The power of interpretation and association is evident in relational psychology. Relational psychology is well known for its tests and quizzes. Many of them feel more like games and you know how much I love games!
Most of these tests are designed to allow the subconscious to reveal the truth about you to your conscious awareness and/or to your therapist. To see how this works for yourself, give this very famous one to try! It’s called “The Cube”. This test was said to have been created by a psychologist from Japan.
Follow along with this exercise, keeping in mind that it is important to try to concentrate on how you feel about what you are describing and not just on how it looks. For example, you may describe something as a certain color because it gives you a feeling of calmness. However, another person may describe a different color but say that it gives him or her a sense of calmness. In other words, though both people picture the thing differently, the interpretations of their answers are the same - the color, represents calmness to them.
Ok. To start this exercise, close your eyes.
You are in a vast desert and you see a cube.
1. The desert.
What is this desert like? How big or small is it? What is it filled with? What is living and what is non-living in this desert? How do you feel about the desert? How do you feel being in it? What do you think about it?
2. There is a cube.
How big is the cube?What substance is it made of? What is its texture? What is its color? What do you think about that substance and color? How do you feel about this cube?How far away is it from you?Is it transparent? Can you see what is inside?How big is the cube compared to the desert? What is the ratio?
3. There is a ladder.
Is the ladder leaning on the cube?What is the color of the ladder? What is it made of?What impression does it give you?What is the distance between the cube and the ladder? What is the relationship between the cube and ladder?
4. There is a horse.
What is the distance between the cube and the horse?What is the color of the horse? What is it doing?What impression does it give you?Is it tied? Is there a saddle?
5. There is a storm.
What is the distance between the storm and the cube.Is it a big storm or a small storm?Is it passing by or staying? How do you feel about this storm?
6. There is a flower/ there are flowers.
How many flowers are there?Where is/are the flower/s and especially, where are they in relationship to the cube?What is the color of the flower/s? How hardy or fragile do they seem to you?How do you feel about the flower/s? How do they feel about you?
Remember that your interpretation of what you see also matters!
Desert: The desert represents your world view. Your idea of the world you live in. The size represents your knowledge of the world and how vast your worldview is. The conditions of this desert represent how you view the conditions or reality of the world. For example, if there is nothing else alive there, you feel very lonely in the world and perceive the world to be a lonely place. If there are many dead or non-living things, or if it is dull and empty feeling, you are pessimistic and are not feeling enriched by life. Or for example, if it is full of life and healthy and/or vibrant, you have an optimistic worldview and feel like the world is the place to be.
Cube : The cube represents yourself. How you think about the cube reflects how you think about yourself. For example, you may think the cube is made of yellow stones. Yellow may give you a feeling of warmth and stone may give you a feeling of strength. Then, it means that you believe that you are a strong and warm person.
The distance between you and the cube reflects your understanding about yourself. If the cube is far away, then it means that you do not feel close to your inner self.
The ratio of the cube to the desert is how you think about yourself in this world. The bigger the ratio, the grander you think of yourself and what you're meant for. People who see an excessively tiny cube, feel that they are smaller than life. People with a cube that is excessively large, feel as if they are larger than life. A small ratio means that you recognize that you are just one part of this world and there are many other things out there beside you. A large ratio means you thrive on being the center of attention.
To generalize, a cube with a transparent surface means you tend to let others know how you feel on the inside. You show your inner thoughts, and you are deeply sincere. You know that you are good inside. And chances are, you feel seen, heard, felt and understood (or are trying to be) by others.
A cube made out of water or ice indicates that you let external elements influence you completely. Your personality is sensitive to social pressure, relationships, and other environmental factors.
A hollow cube tends to mean that you are primarily concerned with your outside appearance, with far less care for what's going on within. However, this does not mean that you have nothing to offer on the inside.
A solid cube made out of metal or rock indicates that you have solid integrity. Your personality is so strong that it cannot be bent or influenced by any external force. You are dominant and consistent. But you are defensive of people trying to see into your inside world. You would rather control what they see or don’t about you.
What does the image of your cube tell you about yourself?
The ladder represents your goals. The length of the ladder shows the scale of your goals, the shorter the ladder, the simpler the goal. The distance between the ladder and the cube determines the focus and effort that you are currently investing in your goals. If your ladder is close to your cube then you are making all effort to achieve and assist your goals. If your ladder is leaning on your cube, you have a big goal to achieve. if your ladder is extending beyond or is in any way over the cube, you may feel your goals are too hard to achieve or you don’t have what you need. If it is under your cube, you are someone who likes to be on top of things but you may keep goals small because of this. The strength of the material of this ladder alludes to the support you feel you have from others in order to achieve this goal.
The Horse: The horse represents the lover you are subconsciously seeking. The distance between the horse and the cube represents the closeness you have with your lover. If the horse is facing the cube it shows you want to be the focus of attention in the relationship. If your horse is closer to your ladder it might suggest you want a lover who supports your goals. If the horse is tied up, then it shows the need to be controlling in a relationship. If the horse has a saddle then you feel secure with them. If the horse is free and not saddled, it means you view your lover as uncontrollable/unpredictable or someone who is very independent.
Storm: The storm represents the obstacles or problems in your life. If the storm is very intense then your problems are causing havoc in your life. If they encompass the entire desert then it means you might have some ongoing issues, which you think will take a while to resolve. If your storm is light then it means your problems don’t really upset the balance of your world. If it is outside the room it means you see your problems at a distance and they can easily be controlled.
Flowers: There is some argument about the flowers in relational psychology. The first argument is that the flowers represent your social connections. This could be those you consider to be family or friends. How you feel about the flowers reflects how you feel about the people in your life. The number of the flowers determines your significant connections and how close you are to them, a “bunch” of flowers suggests you have a close group of friends you rely on. A couple suggests you may be close to only very few people. Tons of flowers suggests that you are a social butterfly with many connections or contact, but may not develop a deep relationship with any of them. A row or more of flowers suggests that you have levels of connections, some have stayed and some have gone. The location of the flowers relative to the cube determine how close you are with your people. The color of the flowers represents your current feelings toward them.
The second argument is that the flowers represent kids. Some believe the number of flowers you see is either the number of children you will have or the number of children you want. The closer the flower is to the cube, the closer you feel to your children or the thought of having children. If your flower is close to the ladder then a goal in life might be to have children. Different colors also represent a variety in children (you want boys/girls of varying ages).
It's worth looking into the meaning of colors deeper, but here is a quick and generalized list of color meanings as it applies to psychology:
Black: Black is the color of authority, elegance, sophistication, mystery, secrecy and seduction. Black can also imply darkness and/or painful emotion. Or rarely, oneness/every thingness.
White: White symbolizes innocence, peace, purity, simplicity, cleanliness. And rarely, nothingness, like a blank slate.
Red: Red represents dominance, power, action, motivation, ambition, leadership, willpower, passion and sexual energy. It is also the color many associate with romantic love.
Pink: Pink represents softness, kindness, friendliness, nurturing, calming, love, naivety.
Orange: Orange represents energy, enthusiasm, excitement, attention seeking, thrill, warmth.
Blue: Blue represents knowledge, openness, royalty, loyalty, tranquility, calm, serenity, security, stability, reliability and sometimes sadness.
Green: Green represents compassion, growth, balance, harmony, equilibrium, prosperity, relaxation, renewal, vitality.
Yellow: Yellow represents optimism, joy, enthusiasm and playfulness, overpowering, sociability, uplifting, cheer, inquisitiveness, original thought.
Purple: Purple represents nobility, luxury, wealth, wisdom, spirituality, frustration, arrogance, creativity.
Brown: Brown shows stability, reliability, solidness, strength, resilience, grounded-ness, safety, stubbornness, isolation, it is also the color of nature, earthiness.
Grey: Grey represents neutrality, calm, balance, detachment, lack of emotion, impartiality, loss, depression.
Silver: Silver represents dignity, graciousness, justice, discerning, unbiasedness, sleekness, ornate, industriousness, quiet wealth, perseverance, patience, emotionality.
Gold: Gold represents success, wealth, winning, achievement, triumph, luxury, prestige, extravagance, pride, charisma and luck.
In some cube tests, the ladder represents friendships. If you’re curious about that interpretation, you can easily look it up online. You can also look up any other symbolic meaning of any of the elements you saw in your vision. Don’t forget to spend time thinking about what the images you saw (ie: your answers) mean to you. And try it with a friend!