Excerpt from “Encounters with the Soul”

Here’s what scares me about what I’m doing (Active Imagination):

“Properly used, the method of active imagination can be of the greatest help in keeping our balance and in exploring the unknown; but misunderstood and indulged in, rather than regarded as a scientific piece of hard work, it can release forces in the unconscious that can overcome us and even land us in a psychotic episode.” (pg 6)

What am I getting myself into? I plan to go slowly and carefully. I’ll even stop if I feel the process getting out of hand. Being a writer, particularly one who works late at night and during periods of insomnia, I use a method close to Active Imagination all the time. This was particularly true while I was traveling Greece and writing in my journal, which eventually became Oedipus on a Pale Horse. This is exciting, but I must also understand and respect the dangers.

Here’s another quote from Barbara Hannah’s book, pg 6:

“As Jung writes in Psychology and Alchemy: ‘We know that the mask of the unconscious is not rigid–it reflects the face we turn toward it. Hostility lends it a threatening aspect, friendliness softens its features.’
“It is therefore of the utmost importance to feel friendly to the idea that there is a great deal of a personal nature, and still more of an impersonal one, that we do not know and which continues to exert a compelling effect upon us.”

I have already noticed that the personages I’ve met in my dreams have a rather stand-offish attitude toward me, as if they are waiting to see what sort of attitude I will direct toward them. Congeniality appears to be the name of the game.

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