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Active Imagination An apparently therapeutic technique developed by C. G. Jung that uses some form of self-expression, such as a fantasy-image, to represent and analyze the contents of the hypothesized collective unconscious.
Active imagination may involve artistic representation but this is secondary to its essentially internal character.
Jung says imaginary changes within active imagination should be carefully observed and noted because they indicate underlying unconscious processes.
In advanced stages of active imagination, Jung suggests a more direct engagement with imaginary contents, where one puts oneself on the stage, as it were, of the unconscious and becomes one of the players.
Here, unconscious attitudes toward a person or situation may be explored by running imaginary trials – e.g. fantasy dialogue or interactions – which Jung says contribute to an overall integration of the unconscious within consciousness.
Jung, himself, practiced active imagination deeply, going as far to say that he was guided by a “ghost guru” called Philemon. When Jung became bored with Philemon, however, he cut him off.
We cannot know whether Jung was dealing with a spiritual being or a mere product of his imagination.
Due to the hypothesized interconnectedness of all things, some depth psychologists and New Age enthusiasts believe that the internal dialogue of active imagination has real effects on other people and the visible world.
The psychologist and philosopher William James similarly wrote in The Varieties of Religious Experience about ‘thought insertion’–where the power of thought apparently influences another person at a distance.
Today the archaic idea of ‘thought insertion’ is sometimes called Remote Influence within parapsychological circles.
Jung mentioned but didn’t emphasize this possibility in his published works, perhaps to avoid negative repercussions from the skeptics and “medical materialists,” as he put it, of his time.
However, Jung did speak of belonging to an alleged “inner circle” of prominent, mystically inclined thinkers such as the novelist Herman Hesse and the Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano.
Active imagination is similar to Shakti Gawain’s notion of creative visualization but is more about developing psychological balance instead of achieving external goals. » Channeling
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Posted on May 12, 2008, in A and tagged active imagination, collective unconscious, creative visualization, daydream, dream, dreams, fantasy, ghost, guru, hesse, jung, jungian, matter, mind, new age, psychology, remote influence, soul, spirit, unconscious, william james. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.