People, events, and objects are part of your waking dream. Just as you are sure you are awake while you are dreaming you are even more certain that you are awake right now. Whatever perspective you are taking at this moment is what is real and “awake;” the perspectives that you take in this moment are relatively unreal. This is the intrinsic, inescapable bias of your present perspective. It privileges your present perspective while discriminating against all others.
To say that people, events, and waking objects are part of your waking dream is not to imply that people and events are imaginary or self-created; it is only to acknowledge that all that you can know and experience of people, events, and objects are the assumptions and expectations that you have about them, which you assume are accurate and therefore direct your thinking, feeling, and actions, and which you project upon them. While interpretation is unavoidable, they can be recognized, compensated for, improved, and neutralized. When you do so you tend to take a perspective that transcends and includes the one you previously held. In this respect, you become free.
If you are in conflict with a person in your life, treating them as if they were a part of yourself and interviewing your mental image of them can help you not only to understand the roots of your conflict but help you to outgrow it. If you are experiencing nightmarish events like loss of a job, a loved one, or a health crisis, you can resolve it much more rapidly and effectively if you will take a few minutes to interview it using the IDL interviewing protocol. If you wonder why some object is in your life, you can learn more by interviewing it.
One powerful example of a waking interview is to take a repetitive nightmarish daydream or flashback such as is common with post-traumatic stress disorder. These experiences are very much waking nightmares from which one cannot easily awaken. They continue to repeat, reinforcing anxiety and feelings of victimization. Interviewing characters in the waking dream tends to break up the fixation on the experience by reframing it from the perspectives of other perspectives that are heavily invested in the same event.
To learn more about the relationship between nightmares, sleep terrors, and post-traumatic stress disorder, see Ending Nightmares for Good
The protocol for interviewing people, events, and objects is the same as that for interviewing life issues.
Integral Deep Listening
Interviewing Protocol for People, Events, and Objects
Joseph Dillard, Ph.D.
What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?
Which life issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?
If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?
Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.
Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?
Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor? It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the _____ and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!
“(Character), would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?”)
What do you like most about yourself in this experience? What are your strengths?
What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?
(Character), you are in this person’s dream or life experience, correct? They created you, right?_____ (Character), what aspect of this person do you represent or most closely personify?
(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?
(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)
(Character), how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing? Why?
(Character,) if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how?
How would the life of the person who created you be different if he/she naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?
If you could live the life of the person who created you for him/her, how would you live it differently?
If you could live this person’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle his/her three life issues differently? If so, how?
What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of his/her life?
In what life situations would it be most beneficial for this person to imagine that they are you and act as you would?
Why do you think that you are in this person’s life experience?
Why do you think that he has this life challenge?
How is this person most likely to ignore what you are saying to them?
What would you recommend that they do about that?
(Dreamer,) what have you heard yourself say?
(Dreamer,) if this experience were a wake-up call from your soul, what do you think it would be saying to you?