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Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth Paperback – September 1, 2009
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From Library Journal
In this book Johnson introduces a simple four-step method aimed at helping us explore the unconscious. He encourages us to pinpoint the symbols that appear in our dreams and active imaginings; to note our conscious associations to these symbols; meaningfully to personalize what we have accomplished in these first two steps; and finally through rituals to translate the insights gained into memorable conscious experiences. By providing clear instructions, with illustrations, he gives us a feeling for inner work, making it feasible without reliance on formal analysis. Johnson's well-written book should appeal both to general readers and to specialists in the field. Paul D. Huss, Psychology & Clinical Studies Dept., Andover Newton Theological Sch., Newton Centre, Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Robert A. Johnson, a noted lecturer and Jungian analyst, is also the author of He, She, We, Inner Work, Ecstasy, Transformation, and Owning Your Own Shadow.
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This book does not claim to be the ultimate book on dream analysis but it gives you the tools to explore your unconscious in his 4-step to Active Imagination. His approach to understanding symbols empowers you to make your own definitions and associations, rather than telling you what they mean universally, because everyone is different - and that is so the case with my daughter.
If you are looking to develop the understanding your mind at sleep, this is a great introduction. I would also suggest The Nightmare Solution for other approaches on working out your dreams and We, He, and She by Robert Johnson.
Whatever situation, profession, age, one can experience total life visions through active imagination. This process when developed and used can reveal dimensions of one's life where one has had little glimpses, leading to fruition of a developed unconscious, balanced with the ego and transforming your life, inward and outward.
Step by step, from dreams to dream work to active imagination, Johnson will give you the tools to progress in your quest. Starting with the unconscious, working with the ego and bringing them in harmony and balance. An endeavor that is eternal.
The unconscious which has a complete life of it's own and runs parallel to the ordinary life we live day by day. The unconscious in very influential in our life's decisions and should be treated with respect. There are unknown parts of ourselves which through active imagination can be brought to the surface, looked at and dismissed if one is not ready to examine them.
Active imagination enables the conscious and the unconscious parts of ourselves to speak to one another. Moving us to wholeness through evolution and forward with God. A movement to and fro, flowing through our being, building the kingdom of God in the manifestation of the Spirit of God.
These challenges require inner growth that can become painful. One has to move away from self to look inward and looking inward will not always give us what we want but it will surely gives us what we need to move beyond ourselves.
Growth is the only evidence of life but one cannot force growth on oneself or another.
"No one can give faith to another". Kierkegaard.
If you're a Jungian analyst, you probably already know this stuff, but I'm a layperson with interest in psychology, so for me this book was perfect.
What a relief to finish and at last get to this.
The introduction immediately engaged me with examples of people seeing behaviors coming out of themselves that surprised them as if there were another person inside taking over.
As I understand, we have a number of different repressed personalities that can break out which we surpress and disown most of the time. Active imagination has us have conversation with them so both of us change. This can release enormous psychological energy to us. Jung had these conversations to become a spirit guide.
Claude Steiner wrote of loss of impulse control as a stage toward empathy, a necessary stage, for men, as I recall, but can't document. Empathy for the shadow unleashes powerful spiritual forces, the watcher, a nonjudgemental entity that leaves one unattached ie. not identifying with harmful behaviors so one can heal from them without psychically dying. Carl Rogers, "On Becoming a Person", said such a capacity to listen and understand evidenced a person as irreversibly healed.
Empathy for oneself parallels empathy for others, so these powerful spiritual forces are for "the good".
Empathy doesn't mean homogenization: one understands without becoming though both get changed in active imagination. How this works, I'm going to try to find out in Johnson explaining how active imagination dialogs insure Jung's goal of individuation.