Learning a New Language
The ability to think in symbols was an important step towards consciousness, language and communication. It enabled us to envisage the abundance, discuss it, convey where it might be found, and how it might be achieved.
Symbolic language allows us to communicate and hear truth
- in a way that is individual, personal and relevant. The truth may be capable of being conveyed using reason, argument, statistics and graphs, but if the communicator uses symbolic language, then a fact becomes a truth that I can internalise and make my own.
- in a way that allows me to process it in new ways, see it from new perspectives, work with it from different angles, so as to devise a creative response more imaginatively or quickly than is possible using reason alone
- in a way that motivates me to accept change - action towards abundance - because while I know action is necessary, I can already see the abundance it promises, and I have already received the abundance I need to take the first step
- in a way that allows me to refer back to the original dream, so that it becomes a basis for future action, renewed motivation and continued effort
Symbolic language is not only a resource for renewal, it is also a renewable resource. It is the language of the Spirit. Translated into this language, facts and situations become truth that inspires and sustains a new direction, a new commitment, a new life.
Using symbolic language, we navigate the healing process (as described by Gael Lindenfield). Begins with facilitating honesty: assessing situation before us, examining ourselves, enabling ourselves to be honest about our situation and our feelings about it.
find new and convincing ways to face the truth of ourselves, of one another, and of the world. Images tell us: this is what it looks like, this is what happens, this is what is possible, and this is what it costs.
Visualising the environment.
Imagining ourselves moving through it.
Imagining how we might move through it.
Giving a visual shape to components.
Using metaphorical language can help us recognise and deal with the constant flow of data, information, experience. Realities which remain constant. The rhythm of events that recur, again and again. And the processes that are woven through them. Processes of constant change. Not just the fact of them, but the emotional weight of them. The way it affects us - energising us or draining us.
It gives us a mental framework which we use to see and understand these things. Absorb and assimilate the alterations in ourselves, others, relationships, environment. Recognise, acknowledge and adjust. Face and meet challenges. Overcome obstacles. Work round, or through the problems. This is a journey of self-exploration - How do I make art and write, now, as the person I have become? – because within myself I find the footprints of Christ, and beneath the layers of myself I uncover the face of God.
Give us a language to address all this stuff, describe it, explore it, help others enter into our experience.
Describe the help we need. Help others empathise with us, reach out to us. Support us, encourage us, advise us, warn us. Communication with others - how much help we can be to the group.
journey always returns me to the present moment. expressed in terms of image, story and poetry, but not so that I can escape. Ultimately no escape from our problems until we face them and address them.
Through answering these questions I hear and respond to God within me, following, obeying, honouring, worshipping.
However, while in that sense I am my own material, I am the subject of my own project, I cannot allow the journey to become self-obsessed. We do not travel for ourselves alone. Who I am, and who I become, impacts on other people and on the wider world. Other people have an interest in my personal project, and I have an interest in their’s, because we are all bound together. So my exploration must always be a turning outward, towards the Other.
Help others see where they are.
Help the group see and understand where it is.
Who else is here with me? Which relationships do I need to nurture, and which ones do I need to resist? What are the horizons of this world in which I find myself? And how do I move towards them? How can I embrace the possibilities and freedoms of this place and this environment and this Journey, without succumbing to the dangers?
In doing so, I move towards God in the Other.
How do I step towards the future with courage? At each point, what are the fears I must overcome, to discover the resources that will take me forward?
Images can give us a language for what is happening to us, help us understand it, discuss it and accept it. Giving an imaginary shape to our situation, through image, poem or story, distils it and defuses it. What we are experiencing is an experience others have had before us. The marks or words they have left behind can help us. Show us where we are. What needs to be accomplished. What we can achieve. How we might go about achieving it. What our options might be. How we might work more creatively.
Words have a huge power to “fix” an experience and to tell us how it should be shaped, felt, understood and recalled. Or rather, the words usually tell us how someone else wants us to think, feel, understand and remember, which is not the same thing at all. So many words flow over us and around us that we are very selective about what we “hear” and recall. But all the words affect us and influence us to some extent, even if we have forgotten we ever heard them. We stand in a flow of words like pebbles in the bed of a stream. We are shaped by the nature of the stream in which we stand. We are shaped by the flow of the stream, even if we barely notice its passing.