The Costumes. V1

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Explanation of this Guided Experience

Difficulties in transforming images often reflect problems one has with the image of oneself, and also problems one's self-image experiences upon being confronted with other people. In this experience one will find exercises of expansion and contraction of images that will be useful for unblocking and giving mobility to one's self-image. This exercise will help improve one's relationship with other people by giving one greater control over one's self-image. In this way, one can work towards overcoming blockages in one's self-image that are frequently expressed as: timidity, hypersensitivity, shyness, escape or fugue from certain situations, etc.

Guided Experience

I find myself standing naked in a nudist camp, and I can feel that I’m being closely observed by men and women of various ages.

Someone tells me these people are studying me because it’s obvious to them I have certain problems. This person suggests that I cover up my body, so I put on a hat and some shoes. As soon as I do, the nudists lose interest in me.

I’m expected at a party soon, so I finish dressing and leave the nudist camp.

As I enter a large house, in the hallway I meet a fashionably dressed gentleman. He informs me that this is a costume party, and that to enter the ballroom I must be appropriately dressed. He directs my attention to one side, where I see a dressing room that is filled with unusual masks and costumes of every kind. Taking my time, I begin to choose carefully among them.

Before me are several mirrors set at angles, and as I try on different masks and costumes, I can see myself from all sides. First I try on the costume and the mask that look worst on me. (*)

Then I try on the best costume and the best mask, and study myself from all angles. Any imperfection I see is immediately corrected, until my whole costume is perfectly coordinated. (*)

Resplendent, I make my entrance into the grand ballroom where the party is going on. The room is filled with people, and all of them are wearing masks and costumes.

A hush falls over the crowd, and then everyone applauds my perfect costume. Urging me to go up on stage, they call for me to sing and dance—and so I do. (*)

Next the audience demands that I take off my mask and repeat my performance, but just as I’m about to, I realize I’m dressed in that hideous costume I tried on first. To make matters worse, my face is now exposed—I feel ugly and ridiculous. Nevertheless I sing and dance before the crowd, enduring their scornful jeers and whistles. (*)

Leaping onto the stage, a brash musketeer jostles and insults me. To his dismay, I begin to transform into an animal.

I continue changing into different animals, but always keeping my own face. First I am a dog, then a bird, and finally an enormous toad. (*)

At this point a chess piece, a rook, comes over to me and says, “You should be ashamed of yourself, frightening the children this way!” I return to my normal appearance, dressed in my usual clothing.

Now I find that I’m growing smaller—already I’ve shrunk to the size of a small child.

Stepping down from the stage, I look up at the enormous costumed people peering down at me from above. All the while, I continue growing smaller. (*)

Screaming hysterically, a woman cries out that I’m an insect. But just as she’s about to squash me with her foot, I shrink to microscopic size. (*)

Quickly I grow back to the size of a child, and then to my normal size. I continue growing larger and larger while the crowd around me scatters, running in all directions.

My head now reaches the ceiling and I look down on everything from above. (*)

Recognizing the woman who tried to squash me, I pick her up in one hand and set her down on the stage as she screams hysterically.

Returning to my normal size, I decide to leave the party.

When I reach the hallway, I see a mirror that completely distorts my appearance. Then I rub the surface until the mirror reflects back to me that beautiful image I have always longed for. (*)

Giving my regards to the dapper fellow at the entrance, I leave the house at peace with myself.


Notice your resistances in the different scenes, and relate them to problems you experience in everyday life. Verify that the resistances that have been overcome actually do produce changes in your everyday attitudes. Repeat the experience, concentrating on the crucial resistances you have not yet overcome.

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