Observations & meditations on modern life

What’s on your bookshelf?

This is the shelf that taught me the most. It’s got everything in there from the scientific problems with Philosophy to Shakespeare to Documentary Filmmaking. They ALL have their significance to my current practise.

Criticism might just be the most important part of my work. Challenging ideas that come up is not a sign that something is weak, it is a sign that we should be approaching life in a multifaceted way. This shelf includes books like “Daimonic Reality” and “Healing Your Past Lives” as well as “The Problem of Philosophy”. Both have their place on that shelf, and both are as important as the other. I need knowledge from both sides in order to be able to tackle the issues that I come across – I haven’t met a single client who would benefit from a more one-dimensional approach.

The critical books taught me about detail. How to spot something significant in the way someone says something, how to spot a repeated pattern, how to decipher whether or not that pause in that sentence is worth noting. CBT training doesn’t go into that level of detail by any means. Literary criticism has taught me everything about depth of character and universal consciousness. Again, not something that comes up in clinical training.

Then let’s talk about filmmaking. If you haven’t read my filmmaking post I would encourage you to do so for my fuller opinion on the intricacies of the process itself, but here, let’s look at Kevin Macdonald’s “Imagining Reality”. It’s a practical guide to making Documentary film. Getting someone to “imagine reality” is exactly what I get people to do in hypnosis. Find the theme you want to play out, and then go about creating it.

Where does Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” fit in? Oddly enough, in a similar way to “Imagining Reality”. Alice’s adventure is the inspiration for many of the guided hypnosis exercises that I do. Alice encounters creatures, potions, and challenges of huge significance to her upon entering a different realm of existence. During visualisation exercises, I often create a world for the subconscious to be able to bring things to the surface using symbolic images. Alice has laid the groundwork for us, I’m just borrowing the concept. It worked for Alice, it can work for us too. It’s not “just fiction”.

I can’t go on about every single book but it’s an eclectic little mix I’ve got on this shelf. Shakespeare will inevitably get his own post soon so I’ll save that for another day. But I cannot stress this enough: we need to learn to love subjects that supposedly “oppose” what we do. We need to love to learn. We need to expand our horizons in more ways than one.

I’m not saying that as individuals we need to understand absolutely everything. I am saying that there will always be strength in collaboration, openness, understanding. My whole practise is based on this. My work revolves around an ability to be open to someone else’s inner wounds and not dismiss them because they may not be “relevant” to my own life. Of course it’s relevant. Everything is relevant.

Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2020

Anjali Singh-Mitter | BA (Hons.), Dip. Hyp., Dip. CBT | GHR & GHSC, CNHC
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