“Images are sovereign in the mind … To choose one’s freedom is to choose one’s images.” – Collette Aboulker-Muscat taken from the book The History of Last Night’s Dream by Rodger Kamenetz
Our approach to time is often distorted. Even the words we use to describe and arrange it are imprecise. “Now,” “Then,” “Later” — these are primarily references. They mark a point of view. They change our orientation. “Before,” During,” “After” — these activate a sense of duration. They enable us to believe in the idea of extending time. And the words, “Don’t,” “Have,” Enough” make time into a possession — here is the time we can only wish for. We live in a hurried world. Productivity is output measured in reference to time, so the way we come to think about it has a very direct impact on us.
If something is sovereign in our minds, it is because we give ourselves over to it — completely. And, however unknowingly, we often will give ourselves over to a sense of limitation. Especially with regard to time. But, in doing so, we create “little worlds” — worlds that enslave us with the sense of what is diminishing, wasting away, and outside of our control. And that is in contrast to the here and now, the present moment which never goes away.
The “reference” that we unconsciously hide from ourselves is the impact of personal history. How we come to think about something directly impacts how we meet it. We anticipate what we can repeat. Viewing our current situation as the same (or very similar to an earlier one) is inevitable. How can it be otherwise? The images that possesses us most are the ones that offer us the greatest learning “potential.” We tend to hold on to images of “loss” and “littleness.” There is an unstated hope that we can remake these events into something new. But that “newness” is elusive even as we repeat ourselves over and over.
These little worlds we capture “in time” and hold inside move in ways that are very hard to catch. And even harder to explore. Visualizing a “new” result or resolution offers some remedy. Collette Aboulker-Muscat was psychologist famous for her healing visualizations. She would take people on fantastic journeys of image and word. These visualizations were healing because she would refocus the body’s energy on what was already strong and reset one’s orientation toward health. Inside these stories time is elongated and extended.
Productivity owes a great deal to our orientation. The more effective we see ourselves, the more effective we are with our results. This is not just a psychology of affirmation, rather it is an adaptive transformation – exploding with new words and images, the older images and words that put us into places of struggle and defeat.
“To choose one’s freedom is to choose one’s images.” It’s an interesting thought. Whatever is mercurial, changeable, and fluid needs the clear guidance of positive images. The mercury of little worlds we create by mental association, need not be “little.” By amplifying what identify with, by selecting images that move us towards what we desire, we can become more self-fulfilling and less self-defeating. We can take up a new degree of freedom, every time we see ourselves in a state of successful completion. Only then can we reverse the mercury of little worlds and put the mercury of time in our favor.
Thanks for listening.