The awareness skills – mindfulness and active imagination

I’ll try to write my blog once in the while  in English, too. I have not practiced it too much, so please forgive me all the spelling and grammar mistakes.

I do not seem to be the only person who has realized the parallelism of mindfulness and active imagination. Susan Smalley writes about this same issue on her blog.  For me awareness skills is a broad concept, it includes many kinds of meditation and contemplation traditions, called mindfulness and  there is room for active imagination drama, too.

Smalley emphazises that mindfulness is not, strictly speaking, a process in which we  just clear our mind, but it is opens us with it’s curiosity to our own experience. So mindfulness has same kind of qualities as active imagination. Both are the ways to explore our own psyche and they both increase our capacity to guide and focus(meditate) our attention.  When practicing them we can lose object-subject difference. Both traditions, mindfulness and active imagination, can give deepness to our everyday thinking; they expand our consciousness. These practices help the person to get more in touch with their mind’s subtle deep structures, original thoughts, emotions and experiences.

Meditation traditions are not actually just processes in which a person empties his head. Instead meditation is more like clearing and brightening the mind – there are still thoughts and experiences in the consciousness. The same is the truth with active imagination. The water of our consciousness pond will be brighten in the process of accepting and loving relationship to our emotional cognitions, and so they will precipitate. After that we can live more mindful and our painful memories and transferences disturb us less.

In ego state drama the writer is in  psychodramatical trance, an he will travel on all levels of consciousness. Our ego states represent different depths of our consciousness. Some of them are more conciouss, others more unconscious. The concsiousness becomes clearer, when we manage to reach deeper level ego states. In our ego state journaling there are times when we will provide space for a rational, intellectual ego states, but we do not allow them to control and disturb the internal creative imagination process. Still we give possibility for unconscious and the conscious cooperation, dialogue, even there are moments in which we trawl in the deep parts of our consciousness.

Ego states and using them for active imagination journaling is unique process, in the sense that we can carry parallely different levels of consciousness states. Lauri Rauhala, a famous Finnish psychologist and philosopher, wrote allready fifty years ago that he believes the meditation tradition and psychotherapy can be combined.  Ego state drama is a proposal how to do this. It combines both meditation and western psychotherapy tradition.

The bridge between meditation and psychotherapy  is drama with psychoactive metaphors. Different psychotherapy orientations are condensated with metaphors.  We brighten our acceptance and understanding of life,  self-realization, in psychodramatic trance. In the process the rejected emotions and cognitions will be precipitated.

In psychodramatic trance we jump deep into the same state in which the child’s normal playing happens. Our unconscious mind loves fairy tales and stories. Homo ludenss has all his senses open to his inner experience. But Homo ludens has also space for reflective learning, in which the more mature ego states can reflect our personal deep experiences. We can create new ego states from our personal and collective history and of  our transferences. Actually we can create endless amount of new ego states.  They can offer new possible metaphors and perspectives to increase our concioussness.

Little by little, we can get in touch with our self-reflection drama center, outside of our ego, which is the unifying principle of of universum. This dramatic poetic intellect organizes the concepts of rational logic and unconscious material.  It organizes our fragmented self to  coherent identity narrative, on which our true flowing Self stands.

After all successes and failures we can find a meaningful plot to our identity narrative. It cannot be found just with rational logic. Instead, a meaningful plot can be created in the process of co-operation of unconscious and conscious mind. The story of our lives flows freely when a rich number of ego states appear and improvise on our mind’s theater stage side by side, reflecting each other. In this open accepting relationship to our emotional thoughts and their interaction, we will find new openings to the plot of our identity narrative.

I believe that everyone – including Carl Jung – has been in meditative, creative, accepting trance, filled with accepting love, during the fruitful active imagination process. The unconscious mind is not only warehouse of trash; it is also a storehouse of our inner treasure. We can exploit our unconscious mind’s constructive, creative, possibilities  and not just use it to find pathologies in ourselves.

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