Living the Imaginal Life: Dreams, Active Imagination and Synchronicity

Jeffrey Raff

The term “Imaginal World,” made popular by the great French writer Henri Corbin, refers to a dimension of life outside the norm, a dimension only perceivable through the imagination. The imagination, however, is not something unreal or ungrounded, a creator of fantasies and illusions. Rather, it is a powerful mode of perception that connects us with a world just as real as our ordinary world of everyday reality. As Robert Johnson has said, the imaginal is not real, it is realer than real. In this lecture I shall discuss the nature of the imaginal, its relationship to Jung and the process of individuation, as well as the transformative nature of imaginal experience. I shall also outline ways in which one can begin to live an imaginal life. More details.

Building on the discussion Friday night, we shall continue our exploration of the theoretical nature of the imaginal and imagination but will concentrate on the experience of several methods for living the imaginal life.  These methods include dreaming, active imagination, as well as working with inner impulses and synchronicities.  There will be opportunity to practice and then discuss our experiences working with these techniques.  We will also discuss ways to live the imaginal life on a daily basis.  The practices used in the workshop are suitable for both those new to Jung and active imagination as well as those more advanced. More details.

Jeffrey Raff, Ph.D., received his B.A. from Bates College, his M.A. in Psychology from the New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Union Graduate Institute. He attended the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich from 1972-1976, graduating as a diplomate Jungian Analyst. He has written articles on shamanism, the Kabbalah, and alchemy, as well as four books, Jung and the Alchemical Imagination, Healing the Wounded God, The Wedding of Sophia, and his latest book, The Practice of Ally Work. He is currently in recovery from Guillain-Barré Syndrome and attempting to comprehend the mysteries it brought into his life.