We are all patchwork, and so shapeless and diverse in composition that each piece, each moment, plays its own game. And so there is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.
The quote is from Montaigne, the French master of the essay, a word that originally meant a trial, something that tests our mettle. Meeting and making peace between our many selves is certainly a life trial, for which dreaming is one of our greatest resources.
In dreams, we meet many aspects of ourselves, some quite remote from what Yeats called the daily trivial mind. We meet the wonder-child, the dark or bright Shadow, the lost boys and girls, the beast in the basement and – when we are fortunate and awake enough to recognize and remember – the Oversoul.
We meet selves in dreams who appear to be living lives quite different from ours, as if they have taken off along roads not taken by our ruling personality in the world of our physical experience. A self who is still living with the ex, a self who is still working in the old job, a self who stayed in the old place.
Patchwork is also called pieced work. It involves sewing together many pieces, some of which, as they say, are real pieces of work.
One of the fine arts of personal evolution, vital to self-healing, is to rise to a clearer understanding of our many selves, and make helpful bridges between them, so we can draw on the skills and energy and experience of all of them. Ultimately we will only make a lasting marriage between our many selves when we can bring them together under the aegis of the Oversoul or Greater Self, who forever seeks us through dreams.