A dream: I was standing on this large flat plane and there were a lot of people walking around, and there was this large staircase near me that I had just finished building. The staircase was solidly on the plane, but went up to just above my head and then disappeared from sight—it appeared to vanish into thin air. The people I could see around me were all dressed in black and white striped clothes—prison outfits—and so was I, except that under my black and white striped jacket I was wearing my carpenter’s toolbelt. And I was really annoyed because no one seemed to want to use the staircase, and I couldn’t figure out why. It occurred to me that perhaps it was because it appeared to go nowhere, but I knew that it did, so I decided to check things out some more. So, I climbed the stairs but tried to view it as one of the locals would, and I realized that as I looked up to see where the stairs were going all I could see was a mirror reflection of myself, and I realized that the whole ‘sky’ above this plane was a huge mirror, which was why the stairs appeared to be going nowhere, and furthermore, that anyone climbing the stairs would be climbing toward a reflection of themselves that got bigger and bigger the higher they climbed and the closer they got to the mirror surface. I also realized that the image in the mirror, or rather, how they saw the image, was completely dependent on how they perceived themselves, or how they’d been taught to perceive themselves, so more often than not anyone climbing the stairs would run headlong into their own self-image and turn around.
Now, a second dream: I’m standing looking at a mirror image of myself, something I see frequently in dreams—there’s no mirror, just the image—and I realize that I’ve been seeing this image a lot and it’s pissing me off that I don’t understand why, so I decide to go into and through the image, just to see what will happen. So, I go through my image like Alice going through the looking glass, and immediately I’m in this large luminous space full of this gold-white light, and all I can see are thousands of hands reaching out toward me, some are applauding, many are touching me, sort of moving me along. I realize that they’re moving me toward the intensity of the light, that the light is getting much brighter until finally there are no hands, just the light, and I’m moving into the light and slowly dissolving into it.
The image in the mirror above the plane in the first dream and the image of myself (or anyone else) in the second dream are the same. The stairs in the first dream leads to the experience in the second dream.
Now, about psychology—it seems to me that psychology gets people to the point that they can look at themselves in the ‘mirror’ and not turn away—it ‘unskews’ their self-image. But that’s where it stops. It stops because it sees its goal as producing well -balanced individuals in the world—people in prison clothes with smiles on their faces; it also stops because it sees its own well-balanced reflection in the mirror and thinks that that’s all there is—it can’t get past its own narcissism.
However, if you can integrate what you’ve learned about fixing people’s self-images with your being able to stand at the top of the stairs and helping them through the mirror, you can combine the best of “both” worlds.