Last night I was awake in the middle of the night reading Jung’s The Red Book, A Reader’s Edition, and I came across a more concise description of how to initiate Active Imagination, specifically how to produce visions:
You only use the retina of the eye at first in order to objectify. Then instead of keeping on trying to force the image out you just want to look in. Now when you see these images you want to hold them and see where they take you—how they change. [Page 75]
This is exactly how I’ve produced images. It’s the art of looking within instead of without. This doesn’t necessarily come easily or intuitively. You sort of have to experience it to know how to do it. Getting close to sleep and the dream state seems to help understand how to do it. Then just keep trying things until it happens. Jung continues:
And you want to try to get into the picture yourself—to become one of the actors. [Page 75]
Of course, in novel writing, the author doesn’t insert him/herself into the action, not necessarily. They might if they’ve assumed another identity. They could insert their narrator and/or a character, particularly if they are writing in first person. Jung continues:
When I first began to do this I saw landscapes. Then I learned how to put myself into the landscape, and the figures would talk to me and I would answer them… [Page 75]
This also rings a bell. From the very beginning, when I step through the Iris of Time, I emerge at the edge of a grass-covered meadow. It has a forest on both the left and right, the sun and blue sky overhead, and snow-capped mountains in the distance. This is my point of departure and where I meet my guide, Manto. At times before sleep, I look for images, and I have encountered some really powerful visions. One of them was a scene on a busy street. It didn’t have so much car traffic as pedestrians everywhere. I tried to talk to some of them, but it seems they couldn’t hear me or see me. The scene was a vivid as any when awake in the middle of the day, and I heard street noises.
Running into this new information tells me that there’s probably a lot more information on how to execute Active Imagination that I know about. I suppose it’s all in the hands of Jungian analysts though.