I just had my first daytime Active Imagination session. I was sitting at my desk minding my own business when I wondered about a word, got out my iPhone, and looked it up in my American Heritage Dictionary app. I then thought about how useful my iPhone is, and this led to a confrontation between me and a rather remote family member, who will remain nameless, concerning whether I actually use my iPhone enough to justify the expense. After all, I rarely get a call on it. I argued belligerently with this person, and the confrontation started to escalate, as it always does. Generally, he, and it is always a man, tells me to shut up, and I say that I can say what ever I want. Then he says that he can’t believe I think I could take him physically. I then say that there are a lot of equalizers in this world, and that if he ever beats me up, he better finish the job because if he leaves me alive, I’ll get him, even if I have to… Well, you get the message. It becomes a struggle to the death.
But this time, I realized that I was actually arguing with some personage in my Unconscious. I have several family members that I argue with about things like this in my fantasy word, (never in the ‘real’ world) and I’ve known for sometime that they are interchangeable; therefore, they must all be fronts used by some personage in my Unconscious. With this realization, the conversation took on a different tone and went something like this:
Me: Okay, the gig is up. Who are you? You’ve been hiding behind images of my family members long enough. Show yourself.
Him: So what? The problem is your iPhone, not me.
Me: Why are you hiding behind images of my family members. Don’t you have the courage to show yourself.
Him: It’s not a question of courage. You won’t take me seriously.
Me: But do you really need for our confrontations to escalate to violence?
Him: You’re committing the violence. Remember? I’m the one getting beat up.
Me: But you take it into the physical realm first.
Him: It’s where you want me to take it. You want a fight as much as I do. Probably more.
Me: (I have to think about this a moment.) Don’t believe that’s true, but let’s say that it is. Can’t you see my side of our arguments?
Him: Why should I see yours, when you never see mine?
Me: True, again. I’ll have to think about that one also. But next time you confront me, I’d hope you’d be willing to show your face, instead of hiding behind someone else. I’ll be more forthcoming about answering your complaints if you’ll be honest about who you are.
Him: We’ll see.
[This seems as though it might well be a breakthrough for me. I’ve had these violent fantasies for decades, as documented in Oedipus on a Pale Horse. But I have only been involved from an unenlightened perspective. I’ve projected these arguments on images of my friends, family, and people I meet on the road, instead of dealing with them from an internal perspective. Now I have hope of resolution.]