Separate Yet Connected Worlds

An imaginative idea took control of me, and within seconds it felt more real than the sidewalk under my feet. The room I was walking toward became two rooms, separate yet mysteriously connected. Several seconds passed before I realized that I was imagining myself in the two separate physical spaces simultaneously. I was both a participant and an observer. In one room, with a couch and a chair behind it, I was in my own inner world, as an anxious speaker. In the other room, with pen and paper in hand, I recorded as much as I could of what I heard and saw of the psychoanalytic session. In metaphorical terms, was I both studying myself and learning to listen to myself? I was climbing a hill when this question came to me, and for a moment my imaginary situation felt real, as if such an experience were possible in reality. I was afraid to give this fantasy a chance to speak more to me. I had to hurry if I wanted to arrive at my psychoanalyst’s office on time. Maybe I needed to be on the couch more often if I thought that my fantasies spoke to me. What else did they do? My fantasy of the two me’s in two separate rooms was real, in my imagination. I was minutes away from her office when I realized that I might have imagined a way to think about what happens in my mind, when things are going well, while I’m on the couch: I become both participant and observer of my own inner experience. The imaginative idea still felt in control of me when I entered her office, and as I was about to lie down on the couch, I asked myself: and what’s wrong with that?

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