A little while ago I sat down in front of the TV for a back-to-back marathon viewing session of the old sci-fi series Red Dwarf.
One of the episodes, ‘Back to Reality,’ stood out in particular as it resonated strongly with some old ideas I’d wanted to revisit.
The basic plot of this episode is that the main characters appear to die. The next thing they know they are waking up to be told that they have spent the last 4 years inside a ‘Virtual Reality Game.’ A chirpy technician then explains that the game was a kind of puzzle-adventure where various clues and synchronicities had been littered around to lead the in-game characters to fulfil their ‘destiny’, whether that was to marry the love of their life, rediscover their identity as a secret agent or to jump-start the creation of a ‘second Universe.’
I began to wonder how that might work as a ‘paradigm’ where we would presuppose that life is a puzzle-adventure and that a fantastic destiny with cosmic / mystical overtones awaits anyone who can be bothered to go looking for it. We then task our subconscious resources to search out these ‘clues’ that lead us to fulfil this destiny.
Then I continued to follow the series through to season 7, episode 3 (which I prefer to see as the ‘unofficial end’ of the series.)
One effect of watching the entire story arc in just a few days was that the development, progression and ultimate resolution for the two main characters became much more apparent and this lead me onto thinking about Joseph Campbell’s cyclical Quest Myth – the archetypal ‘quest story’ structure that appears again and again throughout human story-telling.
This ‘Myth Cycle’ can be approached on a purely mundane level where the protagonist needs to get somewhere or find something or fix some situation and goes off on some adventure to achieve this outcome. Oftentimes, though, the quest seems to have a mystical dimension - dealing with the ‘big questions’ of Life, the Universe and Everything. So The Holy Grail becomes not just ‘a cup’ but a state of enlightenment or illumination - Kali chops up not just demons but also illusions, deceptions and ego-attachments - and Luke Skywalker learns to ‘use the force’ as well as topple a galactic dictatorship.
So: what would happen if we took the most bonkers ‘mystical destiny’ stories and ideas, chucked them all into the creative cauldron of the subconscious – and then informed our subconscious resources that our own destiny-in-waiting is actually much more amazing than any of that and to go search it out – to make it happen.
This project would start out purely on a subconscious level, and that sort of thing tends to follow the same format:
Gather information – Read up on your mythology, watch Apocalypse Now: Redux, The Matrix, Contact and whatever else to give your mind the raw materials it will need.
Concentrate intently on the issue, sit yourself down and ask - really ask, with emotion and intensity, these questions of your subconscious resources: “What would be the best questions to ask my subconscious to find and manifest a more and more amazing and fulfilling destiny?” and “What could I do to find and manifest a more and more amazing and fulfilling destiny?”
(Yes that’s right – you are asking your subconscious what you should ask your subconscious.)
Then let the subconscious mull it over, and see what it can come up with.
So here we go:
“What would be the best questions to ask my subconscious to find and manifest a more and more amazing and fulfilling destiny?”
“What could I do to find and manifest a more and more amazing and fulfilling destiny?”