6 March 2015
THE SUBTLE AND THE DIALOGICAL SELF
One of the most exciting possibilities opened up by access to the Subtle realm is that we can use the theory of the Dialogical Self to bring to life the many entities proposed as existing in the Subtle realm. My own favourites include Erishkigal, Tiamat, Kali-Ma, Aphrodite, Kwanyin, Bride, Sophia, Isis and Kamala, and on the male side (for the Subtle is very gender oriented) Shiva, Cernunnos, Pan, Eros, Avalokitesvara, Hermes, Dionysos, Osiris and Ganesh. But of course we are not restricted to these, and others may invoke Obatala, Muhammed, the Guardian Angel, the Mahatma, Meister Eckhart, Socrates and so forth.
On those occasions when we need advice or help, it is companions like these we can call upon. This is the level of prayer and supplication covered in Bhakti Yoga. You may remember that in Dialogical Self work we go back and forth between two chairs, speaking from both in dialogue form. This may remind us of the extensive work of Donald Walsch in his ‘Conversations with God’ series. He was furiously writing out all his complaints about his life, addressing them to God as responsible for it all. When he finally slackened down and paused, his pen started to move on its own, and he found himself writing – “Do you really want an answer to all these questions, or are you just venting?” He allowed the conversation to continue, and the result was a book which sold millions of copies.
In every form of therapy, it sometimes happens that we feel the need to get advice from someone we respect. The identity of that person seems to matter less than the basic idea of asking. Now the problem with orthodox religion is that we never (or very rarely) get an answer to our prayers. But in our approach here we address our concerns to an empty chair, and then, when we are ready, we change chairs and speak from the other one. Of course this is not the only way, and we have already seen how Walsch found another – there may be many others.
In my experience this can often be a very powerful move, and the advice given is often miraculously apposite and helpful. Of course the choice of who to talk to is very individual, and the client has to be asked to choose carefully – not to use the ideas of the therapist, but to seek within themselves the appropriate character. In my own experience, one client chose a charismatic football manager, another chose Sherlock Holmes, another the Wise Woman, and so forth. In Dialogical Self work there are no limits to the entities who can be contacted.