Having developed a technique for adapting Active Imagination to writing fiction, I would now like to discuss what the effect of all this on my sleep patterns. I’ve been practicing Active Imagination for the past year. I’ve found it to be difficult to practice continuously. It seems to be, at least for me, a cyclical process, where I do it religiously for a while and then lose interest, so much so that it’s difficult to engage myself in it.
But what has it done to my sleep patterns? I had been engage in an activity that resembled Active Imagination for the past twenty years. I’ve always had insomnia, and I would use these times of wakefulness to work on a novel in progress. But my use of Active Imagination has taken that activity to a new level.
I now have a more companionable relationship to both my insomnia and my dreams. I don’t mean that I have demystified either the insomnia or dreams, it’s just that I’m more comfortable with them. I’m not so uncomfortable with my unpleasant dreams, and the ones that seem meaningful are even more important to me.
Going to bed each night is an adventure. I look forward to experiencing my dreams, remembering them and recording them. I also look forward to delving into a subject and experiencing the deep thought patters that occur close to the sleep state. Writing quiets and in many ways replaces the internal dialogue used to occupy me during my periods of insomnia. I don’t worry so much.