Early this morning, I woke from an unusual dream. I dreamt that I was on an expedition to another planet. We landed there and discovered evidence of life, an ancient but apparently extinct civilization. Everywhere we went we found evidence that, at one time, ancient aliens had built and maintained a way of life there. A couple of us drifted off from the others, and when we rounded a hill, we looked off in the distance and saw a rather modern city, one that perhaps looked like America back in the 1950s. We saw cars stirring up dust as they zipped along dirt roads. When we got closer, we saw that they were teenagers out raising a ruckus in what appeared to be outdated American automobiles. When we came among them, we created quite a stir. They were excited to see us. They grabbed one of my companions and pulled him aboard what seemed like a flatbed truck. They seemed to be similar to us, yet they were different, alien, and we couldn’t understand their language, at least not at first.
I couldn’t understand how an alien civilization could possibly be as much like ours. But then I thought that perhaps some other, more advanced, civilization had abducted some Earthlings and deposited them on this distant planet to start a new civilization. But it also seemed that they had heard of our music and seen movies. They somehow had a link to our communication stream.
My dream ended then, and I woke, but I tried to bring it back, tried to reenter the dream. I wasn’t successful. I tried to remember more of the dream. It seemed that I couldn’t remember much of what happened when we first arrived at the planet, but I couldn’t focus on memories of the dream. Instead, my mind wanted to extend the dream by imagining more of the story, to flesh it out and learn more about who these alien people were. Active Imagination was taking over the story and adding to it. I couldn’t keep from it.
As I became more widely awake, I tried to enter the hypnopompic state, of which I’ve been researching recently, and I looked for hypnopompic images. They were everywhere. I saw faces, buildings, scenes. I believe everything was stationary, although some of the images may have been like short video clips. I could stare at the images and they were stable. They didn’t quickly disappear as they usually have. I could examine details for practically as long as I wished. Sometimes I would lose an image, but then I could bring it back at will. All these images seemed to have a loose connection to my dream. Were they scenes and people from my dream? I believe so, but I’m not sure.
I experimented with this for possibly as much as an hour before voluntarily giving it up. During all this, I was aware of the real world and my own physical state. The thing I remember most is that my breathing was heavy, as it becomes when we are going to sleep. I could come out of the hypnopompic state at will, my breathing once again normal, and then reenter, and when I did, my breathing would again become heavy.
I realized that this hypnopompic state I had experienced differed from that I use for Active Imagination. This state didn’t seem to use the imagination at all. It was as if my mind opened a window and allowed images from some remote source to pour through. Jung says that hypnagogic images can be used to start an Active Imagination session, but I’m wondering if hypnagogic/hypnopompic images have anything at all to do with Active Imagination. I realize that this statement contradicts what I said about what happened when I started coming out of the dream and my mind wanting to extend the story using Active Imagination. And yet, the normal state of imagining a story or talking to psychic entities during the day doesn’t seem to come from the same place.
The mind is complex. My research continues.