Contemplation 6 – Active Imagination. An Ancient Technology For The Modern Mind.

active imagination

Active Imagination. An Ancient Technology For The Modern Mind.

What is Active Imagination and how can we use it?

It could be suggested that it was a technique created by Carl Jung and expressed beautifully in his ‘Red Book’.

But we have spiritual and religious archetypes (gods, goddesses etc) from thousands of years ago which could be the manifestation of a similar technique.



Listen Here



00:15 – Intro

I’m currently reading a book written by a Jungian analyst. Most of you probably have heard of Carl Jung, probably the most renowned psycho analyst of the 20th century, he parted ways with Sigmund Freud, sort of took psychology and become a pioneer in the work really.

00:37 – Active Imagination

One of the chapters of the book that I’m reading goes into depth into something called active imagination. Essentially, active imagination is a technique to go into a dialogue with the unconscious parts of our own psychology, the two parts that are hidden or suppressed within us,

01:00 – Stillness

we need to be able to, in order for this to happen, this active imagination, we need to be able to still our conscious minds so that the unconscious parts of us can rise and we can become aware of the energies that come up. So without experience in meditation, prayer or any other form of sacred ritual, it may be quite difficult to begin with, you know, you’ll probably need to do some practice. But don’t let that stop you or put you off to work because you can have great benefits as long as a few pitfalls as well. But the benefits outweigh those.

01:45 – Cosmic Symphony

So unconscious is limitless, infinite, and is like, I like to call it a cosmic symphony. All in tune and completely infinite. We’ve got absolutely everything within us to experience so that includes the good, the bad, the ugly, none of it is to be feared, but it needs to be embraced, integrated into more of a holistic, wholesome reality.


I mean, it’s easy for me to stand here and say that when we’re face to face with our own psychic darkness, you know, when you have a dark night of the soul, but either way, it’s still true.

02:31 – Bringing form to energy

So after we’ve grasped the technique, we give these energies, shapes and names to bring them into our conscious awareness, it sort of creates like a subject object. So as you’re listening to this, there’s two of us – like a duality. So if you put shapes and names onto these things, these energies, it creates that duality. Even though it’s in your own psyche,

02:55 – My example

So for example, I have urges like, impatience, particularly with technology. Like if I can’t get, for example, a blog post or video uploaded quickly, I get impatient with things. And that plays out in other scenarios as well with technology in particular. And that energy within me of names named and Neti, N E T I. And it looks like a robotic flight, I think that’s probably the best way to, to put it. And often dialogue with him a few hours. After like an episode of impatience and disgust, that whole situation and the more discuss it, the more that energy dies down, it doesn’t go, but it dies down. So that’s an example of how I use it and what I’ve done in the past to deal with one aspect of my unconscious

03:56 – Ancients

So, over the centuries humans have, like created spiritual and religious archetypes, as an outer manifestation of their inner subjective realities. That’s how we end up with Egyptian and Greek gods and goddesses and shamanic archetypes and all that good stuff.

04:19 – Positive and Negative energies

And it’s important as well to note that active imagination is not just for negative energies. If you’ve listened to the last episode, you’ll know that said that human beings are more fearful of their own greatness than their inferiority. So speaking to the enlightened parts within us.. they’re still unconscious, and that’s as important if not more so important, then then the perceived negative sides of an unconscious.

04:47 – What isn’t active imagination

So the active part of active imagination is you actually taking part in a dialogue, you’re actually speaking to it, it isn’t a monologue with you listening to The energies within yourself, that is something completely different. That isn’t active imagination.

05:09 – Isn’t it just in our head?

So you get people who will ask, or you might be asking, aren’t we just making it open our mind? You know, talking to ourselves? Well, yeah, you are talking with the hidden and suppressed part of yourself. The different levels and layers of what we call ‘I’. That which is hidden away from your conscious mind has gone unlived in your life potentially for decades. So yes, yes. Are you making up? The reality is that you can’t make anything that isn’t in your psyche anyway. So yes, you’re making it up. But it’s also incredibly serious. It’s a yes and no.

05:49 – Subjectivity

Your imagination is arguably more real than what we perceive to be the objective world anyway. Objectivity is known through our biases, and through separation of everything. imagination, it has no separation, it is the content of your mind, it is everythingness within the mind. And fundamentally, you live in it in a dream anyway. And the all is mind. If you’ve studied the Kybalion and or the hermetic principles, that is one of the seven principles of hermeticism. Is that the all is mind. So that fits this Jungian work properly, really.

06:36 – The risks

And what are the risks? Well, if you struggle with things like disassociation disorders, or multiple personality, I think that used to be called or things similar to that, then it might be worthwhile having someone experienced to be able to just speak to. You are essentially going into what the ancient Greeks called Hades, the underworld, that was  their archetype, if you like, and it can be very unpleasant to face hidden parts of you both positive and negative, because what you thought your work it’s not destroyed as such, but built upon, you get a hammer to it and knock it about a bit. So it’s very unpleasant.

07:23 – Lack of integration

Also, after like doing this type of work, it’s not very wise to act in the objective world based on the conversations you have with the with the other parts of yourself. So, you know, do 20/30 minutes a day, and write down the conversation as it’s actually happening. So I’d recommend doing; it externalises it and get it out of you onto a piece of paper, or computer or, or whatever. The more you do this, and the more experience you get with it, the energy that’s within you will sort of die down, and you’ll be able to integrate the emotion and the energy, the archetype into your day to day existence. But if you don’t do that properly, sort of act out on the conversation, you can just do rash things.

08:23 – Healthy ego

And this is why you need like a healthy ego really, to be doing the work.Sometimes significant work, you need a healthy ego and not a underdeveloped ego. And this is why as well. If you have got like personality disorders or something to make sure that you have someone on hand to help you out if you’re struggling or just don’t do it anyway.

08:38 – Academia

Which is one of the benefits of me not having to be tied down to academia and having degrees left, right and centre because I can sort of, say some of these things that other people won’t say. But I’m not a I’m not a therapist. So not a therapist, not a psychologist or anything like that. So, you know, take it with a pinch of salt, if you like or study a bit more before you do anything. So, you know, I explained that well enough for you to understand, I find it quite difficult to speak of nonlinear subjects such as thisin linear terms, such as words, so I am working on it. Maybe I need to do some active imagination work on it.

09:26 – Closing

Check out I’m uploading quite a few articles at the moment because I’m, I’m in quite a creative state. So check those out. I’ve just released my course how to escape wage slavery. That’s free. So please check that out. It’s the first time I’ve put something together like that. So I do appreciate feedback. I’m going to be making a few more. There will be better than that – the filming and editing and whatnot. But this was a good one just to get out there and put my work out. So please take a look. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for listening. Let’s catch up soon.


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