Let's say that you have a teen-aged son. His room, naturally, is a total disaster area. Clothes and unidentifiable things cover every inch of floor and wall space. Drawers and shelves put there for organization have things hanging from them which were either gained from a lovely lady, a construction site, or the other side of the moon.
The place may even be harboring the beginnings of some new life form. Who can know?
You peer into the room, not wanting to venture forward out of a sense of self-preservation, and ask him for some item he borrowed a week ago and never returned. He ventures into the room and returns with something that, if you use your imagination, is similar to what you asked for. "Like this?" he asks. You ask again, and the same action is repeated. Soon, a pile of strange and sometimes unidentifiable objects is in your possession, but what you asked him for never seems to materialize from the primordial ooze of his room.
In what seems like an endless comedy, he continually returns from the Den of Chaos and asks, "You mean something like THIS?" Like most teen-agers, he either can't or won't understand you, and you can't or won't understand him. Such are the ways of a teenager and his parents.
The Meaning of the Analogy:
The subconscious mind lives in a teen-ager's room. It is filled with junk and is in continual disarray. If you ask him to get something from the room quickly, he will generally bring you the first thing he finds that is like what you want. "Like this?" he asks as he delivers it to you. Ask again and he will bring you the next thing he finds which is LIKE what you want, but never exactly what you asked for. This can continue almost indefinitely, as the amount of junk in his room is seemingly without limits.
When you cue the subconscious to give you an impression, it can give you the simple answers straight, but when it comes to more complex things, it will simply rummage around in its jumble and grab the first thing which matches the impression. It holds that thing up to you and says "Like this?" Your conscious mind, however, is looking for a direct answer and tries to take what it is shown as a literal fact.
For example, you cue your subconscious mind for an impression. "Red!" it tells you. That's simple enough. You write down the word and task for another. But this time, the impression is a more complex one. Let's say it is, "A shape which curves first in one direction, then in another." Your subconscious, not being able to tell you such an impression because it speaks teenagerese and you don't, will rummage quickly through its jumble of memories and grab the first thing it can find which has a similar curve. That is what it will show you. Let's say it is a memory of a goose-neck lamp.
Your literal conscious mind sees it and says, "A goose-neck lamp?" Then, the NAG (Namer and Guesser) jumps in with its immediate conclusion and says that the target must therefore be an office of some kind, because that is the most likely place to find a goose-neck lamp. The conscious mind then comes to the conclusion that the target is an office and begins to interpret every following impression on the basis of how it fits an office. It also judges every new incoming impression for validity by whether or not it fits the picture of an office.
But the subconscious was just trying to tell you a shape.
This is how STRAY CATs and AOLs are created.
You must therefore learn to speak the language of the subconscious mind. It thinks in pictures, and is rarely ever able to show you exactly what it means, especially when the concept is a complex one. When it tells you something, you must realize that it is saying "LIKE this." It is not saying, "It IS this!"
This is especially true when what it gives you is a clear, static visual.
Therefore, especially when the perception is clear and distinct, you must fall back on the CRV rule of: "Describe, don't identify." You are getting a clear picture - so descriptors are easier to get. Just describe it.
A student once came back with the impression that the target was "Eifel Towery". I asked if she was saying that the target was the Eifel Tower (it wasn't). She said that she was aware that it was not, but that it was somehow LIKE the Eifel Tower. The target was, in fact, a tall, tower-like frame structure holding high tension power lines.
When you cue your subconscious mind for an impression and it comes back with a picture of, say, a goose-neck lamp, never make the mistake of thinking that that is the target. Simply understand that some part of the target is somehow "goose-neck lampy" and let it go at that.