Interviewing a Mystical Painting

Everyone would like to access a state of oneness. We know that if we did we would experience peace, love, and wisdom to such a profound degree that our normal, everyday concerns would seem trivial by comparison. Our cares would be lifted from our shoulders as we experienced the beauty and truth of what Is. Dorothy knew this; that’s why she had been taking classes on mysticism for years and had been working with someone who is well known and established, hoping to understand and access mystical states. She had never experienced such a state until this IDL interview.

This interview was conducted by a talented student of mine in New Mexico. Here are his remarks, followed by the interview itself and my comments on what we can learn from this experience.

“This was a profound experience for both of us. I began by explaining carefully how to become the painting she had previously chosen to interview and to pretend she was a child in doing it. It didn’t take long for her, an 89 year old, to become comfortable in stepping aside and allowing the painting to speak. It became immediately obvious when asked why she had had this dream that she had been looking for external teachers to help her understand the mystical experience for a very long time — virtually all her life! But she had always been disappointed. “I just don’t get what they are saying”, she would say. In this IDL interview, however, when she got into the role of the painting answering the interview questions, it suddenly made sense to her! That is, I saw her eyes tear up as she became the mystical painting and let it speak. She didn’t any longer need someone else to explain what she had been longing to know for so long. I had a huge rush come over me as she came to that realization, which she could clearly witness. (I had on a short sleeved shirt, so she could see the goose bumps all over my arms!). She reveled in the experience as we continued through the standard questions and suggestions. Only one or two times did she fall out of role, but not much and not for long, as I was playfully stern in coaxing her back into the mystical experience of being the painting and then it deepened as she became the path in the painting. The interview lasted about an hour and when the last question was asked, she said “I’m there!” and realized that her longing had finally been met and satisfied.”


Date of interview:  16 August 2012

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

 1. health

2. joint pain and problems

3. end of life issues

Tell me a dream you remember… (Or, choose a strong feeling or symptom…)

I am away at college…and live in two rooms with a roommate. I don’t know her. I see a place to hang clothes. Then I notice a scene on the wall of the room we are in. This is a mystical, beautiful painting. In the painting there is a gateway leading down a path which is quite beautiful. It seems by taking this I would get to a new, mystical place.

I ask the roommate if she notices and likes the painting. She is non-committal. Not much reaction, but I am quite excited about it.

A practical question comes to me. I don’t know if the school will furnish sheets or if I have to buy new sheets.

Why do you think that you had this life experience?

Because I’ve been taking a class with B B, a spiritual teacher, and had been listening to his lecture on mysticism that night. Feeling “I don’t really get it!”

If it were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?

Mystical Painting

These are the characters in the experience…

Two rooms, roommate, place to hang clothes, painting on wall

If a character had something especially important to tell you, which would it be?

Mystical painting

Mystical Painting, would you please tell me what you look like and what you are doing?

(I am) very soft and beautiful with beautiful colors suggesting the colors of a sunset. Soft red, bluish, orangish, with mystical overlay of a thin suggestion of clouds. I am the path. To get to me you must open the gate, and I gently slant down and a little to the left and gradually disappear into another world. I can’t be seen anymore but continue this new reality which has a floating quality filled with soft Light. It appears endless….

What do you like most about yourself in this experience? What are your strengths?

I feel mystical. I am part of the Light. It is who I am. I feel peaceful and restful. I like who I am and the space I’m in feels safe and endless. Full of soft color…

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What?

I do not dislike anything about myself. I can’t think of any weaknesses. I am very idealistic….


If you could change this experience in any way you wanted, would you? If so, how would you change it?


If that experience were to continue, what would happen next?

I’m already there….

Mystical Painting, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?

No. I’m content with being the color and the mist….

(You are in Dorothy’s dream , correct?  She created you, right?)

Yes. I’m fulfilling a dream for her. Yes, she created me.

Mystical Painting, what aspect of Dorothy do you represent or most closely personify?

Her desire to feel the mystical life.

If you could live this person’s waking life for her, how would you live it differently?

No, she is content with her life

If you could live Dorothy’s waking life for her today, would you handle her three life issues differently? If so, how?

I don’t know. I might be able to relieve the pains of the real world which don’t exist in the mystical realm


What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of her life?

If I were in charge she wouldn’t have those issues. She would be beyond those issues….

How would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing? And why?

This is a problem because in my world there is no scoring….

Mystical Painting, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how?

I’m there. I don’t deal with these things. They are all gone.


How would Dorothy’s life be different if she naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?

She wouldn’t be human


In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Dorothy to imagine that she is you and act as you would?

In all three areas of her concern, but then she wouldn’t be human and would be beyond it.


Why do you think that you are in this dream?

To fulfill Dorothy’s longing.


Dorothy, what have you heard yourself say? 

I’m there!

If this experience were a wake-up call from your soul, what do you think it would be saying to you?

I’m there!

One reason you stay stuck is you lack a clear, ongoing contact with where you want to go. Without that contact you waste a lot of time wandering in circles in the swamp of life. In IDL language, you lack an experience of your life compass. How can you head “home” if you only have someone else’s description of what your home is? Why should you trust them? Nor is trust in others generally a sufficient motivator, as in Dorothy’s case. So one way to frame what IDL does is provide you not one, but repeated, experiences of what your “home” state feels like, in an authentic, personalized, and intimate way. This is often both transformative, in that the awareness that “home” is always present and can be accessed by you at any time is extraordinarily reassuring and comforting. It is also transpersonal, in that the experience transcends yet includes both faith and reason. An added advantage is that such an interview is a shared experience;  it is often strong enough to allow the interviewer to feel the “felt shift” and to surf on the experience, to grow themselves, in the sense of remembering who they really are, as they sense the expansion of the part of themselves that the interviewed person represents.

It also is a clarification of intentionality. Whoever you are, you have a calling. Your problem is that the sense of your calling that you have learned is probably far from that sense of your calling held by your inner compass. Consequently, you are bind to authentic intention and its priorities in your life. IDL interviewing removes the veil temporarily and the application in your daily life of the recommendations that grow out of the interview keep that fire alive and even enlarge it, incorporating it into the fabric of your mundane experiences. IDL application of the recommendations of interviewed emerging potentials, such as this mystical painting, is designed to turn that temporary “state” opening into a permanent, ongoing, stable higher developmental stage. Clarified, sustained intention that is aligned with your inner compass is one way of talking about what IDL accesses and generates.

For more examples of IDL interviews, browse the blog on this site and at DreamYoga.Com.



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