There is a fun psychological trick that you can use to reveal someone’s deepest thoughts and desires, both to himself/herself and to you.
It originates from the Japanese study of kokoro (心, ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’), and is known as The Cube Test.
All you need to do is ask someone the following five questions and then interpret the results:
1. Imagine you are walking in a big, empty desert. You come across a cube.
- How large is this cube, what does it look like, what is it made of, and is it transparent or solid? Don’t overthink your answer, just say the first thing that comes to mind.
2. Apart from this cube, you also see a ladder.
- Where is the ladder, what size is it, and what is its relative position compared to the cube?
3. Next, you see a horse.
- What does the horse look like, what is it doing, and what is the position of the horse relative to the cube?
4. You spot flowers.
- Where are the flowers located, how many are there, and what do they look like?
5. Finally, you observe a storm.
- What kind of storm is it, how large is it, how far away is it, and is it just passing by, staying in place, or headed for the cube?
And now, the results!
The cube reprents you and your ego.
The larger the cube, the larger your ego. If the cube is floating, your life may be rather unstable, if it is standing on solid ground, then you are well-rooted in life.
The characteristics of the cube, such as its colour, surface (smooth or rough), material, and possible transparancy, all say something about who you are as a person. This is a bit open to interpretation, e.g. the meaning of colours differs per culture.
As an example: a transparent cube can indicate that you have no problem showing your emotions, while a cube made of metal or stone means that you have a dominant personality and strong opinions.
Similarly, a black cube is associated with power and authority, while blue can be linked to freedom and imagination.
The ladder represents your friends in life.
Is the ladder leaning on the cube? Then your friends may be leaning on you for support.
Or perhaps it is standing vertically on top of the cube, or not touching the cube at all? If the latter is true, then you may not feel very close to your friends.
An alternative approach is that the ladder represents your goals in life. The length of the ladder represents the scale of your goals, while the distance of the ladder to the cube represents how focused you are on these goals.
The horse represents your (ideal) partner in life.
The type of horse says something about what kind of partner you desire. E.g. a typical brown horse (Bay horse) could indicate that you want a ‘normal’ partner, while a black or white horse could mean that you value mystery or innocence, respectively.
The behaviour of the horse could mean something too. Is it roaming freely or not? Is it saddled? Is it even alive?
I have seen two interpretations for this. One is that the flowers represent your children, or desire to have children, but this has never worked for me.
I have tried this psychology test with at least ten people and they all imagined lots of beautiful flowers, but this did not correspond to their wish to have children at all.
A more satisfying explanation to me is that the flowers represent your social circle. The location of the cube relative to the flowers represents your position in this circle.
Finally, the storm represents an obstacle that you envision in your life, or current problems that you’re dealing with.
Obviously, the size of the storm represents the magnitude of the problem.
If the storm is staying put, then this problem is a constant factor in your life. If the storm is approaching, then you expect the problem to grow worse over time.
As a final remark, I would like to point out that these results are by no means conclusive. The test doesn’t work for everyone and a lot of the results are subjective and open to interpretation
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