[This is another of my posts that I saved in draft form but never published. Thankfully, my WordPress blog software saved the date it was put into draft form. I’m not sure why I never published these. Probably just didn’t believe they were significant. Now, they seem as important as anything thing else I’ve done.]
To imagine is simply to call the Unconscious into action. The activation of the imagination is simply a request sent into the Unconscious. It is much like asking a question. The imagination is a dialogue between Consciousness the Unconscious. Unless my experience is radically different from that of others, I believe people who practice Active Imagination should not be asked to wait to see imagines. They should not be expected to hallucinate. I believe a more appropriate term would be to visualize images. The problem of course is that when we visualize, we “make up” images. This difference is crucial to understanding what is going on in an Active Imagination session, when it is happening and when it isn’t. It’s the difference between gold and fool’s gold.
I believe we have to jumpstart our imaginations. When we “ask” for input from our imagination it responds with whatever is available. If we’re asked to visualize a house, we can, and if we’re asked to describe it, we can because our imagination provides a certain amount of detail with the imagined image. Our imagination will supply more details than requested. If we go in expecting to see someone, we will. Perhaps a better technique would be to go into an Active Imagination session with a problem we wish to discuss, and anticipate seeing and conversing with someone who knows something about the problem. We should then be asking questions of the personage in psychic space to learn what they think about that particular problem. Therapists can’t expect someone to halucinate an Active Imagination session.