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Inner Work: Using Dreams and Creative Imagination for Personal Growth and Integration


Inner Work: Using Dreams and Creative Imagination for Personal Growth and Integration Cover

ISBN13: 9780062504319
ISBN10: 0062504312
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Chapter One

Alternative Realities: The World of Dreaming, the Realm of Imagination

Our verbal patterns betray many of our automatic assumptions: If one discusses a dream with a friend, the friend is likely to ask something like, "Did that detail "really" happen, or only in the dream?" The implication is that what happens in a dream is not .'real." In fact, it would be more accurate to ask, "Did it happen in dream reality, or in physical reality? In the world of dreaming, or in the ordinary world?"

Both are genuine worlds, both are realities that truly exist. But the world of dreaming, if we only realized it, has more practical and concrete effect on our lives than outer events do. For it is in the world of dreaming that the unconscious is working out its powerful dynamics. It is there that the great forces do battle or combine to produce the attitudes, ideals, beliefs, and compulsions that motivate most of our behavior.

Once we become sensitive to dreams, we discover that every dynamic in a dream is manifesting itself in some way in our practical lives-in our actions, relationships, decisions, automatic routines, urges, and feelings. We believe ourselves to be in conscious control of these elements of life. But this belief is the great illusion of ego-control. These aspects of our lives are actually determined from a far deeper place. It is in the world of "dreaming" that their root sources are revealed in a form that we can see and understand.

Dreams express the unconscious. Dreams are dynamic mosaics, composed of symbols, that express the movements, conflicts, interactions, and developments of the great energy systems within the unconscious.

The unconscious has aparticular capacity to create images and to use those images as symbols. It is these symbols that form our dreams, creating a language by which the unconscious communicates its contents to the conscious mind.

just as a burning fire inherently exudes heat, the unconscious inherently generates symbols. It is simply the nature of the unconscious to do so. As we learn to read those symbols we gain the ability to perceive the workings of the unconscious within us. This ability to produce symbols affects more than just our dreams: All of human life is nourished by the flow of symbolic imagery from the wellsprings in the unconscious:

The symbolic imagery of the unconscious is the creative source of the human spirit in all its realizations. Not only have consciousness and the concepts of its philosophical understanding of the world arisen from the symbol but also religion, rite and cult, art and customs. And because the symbol-forming process of the unconscious is the source of the human spirit, language, whose history is almost identical with the genesis and development of human consciousness, always starts out as a symbolic language. Thus Jung writes: "An archetypal content expresses itself, first and foremost, in metaphors." (Neumann, Great Mother, p. 17)

The image-symbols of the unconscious find their way to the level of consciousness mainly by two routes: dreams and imagination. It is easier to grasp the symbolic quality with dreams, for dreams often present mythical creatures and unearthly situations that would be impossible in everyday physical life. People are usually confused by the dream images until they learn that the images are symbolic and are not to be takenliterally.

Since dream images make no sense in ordinary terms, people dismiss them as "weird" or meaningless, but actually, dreams are completely coherent. If we take the time to learn their language, we discover that every dream is a masterpiece of symbolic communication. The unconscious speaks in symbols, not to confuse us, but simply because that is its native idiom.

In learning how to understand these images, our conceptual starting point is our realization that they are not to be taken liter-, ally: Welearn to look for an attitude, an inner personality, an inner development or conflict that clothes itself in the form and color of this image so that it may be visible to us in the Land of Dreaming.

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Mac, October 1, 2008 (view all comments by Mac)
You have the wrong synopsis with this book.
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Product Details

Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth
Johnson, Robert A.
by Robert A. Johnson
San Francisco, CA
Developmental - General
Dreams - General
Developmental Psychology
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
May 1989
Grade Level:
8.02x5.34x.67 in. .42 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Communication
Business » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Dreams
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Jung and Jungians
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Metaphysics » Dreams
Metaphysics » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Inner Work: Using Dreams and Creative Imagination for Personal Growth and Integration New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages HarperSanFrancisco - English 9780062504319 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A Magical Tale About Forgiving Our Past and Believing in Our Future

The enchanting, true story of "The Valkyries" begins in Rio de Janeiro when author Paulo Coelho gives his mysterious master, J., the only manuscript for his book "The Alchemist." Haunted by a devastating curse, Coelho confesses to J., "I've seen my dreams fall apart just when I seemed about to achieve them." In response, J. gives Coelho a daunting task: He must find and speak with his guardian angel. "The curse can be broken," he replies, "if you complete the task."

Rising to the challenge, Paulo and his wife, Cristina, drop everything, pack their bags, and take off on a forty day adventure into the starkly beautiful and sometimes dangerous Mojave Desert--where they encounter more than they bargained for. A masterful blend of the exotic locales, dramatic adventure, and magical storytelling for which Coelho's fictional works are renowned, this true-life account is at once a modern-day adventure and a metaphysical odyssey.

"Synopsis" by , A noted author and Jungian analyst teaches how to use dreams and inner exercises to achieve personal wholeness and a more satisfying life.
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