Klocek Vision Board Exercise
By Dennis Klocek 4 min read
Spend a half-hour rummaging through old magazines for any picture that strikes a chord in the imagination. There is to be no associative thought in this process just a journey through images putting some in your shopping cart and letting others drift past unrecognized. Once a collection is formed (we call it a morgue) the next step is to draw a large circle on a sheet of copy paper. At the 6 o’clock position write earth/belief. At 9 write water/process. At 12 write air/reversal. At 3 write fire/insight. In the center write the word issue. This is the playing field of the soul mandala.
The next step is to survey the images in the morgue and choose one that seems to symbolize the issue at hand. This choice involves only your own point of view at that moment and will be subject to change in the process. To place an image of an issue in the center of the mandala is a letting go process since it is now living its own life outside of your soul as a symbol that even you may not fully understand. Jung felt that to place the image outside of oneself is the first step in transforming transference and projection into transcendence and insight.
Once an issue is symbolized the next step is to find a symbol about a belief you hold regarding this issue. That symbolic picture goes into the earth position and represents a fixedness regarding the issue. This is a sensing process where a phenomenology of soul or universal epoche in the language of Husserl is at work in the selection of the symbol for belief.
The next step is to find a symbol for a process that you feel manifests in the relationship between the belief and the issue. This image is placed in the water position and represents an alchemical turning point where the phenomenology of the mandalic process begins to move the soul towards a true letting go of the fixed beliefs. This is made easier by the fact that the symbolic space is both representative of some personal issue and at the same time it is transcendent due to the ambiguity of the choice of symbols. The morphology of the symbolic process is organized by the archetypal power of the mandala but does not interfere with the free choice of imagery. This unique power builds a platform from which it is possible to develop a sense of self mastery. That sense is tested by the next phase of the mandala the phase of air or reversal.
Choose an image that symbolically represents what you would feel if your belief were reversed about this issue. It is not necessary to have a cognitive cause and effect experience in the selection of this image. Simply allowing the deeper aspects of the True Self to survey the images and then choose one to represent the inevitable reversal of the issue is a catharsis even without cognition. This is akin to the dialogue with the Guardian of the Threshold whose admonition is that everything that we believe is being done to us is, in reality, coming from us. That speech is the great reversal of all beliefs and issues and represents a potent letting go of fixed beliefs.
The last aspect is to find a symbol that represents for you any insight or feeling that arose during the mandalic journey.
This however is not the end of the process of self mastery.
Dialogue in Dyad
The next step is to trade your mandala with a partner and you receive theirs. This stage is the dyad work so necessary to move deeper into the letting go. The protocol is called devil’s advocate. In devil’s advocate you get to switch two images on their mandala and they get to switch two images on yours. After the switch reflect on how their change has altered your new belief that the mandala as it stands is a finished product. Write a few sentences on how it feels to have your mandala switched and whether or not it brought an insight.
This stage enhances the letting go process. Now it is time to turn to the letting come. This is done in three stages. The first is to share a biographical episode that is focused on the mandala you just made. The biographical sketch can be of any phase but the sharing is the important element to move the process away from abstraction and into the soul space of the human being. The short biography sketch is the first stage.
The second stage is to glue down the images of the mandala and date it. In the evening form images of the symbols that you chose and review them in your imagination in the order that they appeared in your mandala. Do this just before you go to sleep. This is a highly homeopathic letting go of the issue and the beliefs surrounding it and giving the intentionality of your work on the mandala to the realm of the archetypes. This moves from Aristotle back to Plato but engages the archetypes as a human being who has a destiny to be a world creator but needs help from the archetypal world to become truly human. In this way we help the archetypes to evolve and they help us to evolve to our higher destiny. This is a Rosicrucian method of sacred sleeping and the mandala of symbols around the issue is a potent form for crossing the threshold and dialoguing with the Guardian.
In the morning spend a few minutes listening inwardly to your heartbeat. See if a dream recollection can appear in that quiet inwardness. When you engage your partner again in the morning share any fragments of dream that you can remember. This is a great stimulus to letting come. Your partner will often be the source of a new insight about the issue. Make another circle of the mandala of the four elements and start the process again with a new symbol of the modified issue followed by new symbols for the four elements of belief, process, reversal and insight.
Dennis Klocek, MFA, is co-founder of the Coros Institute, an internationally renowned lecturer, and teacher. He is the author of nine books, including the newly released Colors of the Soul; Esoteric Physiology and also Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics. He regularly shares his alchemical, spiritual, and scientific insights at dennisklocek.com.
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