Accessing Your Life Compass: An Example

Your dreams can and do work to show you how to differentiate your scripting from your life compass. Often it takes interviewing to see beneath your own projections onto your dream and to view it from multiple embedded perspectives which together, tend to clarify the priorities of your life compass. However, once in a while, if you pay attention, you will have a dream that is crystal clear and that will smack you awake to your extraordinary and unique potentials. Here is one such example from a dream I had in my early twenties:

There was once an Anglo-Saxon king vacationing on an island in his kingdom, holding a torchlight audience with a group of his subjects on this island. Curiously, as he sat on his throne, one of his legs was propped up on a stool because he had broken it somehow. Even more curiously, his leg was encased in a white plaster cast.

Unbeknownst to the king, his guards or his subjects, at that moment archers in small boats were secretly landing on another part of the island and creeping up on the audience from behind.  They surprise the king, his guards and the crowd with raised bows, taking him hostage and demanding his gold.

The king was in a predicament. He had to either turn over the wealth of his realm or be taken prisoner. The king thought: “People think I’m wealthy, because I’m king, but I’m not wealthy. My family lost its gold in wars during my grandfather’s time.” Not knowing what to do, there was a suspenseful moment in the evening torchlight, with the people watching the king to see what he would do. Then one of people in the surrounding crowd happened to look at the king’s leg and shouted, “Look at the king’s cast!” Some of the plaster had worn off, revealing the warm golden hue of gold shining in the light of the torches’ fire. The king thought, “What is this? How can this be?”

Then it dawned on him: In his grandfather’s time the kingdom had come under siege. To protect the wealth of the kingdom, his grandfather must have had all the gold taken to the royal foundry and forged into the shapes of common everyday implements – spoons, forks, knives, chairs, doorknobs, chairs, and covered with natural dirt, wood and metal alloys, so that they looked like humble, everyday objects. Then they were secretly distributed throughout the homes of the common folk of the country in order to keep the wealth of the Kingdom secret, so broadly distributed that it was uncollectable by conquerors.

Realizing this, the king then said to the threatening archers, “I have no wealth. It is everywhere, distributed throughout the kingdom.”

Now the archers and the people did not know what to do. For the archers, holding the king for ransom would do no good; he had no wealth and without that wealth the people had no loyalty to him and no reason to buy his freedom. The people did not know what to do. The wealth had given the king the power to rule. Now he had none. What should they do? Dethrone him?

But the king’s subjects now had all the wealth they wanted or needed; they didn’t have to depend on the king for anything. To decide what to do with their king, they considered not whether they feared his power, since he no longer had any, but whether he had been a good king or not. They decided that he had, and based on how he had ruled, not his power or status, they chose to keep him as their ruler.

There are several implications that the world view that this dream teaches has had for IDL. This dream/story shows that about seven years before I developed Dream Sociociometry, the precursor to the dream and life issue interviewing protocols that are aspects of Integral Deep Listening (IDL), there were emerging potentials that were heading me in that direction. These perspectives were telling me, “Power and wealth rest on character, not on status or accumulation; wealth is everywhere; it is abundant. Do not base your “right to rule” on whether you have power or status. Base authority on the character that this or that perspective personifies, whether it is yourself, as king or queen over your life, a “deplorable,” or even a dream cooking pot. When closely examined, you may discover that any of these are made out of gold.

Life is abundant; we do not have to live in fear of scarcity. Yes, scarcity does exist and is real, and the way to deal with it is to confidently focus on whatever resources are available. We, as the “king” or “ruler” over our “subjects,” that is, our feelings, thoughts and actions, have to earn the “right” to rule through the integrity and generosity and respect we show not only others, but the microcosm of perspectives which are our “subjects,” in that they are dependent upon us for their expression and health. Our authority, a place of privilege, is not a “given,” and can and will be taken away if we abuse our prerogatives enough for a long enough period of time. Such abuse generally takes the forms of indulging in this or that form of addiction, whether cognitive distortions (telling ourselves lies that make us sick), blind obedience to childhood scripting we should have discarded years ago, enslavement to physical habits of smoking, drinking, drugs, excessive sugar intake, overwork, chronic rescuing followed by burnout; emotional addiction, such as continuous immersion in the Drama Triangle in the three realms of relationships, thought and dreaming, and addictions to forms of anesthesia, such as mindless surfing the internet or pursuit of activities that neither nourish ourselves or the communities in which we live.

Such a dream offers a powerful, authentic, autonomous and totally unexpected alternative to one’s life script. It provides a script, a life direction, a set of priorities that has nothing or very little to do with the socio-cultural expectations in which we were raised. If we listen to such perspectives, become them, and let them soak into our sense of self at depth, they possess impressive and fundamental transformative potentials.

Power comes from the distribution of power widely among the various interior constituencies and emerging potentials that depend upon us. When we demonstrate respect, particularly to the lowest, most useless and mundane, we are validating our right to self-governance.

You don’t have to rely on such “archetypal” and overt dreams to put you in touch with your life compass. Any time you interview ANY dream character from ANY dream or the personification of ANY life issue of concern to you, you can receive recommendations from perspectives that are emerging potentials which align your life priorities with those of your life compass. The result is much saved time and misery and a degree of authenticity that is impossible if you do what most of us do – spend your life living out the role expectations and life script that you learned as a child from your parents, teachers and peers.

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