, historical and personal events unremembered and therefore of neither interest or use. The fact that any and all are potentially of use and of pivotal importance is irrelevant; at this moment, they are lost to consciousness, space and time.
Humanoid analogies:Deep space; dark matter;extraterrestrials that will never be contacted by Earth; matter devoid of consciousness, intent or direction.
Mythology:The sleeping Vishnu dreaming the universe into and out of existence applies as long as Vishnu is not aware of his dream and does not remember it.
Examples from Literature:
Lord of the Rings: Undiscovered, unrecognized realms of Middle Earth; the childhood of Sauron.
Harry Potter:Uncast spells; unused magic.
Alice in Wonderland: The Caterpillar smoking a hooka is rather close to indifferent. Happy with life and pleasantly stoned, his life has no meaning or purpose other than to get high. At its best (_/_) is stoned bliss or carefree apathy.
Non-human analogies:Buried treasure, although the treasure itself is probably not indifferent.
Associated actions: Unawareness; unrecognized, untapped strengths and capabilities; unexpressed weaknesses and viciousness.
World View:Focused on the inertia of habitual priorities and therefore oblivious to both the substrate of foundational conditions, experiences, structures and functions as well as potential and possible openings for growth and creativity.
Life Position:“What I don’t know I don’t need.” “What I am unaware of doesn’t affect me.”
Defenses:Non-acknowledgement of the existence of people, places, events and feelings.
Stress Management: Not recognizingstress as stressful. This is not reframing distress as eustress; it is simple obliviousness to stress. If you are sick and don’t know it, are you sick? Notice that this is the major way that many people make it through their work day, indicating that one need not be unconscious and that this is hardly an infrequent and unfamiliar category.
Drama Triangle Position: Victim – of what is either not known or repressed.
Favorite Games:“Don’t bother me.”
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:“I don’t know and I don’t care.”
Favorite Life Sabotages:Sleeping and sleep-walking.
Economic mode:Security, comfort.
Political mode:Power comes from not paying attention to the inconsequential; “I can make anything and anyone inconsequential.”
Cultural Mode:Focusing only on that which is culturally reinforced.
Philosophy:“I know what I need and I can ignore the rest.”
Stage of Developmental Dialectic: Thesis.
Level of Development:Ouroboric; prior to early prepersonal; fused with undifferentiated oneness. Or, in normal human consciousness, prepersonal repression of pain, stress, abuse, misfortune.
Psychiatric concomitants:Unconsciousness; unawareness; absence of a self. Identity as role compartmentalism, shutting off multi-perspectivalism, self-awareness, emerging potentials and one’s life compass.
Usefulness:Life simplification; stress and pain management.
Completely Ambivalent Preferring/Rejected ( / )–_ : “Paralysis”
( / )-_ Completely Ambivalent Preferring/Rejectedgroups have a maximum amount of positive preferences and negative preferences. At the same time, all elements are both preferred and rejected as much as possible by everyone. This creates a deadlocked dynamic in which all elements are placed in the center of the Dream Sociogram with a maximum superscript number placed after each. The superscript minus sign tells us that this is not normal opposition, nor is it the indifference of (_/_), in which all scores are also in the center of the Dream Sociogram, but with no exponents, indicating internal ambivalence.
Because all equally love and hate all others the superscript number is the same for all choosers on the Acceptance axis. However, the superscript for chosen characters, actions and feelings on the element axes will be different from that of choosing characters unless there are exactly the same number of chosen elements as there are choosers. While this is possible it is extremely unlikely. There would be no more chosen characters than choosers. That is, all characters are choosers; the number of chosen characters, actions and feelings total the number of choosing characters. We can conclude that while this pattern is theoretically possible, it is highly unlikely.
Let us say that some chooser, say a blue hippopotamus, like the famous Egyptian one, we will call her Baketamon, is highly conflicted and states a preference of 3/3 toward every single element in the dream or life issue. She therefore expresses three degrees of positive preference, called “love,” and three degrees of negative preference, called “hate,” at the same time toward every character, action and feeling. Her elaborations in the variousCommentaries explain why she has the preferences that she does.
In Baketamon’s case, every character in her group, including herself has a maximum amount of internal ambivalence, based on the numbers of chosen characters in the group. The exponent would be the same for all in this case, because all have a maximum amount of internal ambivalence toward the same number of group members.
To imagine what this pattern might look like in real life, imagine being in a situation where all choosers both intensely love and hate everyone else at the same time. What would be the result? Drama would be an understatement. There would be impulsiveness, and chaos suppressed by gridlock and paralysis because every feeling, impulse, word or action would be cancelled out by its opposite. To use a cosmological analogy, this is the opposite of a star, which matches centripetal and centrifugal forces in such a way that energy is produced. In this “dark star,” the balancing of forces produces a void of meaning, purpose, feeling, action or energy. To say that it is a psychological black hole would be incorrect, because black holes have massive powers of gravitational attraction; centripetal forces completely overwhelm centrifugal ones. That is not the case here; what you have is complete stasis and paralysis that cannot and should not be confused with homeostasis. This is extremely destructive, constipated antithesis. The closest human analogy is the parent that loves his or her children so much that he kills them and himself, herself. Suicide notes have revealed such motivations. However, this does not rise to this level because rejection has won out over love in the form of murder and suicide. In an actual case the parent would be in a complete psychotic paralysis.
( / )– Characters
If these characters could exist their total investment would render them solipsistic. That is, they would be so completely invested in their preferences that they would have no ability to empathize with any other perspective. This is psychological geocentrism as highly invested, rather than unconscious ourobos; instead of our snake eternally self-absorbed at eating its tail it is eternally self-absorbed at both eating its tail and throwing it up at the same time.
The ( / )– Dream Sociogram
In such a pattern not only are all elements in the center of the Dream Sociogram; they cannot be said to not have any interaction with one another because they have maximum interaction but, at the same time, they cannot be said to have anyinteraction with one another because they reject one another totally. Elaborations in the Commentaries would essentially reflect complete failure at identification because the strength of one’s own positive and negative preferences would be too strong to allow any empathy whatsoever.
Summarization of ( / )– Characteristics
All choosers are placed in the center of the Dream Sociogram with the same exponent, indicating direct (total) ambivalence in their preferences toward one another.
All chosen elements are placed in the center of the Dream Sociogram with the same exponent, indicating they are rejected as much as they are preferred.
Relationships are so intense that no interaction is possible.
Historical Characters: Perhaps an omnipotent god would be capable of such a position in which He has complete love and rejection toward His creation and himself at the same time. Notice that the God of the Old Testament does not rise to this level because he loves himself without self-rejection at the same time that he is able to love his creation so much that he destroys (utterly rejects) it.
Humanoid analogies:Catatonic all loving demons.
Non-human analogies:Perhaps buried plutonium or lethal cosmic rays not hitting the earth. Intense destructiveness is conjoined with complete non-investment.
World View: Aggressivenihilism motivated by supreme love.
Script Position:I’m both supremely compassionate and totally hateful, You’re supremely compassionate and totally hateful.
Drama Triangle Position:The result of complete investment in all three roles is the inability to move among them; therefore there is no drama possible.
Defenses:Security through complete self-involvement.
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:Total personalization: It’s all about my preferences.
Favorite Life Sabotages:True believer in extremely toxic psychological geocentrism.
Favorite Games:“I can do nothing because I am already completely invested.”
Associated actions:Justified paralysis.
Economic mode:Security through complete withdrawal into one’s own preferences.
Political mode:Self-destructive isolationism.
Cultural mode:A culture of rejection of all culture because it is the loving thing to do.
Philosophy:Solipsism of a very invested, committed sort.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:There is no development, only utter fixation.
Level of Development:Ourorobic prerational of a highly aware and invested sort. This is of course a contradiction, because ouroboros is by definition unconscious, deeply asleep.
Psychiatric concomitants:Psychosis, but not as normally understood as decompensation or paranoia.
Usefulness:Is there a use for self-destructive isolationism? Normally, paralysis exists as protection when all options leads to failure and death. However, in this case, this is an aggressive, intentional rejection of life motivated by intense love. If there is an adaptive value in such contradictory behavior it is difficult to fathom.
Clear/Clear : “Trans-rational Witnessing”
Like “Complete Apathy,” Indifferent/Indifferent (_/_) patterns, trans-rational witnessing is theoretical. While it is conceivable that intrasocial groups might form this pattern, it has not been observed to date. There is no interior contradiction, as we see in a number of other categories, that make it sociometrically impossible. The designation of (_/_)*, two spaces with underlines followed by an asterisk, is meant to indicate the transcendence, yet inclusion, of all preferences. It is not to be confused with ( / ), which represents bipolarity or opposition on all axes. (_/_)* represents neither conflict, nor acceptance nor rejection. Like “Complete Apathy,” Indifferent/Indifferent (_/_) patterns, (_/_)* patterns designate no preferences whatsoever. The category is, however, radically different from (_/_)patterns. It recognizes the possibilities of preferring, rejecting and indifference and chooses a “preference” or a perspective, that includes and therefore transcends, all of them. In this sense, (_/_)* patterns signify a type of clarity associated with awareness that transcends both preferring and preferred, chooser and chosen and is therefore authentically both trans-personal and non-dual in ways that normal preferences are not. A “preference-free preference” bears some similarities to causal and non-dual awareness, which is highly awake, lucid, open and inclusive, but without content.Because both choosers and chosen have neither positive nor negative preferences nor express the neutrality of indifference, there is no way they can be scored and therefore can be placed on a Dream Sociogram. Consequently, Dream Sociograms depicting this pattern would have elements but no Dream Sociogram; there would be no structure to plot them or structure their placement or relationship in consciousness. They would simply “be,” “empty,” devoid of meaning, value or relationship imposed by the context or the perceiver.
Another way of understanding (_/_)* patterns is to think of them in terms of holons. If you imagine a holon that includes yet transcends every element of some group you will access a perspective in which preferences are relatively detached and objective. The closest analogy that Dream Sociometry offers to this category is the perspective of Dream Consciousness. As representative of the perspective that generated the entire dream or life issue, it is not actually a member of the group, although it is listed in the Dream Sociomatrix as if it were. Its relative absence of preferences that could not be categorized as indifference is what first raised the issue of the need for a category that looked like indifference but transcended preferences rather than simply choosing to not care one way or the other. While indifference does not care, the transcendent holon represented by Dream Consciousness sometimes cares in a way that transcends all preferences. If you took that stance and were to come across a group in which every single matter shared that perspective with Dream Consciousness a (_/_)* intrasocial community would be the result. It would be an extraordinary development, and to achieve this with any regularity would be doubly extraordinary, much more impressive than any psychic ability, mystical or near death state, because these are impermanent and transitional, while any regularity of (_/_)* implies a grounding and stability in a perspective that is normally only transient, infrequent and notoriously difficult to repeat.
This pattern implies interesting ways to approach not only meditation but consciousness in general. What does it mean to live in a mental space that is aware of preferences but chooses to transcend and include them? What happens when you do so? In the experience of this author, several ongoing and deepening states invariably follow, depending on the frequency and depth with which one returns to this space. The first is vast clarity, which has been described as “the sky of mind” or as “sunyata,” the Buddhist word for causal, formless, selfless emptiness, a sense of oneness without content or dualities. The second is a growing experience of the abundance of experience. This needs to be differentiated from the belief in abundance, associated with feelings of thankfulness, thinking happy thoughts or repeating affirmations. This is the difference between simple affect and development on the cognitive line, on the one hand, and the experiential inhabiting of a space of overflowing abundance as a reality of life in the here and now, on the other. The third state is bliss, something which is quite different from happiness or the emotional experience of oneness, often associated with orgasm, drug trips, mystical experiences and drug trips. The difference is that these are temporary states which are remarkable, transformational, instructive and highly addictive. Bliss is defined here as a permanent stage or space of consciousness in which all life is infused with preciousness and a sense of the sacred. This sense of the sacred is not associated with any particular religious belief, God, soul, spirit, divinity, act, ritual or sacred place. Instead all experience is recognized as sacred ground and honored as such. This sacredness might be associated with words like awe, power, respect, adoration and acceptance, but these are concepts that at best only point toward the experience of bliss.
Clarity and abundance are primarily the outgrowth of consistently preferring states of mind that are clear. patterns are expressions of such potentials and the contemplation of Dream Sociograms or those approaching same, as well as the perspectives of interviewed Dream Consciousness, tends to encourage the emergence of these potentials. The recognition of an endless multiplicity of highly accepting or trans-rationally witnessing interviewed characters, through the creation of multiple Dream Sociomatrices, tends to cultivate an underlying consciousness of abundance. The attainment of bliss may be approached as an outgrowth of a synthesis of clarity and abundance. While it can be attained through long periods of meditation or severe disciplines of purification, when used as an adjunct to a regular but modest practice of meditation, Dream Sociometry is a much easier way to access and amplify bliss.
characters are without preferences and are relatively clear, lucid, selfless, causal or even non-dual. They express clear awareness without content. Their statements in the commentaries would demonstrate keen awareness and wakefulness in the absence of preference. The most likely character to generate such a perspective is one that is generally not included, that is, one which is observing even the dreamer, non-lcid or lucid, because rather than a character from a dream or life drama, such a character personifies the context that creates dreams and in which life dramas occur. “Dream Consciousness” is the name IDL gives those perspectives that represent the contexts, holons, ground or Tao that transcends and includes positive, negative and indifferent preferences. Any figure or image could conceivably inhabit the perspective of Dream Consciousness; it hardly has to be a sacred image. IDL predicts that success at accessing this state in meditation will result in the generation of both dream and life drama Dream Sociomatrices with more instances of this sort of element.
The Dream Sociogram
IDL does not thereby imply that these patterns are better than any other of these fourteen patterns. It does say that the ability to generate any and all of the patterns some of the time is better than an inability to generate one or more of them. This is a distinction between capability and usefulness. The capability to generate a (-/-) pattern does not mean it is useful to do so. Instead, IDL emphasizes what you dowith whatever pattern gets generated rather than attempt to generate this or that variety of pattern. If characters show up in your intrasocial groups, ask them questions. Challenge them and test them to make them validate that they are what they appear to be. If so, further test them by asking for their feedback regarding life issues of concern to you. If they make recommendations that make sense, test them by applying them in your life. If you are so fortunate as to gnerate a Dream Sociogram, in addition to consulting its members in the fashion mentioned above, contemplate the Dream Sociogram itself like a mandala. Attempt to identify with or become the entire intrasocial group.
Why have these patterns not been observed? We are creatures of preferences, including indifference. We are so rooted in our preferences that to find choosers with no preferences whatsoever, without thereby being indifferent, is atypical and to find several with no preferences, all of which still include them, would be quite unusual indeed. To have no character express any preferences, yet in their Commentary remarks indicate quite clearly that this has nothing to do with indifference, would be quite the rarity. Now it is true that if you or I, as meditators, became clear and then created a Dream Sociogram “snapshot” of that moment, giving names to elements of the experience, such as our body, the room, objects around us, etc. and added experiences and even emotions, such as the desire to create a Dream Sociogram of the event, we could certainly manufacture such a pattern as unitary consciousness manifesting as each discrete chooser. However, it would be hard to claim that this was much different than Dream Self staying itself rather than taking the perspective of this or that element. How would you differentiate same from prepersonal borderline states that commonly lack the ability to take the role of others? This would be the claim or challenge from outside the experience by those who do not recognize the immense qualitative difference between decompensation and clear awareness.
If the motivation behind the vast majority of intrasocial groups appears to be to wake us up, what would a pattern wake us up to? Perhaps it would wake us up to validation, to the fact that these perspectives strongly believe we are on the right track. In such a situation, the wake up call would be reinforcement, support and encouragement. We do already see this sort of motivation in the Commentary statements of choosers in (+/+) and (+/+)* patterns.
Summarization of Characteristics
Basic Description:Highly meditative, of a causal or non-dual variety. Clear, focused, lucid, witnessing, objective and open awareness exists without reaction to or immersion in content. Therefore, the room, its objects, other meditators, animals, your breath, your bodily states and so forth continue to exist in your awareness as objects of your awareness, but not as elements generating positive, negative or neutral preferences. In Tibetan Buddhism, Rigpa.
Historical Representatives:Causal and non-dual level meditators such as Buddha, Nagarjuna, Lao Tze, Shankara, Dogen, Linji Yixuan, Hakuin, Ramana Maharshi.
Humanoid analogies:Mystical, highly evolved extraterrestrials or channeled beings. Obviously, most extraterrestrials and channeled personas do not meet these criteria.
Lord of the Rings:The perspective of Tolkien, which certainly contains preferences regarding plot, action and outcome, but none on the level of characters within the drama he has created. An example of how clarity need not be either “spiritual” or without preferences, only relatively so.
Harry Potter:The perspective of JK Rowling. Again, this is not to make authors out to be masters of clear, focused, lucid, witnessing, objective, causal or non-dual open awareness, but to point out that relative to their creations that indeed, their perspective is relatively free of drama and non-conditioned.
Non-human analogies:Anything or anyone can potentially be imbued with this perspective. When one has it, it tends to be projected onto whomever and whatever one beholds. It then becomes quite easy to indulge in revisionism of scripture, religious traditions and mythologies or literature and proclaim the non-dual was there all the time as the “real” or “secret” or “actual intent” of the author. These discoveries say much more about the state of consciousness of the perceiver than the actual author or historical context. This is the same point that IDL makes with dream interpretation; the dream is gone and it will forever remain a mystery. We can only work with our experience of it in the context of our present consciousness.
Associated actions:Not just sitting meditation, but any activity in which clear, lucid awareness without perturbation exists while awake, dreaming, lucid dreaming, deeply asleep or in any other state. Creativity of all varieties is an underestimated but very real manifestation of this state.
World View: Distinctions, such as the differentiation of oneness from duality, no longer exist as meaningful statements. Both are experienced as cosmically humorous, absurd or simply ineffable.
Life Position: All mundane acts, feelings and entities are sacred; all sacred acts, feelings and entities are mundane. Within the context of creativity there is no distinction.
Affect:Experience is so rarefied it is difficult to speak of emotion, and it is a mistake to think of bliss, at least this type of bliss, as an emotion. It is more appropriate to refer to an intention to respect, accept, empathize and engage in a deep sense of thankfulness and gratitude. This is often indicated by choiceless choices that themselves indicate trans-rational witnessing. We, the beholder of such perspectives are much more likely to have strong preferences and experience love, fascination, creativity or bliss.
Defenses:Attempting to adopt thisperspective within the context of ontology – real things, such as Selves, souls or God as having or experiencing this perspective, is a defense against the loss of psychological geocentrism. Something or someone may approximate this perspective in reference to some particular holon or holons.
Stress Management:Eustressful, in that stressors are met with equanimity and non-personalization.
Drama Triangle Position: Definitely differentiated from drama within some subordinated holon, yet very much participating in worldly events and experiences as a perspective more closely approximating that of life itself. Still experiencing drama but at a higher, more refined, less “dramatic” level.
Favorite Games:“I’m special because I’m nothing and nobody.”
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:While outstanding meditators, lucid dreamers and other people who have attained sustained states of clarity and awakening have the ability to detach from and witness their feelings, thoughts and sense of self, this does not mean that they always do so, nor does it imply that when they do think, that their thoughts are free of cognitive distortions. Indeed, the presence of target words indicating cognitive distortion, such as “should,” “must,” “ought” and “can’t” in the writings of non-dual meditators does not disqualify them in this category, but merely indicates separate lines of development. Because one is highly evolved in witnessing does not either require or imply that speech, thinking or writing is free of cognitive distortions. These may be of any type.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Thinking that one has arrived at the end of personal or human evolution with the development of the ability to sustain non-dual clarity and wakefulness.
Economic mode:Like all interviewed perspectives that know that they are disembodied, (+/+)* choosers have no investment in physical, security or financial modes of “food” or exchange. In addition, these choosers have no investment in all emotional preferences, including love, since to do so is to imply an investment in its opposite (hate) and its negation (indifference). Is there a relationship with any “good” or food of exchange? It appears that (+/+)* choosers do indeed have an investment in an economic exchange based on acceptance, which is also a demonstration of respect. For example, creativity implies the acceptance of possibilities and conditions that have not previously existed, and the allowance of same is a form of respect. However, this appears to be uni-directional, in that while it is important for these choosers to act out of acceptance and respect, there does not seem to be a need by (+/+)* interviewed characters to be respected. If there is a motivation or intention behind (+/+)* “preferences,” or “non-preferences,” or “preferences that are non-preferences,” or choices that are neither preferences or non-preferences,” it would be to show respect without the assumption or requirement that it be reciprocated.
Political mode:In considering the various ways that power can be expressed, either autocratically, oligarchically or collectively by the governed, (+/+)* choosers do not seem to express any relationship to power and therefore to take any political stance, unless not expressing a relationship to power while showing acceptance and respect, is defined as taking a political position. Again, this must be differentiated from various forms of withdrawal from the expression of political power, such as passivity, non-violent protest or the decision not to vote. When there is no identification with a choosing self as real, then how power is expressed becomes arbitrary and purely functional. It is difficult to claim that (+/+)* choosers are passive, because they definitely are expressing a political preference, (+/+)*, in their expression of their power.
Cultural Mode:Embracing, encompassing, including those holons that have relevance to the particular collective. For example, dream consciousness in relation to dreaming and non-dual consciousness in relation to waking. Not making the valuations or applying the normative standards that apply to sub-holons which they embrace and include. This strongly implies a broad indifference to waking scripting, or microsocial culture, as well as the impact of collective human culture. This indifference is not apathy nor is it avoidance. It is a broad awareness of culture, including conscience and intuition, within the context of daily preferences to follow the culture of one’s life compass.
Philosophy:Holonic; integral; multi-perspectival.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic: Synthesis, from our perspective, but thesis, in the sense of unconscious competence, from theirs.
Level of Development:Late transpersonal. The concept of a self and taking things personally are amusing, in a tragi-comedic, compassionate sense.
Psychiatric concomitants: Easily confused by prepersonal and personal world views with prepersonal oceanic unconscious oneness via the pre-trans fallacy. Healthy and creative in relationship to sub-holons, but typically either ignored or repressed (fighting or killing) by perspectives that take their identity from culture and the reality of its internalizations.
Usefulness: Contexts of witnessing are important to access but not always either necessary or useful to maintain, adopt or incorporate. For example, it is unlikely that witnessing effectively produces solutions in either thesis or antithetical problem-solving, that is, when dealing with specific, real world issues like thinking. You don’t need (+/+)* when you are driving, cooking or performing most work tasks. It is most useful when you are under stress or problem solving and looking for creative solutions because it provides multiple broad contexts that consider possibilities that otherwise go unrecognized.
Bipolar Rejected: ( /-): “Pervasive Negativity”
( /-)Bipolar choosing/rejectedchosenplacements indicate fundamental ambiguity regarding preferences that underlie a denial of the worth of actions, thoughts and feelings. This is a pessimistic, cynical and passive-aggressive stance which covers a more fundamental and profound self-doubt and self-criticism. Although it is well represented in waking life and dreams, it is not found in intrasocial groups due to the internal contradiction between opposition on the Acceptance axis and only rejection on the element axes. Bipolar choosers prefer at least some characters. Those preferred characters will be placed on the positive pole of the Form axis, creating a ( / ) pattern instead of a ( / -) pattern.
( /-) Characters
Perspectives in this category are waking or dream entities that reject some, perhaps many, of their fellows and possess a thoroughgoing negativity toward characters, actions and feelings. They either dislike, dislike a lot or hate everyone and everything. One could imagine someone who is ambivalent about their own self-worth and negative toward their own actions and feelings, others and life. If this negativity is open and obvious then it will either come across as an attempt to control through intimidation or to shame, guilt-trip or scare others either into submission or into just going away and leaving one alone. If this negativity is covert, these motives are Machiavellian, that is, manipulative, for the maintenance either of power or solitude. These perspectives could also be different roles within the same individual. You hate work, you dislike your spouse and kids, you dislike your family, your conscience, how you feel; you hate traffic, the government, interruptions, gossips, kindness, which you don’t trust, stupidity and all sorts of experiences, which you find annoying or distractions. High irritability would be an understatement.
Any exceptions are neutralized or crowded out by overwhelming negativity. Normally we presume such negativity exists as a defense against perceived threat, but this may or may not be the case. In both waking life and dreams it is possible to generally dislike, dislike a lot or hate everything and everyone, including oneself. The problem with duplicating this pattern in Dream Sociometry however, is twofold. First, there is the logical contradiction pointed out above. Secondly, there is the great likelihood that, regardless of how thoroughly or completely you dislike yourself and others, other interviewed perspectives will express some likes. In a multi-perspectival world view, your reality is not reality; Dream Sociometry forecloses the possibility that psychological geocentrism can or will define reality.
This is the type of pattern one might expect to see among thieves that are thoroughly disliked by all other perspectives. However, notice that this would create a ( / ) pattern, not ( /-). Most petty and professional thieves will not generate the ( /-) category, and the thought that they would is probably a reassuring myth that we tell ourselves to create distance from what we fear we might really be.
Battle of the Flying Boatsproduces an intrasocial group that almost falls into this category. Such perspectives may be rejecting or neutral toward themselves as are Kamikazesand Nazi boat. These characters do not like who they are, where they are or what they are. They don’t like what they are doing thinking and feeling or what others are doing, thinking and feeling. If you find characters in Dream Sociomatrix Commentaries that think that they are good and what they are doing is justified and that everyone else is the source of their problems, they disqualify themselves from this pattern; it is most likely ( / ). Other interviewed perspectives will generally point out in the Commentaries how self-serving and delusional this belief is.
In war, fighters typically are taught to degrade, discount, reject and hate the enemy but are in agreement regarding the importance of fighting and protecting their respective motherlands, a mission that has nothing at all to do with respect for human rights. But again; such people generally hold themselves and their cause in high regard because to do otherwise would be to remove all justification for treating others as they do not wish to be treated. Therefore, such individuals place themselves in the ( / ) category, not ( /-). ( /-) groups, if they could even exist, would manifest socially-cultivated mass decompensation that is crazy-making and sick, somewhere beyond Brave New World and 1984. However, something that looks like ( /-) but is actually ( / ) is quite common where social-cultural roles are highly ritualized, such as in the military, religion, political parties, law and advertising firms, sales departments and corporations. As with the other patterns that are possible in waking and dream lives but not intrasocially, powerful cultural-social macrocosmic reinforcers maintain self-destructive dishonesty.
The conclusion to be drawn is that this category is unlikely even in waking life and dreams, once we practice multi-perspectivalism. Any degree of empathy immediately destroys the illusion of its existence. We might say that it is the delusion of psychological geocentrism devoid of any empathy whatsoever, something that is possible but highly unlikely in waking life and dreams and impossible in intrasocial groups.
The ( /-) Dream Sociogram
A Dream Sociogram of this type would indicate rejection overlying ambiguity and therefore confusion, regarding associated life issues. If the dreamer is afraid that he really isn’t any good or doesn’t know who he is or where he’s going, blaming others may appear to be an effective defense. This is the position of persecutor in the Drama Triangle. See, for example, the Commentaries of Battle of the Flying Boats. There exists paltry little insight, due to a pronounced external focus and considerable denial in these characters. These groups give attention much more to what they don’t want than on what they do. Self-criticism and external reinforcers keep these perspectives stuck in drama, dukkha,misery.
( /-) Dream Sociograms
This type of Dream Sociogram, if it could be created, would be antithetical. Rejection is thoroughgoing. Antithesis, like synthesis, is by nature difficult to maintain. Physiologically, it resembles the General Adaptation Syndrome described by Hans Selye and follows a similar course. A broad-based defensive alarm reaction is followed by a relatively long-term attempt to fight off the stressor. If this fails, exhaustion sets in, which superficially looks like a return to competency but is in fact a “last hurrah” before death. The analogy is meant to imply that all antithetical patterns, beginning with ( /-) and continuing with (-/-) and (-/-)*, represent a consistent draining of resources and therefore are not only unstable but are impossible to maintain as ongoing developmental stages. Therefore, the farther one progresses from ( / ) in this direction the more likely you are to be looking at temporary states maintained by waking identity and its surrogates as a statement of extremely narrow and rigid psychological geocentrism. Completing a number of Dream Sociomatrices can be expected to reduce the incidence of Dream Sociograms that contain elements evocative of ( /-) characteristics and, more importantly, generate a reduction in the waking and dream perceptual stance that it represents. This is because the objectifying of this pattern, combined with practice in multi-perspectivalism, should move individuals away from both the pervasive negativity and underlying ambiguity toward life, others and self in both dream content and associated waking life dramas. The process of character identification is in and of itself integrative and supportive of increased self-acceptance.
Summarization of ( /-) Characteristics
Basic Description:While some choosers are preferring and others rejecting, they are in agreement that chosen characters, actions and feelings are to be rejected. This pattern reflects a type of cynical exploitation that is often found in perfectly well adjusted and highly intelligent people from Ivy-league universities that are pulling down huge incomes in status professional positions, but it is not possible in Dream Sociometric groups, although individual characters in some groups will demonstrate this pattern.
Historical Representatives: As explained above, look for those who are cynically exploitative and exceptionally clever at rationalizing their injustice and double standards. Neoconservatives and neoliberals are excellent contemporary examples. Capitalists who put profit before the quality of life of individual workers will vigorously deny that they fall into this pattern; they generally see themselves as altruistic and, like Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, doing “God’s work.” Soldiers who kill because they hate their enemy but have great ambivalence about it, since they love themselves, their families and their fellow soldiers, are another common example. For this analogy to hold, choosers in such a situation would be fellow soldiers who hold similar mixed preferences, as well as their enemies, who reject them, but love themselves and their comrades. This may, in fact, be the classical pattern for war and the PTSD often found in its combatants. Those who love to kill or do so as sport, do not fall in this category.
Mythology:Sisyphus, although he is a classical example of a victim in the Drama Triangle rather than a persecutor. He hates his fate of eternally rolling a boulder up a mountain only to have it roll back down again, as well as those who condemned him to it, but there is no reason for him not to like himself. Therefore, this is one more example that, when carefully examined, is seen to be ( / ).
Lord of the Rings:Dwarf warriors, who are typically mistrusting of others.
Harry Potter:Snape, who consistently despises almost everything and everyone. He is a reluctant murderer who takes great risks out of love and who nevertheless finds genuine joy in tormenting Harry and others. Dementors, who are amoral killers, yet there is no indication theyhate themselves. Rita Skeeter.
Lord of the Flies:
Brave New World:
Non-human analogies: The Matrix, which is thoroughly predatory. It provides an excellent personification of the Persecutor role in the Drama Triangle.
Associated actions: Predation; exploitation. It can also involve the projection onto others of one’s own self-loathing.
World View:Amoral greed and selfishness.
Life Position:“I may be OK or I may not be; you and life are not OK.”
Drama Triangle Position: Victim and Persecutor
Defenses:Projection: “You are the cause of my stress, unhappiness and lack of freedom, but so am I.” One could imagine an addict of any sort thinking this.
Stress Management: Displacement of responsibility for unhappiness/failure onto others.
Favorite Games:“I can’t be happy or succeed because of you.” The “you” could be an inanimate object like alcohol or cocain or it could be a process, like gambling.
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:“It doesn’t matter.” Blaming.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Avoiding responsibility.
Political mode:Control; repression
Cultural mode:Manipulation for personal advantage.
Philosophy:“Greed and self-interest are good.” At late personal levels of development, existential meaninglessness; Sartre’s “Nausea.” This could also be Schopenhauer’s pervasive pessimism or Hobbes’ amoral assessment of human nature.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:May be antithetical if a nightmarish wake up call, but as a life position this is toxic, self-destructive, regressive and fixated thesis.
Psychiatric concomitants:Pervasive self-criticism within a context that includes some acceptance. That might simply be preferring the valuation that one is deserving of self-criticism. If chronic and characterological, borderline personality disorder.
Usefulness:A pervasively negative outlook has a protective function. On a societal level this position has multiple advantages: power and security. Culturally, it generally confers status because society tends to make security its priority. If recognized and used as a wake up call ( /-) can promote the transition from mid-personal social adjustment to late personal egalitarianism and pluralism.
Rejecting/Preferred: (-/+): “Addiction Masking Self-Hatred”
(-/+)Rejecting choosers/preferred chosenplacements indicate self-rejection conjoined with rationalization of behavior, emotions and others. While these behaviors, feelings and relationships do not have to be addictive, to the extent that they support drama and emotional, logical and perceptual cognitive distortions, they are.Because addiction is so fundamental to human experience, it is found in all categories. However, the (-/+) category provides what is perhaps the clearest expression of the underlying preferences that allow them to persist.
A chooser’s majority negative preferences consign them to the negative pole of the Acceptance axis while chosen characters, feelings and actions are only found on the positive poles of the Form, Affect and Process axes. This is another pattern that is methodologically rendered impossible by Dream Sociometry but that can still exist in waking life and dreams, largely as temporary states or moods experienced by waking or dream self when cabals take control, as in reactivity, impulsivity and addiction.
While dislike, disliking a lot and hatred can be based on principled, well-thought out positions, such as hatred of abuse, exploitation, war and killing, it takes energy to sustain negativity, and that implies an underlying fear, whether or not it is recognized or acknowledged. Fear itself is not necessarily unwise or destructive. However, a general rule of thumb is that 95% of fear is reactive, regressive and unnecessary. Therefore, rejections, that is, negative preferences, are assumed by IDL to be powered by fear unless demonstrated otherwise. This is particularly true (-/+), (-/ ), (-/-) and (-/-)* categories.
While (-/+) is quite common in waking life and is depicted in dream scenarios, it is impossible within intrasocial groups because the preference grid does not allow for the inherent contradictions of these preferences that allow this hypocrisy to exist in waking and dream experience. Choosers cannot be completely rejecting of characters and prefer them at the same time. Dream Sociometry imposes reason for “normal” irrational and emotional cognitive distortions that underlie and define waking and dream experience.
Self-rejection may be indirect, as it is when we project our dislike, strong dislike or hate onto aspects of ourselves that are personified by other choosers or it may be both indirect and direct, as it is when we both project our dislike and own our rejection of ourselves. When a character states some degree of negative preference toward itself it is demonstrating self-rejection. However, rejection is rarely simply about some other individual or experience, as we like to suppose that it is. Instead, we must always ask, “What aspect or parts of myself might I be rejecting?” To suppose our dislikes of others are not statements of how we feel about ourselves is a position that disowns all responsibility not only for what happens to us but how we perceive what happens to us.
The Rejecting/Preferred: (-/+) category is called “Addiction masking self-hatred” because addiction is a form of craving, or strong positive preference, that puts us in a position of hating the addicted parts of ourselves. We have interpersonal, behavioral and emotional addictions in the three realms of relationships, thought processes and dreaming. Addictions can exist among characters, such as an unhealthy dependency on an abusive spouse or boss who is corrupt or exploitative. Such addictions often have a behavioral focus, such as smoking, drinking, eating junk food or taking drugs. An addiction can be purely emotional, such as addictions to raging, blaming or guilt. However, every addiction contains all three components and (-/+) patterns illustrate how perceptual world views, actions and preferences interdependently co-create and maintain addiction.
Most smokers dislike, dislike a lot or hate that they are addicted to nicotine; most of those who stay in abusive relationships dislike themselves for it; those who are too undisciplined to set or stick to goals that are important to them dislike themselves for it. While one will not find this group in Dream Sociometry, you will find it commonly in the world in those groups in which all the members share the same addiction. As soon as you broaden the group to include places, inanimate objects like chairs, or animals you get non-addicted members of the group who make preferences that do not validate the addiction. Remember that most addictions are hidden by their constant support. If I have all the money I want my underlying addiction to security, comfort and money is hidden; if I have all the group validation I want my underlying addiction to acceptance/fear of rejection by others is hidden. The core addiction, is of course, to the maintenance of our addiction to our sense of who we are, which we need to function in the world, but which constantly proves itself to be an inadequate delusion. There also exists an underlying fear of the power of our addictions and how they curtail our freedom. They take the role of powerful persecutor and we the role of helpless, powerless victim.
The chosen elements on the three element axes represent aspects of some particular addiction while the choosers on the Acceptance axis depict perspectives that are rejected, at least in part due to their addiction but also because they do not participate in the addiction or in some way are a threat to it. Members of alternative religious sects, like Shiites are for some Sunnis, is an example. As a general rule, patterns that emphasize negative preferences, that is, rejection, are generated by one’s own fear and therefore represent self-aspects rather than say, demons or possession. Emerging potentials are unlikely to show up in these groups unless 1) characters who do not share the addiction sneak into it or 2) characters transform. Patterns that emphasize positive preferences (+/ ), (+/+) and (+/ )*, are less likely to be generated by fear or to serve as defenses against fear. As a result, they are less likely to present perspectives that are primarily self-aspects, including angels, deities and God. Instead, they are more likely to represent emerging potentials that are representations of the priorities of life distilled from broader, more inclusive holons than our own. However, fear and negative preferences are also emerging potentials, as can be seen in the Dream Sociometric treatment of nightmares, and positive preferences are never completely not self-aspects; as long as there is perception there remain elements of self projected into and onto all experience.
In intrasocial groups rejection of others is clearly experienced as self-rejection, not necessarily in the statement of preferences, but in the reading of Commentaries and observations of patterns in the Dream Sociogram. Clearly, addictions do not create this pattern due to the conditions mentioned above but most likely ( / ) instead.
Although most of us do a good job of blocking out contradictions to our self image, there is no doubt that we dislike, dislike a lot or hate ourselves for our addictions and keeping ourselves in a position of unhealthy dependency.Our rationalizations are a form of dishonesty, designed to reduce cognitive dissonance that is exposed when Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms are created. This is a good psychological explanation why most people are not interested in experiencing the degree of self-knowledge generated by IDL. Most of us already are painfully aware of our weaknesses, short-comings and addictions and do not need to be reminded of them. IDL interviewing moves us from unconscious incompetence and the beginnings of conscious awareness of our incompetence into a full-blown awareness of what we are running from. However, because we expect and assume that such an awareness must be persecutorial, since that is our own stance toward those aspects of ourselves we do not accept, we are typically surprised that the perspectives that we access through IDL typically are not, due to the fact that they tend to be detached from the drama and relatively non-addicted. Consequently, they have no need to persecute either themselves or us. However, these experiences are generally not enough to change our convictions and we tend to quickly forget and ignore the temporary state opening that the interview represents. Unless we have a support structure that keeps us accountable for working with those recommendations from the interview that we find wise and useful, we are unlikely to continue on our own. It is similar to going on a vacation that temporarily frees us from the echo chamber and groupthink of our normal waking work and home cultures. At first, we feel free and elation. In time, we tend to settle back into our stuck world view and the escapist hit wears off. Then, when we return from vacation, the state-dependent high is quickly submerged in the work and home conditions that reinforce our stuck world view. We tend to underestimate the extent to which we are submerged in the reality of the world view of our psychological geocentrism.
Things that we do not like about ourselves often do not rise to the level of addiction. We have seen in
( /+) patterns that we often pretend to like people we care nothing about or actively dislike, such as bosses or teachers. However, we normally like to do things that we know aren’t good for us, like eating junk food or too much, skipping exercise or sleeping late and these could be examples of self-imposed confinement to (-/+) hell. We normally feel things that we know are not healthy, such as explosive anger that we dump on others or self-criticism and guilt. We often reject others and ourselves while admiring their positive characteristics that we lack. We commonly find this in depression, some anxiety disorders and personality disorders. We then dislike ourselves for our self-rescuing because we experience the misery and alienation that follows the temporary elation. These too might land us in
(-/+) within the collective of our various waking role identifications. Because these are the only perspectives we are listening to and they all agree, they reinforce the same dysfunctional and destructive psychological culture. Dream Sociometry breaks up this self-created delusional world view by objectifying it and accessing authentic perspectives that do not buy into it.
We can only produce these patterns because we function in waking and dream states largely at a pre-conscious or early to mid-prepersonal level. Addictions sustain themselves by operating automatically, free of conscious awareness of the spectacular range of contradictions they require for their maintenance. As soon as we are asked to become aware of our preferences, as we do when creating Dream Sociomatrices, we create patterns of preferences and Dream Sociograms that are more honest, that is, that include rejection of the feelings, thoughts and behaviors that we have that are associated with our addictions. These rejections create different patterns from (-/+), generally ( / ). Further transformations are likely to create acceptance-dominated patterns. Taking the perspectives of other invested perspectives entail very conscious actions through which genuine preferences are expressed. These generally undercut the emotional, behavioral and attitudinal sleepwalking that maintains addiction, but only if done repeatedly. This is because the reinforcers of your stuckculture, your psychological geocentrism, are immediate and ongoing while the reinforcers of broader, clearer and liberating contexts are not. They have to be consciously, persistently sought and cultivated. This is why IDL is a dream yoga and integral life practice.
When all perspectives basically dislike one another but enjoy a certain shared feeling or action something that feels like a ( /+) pattern but is actually ( / ) is created. Two boxers may not like each other while enjoying fighting. This is a “Virginia Wolf” pattern: a common dysfunctional need to validate self-destructive scripts brings dissimilar and conflicting people together. Superficially, this is what a typical nightmare looks like. We get to validate our fear while the antagonist gets to validate its power and persecutive abilities. However, Dream Sociometry demonstrates that this is a delusion. Even when both protagonist and antagonist maintain their stance, which is rare, other perspectives exist that state elaborations that show the relationship is based on cognitive distortions.
When we tell ourselves “I’m not OK but you’re OK,” with “you” being the addiction or antagonist we are lying to ourselves, because if I do not believe that I am OK, then I do not honestly believe that you are OK. If I reject myself I am also going to project that self-rejection onto the motives and behaviors of others. My acceptance of you in the (-/+) pattern is therefore superficial and dishonest; I really don’t like or trust you, because I don’t like and trust myself. In this regard, Dream Sociometry brings into objective awareness the dishonesty and hypocrisy of pretending to like others when we do not like ourselves. In our waking lives and dreams we can and do lie to ourselves. We can easily fool ourselves, but it is much, much more difficult to lie to ourselves when we take other invested perspectives that speak from their own point of view.
People who create these patterns in their waking lives and dreams experience both internal and collective ambivalence. They both like and dislike themselves. Since we all haveaddictions, this is a truism about the human condition. What is much less recognized is that, because we both like and dislike other aspects of ourselves, as personified by other people in our lives and by our dream characters, our experience reflects either phony, superficial acceptance or a great deal of honest but very uncomfortable negativity toward ourselves and others. When confronted by such an uncomfortable choice, is it any wonder that most of us choose phony, superficial positivity? To the extent that we reject ourselves we project various degrees of dislike onto our macrocosm. Then, the more convinced that we are that self-rejection and rejection by others is warranted, that is, validates our life script, the more confused and self-contradictory our choices will be.
When we demonstrate the equivalent of (-/+) patterns of preference in our dreams or waking lives we claim we love our addictions, others and the world. We may really believe we do. While we may or may not also dislike ourselves directly, we usually will, because we are trapped both in addiction and dishonesty. However, relationships, behaviors and feelings that validate our cultural and internally scripted mythologies continue to bring such security, comfort, satisfaction or validation that challenging is seen to risk major negative consequences and no significant benefits. Even though our addictions and the lies that maintain them are toxic and self-destructive, they are preferred more than they are rejected or we would have gotten rid of them. It is easier to recognize how politicians, bankers, brokers and salesmen fit this profile but much harder to recognize it in ourselves. We will normally act with respect toward those we dislike or detest in order to conduct business or accomplish some aim that is associated with our job description, social position or to maintain a partnership for financial or child rearing. When we create such patterns, we can be expected to not only be confused but in sufficient inner turmoil that we are not be able to empathize with others or get into role.
The (-/+) Dream Sociogram
A Dream Sociogram of this type, if one could exist at all, would involve a degree of inner dissension that would create great ambivalence and consequently a tight element constellation with near-center placement of elements.
(-/+) Dream Sociograms
A number of Dream Sociograms of this type would imply a sado-masochistic individual, organization or society that is highly self-critical and who successfully justifies abusive action directed toward itself and others. The rationalization may be self-defense, profit-seeking, the furtherance of science, the carrying out of God’s will or the accomplishing of some task, like war, that is more important than the lives of humans. This is easier to maintain on a collective basis because there are more cultural reinforcers for perpetuating delusional systems of groupthink that we later, once we are out of them, look at as the product of ignorance, stupidity, temporary insanity or all three.
Summarization of (-/+) Characteristics
Basic Description:Found in waking and dreams but untenable intrasocially. This pattern involves schismogenesis, holding back and reciprocity-trivializing extreme contradictions between choosers and chosen. You like or love people, actions and emotions but dislike or hate yourself and others for it, probably because your love, need or desire is unhealthy or self-destructive. It most clearly manifests as a common and ongoing state of addiction to socio-cultural hypocrisy, generally justified by multiple rationalizations and appeals to conscience. The reason these abusive and delusional systems are maintained is due to an addiction to multiple powerful reinforcers, whether they be physiological, affective, cultural, social or economic, that reward addiction and hypocrisy.
Historical Representatives:Prostitutes of all sorts, that is, those who compromise their principles for money or status and know they are doing so. Rescuers in the Drama Triangle; drug addicts, torturers, relationship addicts.
Mythology: God in the Old Testament; he creates humans, then regrets it and destroys almost all of them in a flood. He cannot make up his mind whether He loves or hates his creation. This sort of capriciousness is fundamental to Greek mythology as well.
Lord of the Rings:Gollum’s love for “his precious.”
Harry Potter:Luna Lovegood’s father, Xenophilius, who appears kind and generous, but his actions, when not driven by bizarre beliefs, are driven by fear for the safety of his daughter.
Non-human analogies: We would have to conjure up beings that dislike or hate themselves but love tormenting others. While devils and incubi love tormenting others there is little evidence that they dislike or hate themselves in traditional mythologies. Animals are never found in (-/+), because even if they were to become addicted to something, for instance, you taught a monkey to be addicted to smoking, as has been done, the monkey will not hate themselves for it.
Associated actions:Anything that is positive, in that it is self-rescuing, but which reduces our self-esteem, because it reminds us that our self-rescuing persecutes us by keeping us stuck in the victim role in the Drama Triangle. Violent sports, pornography, nationalism and military service may or may not encourage (-/+).
World View:“I must keep up this masquerade that I am OK, you are OK and the world is OK even though none of it is true. As a result, I am condemned to live a lie, and the best I can do is self-medicate myself through mindless consumption and anesthetizing momentary pleasures.”
Script Position:“I need to be rescued.” “I will claim you are OK, but because I am not, my true belief is that you are not OK either.”
Drama Triangle Position:Self-rescuing
Defenses: Avoidance either through self-rescuing or manipulating others so that I am rescued.
Stress Management:Avoidance. Denial: “I am not an addict; I am not addicted.” “I have no choice.”
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:Exceptionalism: “My addictions won’t kill me.” (Even though they are killing everyone else and I can feel their deadening effect on my life and potentials.)
Favorite Life Sabotages:Not cultivating objectivity.
Economic mode:Generate resources to feed my addictions: money, time, accomplices.
Political mode:“With enough power I will be secure in my addictions and insulated from sources that could challenge them.” There are attempts to convert all others to similar addictions so as to have them validated: drinking buddies, democracy, freedom, human rights, etc.
Cultural mode:Anger at dependency; fear of having one’s hypocrisy exposed.
Philosophy:Determinism: my circumstances demand my self-rescuing and hypocrisy.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic: Negative, fixated, blocked thesis.
Psychiatric concomitants:While addiction is most closely tied to physiological early personal and emotional mid-personal fixations, all psychological dysfunctions have an addictive component. Much “normal” depression is of this category. People put on a brave face but authentically do not feel alright with themselves and others. As a result, there is a poisoning hypocrisy that undercuts any prospect for peace of mind and happiness.
Usefulness:Addictions have survival value. They generate important secondary gains that maintain the addiction, comfort and identity. Grappling with addiction, particularly the additions to fear and self-rescuing, is one way to frame the core, ongoing challenge of development.
Rejecting/Bipolar: (-/ ):“Nihilism”
(-/ ) Rejecting choosers/bipolarchosenplacements indicate great inner dissension and much self-doubt. Where emotion is present, it is overwhelmingly negative. Characters reject each other; and ambivalence is pervasive in preferences toward characters, actions and feelings. The overall stance is pessimistic, which validates an overall shitty outlook on life. These patterns exist in all three realms of waking, dreaming and intrasocial, because it is possible for characters to reject each other and to still create mostly negative but still ambivalent relationships on the Form axis.
This is by far a more realistic and honest pattern of preference than (-/+). It is more honest because it does not pretend to be loving, caring, accepting and happy when it is not. Also, there is far less rationalizing going on to deal with the servitude we have to our addictions. If the previous stage is unconscious incompetence toward dealing with addictions, the (-/ ) category is an improvement, because there is more conscious awareness of our incompetence in handling them. Therefore, although it certainly remains unhealthy, it is a healthier adaptation within thesis than (-/+), if it is a chronic pattern, and probably a healthier form of temporary antithesis. This is also a more realistic pattern of preference because it allows the powers of reason and conscious problem solving to be brought to bear regarding how to live with, make the best of and perhaps even transform addictions.
(-/ ) Characters
A character of this type is highly critical of just about everything and everyone in the group. Although this criticism is often considered both justified and helpful, it is a major detriment to making healthy adjustments to addictions. Multiple mutual character rejections means that the addict lives in an echo chamber of thoughts and feelings that are cognitive distortions that block problem solving and support both depression and anxiety. For example, in Incarcerated for My Crimes, Jaildislikes itself. It is critical of everything and everybody.
A good percentage of humanity is probably locked in this category. However, not everyone who is consciously incompetent is in this pattern; many people who are aware of what they don’t know and their limitations do so out of a context of either ambivalence or acceptance toward themselves. While all of us are moving through conscious incompetence in terms of various developmental lines all the time, only some of us are doing so from a stance of profound negativity.
The (-/ ) Dream Sociogram
A Dream Sociogram of this category involves considerable victimization. Some nightmares fall into this category. Disfigured Womanis an excellent example of the amount of conflict that can exist even in a group with few preferences and little intensity in choices. The pattern has a depressed feel about it: self-criticism, anger, vague intent, little motivation with no concentration of purpose. This is typical for the conscious incompetence stage of waking up regarding any drama or addiction. The reason we fight waking up is that it is painful to recognize how stuck we have been and still are. Those who sell waking up as bliss and love are snake oil salesmen or may have a time share to sell you. An individual with a significant number of (-/ ) patterns would be a good candidate for suicide.
(-/ ) Dream Sociograms
Dream Sociogramsin this group are the least common pattern in this series. Examples are Incarcerated for My Crimesand two that barely qualify, Disfigured Womanand Vicious Horses. When they do occur, they contain a great deal of dissension and are nightmarish.
Characteristics of the (-/ ) Group
Basic Description:Rejecting choosers/bipolar chosen patterns (-/ ), are indeed possible intrasocially as well as in waking and dreams. However, they are rare in this sample. While these Dream Sociograms depict considerable ambivalence, with elements generally found close to the center, (-/ ) characters are not indecisive. They are highly critical as a group. They do not like what is going on and what is being felt. They have very definite opinions about how the dream and waking life needs to be changed. (See Fighting Over A String.) They are generally displeased and unhappy about themselves, others and the issues that are of common interest to the group.
Historical Representatives:Famous pessimists regarding the human condition like Schopenhauer, Qohelet, the author of Ecclesiastes, Freud, Nietzsche and Dr House, may or may not fit into this category. Gorgias is another possibility. According to Plato, his philosophy was, “Nothing exists; Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it cannot be communicated to others.” Although Voltaire was hardly a pessimist, in Candidehe certainly glorifies misfortune to point out the absurdity of phony (-/+) and ( /+) world views. Of course a pessimist would say, “I am not being pessimistic, I’m being fucking realistic!”
(-/ ) individuals may also be addicts who are fully aware of theiraddiction and its vicissitudes, but feel helpless or powerless to overcome it.
Humanoid analogies:Haunting ghosts. Addicted to earthly experience, they mindlessly act out a negative and pessimistic world view: alcoholism, a reenactment of their death, etc. Zombies.
Examples from Literature:Lord of the Rings: Orcs
Harry Potter: PossiblyNarcissa Malfoy, who recognizes that her addictive dependency on Voldemort jeopardizes her son and tries to fight it, Inferi.
Winnie the Pooh: Eeyore, the donkey who is addicted to depression.
Associated actions:Futile fighting of addiction: relapsed alcoholic, chronic drug abuser. Futile attempts to move from conscious incompetence to conscious competence.
World View:Self-dislike due to conscious ambiguity about one’s addictions.
Script Position:I’m not OK, You’re not OK.
Drama Triangle Position:Rescuer/persecutor/victim. Self-rescuing via addiction, resulting in self-persecution via guilt, futile abstinence.
Defenses:Making excuses and rationalizing. Aggression; victimization, disownership, confusion.
Stress Management:Shifts to other addictions, for instance from binging to subservient kissing up, from raging to self-castigation, from shopping to consumption. Substituting a destructive addiction for one that is less so is a healthy stress management strategy. There are also positive addictions, such as reading, exercise, music, dance and meditation.
Favorite Games:Addict, in which indulgence is followed by self-abuse, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and depression, which generates anxiety which is treated by relapse into one of several habitual addictions. (“Let’s stir up trouble.”)
Favorite Cognitive Distortions: “This once won’t do any harm.” Rationalization, substitution. Black and white thinking; emotional reasoning.
Favorite Life Sabotages: Maintain friends and environmental cues that generate and validate a culture that reinforces favorite addictions. Reactivity; addiction to drama.
Economic mode:Satisfaction and comfort from repetition of addictive self-soothing destructive processes. These can and do involve any and all “goods” or sources of value, with the probable exclusion ofself-acceptance and respect.
Cultural mode:Mutual validation of addictive dependencies. Celebrations of mindless negativity such as depictions of violence and horror in media and sport.
Philosophy:Passive cynicism: “Don’t fight your addictions: if you can’t love them, at least maintain an uneasy truce with them.”
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:Destructive thesis; either nightmarish antithesis or, if it stimulates productive action, healthy antithesis.
Level of Development:For (-/ ), everyday life is one unquestioned addiction followed by another. Unquestioned habits of behavior, feeling and thought are addictions when we are not only dependent upon them, but when they get in the way of our health and development and we are unable or unwilling to set them aside. Clearly, this dilemma exists at every level of development and while addiction can be reduced, to think it is ever eliminated at some transpersonal or non-dual stage of development is delusional in the extreme.
Psychiatric concomitants:When we are weighted down and our options are limited by our addictions, we are the walking wounded. We so adapt to life as an addict that we lose all sense of what life relatively free of addiction feels like as well as its corrosive effect on our development. This describesdevelopmental fixation, dysfunctionality as socially, culturally reinforced acceptance as normal of states of deceit and bondage. Education, meditation and mystical experiences can provide important objectivity regarding what is possible. An ongoing weekly practice of creating Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms of both waking and dream issues is a reliable and effective foundation for an integral life practice.
Usefulness:Addictions are adaptive and provide innumerable secondary gains. Anyone who discounts addictions as weakness or stupidity are simply expressing their ignorance of the survival value of addiction. While the objectivity regarding this pattern and the specific ways your addictions imprison you in your daily life does not translate into better choices or freedom from addiction, it does make both more likely.
Rejecting/Rejected: (-/-): “Self-Destruction and Homicidal Hatred of Life”
(-/-) Rejecting choosers/rejected chosenpatterns are the archetype of chaos, disease and destruction. Members of this collective choose avoidance and negation of worth, while attacking others and discounting life. All choosers and chosen elements only occupy the negative axes of the Dream Sociogram. This pattern can exist in waking life and dreams as well as in Dream Sociometry, although it has not been seen. It is possible for every character to state negative preferences toward one another, actions and feelings.
The Banality of Evil
While it is hardly impossible, it is difficult to be scared of things you understand. For example, you can understand that spiders, snakes, scorpions, cliffs, guns, criminals, police and politicians can kill you and still be wary, cautious or even scared of them. This is what might be called appropriate fear and it is useful at best five percent of the time, generally as a background cautionary awareness that does not rise to the level of emotionally activated, reactive fear. There are also situations, such as an impending car accident or coming upon someone who has just been in an accident or had a stroke, where fear is both appropriate and natural. Its function has been well described by Walter Cannon as the “fight or flight” response and by the Canadian endocrinologist, Hans Selye, as the alarm stage of the General Adaptation Syndrome found in all organisms. Fear also serves a cautionary function. If you come across an animal you have never encountered before, it is wise to be cautious, that is, have a slight degree offear. Therefore, those who council for the elimination of all fear are foolish. Fear has important, legitimate functions for physical security even when we have outgrown its usefulness for psychological security.
Such physiological fear responses have nothing to do with evil. which is a moral judgment, and moral judgments are not found in the natural world. They are products of culture and are personal and collective value projections onto others, events and the world. Consequently, evil is not found in interviewed emerging potentials to this date. If some exist, they are yet to be uncovered. Therefore, at this stage of exploration, evil is assumed by IDL to be a projection of the psychological geocentrism of waking identity. Evil is the externalization of imagined fears. Once we have projected fear as evil onto dream characters, people or events, labeling them “devil” or “demonic,” that evil can then be internalized as possession or as justification for guilt. We can then arrive at the conclusion that we experience or deserve evil because we are sinful.
Evil manifests in at least three major varieties, demonic, psychopathic and institutionalized. All are recognized as banal once understood.
Demonic is the easiest form of evil to recognize as banal because it is clearly an outpicturing of collective imaginings of what pure evil would look like. Devils and demons have nothing better to do but to hate you and everyone, but somehow, they manage to get along with each other, not unlike a band of crooks. If they are pure evil, how do they get along with one another? If they do, doesn’t that imply that they are not completely evil? This is a discrepancy that Dream Sociometry illuminates. Just interview your favorite source of evil, incarnate or disincarnate, and draw your own conclusions. If evil is truly hatred of everything and everyone, why don’t devils and demons kill themselves? The fact that they do not indicates that this evil is not pure, complete and universal. What would life be like if you sat around hating everybody and everything all day? Such evil is not only boring but tedious.
Psychopathic evil assumes that you get joy from torturing, abusing, discrediting and otherwise persecuting others. This is an expression of the banality of power and control. What could be more infantile than enjoying tormenting others? While children normally outgrow this common pastime, those who do not are labeled “personality disordered” unless, of course, they kill and torture for the government. Then they are miraculously transformed into “heroes,” self-effacing “public servants” and “protectors.” Personality disorders involve a failure to empathize and an inability to recognize any interests, needs or feelings but one’s own. This may manifest as the splitting of the world into good and evil, supportive and persecutorial, as various forms of sociopathy in which others and their possessions exist only as opportunities for exploitation or as full-blown narcissism. In any of theseforms, psychopathic evil acts out of a desire to maintain and expand personal security by manipulating and controlling others. The banality of this can be seen in the total non-empathetic curiosity of children who pull the wings off insects or get pleasure out of tying the tails of cats together, throwing them over a wash line and watching them fight to see what happens. While this can legitimately be labeled egocentrism and even narcissism, it only becomes evil when we view it as a gross violation of social or personal norms and as the source of great injustice. Our sense of fairness is based on our expectations. The world itself is neither fair nor just.
Psychopathic evil may also manifest as self-justified righteousness, which we commonly see in parents who spank children “for their own good.” We find this version of psychopathic evil recommended by God in the Bible as, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” meaning, “You hurt me, so I get to hurt you back.” Another ancient, spiritually-inspired version of evil is the Indian concept of karma, in which you are the one responsible for creating the evil you experience in your life. This is the logic of a four-year old, which defines justice and fairness as revenge and which views the fear of persecution, whether by others or by self, as the best way to keep other people in line.
Institutionalized evil is perhaps best illustrated by Barak Obama, who not only personally authorized, at Tuesday morning meetings, multiple illegal and unconstitutional drone strikes that killed women and children as well as adult males, none of whom were charged legally with any crime, but were merely “suspected” of crimes. This evil is particularly pernicious because it is not only widely socially accepted but applauded, and it is done by someone who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Such evil is completely banal because it is not based on hate but on the honorable carrying out of one’s mandated role in society. “I will kill you. It’s nothing personal; it’s just my job.” This is the same justification for socially condoned murder by any military, arms manufacturers, judges who pronounce the death sentence and public executioners.
Institutionalized evil could probably be appropriately labeled collectively-induced sociopathy, meaning that it has characteristics similar to sociopathic personality disorder without the individuals involved carrying the diagnosis or qualifying for it. Instead, by participating in a sociopathic culture they avoid the designation themselves while being paid to function as persecutors within the Drama Triangle. They can personally be blameless and feel blameless; they are “only following orders” or fulfilling the requirements of their employer. While the Nuremberg Trials and the Geneva Convention makes clear that these rationalizations are violations of international law and norms of human conduct neither have made a dent in institutional evil, particularly as pursued by the loudest and most powerful purveyors of democracy and human rights.
Canadian psychiatrist Ewen Cameron, once president of the American and World Psychiatric Associations, provides another excellent example of the banality of institutionalized evil. In experiments funded by the CIA, which laid the foundation for its torture protocols, Dr. Cameron used a combination of solitary confinement, deprivation and drugs to cause multiple individuals to decompensate. They would first hallucinate and then access worsening psychotic states without orientation to time, place or identity. Dr. Cameron viewed himself as “helping” these individuals, based on the theory that if he could reduce them to a state prior to their depression, anxiety or other mental disorder, that he could then reconstitute their minds in a healthy way. The fact that he failed to do so was justified in his eyes, just as eugenic experiments on prisoners of war were justified by Nazi doctors and medical experiments on troops were justified by the U.S. military.
Evil, when questioned, excuses and justifies itself. It does not see itself as evil. This undercuts its ability to be classified as (-/-), because to do so all choosers would need to reject each other. While it is conceivable that all could prefer themselves but rejection by other choosers consigns all to the lower pole of the Acceptance axis, such groups have to this date preferred one another and rejected any positive elements, thereby creating nightmare patterns, a variety of the ( / ) category. The justification of evil of its acts is a theme you see in almost all its presentations and is a major factor that creates its banality. Sometimes these justifications are legitimate, as those of questioned monsters and other dream tormentors generally turn out to be. Their frightening countenance and actions are usually not motivated by evil, but to shock and scare you awake. This type of rationale is also commonly seen in institutional evil, but with far less legitimacy. The thinking is, “If I make an example of enough people, the rest will fall into line.” For example, this is the motivation and function of Islamic beheadings, limb-choppings and live burials of military deserters. These motivations are banal; while they are certainly unjust, do they rise to the level of evil? Certainly, not in the minds of the religious clerics who inspire them, who believe they are doing the will of Allah, very much like the executions of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli defense forces or the common use of torture by Christianity for centuries.
Another example of institutionalized evil is found in the story of a man who was tortured in Chile after the overthrow and likely murder of Allende. A year or so after the fall of Pinochet this victim of the regime happened to meet his torturer on the street. The torturer was friendly and in fact offered to help his past victim find work. It was obvious that he viewed his torturing as merely part of his job at the time and an aspect of his social role; his self-image was that of a nice guy who was only torturing as part of his work. The famous experiment of Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University in 1971 makes the same point. Randomly chosen individuals were quickly turned into torturers when assigned the role of prison guards. As part of their job description they received reinforcers when punishing “infractions” of “prisoners,” with more severe punishment most rewarded. Could anything be more banal?
If evil is indeed banal, then it is not to be taken at face value, as what it presents itself to be: real, an immanent threat and a threat to one’s own personal security. Nor should it be assumed that it resembles how culture and our psychologically geocentric imaginations present it. However, even when we understand and approach evil as banal, it is difficult for us to not personalize it as injustice or react to it with fear as long as our identity lies in things that can be taken from us – our jobs, social status, possessions, money, relationships, health or even life itself. For existence, robbery is a personal violation that is similar to rape in the type of feelings aroused if not degree. However, the intentions of most robbers are not personal; they just want the money or the power of having control. We are destined to miscaricature sources of fear as evil as long as our sense of self is invested in things that can die or which can be taken from us. While pain is inevitable, that we experience it as evil is not. That is a personal choice. The appropriate response to injustice is not reactive counter-persecution nor passive compliance, but the imposition of higher-order, structured and integrated relationships of the type revealed and demonstrated by Dream Sociometry.
( -/-) Characters
People often imagine their enemies as being evil at their core, hating everything and everyone, including themselves. However, when these enemies are themselves interviewed, it is invariably found that they do not resemble the convenient dismissal of their humanity that such a portrayal provides. Humans degrade the value and worth of their opponents as much as possible in order to justify abusing, exploiting or killing them, on the one hand, or justifying playing the non-responsible, helpless victim on the other. However, it is indeed the rare individual who views themselves as a persecutor who has brought this trouble upon themselves. Even people like Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin saw themselves as heroic people doing what was necessary to purge evil from their societies.
A (-/-) individual would be a member of an extremely destructive group. The group could be a nation, a religion, an elite military force, a cult, a family or a gang. It could also be an interior group made up of malicious, self-reinforcing thoughts and feelings. That group could also manifest in dreams. Such groups expressintent for the destruction of self and others. At worst, this would be a homicidal individual or individuals. Homicide is suicide because you are killing the parts of yourself that others represent. This reality is a major psychological factor in thedevelopment of PTSD among soldiers. While approximations of the (-/-) pattern commonly exist in predatory collectives, such as militaries, exploitative businesses and highly abusive individuals, it is highly unlikely that this pattern itself exists in waking life for more than outbursts of intense rage and impulsive aggression, because the utter rejection of everyone and everything undercuts the forces needed to sustain itself. Nevertheless, this pattern is extraordinarily dangerous, in that such motivations in those in control of massive destructive power can, within the short periods of time that this pattern runs its course, destroy people, cities and entire countries.
(-/-) people are generally honest with themselves and with others. They know they are liars and killers. They often know that what they are doing, thinking and feeling is self-destructive, but willingly proceed “under the influence,” as do addicts. Read Mein Kamfand Goebbels. While they clearly combine other types, there are ominous characteristics of (-/-) in both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Read Netanyahu’s statements to the Israeli Parliament. Look at the statements of motivation of killers throughout history. They can be respected for their consistency and clarity. (-/-) is any government at war and any soldier committed to supporting murder in the name of the state. This is any True Believer that believes that the ends justifies the means, meaning they are capable of persecuting others in the name of God, freedom and human rights. (-/-) represents the repression of all doubt and the rationalization of all abuse. While (-/-) people need to see themselves as the “good guys,” doing “God’s work,” embarking on a holy, sacred mission, this farce can only be maintained as long as they surround ourselves with an echo chamber of positive mutual preferences regarding destructive, abusive ends.
Optionally, these people disclaim responsibility when taken out of their protective cultural echo chamber and held accountable. They were “not themselves,” but under the influence of murderous rage or they were “just following orders.” This pattern can indeed represent the suspension of executive functions and conscious control over behavior. However, as we have seen in our examination of other categories, this is true for the majority of human behavior. Do we hold ourselves accountable for our actions while sleepwalking or in an altered state or do we appeal to groupthink, demons or karma?
It is highly unlikely that intrasocial groups will be created that select out dissenting perspectives. Even if they are, and you can experiment with this by creating same yourself, their preferences are highly unlikely to be pervasively rejecting, sufficiently so as to generate only negative polar placements on all axes. While we have seen that this routinely occurs in waking life and can be depicted in dreams, it can only be done intrasocially by selecting elements for the Dream Sociomatrix that represent the prevailing angry and rejecting mindset. However, at least some of the animate and inanimate elements, like trees and tables, in any waking or dream situation will defy and challenge the destructive echo chamber. Therefore, in order to create (-/-) patterns we must neither be narrowly selective or refuse to get into role.
The (-/-) Dream Sociogram
While this pattern is not found in this sample, there is no structural or methodological barrier to its creation intrasocially as well as in dream and waking life. A Dream Sociogram of this sort is not common because such a group, if authentic, will share positivepreferences: to reject everybody and everything. They prefer rejection and anger. For example, if the action “rejection” or the feeling “hate” were chosen elements in the narrative, rejecting choosers would create a Rejecting/Bipolar (-/ ) instead. Therefore, while the (-/-) pattern is theoretically possible, it would most likely only be created if important and obvious elements were left out of the list of chosen elements listed in the Dream Sociomatrix. Incarcerated for My Crimes is a good example of this reality. While this dream generates a collective that comes closest to a (-/-) pattern of any of the Dream Sociograms in this sample, it not a pure example of this category because it contains some positive preferences. The theme here is self-abuse, self-criticism, self-condemnation and guilt. Even a perspective that is normally nurturing and highly accepting in other intrasocial groups (Jess)is critical.
One way that (-/-) patterns could be created is as a snapshot of rage. For a short period of time there is nothing to like. The problem is that there is a difference between being in rage, describing it after the fact and thirdly, taking the roles of the various aspects of the rage. Objectivity, which is required in order to take the roles of the various aspects of the rage, is incompatible with rage and with most anger. The Drama Triangle provides another way of explaining this paradox. Interviewed elements in rage that express consistently rejecting preferences are in the persecutor role in the Drama Triangle. They feel justifiably angry and their cruelty is necessary “to teach others a lesson,” even if it is an aspect of self, as in slicing one’s wrists. Persecution is justified by a greater good, such as demonstrating loyalty to a cause or command. These persecutors therefore see themselves in the role of rescuer – bringing obedience to children, exercising theirconscience in self-punishment to teach themselves submission and generate purity or bringing the Divine Plan to pass as its servant. Because (-/-) individuals are “forced” or compelled to commit these abusive acts they also see themselves as victims. All three roles are clarified by the Commentaries of such groups. The conflicting purposes of these three roles tends to generate bipolar ( / ) or (-/ ) patterns, not (-/-) patterns.
(-/-) Dream Sociograms
Dream Sociogramsin this grouping are generally antithetical but can be an aspect of status quo thesis consciousness in waking and dream life. Whenever and wherever rejection is strong, conflict exists, because we are rejecting those aspects of ourselves that characters, actions or feelings represent. The consequence is likely to be depicted in the Dream Sociogram as high ambivalence and elements located very close to the center of the Dream Sociogram.
Summarization of (-/-) Characteristics
– All choosers reject other choosers more than they prefer them; as a consequence, all choosers are on the negative pole of the Acceptance axis.
– All chosen characters, actions and feelings are rejected more than they are preferred; as a consequence, all chosen elements are on the negative poles of the Form, Process and Affect Axes.
– The (-/-)category exists in dreams and waking preferences and interactions but is unlikely to occur in Dream Sociometry. Those who are either incapable or unwilling to get into role or who leave out inanimate choosers could create such a Dream Sociomatrix. However, the result would not then be considered a statement of an authentic intrasocial group, which assumes broad role identification and thereby multi-perspectivalism. If a person is simply echoing their waking perspective in a different role they usually have not gotten into role. The creation of (-/-) patterns also requires the ignoring of collectively preferred negative actions and feelings, such as a group enjoying killing. Therefore, the following associations relate to dreams and waking preferences but probably not to Dream Sociograms.
Historical Representatives:Historical figures that hated themselves and killed others or themselves to get even or punish others. Depressed, rejected people often kill themselves as a way to punish those that they feel have neglected or rejected them. Jim Jones (+/ ).
Humanoid analogies:To qualify for a (-/-) pattern you not only have to hate others; you have to hate yourself. Most villains, demons and tormentors like themselves. Therefore, to qualify you have to be suicidal and not for a cause, like a terrorist or kamikaze, but because you hate not only others but yourself, “self-loathing.”
Mythology:Oedipus Rex? Figures that kill themselves to spite others. A negative Samson. Abuse and violence toward others and self out of a desire to bring the world crashing down with one’s own demise.
Lord of the Rings:Gollum’s psychotic split personality Smeagol, demonstrating his homicidal self-loathing closely associated with the despair and hopelessness of depression.
Harry Potter: Dumbledore’s suicide/homicide, carried out by Severus Snape, is an example of an act that appears to fall into this category but which in fact is done by a highly accepting figure (Dumbledore) and carried out by another figure (Snape) who although highly conflicted, is fundamentally motivated by altruism. One might classify it as self-directed euthanasia for political gain.
Bible: The portrayal of the enemies of the enemies of the Hebrews by God. Enemies are often depicted as self-hating, because why else would one want to separate oneself from divine mercy and bring upon themselves God’s wrath?
Shakespeare: Iago in Othello is a thoroughly despicable villain but does he hate himself?
Non-human analogies:Goblins, Gremlins, Zombies. We project onto them immorality and selfishness if not self-hatred.
Associated actions:1) Abuse and violence toward others, based on the belief that one can damage others without doing damage to oneself; 2) abuse and violence toward others and self out of a desire to bring the world crashing down with one’s own demise.
World View:“I am so focused on hating that I don’t care what happens to me.” Or, “I deserve to suffer and die and you do too.”
Script Position:I’m not OK, You’re not OK.
Drama Triangle Position:Persecutor.
Defenses:Aggression. blaming, self-justification, psychotic self-isolation.
Stress Management:“I have three unsolvable problems: you, my life and myself. I am angry about this, so I will kill everyone and everything.” Everything that is a source of responsibility is to be destroyed, although there is room in this pattern for elements to be ignored as well.
Favorite Games:“It’s powerful to hate without limit.” “I will persecute both of us so that we will be victims together.” “I cannot win; therefore, I’ll make sure everyone loses.”
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:Emotional reasoning; blaming (“fault,” “should,” “ought”) and discounting; global labeling.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Aggression, directed both inwardly and outwardly.
Economic mode:Amoral exploitation for a cultural “good: “I will gain self-validation through our deaths.”
Political mode:Unlimited hatred as the ultimate expression of power. “Since I must suffer and die I will make sure you suffer and die too” is the theoretical underpinning of the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction, the near-psychotic rationale for the maintenance of nuclear arsenals by nations. Suicidal terrorism is portrayed as motivated by same, but attackers themselves are not (-/-). They generally value themselves and strongly prefer the cause they are dying for. (Note that the 9/11 Dream Sociogram is ( / ), not (-/-)).
Cultural mode: Self-hatred for gender, as in some homosexuals/lesbians, could become so bitter it would approach (-/-) if it also hated “straights;” Race ( i.e., blacks envying whites while hating their own race) and social class (the poor hating their plight and taking pitchforks to the elite); nationality (Germans experiencing cultural guilt, post WWII, if they also hated both allies and communists); family (“trailer trash,” hating themselves as well as other families); social status (guilt at inherited wealth but hating others), religion (“self-hating Jews that hate non-Jews.”) Homicide/suicide cults, such as Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate are portrayed as so motivated, but these people generally have messianic delusions, which reflect a positive self-sense and attitude toward their cult and are therefore more likely to be delusionally (+/+).
Philosophy:Aggressive, non-passive nihilism.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:Generally antithetical because it is an extremely difficult position to maintain as thesis. However, as a life position it is an extremely toxic type of thesis.
Level of Development:This pattern fights development and embraces regression to extinction, not the regression of “back to Eden” and integration with unconscious oneness. It would be as if one were consciously pursuing a Darwin Award. Instead it is a disintegration and dissolving of the building blocks of personality and identity. It is an attempt to affirm mutual annihilation in hatred, which is highly antithetical at any level of development.
Psychiatric concomitants:May be represented by normal, socially adjusted sociopathy associated with the fulfillment of non-ethical cultural roles that are completely out of alignment from one’s life compass. It may also be represented by personality disordered characteristics in socially-accepted contexts, for example in business, politics, governance, economics, carbon-based energy production, the pharmaceutical, armament and fertilizer industries, in which characteristics associated with borderline personality disorder are institutionalized. Physical self-abuse, such as cutting behavior, comes close to qualifying for this category, but it is often motivated not only out of a desire for self-punishment and statements of victimization to perceived persecutors, but to create a level of pain that will screen out or cover the psychological agony one is experiencing. Therefore, cutting and other forms of physical self-destruction serve as forms of self-rescuing at least as much as forms of self-persecution.
Anger and rage represent a mobilization of energy that is typically a defense against hopelessness, despair and fear. Resistance, rebellion and fighting are all expressions of an activated will which is present naturally in the general adaptive response of all organisms. This pattern may represent anantithetical reaction or rebellion against the hopelessness of a pervasive depression, a persecutorial reaction to perceived injustice or a calculated effort to stamp out all opposition. Aggressive depression could be an exogenous alarm reaction to a crisis, in which case it would express the antithetical stage of the developmental dialectic. It could also be a statement of an ongoing, pervasively experienced life position, a presentation of the thesis stage. If there is hopelessness, as is common with depression, for (-/-) it is a substitution or mask for underlying anger or rage that is expressed as dislike or hatred. Aggressive depression may be a statement of revenge for perceived injustice and unfairness: “I will make them sorry for hurting me. I will kill myself and then they will be hurting, just like they have hurt me.”
The self-destructive angry depression that may be associated with (-/-) patterns is healthier than complete hopelessness, which is a state of impotence, in which the energy necessary for change is not present. (-/-) patterns involve activated energy represented by anger and the desire to punish others. It may attempt to turn death into a statement of justice or, more ominously, simply be a statement of dominance and absolute control.
Homicidality is often not associated with depression because of its external, aggressive nature, but in fact it is typically accompanied by an underlying depression. Homicide is a form of suicide because one is killing and therefore repressing parts of themselves personified by their victims. This is why police and those in the military who are unable to isolate the damage they inflict on others are prime candidates forPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Superficially, nationally-sanctioned war is a social and cultural celebration of psychopathology of the (-/-) category or something close to it. However, most armies and fighters like themselves because they believe they stand for truth, goodness and justice. Therefore, they would not create this pattern. More likely, they would create ( / ) patterns and at worst, ( /-) patterns.
Usefulness: If this pattern has any genuine usefulness it is in clarifying the motivations of those who attempt to place others in this category. Those people are aggressive persecutors who are attempting to justify their persecution by dehumanizing their opposition.
Highly Rejecting/Rejected: (-/-)*: “Pure Hatred”
(-/-)*Highly rejecting choosers/rejected chosenplacements, if they exist outside of florid imaginations, are possessed by evil, anger and fear. If these patterns were to exist at all intrasocially, they would be a product of, perhaps even diagnostic of, the extreme negativity found in some varieties of psychosis. But, since psychotics are incapable of getting into roles, with the exception of those that validate either waking dysfunctionality or one or another possessing dissociated personality, to the exclusion of all other perspectives, that type of maliciousness would probably only create patterns of this sort in waking or dream states. Nevertheless, it is theoretically possible. If it were to exist, it would be depicted as high or elevated placements on all four negative axes.
This pattern exists primarily in the minds of those who wish to project their own fears onto others in order to justify fear, hatred and abuse of others and self. If (-/-) groups automatically deconstruct due to their own internal contradictions, that is only more so for this group.
These perspectives would be scatological, intimidating, obsessed with power and control, sacrilegious, profane, threatening, confusing, but not confused, because of the strength and consistency of their negative preferences. Psychological geocentrism imagines that psychotic alter-egos and negative, nihilistic “possessing” personalities are personifications of (-/-)*. Powerfully and consistently rejecting any positive preferences, they would be intent on homicide which is, as explained above, an unrecognized displaced suicidal intent. One can imagine this type occurring in waking life as snapshots of intense rage that represses and ignores any moderating preferences. Therefore, those groups that are most prone to rage would be those most likely to produce it. Because rage is inherently difficult to sustain, what you would see are groups and individuals creating mostly ( / ) and (-/ ) patterns with temporary fugues involving the more drastic and unlikely (-/-) and (-/-)*. Such extreme rage is found among homicidal individuals and groups, such as some soldiers, mobs and zealots seeking revenge for perceived injustices.
Such rage is very different from evil, which is by nature banal, cowardly and opportunistic. One only needs to examine the details of the lives of one’s favorite historical monster to quickly uncover this reality. The evil of psychosis is irrational and pre-rational, hardly capable of focus, planning, reason or empathy. If an individual has been terrorized or lives in fear of attack, molestation or mutilization, their dreams could certainly depict such evil, but such depictions are projections, which is quite different from self-identification as (-/-)* by a character. When such dream narratives are subjected to Dream Sociometric processes, what looks like a (-/-)* perspective is very unlikely to be so, even if such a character scores quite low on the Acceptance axis and has negative preferences. In waking life we see this when mass murderers like Adolph Eichmann are interviewed. Similarly, dream monsters are frightening only when not understood. or in dreams that mirror such perspectives, but the degree of internal contradiction required to create (-/-)* intrasocial groups makes them highly unlikely.
It is difficult to imagine this pattern existing in waking life or dreams in the absence of the deployment of defense mechanisms such as projection and displacement and intense emotional regression. As we awaken to the realization that how we treat others we are so treating those aspects of ourselves that they represent, the delusions and irrationality that underlies such projections can no longer exist. To generate such an intense degree of psychological geocentrism you would have to want to reject and negate the worth of yourself, but not in a move toward integration and self-transcendence, but in a move toward disintegration and self-dissolution. This would be a conscious choice toward psychotic regression. In waking life, people generally only make such a choice for two reasons: they are so terrorized that they decompensate as an act of self-protective avoidance or as the final desperate act of a cornered animal.
The (-/-)* Dream Sociogram
To create such a pattern, all characters would have to hate themselves as well as most everyone and everything else. While this may describe some temporary states of maliciousness, deep depression, psychosis and possession, none of them are known to co-exist with any capacity for empathy, which is a pre-condition for the creation of Dream Sociomatrices and Dream Sociograms.
Summarization of (-/-)* Characteristics
Basic Description:This pattern and the personality type associated with it exists in science fiction and horror movies, as a projection of our own fears. To the extent that it exists in others, it is founded on our ability to give our power and rationality away to a façade of demonism. It is very difficult to find examples of this category that will hold up because most depictions of evil are quite narcissistic and value themselves. This creates a positive self-preference and therefore creates at worst a ( /-) or a (-/-) pattern. Therefore, most of the following are probably only examples of (-/-), not (-/-)*.
Non-human analogies:Note that viruses, bacteria, plagues and blood-sucking insects cannot fit into this pattern because they not only are not motivated by negative preferences but have a strong drive for survival.
Lord of the Rings:Sauron; the Balrog
Harry Potter:Dementors; Delores Umbridge “I must not tell lies.”
The Bible:The Devil.
Paradise Lost: Lucifer
Shakespeare: (Look up devils, demons in Shakespeare)
Mythology:Cronus eating his children.
Non-human analogies: Monster in “Alien.”
World View:Aggressive nihilism
Script Position:I’m not OK, You’re not OK.
Drama Triangle Position:Persecutor, with emphasis on self-persecution, since that does not involve a displacement of aggression. Any acts that appear to be rescuing or victimization will be in the service of persecution.
Defenses:Aggression as a means of validating one’s own self-hatred.
Favorite Cognitive Distortions:Demanding, blaming, emotional reasoning.
Favorite Life Sabotages:Attempts to sabotage life itself.
Favorite Games:“I will make you so afraid of me that I can easily overpower you;” “My self-hatred is a meaningful statement.” This is contradictory, because when self-hatred is preferred this pattern cannot exist.
Associated actions: Homicidal, suicidal rage; irrational destruction. Notice that the burning of cities and the slaughtering of their inhabitants by Huns, Visigoths and Mongols is not (-/-) or (-/-)* but merely (+/ ) or (+/-).
Economic mode:Pervasive nihilism as the only value. Negation of physical existence, sustainability, survival. Note that the valuation of hatred undercuts this pattern because (-/-) and (-/-)* hate hatred also.
Political mode: Suicidal attack based on the presentation of overwhelming power. Notice the similarity of this to the military doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.
Cultural mode:Rejection, hatred as preferred values, a stance that is internally contradictory. Authentic (-/-) and (-/-)* deny all values, including hatred, meaning that it would be impossible to state a negative preference.
Stage of Developmental Dialectic:Looks highly antithetical but generally maintains thesis by feeding the fears that maintain it.
Level of Development:Pre-rational; early prepersonal. Automatically self-destructs with rationality, empathy and objectivity.
Psychiatric concomitants:Homicidal, suicidal rage seeking utter and complete annihilation.
Usefulness:Such imagined figures, once understood as the projections and displacements that they are, are extremely obvious in their motivations and methods. Consequently, they are easy to recognize and understand, meaning that they can serve as effective wake up calls once one grows tired of scaring themselves or allowing the disempowerment by others through the activation of our fears, either in waking life or dreams. As a potential for evil within ourselves, it holds value only as an ultimate threat, one which, if acted upon, generates complete annihilation.
- Only a minority of these fourteen categories are to be found in intrasocial groups.
- Due to a lack of preferential accountability, all categories can exist or be imagined to exist, in waking and dream states.
- From the perspective of life, none of these patterns is “better” or healthier and none can be maintained to the exclusion of at least two or three others, without retarding development.
- The value of any pattern lies in its ability to function as a wake up call.
Increasedobjectivity, lucidity and wakefulness is associated with a preponderance of non-self-contradictory patterns.
Human development is likely to occur first in the waking state, because it is the most consciously aware, and that process of awakening is speeded up by the creation and examination of intrasocial groups. This is because multi-perspectivalism that is both macro- and microcosmically based provides important objectivity that is otherwise lacking. Such perspectives provide the ability to discriminate self-contradictory patterns of preference that are normally hidden to waking awareness due to itssubjective immersion in socio-cultural scripting, drama and cognitive distortions.
In terms of the Johari Window, they are “unknown unknowns” that become first known to other perspectives as “that known to others but not known to ourselves,” but because these “others” are partially self-aspects, they become, at the same time, “that known to ourselves as well as to others. ” That is, they are moved from complete unawareness into waking awareness.
This is changing radically, dramatically and quickly, due to the influence of the internet. While we do indeed tend to cocoon ourselves within echo chambers of comforting agreement, the worldwide web is not only bringing more of us of different ages and socio-cultural background into contact with one another more often, but we are more likely to encounter not only widely diverse opinions but direct confrontation of our beliefs and assumptions. The result is that an increased value is placed on clarity and rationality of communication over looks, status, race, religion, place of origin and various other traditional factors that we easily hide behind in order to gain deference or avoid having to defend our beliefs and assumptions rationally. This is indeed a sea change in human communication and is probably the one most critical factor supporting the development of humanity from prepersonal and early personal memes into a rationally-based mid-personal identity, which is itself a pre-requisite for any more advanced development.
It is wise to assume that dishonesty, self-duplicity and ignorance exist in allcategories, even synthesis and high synthesis, because this stance creates a context of questioning that contributes to further development and reduces the likelihood for the self-deception and grandiosity that are typically associated with certainty. At the same time, defend against allowing doubt to bleed over into skepticism and cynicism or a general discounting of the intentions of interviewed elements. This is a type of disrespect and is not deep or integral listening. The distinction is between healthy doubt of specific intentions, priorities, feelings and actions without disrespecting the perspective itself.
 Some career choices will actively discourage you from accessing your life compass. This is because these collectives exist in a subculture or professional guild that places the acquisition of some economic “food,” such as security, comfort, power or status before the priorities of life itself. It is important to recognize that there are perspectives within yourself as well as within all cultures that do not want you to access or listen to your life compass because doing so poses a direct threat to them. This is not to say that people who choose these careers cannot or will not grow personally or make contributions to society. However, these generally come not because of but despite the cultures with which they have chosen to identify.
Of course, the indignant response of lawyers is that successful client advocacyis justice, of politicians that the accomplishment of the ethical ends for which they stand requires the mustering of public support, and of salesmen that demonstrating to a customer how their product fulfills their needs is the definition of a quality product being provided by quality service. That these explanations are not seen to be the impressive rationalizations that they are is a testament to the even more impressive human ability of allowing personal interests to define reality.
 There are different meanings to the term“non-duality.”In the context of choosers stating choices within the context of the Dream Sociomatrix, it is most similar to the Yocacarin understanding of non-dualism as non-differentiation between cognition and its objects. It is not a lack of differentiation between subject and object, because perceivers are still choosing, implying differentiation. It is not the lack of differentiation between ultimate and conventional truth of Mahayana, as truth has nothing to do with preferences, and it is not a statement about the relationship between absolute and relative reality made by Chinese Buddhism. It is most definitely not a statement of the oneness of reality or that there is no distinction in the beingness or consciousness of individual elements and the whole, entirety or absolute, as understood by various forms of advaita.
 Drama, or identification with misery through manipulation and the avoidance of intimacy and authenticity, is a synonym for dukkha, the Buddhist conception of suffering based on ignorance and attachment. Obviously, the artistic portrayal of drama is not the same as becoming subjectively immersed and personally identified with the three roles of persecutor, victim and rescuer. Emotional cognitive distortions are irrational ways of thinking that support depression, anxiety and scripted identity. Logical cognitive distortions are formal errors that generally support emotional and perceptual cognitive distortions. An example is ad hominem, in which we attack the person rather than their argument. Perceptual cognitive distortions are delusional world views, such as psychological geocentrism and the belief that there is a permanent self. All three keep us stuck in the Drama Triangle in the three realms of our interactive, thought and dreaming realities.
While angels, deities, extraterrestrials and God can personify the perspectives of emerging potentials it is always good to begin with the assumption that they are aspects of self until proven otherwise by the selflessness of their preferences, the quality of their remarks in the Commentaries and the practicality of the recommendations they provide.
As an example, I am currently maintaining a phony friendly attitude toward the captain of a ship I am on, as my wife and I escort a group of people on an expedition to the Bahamas to snorkel and free dive with wild dolphins, as we have done for years. This captain is smart, talented and industrious, but impulsive, prone to raging and abusive treatment of his crew. He also is a “dead-beat dad,” meaning that he seduces attractive patrons and has gotten at least one pregnant and has had nothing to do with her or his child thereafter. But for reasons ranging from financial to interpersonal addiction, my wife and I are dishonest and therefore hypocritical by ignoring this ugliness. Therefore, we are positive in our exterior presentation while authentically deploring it, which is a (-/+) scenario. This is an example of how socio-cultural contexts conspire to keep us stuck in layers of inauthenticity. Many attempt to resolve such contradictions by dropping out, which finally means to avoid all human contact. However, it is exactly immersion in such sticky dramas that surfaces these contradictions and stimulates the powerful experiences of antithesis that stimulate further development. Therefore, IDL encourages the investment in life, and even in addictions and hypocrisy, from the assumption that they are unavoidable and can best be dealt with by framing them as wake up calls. In this case, the solution is to be open-eyed and respectful while doing what one can to not feed the drama, yet knowing that by not confronting it and by continuing to have a business relationship with such a person that this is indeed being done. In addition, there is a personal cost, because the contradiction is being maintained.
On a broader, metaphysical level, this is the dilemma of incarnation. To choose to exist is for life to immerse oneself in delusions of layers of sensory, emotional, cognitive and socio-cultural filtering. The temptation for the self (not life) is to simply escape into death, samadhi, nirvanaor some state of ecstasy. The greater challenge is to wake up within the dream, to become lucid, yet continue to dream.
Wilber, K., The Atman Project. Shambala, Boston. 1980, 2nded. Although Wilber does not present the pursuit of substitute gratifications as a game, in the sense that Eric Berne defines games, addiction to identity and the defense of it is a core addiction.
Power, security and status are not necessarily addictions; there are legitimate uses for each. However, almost everyone is sure that their particular expressions of power, security and status are the exception to the rule. This is not only an example of the rationalizing that is a normal defense for this category, but of exceptionalism. To gain the objectivity necessary to determine whether your uses of power, security and status are manifestations of addiction or not, triangulate: consult your emerging potentials and then compare those consensus answers with the feedback of trusted external sources of objectivity and your own common sense.