Jung’s Active Imagination


I’ve always had a keen interest in all things “depth psychology”and have dabbled in many tools that tap into the unconscious (EMDR, hypnotherapy, IFS, etc.) and have recently being playing with Active Imagination – BUT the core challenge in all of these endeavours is the strong reliance on visual imagery.  Has anyone with aphantasia had successful experiences in visual rich tools, and if so, how do you get past the frustration?

I have a rich imagination (sans sensory experience) and as such can narrate internally my imagination field but this makes bypassing the critical faculty (or ego) very difficult.  I’ve tried the guided ones but for most of this work you do need to go on your own journey at some point.  The only sensory experience I do get relates to normal trance induction sensations (sense of going deeper, sometime sense of euphoria) which I then try and harness to drive deeper but via inner narration.

Just to add that I have experience Lucid dreaming (or cultivated them at a point in time) and do dream visually (when I remember) but I have to be in that state between sleep and awake, at any point that I am consciously awake I can “see” absolutely nothing in the mind.

Hope that makes sense but really interested in the experience of others in this area.

You must be signed in to comment

I have extreme aphantasia, and have been able to produce mood altering states of consciousness through essentially ONE mean.

The majority of sounds and programs marketed as “Binaural” beats or “Hemi-synch” do not actually manage to achieve what they are claiming to, and are produced by people who don’t understand the actual scientific phenomena they’re trying to produce. But, the few legitimate and well produced tones, can, have a profound impacts sans a minds eye. 

Sadly, they never did what i had hoped they would, and had no impact on restoring visualization, but if you are trying to induce altered states of consciousness, or guided control of your thoughts, emotions and subconscious without the visualization component. It’s probably a valuable tool.

To see if it works successfully  for you i’d recommend starting with the declassified CIA “Gateway” program. Solely because its ACTUAL, scientific, binuaral beats that DO create  and produce a hemi-synch state, even in those of us without visualization. Heck, the narrator even acknowledges people who cant ACTUALLY visualize during the instructions for it in certain segments- because its more about your personal relation of the altered states of consciousness to other aspects of thought or action like breath patterns.

They’re always scrubbing the gateway program audio off the internet w/ copyright strikes but people ALWAYS re-upload the first two segments for orientation and 10-state. The later modules will be harder to come by especially in decent quality, but if it resonates they may be worth searching out or actually purchasing.

Like I said, it didn’t do what I wanted it to for me, but perhaps you may be more lucky.

Hi Shane – This is an excellent question! I, too, am very interested in Jung and have only recently realized that I’m missing something that is apparently necessary to participate in his methods. Active imagination is a total mystery to me.