02:45. I open the Iris of Time.
I see an eye, a single eye. Another shape, a fish’s head. Focus out, focus in. Nothing seems to help. Tired and a little sleepy. I don’t always see images when I get close to sleep. Part of me still has to be alert. I’m sinking into the dream state. Can’t hold it back. Seeing symmetrical patterns, circles.
05:45. Just woke from a dream that came in two parts. May have been two dreams. In the first part, I was standing in a large area where construction equipment was operating. Not a familiar place. A large piece of equipment, seems like a truck with a very heavy load, came through the area. The driver gunned it and was obviously driving faster than he should. He tried to beat another vehicle to a road, but was too late and had to try to stop the vehicle. He did stop it, but in the process, the vehicle became unstable, almost overturned, and he was thrown from the vehicle. I was afraid it was going to crush him, but the vehicle righted itself and he was okay, but since he wasn’t in the vehicle, it was out of control and took off again, this time in another direction. I started to run after it to see if I could get in and stop it, but it was obvious that I wasn’t fast enough. Someone else ran after it, got hold of the back of the truck bed and climbed aboard. Two men were up against the cab. They were convicts in chains. They wouldn’t let the man get close to the cab so he could stop the runaway vehicle. They fought him. But he overpowered the two convicts, and I believe he stopped the vehicle, but I’m not too sure of it.
Now comes the second part, which followed closely on the heels of the first part, and may even be a continuation. Same location. I was there to meet a friend of mine, Milt, an engineer I’ve known for some years and who visited us only six weeks ago. He came walking into the area with a couple of other men. By then I was with several family members standing around talking, mostly older women, but one was rather young and pretty. I said hi to her, but couldn’t remember her name. I was a little embarrassed about it. She said hi back, and I thought that she probably couldn’t remember my name either. We hadn’t seen each other in quite a while. We all went to an area to sit so we could talk. It seemed more like a pit in the ground, a circular pit at two levels where we could sit. Milt had difficulty sitting because he’d recently had both knees replaced (true). I asked him how he knees were doing, and he said, not that well because his knees had been stiff lately. I said mine weren’t all that well either, which isn’t true by the way. Milt sat on my left. The young woman who was a relative of mine sat to my right. She took my hand. Milt put his hand on my left shoulder and leaned on me in a show of friendship. The young woman held my hand, and I noticed that she didn’t have on her wedding ring. She was married. She said that she didn’t ware it because it was dangerous. Seems that she worked around electricity. I said that I didn’t wear my rings either, that they can be unsafe around electricity. I really liked the young woman and loved holding her hand. All the other women gathered around also and sat with us. And then the dream ended.
Of course, the hit of the dream was the young woman. I felt such great affection for her, and she seemed to share my feelings. Our holding hands was inappropriate, but since she was a relative, not forbidden. She is not someone I recognize as a relative in the real world.
Here’s my question. I saw this dream as a series of moving images with sound. When I wrote about it just now, I recalled those images, it seemed, in just as much fidelity as I had seen them in the dream. Just as we all always do. But I wasn’t hallucinating. I saw these images in my mind. But these images are not like what I experience when I close my eyes and look for images from the Unconscious. The images I actively look for are more like hallucinations. And I do see them, not many, but I do see some even though they are difficult to produce. But they are much different, more real, than those I just remembered when telling about my dreams.
When I write fiction, I “see” my characters and the settings in the same way that I remembered my dream. This constitutes two different levels of imaginary images. One I actually see, the other I imagine. One seems real. The other, imaginary. The real images are difficult to hold. Mostly they are momentary. Frequently they are the simultaneous for Active imagination, but they don’t stay at that level of fidelity. They lose the hallucinogenic character and become much closer to what I envision when I write fiction. In a sense, the images, the fleeting images from the Unconscious are “real”, and the rest of the Active Imagination is imaginary. But Jung’s process is called “active imagination”, meaning that the practitioner actively engages his imagination. So it would seem that both processes are acceptable. This has been my delima because I started out with these hallucinatory images being easy to produce but difficult to hang on to, and I thought this is what I was going to be dealing with all the time, that it really was different from writing fiction. But that doesn’t seem to be the c case.
Another thing I’ve noticed, and I’ve noticed this pretty much all my life. I rarely have sexual dreams. I do occasionally but they are in the vast minority. Sex dreams and fantasies seem to come exclusively from the ego, whereas most of my dreams seem to come from a place where sex isn’t a factor. Love is the big thing, affection, caring. I love the women in my dreams. Sometimes, I kiss them, hold them, long for them, but generally I’m content to just be in their presence. They are all special to me. Somehow they are perfect, and perfect for me. We have a perfect affinity for each other.
I want to talk to the young woman. I want to know about the nature of our relationship, so I start another Active Imagination session.
I go to her, and she’s still here beside me, holding my hand.
“Should we be holding hands?” I ask.
“Probably not,” she says, “but I enjoy it. I’m married though.”
“I know that you are a relative of mine, but I don’t know how we are related.”
“I’m not sure either.”
“You don’t seem to be from either my mother’s or my father’s side of the family.”
She laughs. “Yet,” she says, “we are related.”
“To whom are you married?”
“That doesn’t seem to be important or perhaps even a reasonable question. I believe we are related on a much different level than the physical, hereditary plane. I believe we’re spiritually related.
“Why are you here?”
“I came to see you….”
[I stop the session. This question and answer technique doesn’t seem to be working. I seem to be filling in her part of the dialogue. Plus, she doesn’t know anything that I don’t. I believe I’m making up both sides of this conversation, which I take to mean that I’m not allowing her to talk at all. I’ll switch to allowing her to explain the situation to me. I start over.]
“Who are you and where do you come from? Are we really related?”
“Yes, we are related, but I’m from the spiritual world, your psychic world.”
I am so tired. I can’t continue and have to end the session.
What does Jung mean by “Having more control of the process while awake than we do while dreaming?” Doesn’t this mean that we would be interfering with the process? How do I separate my ego thoughts from those originating in the Unconscious? These are really tough questions.
Also, if dreams occur in the Unconscious, how can we remember them? That must mean that we dream within the ego, but close to the Unconscious. That would be the reason we have so much difficulty remembering dreams.