I thought I would provide a little more information about my ability to see stark images while practicing Active Imagination. I want to preface this by saying that I am only looking for images and not going in with a problem that I wish to investigate through Active Imagination as described in Jung’s procedure. I just simply try to see something. It is an active process, as I’ve described before, and it takes a certain skill learning to see with my eyes closed. It doesn’t happen without effort. It did however work to a certain extent when I very first started doing this two years ago. But in the beginning, the images would quickly disappear because I suffered a sort of shock when they appeared. At times these images have been still lifes, but mostly they are active, real-life scenes with people going about their business. It’s as if I have a webcam positioned somewhere in another world.
At times, I’ve wondered if I was experiencing lucid dreaming, but the images appear when I’m sure that I’m wide awake, although they do require that I enter some sort of unusual mental realm. Don’t know any other way to put it. The other thing is that generally in a dream, I have a close connection and possibly participating in what I’m dreaming about. That is not true of these stark images I see. I’m totally disconnected, and as I said above, it’s as if I’m viewing a webcam in another world. They seem to be without emotional content. I’m just viewing daily life. Sometimes it’s street scenes, and at others people at their desks going about their daily business.
Sometimes when I try to see images, I can’t, but at others they come easily. They are so profoundly real and in full of color, so much so that it’s difficult for me to believe that I’m not physically there. It is as if I have my eyes open. And now recently the images have become more stable. I keep saying images, but they are generally short video type segments of another world. Nothing exotic, you understand, but still very much not places I recognize. Until recently they would only linger for just a few seconds and then disappear. They disappeared because I was shocked, perhaps even a little afraid of the images since they were so real. I’ve attributed this to Consciousness’s fear of content coming from the Unconscious, as if my Consciousness was afraid of Unconscious material and immediately shut it off. But now the segments have become longer, and I experience none of the shock, the emotional jolt I used to feel. The images are also more like I’m seeing through a camera. At times, totally unmotivated, I zoom in to get a closer look, or the image enters my field of view from the side. It does seem at times to mimic the dynamics of images on a computer screen. But the dynamics are completely divorced from any intent of mine. I just seem to be so comfortable with them that they are becoming more natural in what they do. The images seem to have little if any emotional content. They are scenes and can last up to a minute in length. Then they slowly fade out, or the image will move into the distance and disappear.
The good news is that they are much more stable, and I can examine details and actions without fear of causing it to disappear. I am gradually learning how to deal with this phenomenon. It definitely seems to be a skill developed through a conditioning process. I have tried to home-in on details like a person’s face, but so far, the details don’t see to be there. I can’t distinguish a person’s facial features. That is rather strange because the images are so vivid. I still think, as I have said before, that this is similar to what Kerenyi says about zoë, eternal life, as being without attributes.
I’m hoping at some point I can actually enter the scene and interact with the people I see in these scenes. They now always have people in them. I no longer consider it to be a part of Active Imagination because I’m not actually using my imagination such as I do when writing fiction or fantasizing some scenario. This is seemingly real-world stuff that simply comes to me when I enter this state of consciousness. Perhaps someday I’ll have a better explanation for what’s going on.