Active Imagination

During my psychologist appointment last week, we delved into my unconscious. I told him of a recurring dream I have:


There’s this vast house that I’ve practically memorized already. There’s a wing on the upper floor that fills me with fright. In the dream, every single time I get closer to that wing, I get this sense of fear and dread.

It’s the kind of fear that I get from watching horror movies. Like there’s something evil in that wing.

Sometimes I get the right amount of bravery to walk the floors of that place, sometimes I steer clear of it.

In the dreams where I manage to be brave, I roam around. There’s a room in the wing that contains a huge vault – almost room like. I’m uncertain if I’ve managed to open it. Perhaps I’ve only merely taken a peek.

But in that vault, I always get the feeling that it contains the memories I have of my mother. The memories that my brain have repressed for my survival.

I get that vibe whenever I get close to that vault. I feel something utterly unfamiliar and alien to me. a feeling I’ve never once been able to receive.


We did a Jungian psychology technique called “Active Imagination,” which if google is to be believed, means “…places a heavy emphasis on dream interpretation and the contents of the unconscious mind. During the process of active imagination, Jungian analysts encourage clients to translate the contents of dreams without adding any analysis from the conscious mind.”


He guided me as I went inside my subconscious and described that wing. Some details are still hazy, but something fascinating materialized. In the dream, there’s a statue in the middle. Never did I figure out what the statue was of, until today.


I described what I was seeing. Roman in provenance. Stone. The head has two faces, but only the face on the front has actual features. The face on the back was blank, as if it is still undone.


I realized after the Active Imagination process that the statue in my dreams is that of Roman deity Janus. Janus is “…the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he look to the future and to the past.”


Initially, I thought that the two faced figure on the sculpture represented my duality, the two sides of me. Who I am, and the darkness inside. “Zero,” as I’ve come to name him.


But I felt comfort looking at that second undone face in the Active Imagination. I felt a sense of security. There was no fear, as I often feel when I’m faced with Zero. And thus I surmised that what the second face means is that who I’m to be is still a work in progress. I surmised that the second face is myself lived up to my full potential.


In that particular dream, it was myself looking at a sculpture of myself, undone for the time being.


Another interesting thing about the statue is that the left arm is missing. During the guided trip to the unconscious, my Bowie-tshirt wearing Psychologist asked me to feel the statue. I felt a resistance on the space where the left arm is supposed to be. I felt something solid, despite the lack of anything tangible.


He asked me what I think it meant. I had no answer to the question. I said that I’ll have to think about that.


I have so much to think about nowadays. But it’s not the unhealthy thoughts that often consume me. No. it’s the kind of thoughts that will make me analyze myself and the things in my head.

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