Guest Post: Speaking with the Self by Michael Coorlim

Michael Coorlim is a freelance author, poet, artist, web developer, and online journal editor. A postmodern mystic and Taoscordian monk, he reads the Tarot, throws the I-Ching, is a lucid dreamer, and does modern shamanistic journeywork.

We’re bombarded, throughout the day, with a massive amount of sensory input – far more than our conscious minds can cope with. We have filters in place to sift through the data that our senses deliver to us, and these filters are shaped by our cognitive bias. We’re delivered the information that correlates most closely to what we already believe to be true; it’s those neural pathways that run the most efficiently. A lot slips through, but much of this is gathered by the subconscious mind, and while the ego goes about its day the subconscious mind is always active, always correlating, always turning things over. It passes us the conclusions it reaches about what we’ve missed in subtle ways – dreams, insights, and hunches.

Divination lets us provide the subconscious with a more direct medium to communicate to us. The tools we use – runes, cards, dream journeywork, shamanistic trance – give it a personal symbology to use as a means of communication. All of the divinatory methods are abstract enough that we can let the subconscious mind drift us to the correct interpretations based on a thousand small cues not significant enough to pick up on consciously, if we keep an open mind about it and let it lead us to where we need to go.

I’ve relied on divinatory messages to have conversations with myself for years. It’s one way that the eternal self, the soul self, has to pass along its wisdom and insights, and there’s much to be gained from open ears and an open mind. When we read for another our ‘inner detective’ is working overtime, picking up on infinite details that we miss, both physical and spiritual, material and energy. The skill of divination is the skill of interpreting these messages that our inner self is sending to us.

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