07 Oct 2010 More Ruminations About Active Imagination

I thought I would give The Anointed One another opportunity to talk to me. (As if he is the one who wants me and I not him.) Anyway, I open the Iris of Time.

I’ll see if the people I was initially with will appear to me again. I don’t see them, and I’m losing my desire to meet with him again anyway.  Or perhaps he’s lost interest in me. I’m not back to the same location. That was in an eastern country, and I didn’t get there by following directions.

Although my sessions seem to be getting longer when they work, it’s still a hit and miss proposition. Still too distracted tonight. More reservations and disappointments.

I’ve been think a lot about my Active Imagination session two nights ago and wondering what happened and why it happened the way it did. It seems that at times I’m reverting back to my religious training as a child. I’ve forgotten a lot of it, don’t use it in daily life, and not wanted to participate in religious rituals. But going to see the young man, and that happening so spontaneously, is something I cannot deny. It happened in psychic space. When I was looking for wisdom, the intellectual knowledge concerning wisdom, I encountered the Centaur, the most wise of beings according to the ancient Greeks. When I was looking for solace, I turned back to my childhood solution. It was personal, spiritual, and consoling. It was like confronting my father when I was a child, and actually, maybe for the first time, actually getting some help.

Jung used to meet with whom he called the five million year old man. But here, searching for a man of wisdom, I meet with a young man half my age. Mine was a personal quest and not an intellectual quest. And talking with him was the first time in my life that I’ve found someone I think I could share some of my problems with and trust the answer. Personal questions, personal problems.

My quest for wisdom and the nature of wisdom was a different quest. I wasn’t looking for anything personal. I was looking for the nature of wisdom and how one attained it. Somehow there seems to be a big difference.

But still, I try to reconcile the two, and try to cover up the inconsistency, or the potential inconsistency. I’m trying to plot my Active Imagination session, or the content, when my approach from the beginning has been to open the Iris of Time and see what happens. And part of it has to do with putting this material on the Internet. I don’t want to lose face. I don’t want to come across as being ridiculous. I don’t want to discredit myself. I want it all to fit together in a neat package and make sense. But this isn’t a novel. I’m not plotting it. It will be as inconsistent as is the Collective Unconscious, and as much as my Personal Unconscious is inconsistent. In large part my worry is that I will displease my readers, much as in therapy I worried about displeasing my psychiatrist. Just as when writing a novel, I don’t want to disappoint my readers, my audience.

When I expose the inter working my of my mind, I don’t want to be an idiot. Essentially, I don’t my readers to see beyond my persona. I want to keep it in tact, because I’ve always held it in place to cover up that of which I am ashamed, that which is unacceptable to society. Plus, I’m afraid that now that I’ve conversed with a being inside myself that I call the Christ, I can’t go back to see the Centaur, that I have to have one place to track down the answers to my questions in the search for wisdom. And I feel that as an outside pressure bearing down on me, pressure from you, my readers, and just as it would be from my psychiatrist, if I were in still in therapy.

This is present all the time but has now become an overriding issue. I’ll have to wade through this, minimize its effect as much as possible, and continue forward. Essentially, I’m suffering from not being able to plot my Active Imagination, not being able to foresee what’s coming, plan ahead, change that which doesn’t fit, take out that which isn’t a part of the story, stay with the central conflict, mark the plot points, resolve the central conflict, and come to a meaningful resolution. Make it interesting.

But my relationship with the Collective Unconscious may not be like this. I’ve taken off as an explorer, to investigate the nature of my Collective Unconscious. I must let it be, let it be what it will be. But still, I feel that without my planning, it won’t have a central unity, but it should because I am a central unity. I must not permit entities from the Collective Unconscious to take over my psyche. That is the path of insanity. People with multiple personality disorder lose the central unifying characteristic of their psyche. I can’t allow that to happen.

I know that I am approaching Active Imagination as would a novelist. I can see that now. I’m not approaching as would one going to a therapist and trying to resolve major, perhaps life-threatening issues. I’m on an adventure, albeit a serious one, to investigate the Collective Unconscious and Personal Unconscious. But for both my own benefit and to augment my writing craft. I believe this demonstrates, and this may be my first big revelation, what the novelist encounters when writing fiction. He believes he is making up a story, but it becomes more than that. He takes on some of the persona of his characters. His writing starts causing emotional problems. His work starts to affect his life, and not always in a positive way.

These are my thoughts on what is happening to me. I frequently feel shame over what I have experienced during my Active Imagination. I’ve given up my persona, let the world see beyond my mask, beyond the character and into the actor. I’ve removed my protective armor in what is the war we fight to civilize ourselves. I’m naked standing before the world and afraid of its judgment. But I would have to suffer through this if I was in therapy, perhaps even more powerfully. I therapist, a psychiatrist is a looming presence to the patient in therapy. A looming, all-consuming presence, in many was more powerful and omnipotent, because he knows. Your parents when growing up as a child don’t always have the answers. We learn that very young. But the psychiatrist is a doctor and has learned of the human mind. He has all the answers. Or at least he does to the patient, or at least he should have, thinks the patient, or at least he might have.

At times while in the middle of Active Imagination, I run up against a situation where I lose contact with the personages with whom I am interacting. I have a question for them, but I know they don’t have the answer. I can’t find the answer for them. When I was in therapy, I had one of the strangest sessions imaginable. I had been growing increasingly angry and hostile toward my psychiatrist, and in this one session, I walked into his office, sat down in the easy chair where I always sat, and I said in a belligerent fashion, “I have absolutely nothing to say.” And I then sat there looking directly at him and saying nothing for forty-five minutes. When my time was up, he said, “Our times is up,” and I got up and walked out without saying another word. He had sat before me, attentive, alert, ready for my input, never betraying that what I was doing was anything out of the ordinary, as if what we were doing was perfectly reasonable. I was paying him a lot of money to listen and comment on what I would say, and I spent forty-five minutes saying nothing. I’m not sure what happened during that session, but I’ve always thought that that it was probably the most beneficial in the almost five years I went to him. Which makes me wonder about these beings I encounter during Active Imagination, and how they at times fall silent. Is it really because I’ve lost contact with them? Or are these more significant times when perhaps we need to just face each other, and allow me to be in their presence, just allow me to experience who they are, two beings in each other’s presence. I always want to keep the dialogue going because I’m trying to get it all down on paper, but perhaps I should concentrate more on the experience and less on providing a record on it. Perhaps I should let some of my answers from them just hang there in the air. Perhaps words aren’t always the answer. Perhaps not hearing the words doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

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