How a collage is a diagnostic tool


the field of admirer-admired collage"What does it matter how many lovers you have if none of them gives you the universe?" French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan posed that question. I invite you to put it at the top of your list of hot topics to meditate on. In doing so, I trust you won't use it as an excuse to disparage your companions for their inadequacies. Rather, I hope it will mobilize you to supercharge your intimate alliances; to deepen your awareness of the synergistic beauty you could create together; to heighten your ability to be given the universe by those whose fates are interwoven with yours.

In the current live course, from Upset to Communication we have come to the last of the four non-elevated fields of communication, Admirer-admired. My horoscope, above, for the coming week reflects that.

One of my students has already sent me her collage. It has given me a glimpse into her internal conversations that is deeper than I have ever seen... and I have known her for almost six years now.

Collages, where you go through pictures in magazines, or memes on the internet, are the best way to reveal to yourself your relationship, opinion, attitude about the world, about others, about yourself, about effort, ambition, etc.

Making collages has two parts:

  • 1. you pick the pictures and paste them on a cardboard
  • 2. you take a deep breath and look at the whole to see what there is to see. I got to own nearly all my big issues in my life through collaging. 70% of my complaints about life and people disappeared through collaging. Through seeing the hidden dynamic so well displayed after I did the collage. Brilliant.

All in all, from your collages, we can see how and why you got your narrow cone of vision, and how you got yourself near-sighted, both responsible for you not being able to live a life you love.

The more collages you make the clearer your distaste, resistance, refusal of certain ways of being, on one hand, and your affinity, approval, and condoning of other ways of being...

Before you can grow, before you can be whole and complete, you need to make peace with all.

I am working on the same thing for myself... making the pictures more like sculptures that include the good, the bad, the ugly, and the divine.

My tools for my own self-diagnosis, are books and Netflix movies. I could make collages, but working with my students' collages, or contributing to the community project is as good as making collages for me... revealing. I am watching my reaction... like a hawk... lol.

Once something is revealed... another word for diagnosing, it can be very healing, without changing anything, or fixing it.

It is not easy to go 360 degrees around a field instead of sticking with the one fixed vantage point where you have always looked from where you have always related to a "world" until that point.

If you were abused by your father, or have seen him abuse someone else, you see the field father-child as the field of limitless abuse.

If you were neglected or mistreated by your mother, you see mother-child, the field, as death valley...

But if you were always protected by your mother, she made everything you did sound like the action of a hero, you are stuck in that field, mother-child, and will relate to everyone as a potential person to wipe your ass.

If you have survived by being the cheerleader, you are probably stuck in the admirer-admired field... but in just some aspect of it, probably.

Everything has two sides... including neglect or abuse.

I was abused and I was neglected. My independent, innovative, fierce spirit was borne of the abuse and the neglect. I don't call myself fearless, because I only know how much fear I need to wade through, and how much fear still shapes my decisions.

And the whole world of authority has been a world I was closed to and self-protective about.

So the movies I watched in the past week took me to the depth of that world. I went with open eyes. I went as an adult, I went there to see. To have compassion, empathy, not to be swept back into the one-dimensional view I have had thus far.

I watched Hinterland, and I watched The Keepers.

And I managed to see a lot more than I have seen before, the world of manipulation, the world of intimidation, the world of making others feel guilty for your transgressions, or share your guilt by taking part.

Did I manage to get a 360 degree view of the field? No. But I got my view up to 100 degrees, up from 10 degrees. 10 degrees is fear and trepidation.

Trepidation is a word for what others call anxiety, but the fear of future action is concrete, you know what it is.

I don't have anxiety, but I have to go through trepidation in my life a lot. 1

Can you grow by focusing on growing? The methodology of mindmovies, positive thinkers, etc.

I just had a conversation (in writing) with one of my students, where he says that he understand that we need to build skills to grow... but he couldn't see where the sculpture approach, (chipping away what is not useful for the future we envision) comes handy.

And yet, just like in architecture, unless you clear the lot, and build a foundation that goes all the way to solid ground, maybe even rock, your building won't stand even if you build it.

Doing the collages of the fields (especially if you have a coach to point out what you can't see anything wrong, weird, limited, narrow, etc.) can be an excellent method to clear the lot and go deep down to where the soil can hold your future.

Collaging is a diagnostic tool, and it is a designing tool.

It is more suited for diagnosis that for design. We see that in programs like vision boards, and Mind Movies... the results are sporadic, and greed/scarcity based... more misery comes from them than anything. Wretched. They are building without clearing the muck.

Unfortunately you need a lot of distinctions, courage, and good eyes to be able to diagnose.

A good coach is about 90% diagnosis and only 10% about building something new.

Tai's 67 steps is 70% diagnosis centered. That is why it is so dramatically effective! I bring it up to 90%. 1

All good coaching happens in the field of father-child. Mothers are really not interested in the child being the best it can be. Mothers are mothers by virtue of having a child, and that gives them a position they like.

Human mothers. Animal mothers train their brood, and then push them out of the nest...

Human mothers in the world of social services, and welfare, and too much of everything are an aberration, especially if they themselves don't have a life independent of being a mother.

I have to do 10-20 times more work with my students who insist on being a client in a mother-child relationship where I do their work.

And unless they can see the field at least at a 100 degree angle, they get stuck in it, and can't grow. They have to be willing to move to the field father-child if they want to grow.

Mother is not a style. Caring, or being nice is not mother... Mother, inside the field of mother-child is the dynamic of keeping you the same... whatever it takes. At the expense of your life.

I mentioned the father-child dynamic in the two series I watched, the manipulation, guilt, bribery, blackmail... all to make sure that the "father" can continue the abuse.

Mothers in the mother-child dynamic use underhanded methods too to keep themselves the "mother" and keep you the "needy child". Without a needy child there is no "mother".

You don't like what I am saying? It is OK... you are probably stuck with a narrow cone of vision, with a serious case of nearsightedness, and your life isn't going anywhere.

No matter what you do.

Why? Because the field you are living in is like a prison. It is really a paradigm, allowing some things, and not allowing others.

You can learn all the skills in the world, and you will be still stuck.

And this is the second part of the answer, why growing is clearing the lot AND building new skills, new capacities, new eyes.

And that is the power of the field. Some fields allow for growth, others don't. No matter what side of the field, no matter what role you choose for yourself in that field.

  • Just like a peace activist needs war to be justified, and validated... you need the other side.
  • Just like a communist needs oppression, just like a militant Muslim suicide bomber needs to feel he is killing infidels, just like a school shooting perpetrator needs to have been bullied...

Don't forget the field. And don't forget that it is not a plane, it is not a line... It is a 360 degree field, like a room, that all of life plays out.

If your life is stuck, it is stuck in a field of communication and you in a narrow cone of vision.



PS: are you ready for some challenge? Find some mother-child memes for our community project. Make them funny if you can...

You can just email me the pictures and I'll post them for you.


  1. Another guy who is trying to be diagnostic, the Bug Free Mind guy... Andy Shaw, is re-launching his books right about now. The first book is also 70% diagnostic. I have a mind to sell or give away my Bug Free Mind books... maybe as a prize? Let me think...

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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