More Encounters within the Unconscious

I’ve decided to try to contact some of the personages that I’ve spontaneously encountered the last few weeks during AI sessions and dreams. During the night, I start the following session, typed realtime:

I can’t see anything yet, just blackness. I do something, not sure what to call it. I defocus my eyes or something. Maybe use a different sort of vision, and I start seeing texture in the oblivion. I can sense something behind it now, movement. I’m searching for the man in the brown sports jacket [Session 1 May 12th].

“I know you’re out there,” I tell him. “You came to me once before. You let me see you. Who are you? What do you have to do with me?

I see turbulence, a vision of a hanged man, but nothing from him.

“Speak to me,” I say.

He’s a sports man, I think. I’m seeing some sort of artificial sunrise off to the left. I believe I saw him hit something, someone.

“Talk to me,” I saw. “Show yourself.”

“I’m not ready to talk to you,” he says.

“Yes, you seemed unready for me to see you the first time. Are you sure? You seem hesitant. I need to know how to contact you.”

“You do know.”

“I don’t seem to be very good at it.”

“Get out of here.”

That scared me. “Okay, I’ll leave.”

And the session ends.

I decide to try to connect with the Pythia at Delphi:

“Phemenoe, are you there?” I imagine the skyline of Parnassos and the gorge, home in on the Temple of Apollo, coming in from above. But I’m imagining instead of seeing. Can’t hold the images. This is not working, so I stop.


It’s morning and I’m still in bed. I woke a half hour or so ago, and tried to go back to sleep. I checked first to see if anything was available in the mental space I clear for AI, but but nothing came to me. I had a violent fantasy, as I’m always prone to do when I let my mind wander. I got beat up this time. An unusual occurrence in my fantasies. I am quite the fighter, in my daydreams. These episodes I attribute to my shadow and not the Unconscious. I discussed this some in my travel journal Oedipus on a Pale Horse, pages 300, 337 and others. (I’m serializing that book at but haven’t published that material yet. The book is available on Amazon and the Kindle for $1 and the iPhone on the Kindle App.)

I tried to go back to sleep, and just as I dozed, I was jolted awake by a dog running into my AI space. And then a man in a dark cloak sppeared at the periphery of my vision on the left.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“You shouldn’t be here,” he said.

I responded, “You came to me.”

“It was my dog that led me hear,” he said.

“Yes, but you sent him,” I responded.

He didn’t disagree with me.

“Why have you come?” I asked. “What do you have to tell me?”

He didn’t say anything, but off to the right I saw a city with a huge smoke cloud descending upon it. It was a cloud from fires to the north, a city burning. I saw ruins, charred remains of buildings.

I was shocked back out of the vision, “What are you showing me?” I asked, “What is this?”

“I can only show you the images,” he said and was silent.

I kept going over the images, but they remained static, and nothing further came to me. I couldn’t hang on to the session, and it slowly dissipated into nothing. The man in the dark cloak never allowed me to see him.

 Patio at Hotel Klytemnestra, Mykinai, Greece, the Town near the Ruins of Ancient Mycenae

Patio at Hotel Klytemnestra, Mykinai, Greece, the Town near the Ruins of Ancient Mycenae

This of course is not the first time I’ve had content from the Unconscious spontaneously burst into Consciousness. It is however the first time I’ve seen fit to try to engage the subject. I am making progress. The place where this occurred was at a hotel where I stayed with my son this past October in Mykinai, Greece, the Hotel Klytemnestra, not far from the ruins of ancient Mycenae. The yellow canopy overhead was the same, and the street scene before me was the same. This morning as I dozed, I was sitting out front at a table on the patio where they serve breakfast. Although the man wouldn’t tell me his name, Agamemnon came to mind during the session. The man was severe and hostile but somehow lacked conviction. I didn’t feel physically threatened. I couldn’t stay focused on the images, and the session simply dissipated, as some sessions have before when I couldn’t maintain an intensity to remain in contact with the Unconscious.

I seem to have a great deal of difficulty getting names out of the people I encounter in my AI sessions. I have to drag a name out of them, or even give them a name that either spontaneously occurs to me or seems to reflect their character. I feel uneasy about this, but I have to call them something, and since the names come up in my AI sessions, I’ll just stay with them until they tell me different.

The Unconscious content I’m now encountering has definitely taken a turn toward more dramatic and negative subjects. This short session reminded me of a powerful dream I had a few years ago when I was caring for my mother and before I moved to Healdsburg. I am writing a book that I’ve tenatively titled Tales of the Mythic World. My work on that book seemed to precipatate the dream. I documented the dream:

I stood on a mountain at night overlooking a brilliant sea of city lights, a future world. A man in a dark cloak stood in front of me, a little to the right. He turned and looked back at me, as if to say, “See, all this is possible.” Then the scene was interrupted by a line of mushroom clouds, similar to the line of bombs dropped on Baghdad during “Shock and Awe” at the start of the war with Saddam Hussein, but these were atomic bombs and not those of conventional warfare. This seemed to be an opposing alternative. I realized then that my dream was directed, not at me, but at our times.

I woke then, slowly, and as the mists of sleep faded, the name of one man came to mind, Teiresias. Teiresias was a seer in ancient Greece, a priest of Apollo, and though blind, could see the future and knew the will of the gods. He’d advised the kings of Thebes: Kadmos, Oedipus and many others. Years after he died, famous Odysseus came to see him in the Underworld to learn his way home from Troy. Teiresias was the only man to retain an unclouded mind in the Afterlife.

I’ve not encountered Teiresias during my AI sessions, but since I encountered him in a dream previously, it’s certainly tempting to make an attempt. Perhaps somewhere down the road.

Much of the content from the Unconscious that is coming to me is wrapped in the characters from Greek mythology. I’m suspicious of this, but it really makes sense since the archetypes of human existence for those of us raised in the culture of Western Civilization present themselves as images from ancient Greece. Carl Kerenyi wrote a series of books on this subject. So I’m just going with it. It’s all I have to cling to for now. Here’s what Jung has to say (Jung on Active Imagination, page 145) about what happens in AI and your natural inclination to discredit it:

“Each time, naturally, you mistrust it and have the idea that you have just made it up, that it is merely your own invention. But you have to overcome that doubt, because it is not true. We can really produce precious little by our conscious mind.”

He is the expert, the discoverer of AI, so I’ll trust him. My process will mature with time. No one can predict how things will end up.

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