28 May – The Active Imagination Process

I have a conflict. I want to learn about Active Imagination, and yet I’m apprehensive that I might copy the content of someone else’s sessions into my own. I’m highly susceptible to suggestion, particularly when trying to elicit interaction with the Unconscious. Yet, I do need some coaching along the way. The session below is rambling and at times doesn’t work at all. Nothing happens. But pages 6 &7 in Jung on Active Imagination provide some suggestions. First is this statement: “Everyone gets into it in their own way,” which gives me the latitude to experiment, but it goes on to say that you can concentrate on a particular mood, whatever is active or problematic at the time. The second method provided is to concentrate on an image from a dream vision or fantasy. I’ve used the dream method and will experiment with this as times goes by. So I currently have three methods of getting into AI: (1) just see what happens, (2) concentrating on an emotion, and (3) concentrating on a dream. This will give me direction and take away a lot of the guess work. But I like the fact that I tried it more or less on my own first before learning of these techniques. After all, Jung says that everyone gets into it differently. What ever works.

Here then is what happened yesterday.

Thursday night:

Here I am again trying AI. I’m having some difficulty. Yesterday it didn’t work. Also I’ve not been able to remember any of my dreams. I’m not sure what’s happening to me. We’ll have to see. I also have been somewhat less than motivated the last couple of days. Perhaps I can jumpstart the process now.

I might be willing to stop this process if I was approached reasonably, But sticking my nose up to the backend of a dog doesn’t seem like the right way to go about it.

Nothing yet. I can see the oblivious becoming more dynamic. Black clouds moving around. Horned beast, Just a face, head. Guy ran into me. Stuck his hand in my face. Two girls in front of me, young, blond, watching with me. Like we’re looking through a window. Can’t seem to hang onto any images.

Just woke from a few minute’s sleep.

I’m a wolf, running along the ground. I hear a voice: “If I’m going to behave like one, I might as well be one”. I hear singing “All is Love..” [song from the “Where the Wild Things Are”] Don’t see anything at all. Eating at a picnic table with family or friends. Why am I not supposed to be here? “You are,” say a voice. a cat-like woman. Goodbye.

“It bugs me,” a voice says.

“What bugs you,” I say.




“Yes, me too,” I say.

“Murder and madness.”

“No, I won’t allow that,” greatly upsets me. “I’ll stop first.”

“Do you want this or not?” says the voice.

“I’m sure I don’t want everything that can occur in here. But I must know what goes on in here. I wanat the truth. I don’t want just what can be. I will take what comes as long as it is helpful, but I will not participate in that which is unseemly.”

“Because you have the others watching you. [Meaning the readers of this blog.] You don’t want anyone to know.”

“No, because I’m not violent. I may do some things to satisfy my animal nature, but I would prefer to leave them in the daylight world, and not bring them into here or to participate in such things in here. I won’t violate my ethics in here either.”

The conversation ends and I see: A large head of a fox, barely visible but filling my field of view. Song, “All is Love” again.

“Where is Phemenoe?” I ask. “Last I saw her she was caught in the felce of flowers and the water was sweeping me away from her. She said she was okay.”

“She doesn’t talk to me.”

“When can I see her?” I ask.

“When doesn’t apply here.” [This answer may be corrupt. I’ve been thinking that the Unconscious exists in Primordial Time, a time that doesn’t have a direction and is always now. Kerenyi talks about Primordial Time.]

A voice: “Attacking myself.”

A voice: “You are idolizing yourself.”

“Yes, I believe that’s true. But just because there is an unseemly side of my motives, does that mean that what I’m doing is not of value? Perhaps I’ll learn to do it from the right reasons. My intentions willl always be partially corrupt.”

A woman in the back of a pickup bed. Blowing soap bubbles. “I’m going to show you how its done,” pulling a blanket over my head.

A dirt walkway along the side of a heavily brushed mountain side. People walking along it, pilgrims. I see a different one, but I want the one I was given. Let me travel that footpath. It’s gone, can’t get it back. Light shining on a building. a walkway along a row of buildings in a foreign land, perhaps Paris. An animal personage to my right, large, human-like but an animal. A woman in front of me standing, talking. Cana’t hear her. She’s a black woman in a courtyard with other women working. Fruit. The eves of an old building in winter.

“Phemenoe is gone,” a voice says. “You can’t see her.”

Set of eyes in a line. “All is Love.” A Greek column. A field, crops. Back up among the trees, a building. “Is that where Phemenoe is?” Along a meadow path. Where is the house? Trees, no house moving fast. A forest . Only forest. House gone. A cloak, mine, inside the left side, pockets with items, perhaps a book or phamplet. Where’s the house? “All is love.”  People working at desks. A man. “Have you seen Phemenoe?” No answer. Nothingness.

Vision, even in darkness, is my guide. I can be seeing something and not know it. Suddenly, I realize something is right before me and has been for a while. Lots going on that just doesn’t reach my Consciousness.

The session ends.


After experiencing this session, I was demoralized, and I wondered if I could even continue this. I experience so much hostility and resistance to even doing AI. I keep running into these characters who won’t show themselves, and they don’t like me. But Hannah mentions this in Encounters with the Soul, page 7. This may be my Shadow. If so, it’s much more disconcerting than I expected. I didn’t expect opposition to the process itself. Perhaps, if I keep going, this will sort itself out.

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