Even an introductory chapter on Voice Dialogue would be seriously incomplete without a section on judgement because, rather than a characteristic that must be suppressed or eradicated it is a royal road to consciousness.
The simple truth is that our primary selves judge our disowned selves when we see them in others.
They can judge harshly. It is this behaviour that often gets us into trouble wiht our friends these days as judgement is to be condemned (pardon the irony) or met with the charge of hypocrisy (as our frriends notice that we do the very same thing).
I want to focus in this brief section on another manifestation of judgement as it provides an easier guide to progress. Sometimes we judge an other person very positively, so positively in fact that we start to feel inadequate. This combination is a sure guide of a disowned self. It is the inner critic this time who does the comparison and finds us wanting.
An example being worth a thousand analyses I can summarise one of my own.
Many years ago when I was working in London the Tate Gallery put on a Picasso exhibition. I was just starting to feel the power of Picasso’s art and took myself off one lunchtime to see it. For twenty minutes I was thrilled, astounded, mesmerised. Then I started to feel a little sad. I persisted.
After 45 minutes I had to leave depressed and distressed.
What was this about? I loved and love Picasso. I was beginning my career as an economist and was fully identified with rationality. Passion, emotion, love, instinctuality, spontaneity – all the foci of Picasso’s work – were foreign to me; that is, disowned. So I was feeling more worthless by the minute as I saw the fruits of his expression.
I didn’t have to become a painter to embody these qualities. I did need to honour them in myself. As I carried out this transformation I could call on these qualities as appropriate. I can also look at Picasso with great admiration without feeling ill!
And by the way embracing does not mean acting out. It is access to a wider identity that counts not flipping to the other side.