All my books but the first, which was an outgrowth of my dissertation, are essentially memoirs, and dreamwork has been invaluable to me in this endeavor. Writing has always been a deeply satisfying means of expression for me, and when it’s combined with working on my dreams it’s my fundamental “practice” that brings enormous meaning to my life and helps me tie up all the disconnected threads of my personal history.
In my previous post I shared a dream from 22 years ago that dramatized a conflict between my ego’s career ambitions and the Self, the central archetype of my psyche that was “encouraging” me to trust my creative instinct. I didn’t understand the meaning of the dream because of my ego’s resistance to change.
Carl Jung believed we have five instincts: nurturance, activity, sex, reflection, and creativity. Sometimes our dreams contain images and activities suggesting how we feel about them or how well-developed they are in us.
I began recording and working with my dreams in 1989. In those early days, many of my dreams had to do with conflicting feelings about my career. This is one of them. Dream #198: “Hiding From the Enemy” Someone desecrates my small, primitive wooden house and ransacks my possessions while I’m away teaching writing classes. […]
We’ve been watching an outstanding Showtime series called The Borgias about an infamous Italian family in the 1400’s and 1500’s. The plot revolves around the father, Rodrigo, who became Pope Alexander VI in 1492, his favorite son, Cesare, whom Rodrigo made a cardinal, and Cesare’s beautiful and gentle sister Lucrezia. What makes the show so fascinating is the frank exploration of the dual nature of all three.
My other books came mostly from my personal unconscious, but with this one I feel I’ve tapped into the richer veins of the collective unconscious. It feels like this is not just my story, it’s everyone’s story. My other books were gifts to myself; Healing the Sacred Divide is my gift to the world.
In response to queries about my new book—where I got the idea, how it’s progressing, when it will come out, if it can be pre-ordered, and so on—I’d like to share some of the process and answer your questions in this and the next post. I know you come here for the psychological content, but I assure you I’ll weave some of that in along the way.
I’ve used many tools on my continuing journey to self-understanding and internal transformation. One is called active imagination. This technique was invented and tested by Carl Jung during his deepest period of self-exploration between 1913 and 1916. Believing that our unconscious mind wants to communicate with our conscious mind, he conceived of a method to facilitate this.
Have you ever had that dream where you need to go to the bathroom but experience all sorts of problems? Just about everybody has. Some of mine feature public bathrooms with several stalls in which all the toilets are stopped up and disgusting. Or there’s no toilet paper. Or all the stalls are being used.