Alchemical Active Imagination

Presented by

Pacifica Graduate Institute

Through the vessel of the Red Book, an extensive 16 year long expression of paintings and inner dialogues, Jung gave creative form to the images, ideas, and dynamics that flooded him from within. In this way, he tells us, he turned a crisis into a process of discovery and transformation. He would later call this creative process “active imagination.” When Jung discovered alchemy he recognized this was what was happening in the symbolic writings and paintings of the alchemists. “In short”, Jung wrote, “the alchemical operation seems to us the equivalent of the psychological process of active imagination” (CW 14, par. 749)

Active imagination is the process of discovering your own myth, the awareness of the deeper meaning of your life, symbolized in alchemy as the creation of the philosopher’s stone. All forms of expression potentially belong to it—the creative, philosophical, and scientific arts—if understood and related to as projected symbolic self-portraits. We will learn about alchemy through an exploration of its rich and fascinating symbolic imagery, and, most importantly, since everyone is an alchemist who gives individual form to an experience of unconscious, we will focus on the experience of your own alchemical opus.

This retreat weekend will provide ample space and time for the unfolding and deepening of your relationship to the unconscious. We will learn from the alchemical flow of psyche among us, as well as individually, as both the individual and group vessels hold the transforming waters of imagination where the psyche grows and fine-tunes itself for life.

on 18 stycznia | by

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