Thursday, May 01, 2014

Did you know you already have your own personal TARDIS?



If you are not a geek, it's possible you either haven't heard of Doctor Who or have only a vague sense of a campy sort of show that features time travel. If you've tried to sample just one episode, you might have found it quite confusing and decided to watch something else that required less research to make sense of the action.

Two years ago, my son gave me Series 1 as a Christmas gift, and we watched the episodes mostly while on summer holiday. I liked it quite well, but I wasn't quite hooked. Last year, I started watching episodes on television or on the computer shortly after they aired. I liked it better, but I wasn't quite hooked. This winter, I had a cough that lasted forever and I decided I needed to take a break each day. That's when I got hooked. I have to rematch the episodes I had already seen, but I have worked my way through most of series 1 through 7.

That's why I finally understood the nature of the blue box that carries the Doctor through time and space. It's called a TARDIS (time and relative dimensions in space) ship and it is, famously, bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.  It sometimes takes the Doctor where he wants to go and more often takes him where his action will make a tangible difference that serves his purpose in the universe (maybe in multiple universes).

The TARDIS is a grand and funny and quite precise representation of the unconscious mind.

Watching Doctor Who is an experience of exploring how you are bigger on the inside and how you will choose to feel about that. Will you resent the places that your unconscious sends you or will you navigate and negotiate and serve your purpose wherever you land? Will you be glad to move through your memories of the past and your perceptions of the present and your memories of the future (the only way to think about something that hasn't happened is to build your representation out of memories)?

Your own personal TARDIS will take you places you do not expect and set you puzzles you do not (at first) know how to solve. It will slow down time or speed it up without giving you any warning that time is about to change. You'll look up from time to time and find that you are in a new location (perhaps after a long and thoughtful drive). You may even feel that you have stolen your own TARDIS and are flying it without a proper set of instructions. Some unconscious minds are like that.



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