Our irrational self or mind works in quite a different way to our rational or logical mind mind. Our logical mind works usually from things it already knows to reach conclusions unless it is researching a subject. But even that leads to what is known and used in logic.
The irrational mind appears to work rather like gestalts, we form gestalts when viewing newsprint photographs, which are made up of many small dots of different shades. Our mind fits them together and sees them as a whole, giving meaning where there are only dots. This how our irrational mind works, like something that scans all the tiny pieces of information and experience and puts them together to form a new insight. Yet separately they appear to have no connection, but can be seen to connect when we see them as a gestalt or through an intuitive function.
Most of our experience is probably irrational in form. Our infancy and childhood is also ruled by the irrational in us, and some people never develop rational thinking, but it may be directed by emotions, instinctive behaviour or belief systems. See crazy behaviour
Dreams are formed by our irrational mind, which is often called the unconscious. That is why dreams are not easily understood, and why translating them or interpreting a dream in purely rational ways does not work. We can give an explanation of a dream, but a dream is much more than an explanation, it is part of our life process, and even the great biologists say that life is a mystery. A dream is a creation from our irrational mind, and only when we can enter the irrational can we begin to experience a dream – for a dream is an experience not a logical process.
To enter the irrational we must let the irrational be expressed. Quoting from Mind and Movement, “Something else many people say is, “But it might not make sense!” or “I don’t know what to do.” This suggests a sense of needing to have ready made ideas about what to do. During classes in which the people were asked to explore body movements, most people gave up after one minute or so. Some of these classes were ones in which the people had been exercising with ‘given movements weekly for many months. Yet after a class in which they were asked to discover their own spontaneous movements, several of the class dropped out and never returned. This I take to be an expression of an apprehension about anything new emerging into the person’s life. Also, there is an element of these people not believing in their own power of discrimination to sort out what is useful for them. For myself, I have never found the unconscious to lie, but of course we can fool ourselves in projecting beliefs or hopes onto what it presents.”
So the irrational needs one to become in some degree irrational. It does not mean that one is therefore ruled by the irrational. After all the major part of us is irrational and we actually need to allow it or else we will break down. That is shown when people are prevented from dreaming they quickly show signs of mental breakdown. This is like the statements make that one should always be in control. Being out of control can open us to a great deal of fear, or even terror. Yet being able to let go of control is also tremendously important. Many of the things we meet in life we are unable to control – even our own heartbeat and life processes. But many external things such as a relationship, sex, opportunity, losses, accidents and other people’s decisions confront us with areas that we cannot control. The same applies to the irrational.
The simplest way of describing allowing the irrational is to say it is a process of allowing parts of oneself to express that in everyday life may never have had opportunity to declare themselves. It is important to feel safe enough to permit spontaneous body movement, sound and emotion. In most social settings we usually restrain everything except what may be acceptable to others, expedient in the situation, or judged as correct. This means that we may not give ourselves the freedom elsewhere to allow our own creative imagination – our body to discharge tension through movement – experience our intuitive process – and our full range of feeling responses. In this way we gradually diminish ourselves, blocking out much of ourselves that is not of immediate use in everyday affairs. We may in fact diminish our relationship with life itself.
Remember, especially if what occurred for you when you allowed the irrational to express was a deeply felt experience, that it only occurred because you made an agreement with yourself to allow it. Therefore, although it was spontaneous and unexpected, it was still an expression of your own will to allow. To stop the process you simply reverse your decision, thinking to yourself something like – During this session it was appropriate to allow myself freedom of movement fantasy and sound, but now I will again assume my usual social behaviour. This is my choice. See Life’s Little Secrets