Category Archives: Active Imagination

Avicenna, Carl Jung, and the Magical Dimensions of Active Imagination

We tend to associate the practice of active imagination with psychiatrist Carl G. Jung and his pioneering depth psychology and frankly psychic, occult experiences. And of course it was Jung who brought it into western thought and practise related, he believed, to the psychological and spiritual world of alchemy. I write about it because my medium mother encountered it spontaneously, as part of her psychic sittings with friends, and passed it to me as her greatest gift.

But active imagination – in perhaps its most pure form – was described at least as early as the great Islamic philosopher Avicenna who lived from approximately 980 to 1030 AD. He taught that in the trained imagination we can access a ‘nonspatial fabric’ which mediates between the empirical/sensory and the cognitional/spiritual realms”.

Old Well – Universal symbol of ancient wisdom, water hidden deep for humanity to find in its own time, but also to inherit, through the generations.

This is a very tidy and complete definition of active imagination. We note that it is active in the sense that energy here can be directed towards creation and transformation. It is imagination because it is a special kind of interaction with a realm just beyond our normal, everyday range of mental awareness. And the activity undertaken here has a specific purpose – it mediates between the empirical/sensory and the cognitional/spiritual realsm.

Now we are getting close to the world inhabited by the Shaman. Here is where, in ancient terms, true magic can take place, if by magic we mean the mysterious transformation of the world through the power of Mind.

Continue reading Avicenna, Carl Jung, and the Magical Dimensions of Active Imagination

Karma Dreaming * The Alchemy of Memory

It is well-known that we repeat and revise old patterns of cause-and-effect (Karma) through reincarnation, our many voyages into Time, Space, and Matter – or as I think of it, journeys on the great Silk Road.

There are forms of Karma Dreaming, however, in which we can work with Karma, reviewing and revising here and now, in this life. This can be quite advanced spiritual practice – as in shamanic journeys through Symbol as we go deeper into meditation. Here, we often drift among our own Akashic Records; here, we may sometimes engage in changing the templates from which arise the repeating patterns of Karma.

The gift of Memory is truly a miracle. It is readily available for all, and it allows us, indeed encourages us, to live not once, but many times within the same lifetime. More remarkably, Far Memory allows us to enter and relive many events from other lifetimes.

And each time we pass our experiences through the alchemy of Remembrance, they are altered in ways we cannot anticipate, but can record. As we change through spiritual and psychological growth, that which we pass through Memory changes also.

In time, much of what we review in Memory is – surprisingly – seen through the generosity of Love.