This morning I woke and starting an Active Imagination session before getting out of bed. I didn’t have anything in mind to focus on, and thought I’d just see what popped up. From the beginning, my field of view seemed to be active. I saw a light space in the center and concentrated on it. It immediately began to transform both in shape and color. It became circular with a marked border and the inside brilliant red. Then the center became transparent and took on the texture of fine cut glass. These images were so vivid and well defined that I was absolutely amazed at their quality.
The figures then became opaque and changed into a jellybean shape. This shape took on details that made it look like a fetus in the womb. I could see a head and the rough outline of legs. Then a curious thing happened. Superimposed on the image at about the hip was a tiny hand. The hand blinked off and then on again, and then disappeared. The entire image became featureless and white, and then morphed into a couple of different shapes without definition. The entire figure then moved to the left and disappeared.
I have written this description from memory four hours after the session, and I know that I’ve forgotten many of the images that passed before my internal vision, both images and details within them. Some would be difficult to describe, and if I tried to paint them, I know that the images would evaporate as I tried to create a piece of art representative of them. As a matter of fact, I’ve tried to paint some of the images I’ve seen in previous sessions only to have the process become destructive of the memory of what I had seen. For that reason, I’ve held off on creating representations of them for fear of losing the images entirely. Therefore, my problems of documenting my sessions are becoming problematic. On the one hand, Jung says to get a description of them on paper while they occur, but on the other, the process of doing so terminates the session during the act. Even documenting it afterward destroys my memory of what happened. But Jung also says that each person’s experience with AI is different, so I can only trust my process, and allow it to develop with its own constraints. I’ll write about my sessions, but painting the images, unless they are extremely simple, will have to wait until my process finds its footing.
I continue to be dumbfounded at what’s happening. Active Imagination is amazing. When I first started, I had these fantastic characters pop up, stay for a few seconds, and then disappear to never return, or at least not as yet. They were more than just daydream images; they were like hallucinations with my eyes closed. They were vivid characters, active, fully human, and I hope they return someday. Then the symbol images started appearing, and they are vivid, changing, full of motion, and perhaps even full of meaning. I’m at an emotionally quiet time in my life, at least relatively so. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be going through midlife and have this as a tool for exploring the Unconscious and your relationship with it. And yes, I can see that it could be a problematic if entered into without professional help.