Welcome to Session 8!
A very exciting part of the journey!
I hope those of you who participated enjoyed the Q&A with Robbie and the preview of session 8.
For those of you who didn’t make it here is the link for the recording.


For those of you not familiar with Robbie’s work with Embodied Imagination he refers to it more in this session and points out examples of it in the Red Book.

Robbie begins with reviewing some of session 7 where he points out that not only does the waking self change in the interactions with the elements of the dreams but the elements themselves change as well, the whole system changes. As I listened to this I thought of a dream I had had about a 2-3 year old toddler who as I allowed for the embodying I felt her learning to balance, to control her bodily functions, and to ask for what she needs. (she was in a diaper and asked to be taken to the bathroom). Thinking about how she will change made me realized she may get older (who knows exactly in the dream world how things may change) but mostly I had a much stronger sense of how “real” she is and my love and compassion for her grew!

Then the powerful journey toward the sunrise, the source of all being, and, as “I” [we] move towards the Sun the Sun begins to move towards “I” [us].
As I heard this I realized that this also applies to working with dream images, as we “move” towards them (by focussing on them, paying attention) then begin their movement towards us (by revealing their natures to us, allowing us to participate with their nature) Again, more “realness”!

One other thing that I wanted to mentioned was when Robbie talks about how nature / meaning has been denatured by science.
“The inner force lamed, the more powerful the outer force becomes.”

I see my own doubts about the reality of the Other, dream work, daimons, the Imaginal world is a result of me being denatured by contemporary thought - science etc...

Also how this denaturing doesn’t just affect us but the Imaginal world as well, so we don’t just do Imaginal / dream work for ourselves but with a great love for the Other worlds!

Just realizing that, being able to reflect on that, I feel a stronger connection with the reality of the inner forces!!

So much here, take it away everybody!!

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  • Thank you Janet, Linda, Ric and Robert! Your suggestions are ‘incubating’. Roberts’s lectures, as well as your responses, have made me realize that this is important.

    It seems we are almost entirely displacing the child’s natural imaginary capacity for creative visualization, with a reality imposed from outside the self.

    Sooo! I decided to jump in, and began my week by asking my student’s if anyone had an ‘imaginary’ friend. At first, everyone seemed shy talking about it, but eventually at least half the group of 20 students, admitted having one, or more imaginary friends. All had names and genders for their friends.

    I then talked a bit about what is ‘real’, and about imaginary friends also being real, but in a different way.   

    I did not get any question about that statement, but everyone was definitely listening. I am not sure how to answer, and could use some help. I thought I could say that “your friend is real inside yourself”.  This could begin the discussion about inner, and outer reality, and working with identifying feelings in the physical body, as well as emotions.

    Can the imagination be described to a child as an important internal body/presence?

    I have decided to incorporate mandalas, masks, and totems in my art curriculum, As well as making time for listening to my students dreams, finding more native stories, and making up our own stories, even if they are nonsense.

    I would love to be able to make up stories myself, but the capacity to do so vanished long ago. Only way I am aware of a creative presence within, is through my dreams.

    • Good morning Britt - life itself, in general, imposes facts of reality (primary framework) upon fantasy (secondary framework), something we can pay attention to or avoid dependent upon one's willingness to engage or not.  For me, the creative imagination state inherent in the tender years of childhood is also an innate gift alongside innocence and we all have stories of how our innocence and creative imagination is either nurtured/fostered or abused/stifled in the complex webs that we weave within the dominant culture we exist in.

      I would like to share a real moment of experience with a child attending kindergarten which may provide you with some insight about the impact of engaging imagination on a topic that exists in this child's reality:

      The teacher chose a story to introduce her young students to a challenging, inevitable subject matter we all face, sooner or late, in life - death.  In the story she chose, the themes of the creative imaginations included a grandparent dying, being buried under an apple tree and resurrecting (being reborn/coming to life the next day).

      The students were captivated with the words and pictures animated by the teachers words and non-verbal gestures during the read.  One boy went home and announced to his mother that they had to bury grandpa under an apple tree.  The Mom was initially curious and asked why and that was when he shared the apple tree learning he gleamed from school, story time.  For this child, his grandfathers death coincided with the telling of this story and the interface of frameworks (reality/fantasy) intertwined for him.

      As the funeral, burial was approaching soon, the mother tried to explain to the boy why his grandpa was not going to be buried underneath an apple tree.  The child was initially disappointed and sad.

      The boy wanted the mother to go see his teacher and let her know that, that story may not be true for some kids cause it wasn't for him and his grandpa.  The child listened and participated in the brief after school meeting of the minds - teacher, mother.  The child initially felt relieved.  In private, the teacher told the mother -  'wouldn't you know that (name of child) would know that the story contained both reality and fantasy.  Experiences in life automatically do that for us - confront us with multiple layers of fact/fiction.

      Hope this helps answer the complex question you posed to the group about 'imagination being an important internal body/presence.'  Our individual ways are full of stories shelved within the libraries of our minds that may be forgotten (collecting dust), but patiently waiting to be rediscovered and read.  I believe we can revisit this library anytime we so choose for we are the owners/authors of the books that line the shelves of our life events.

      You recommended the Life of Pi to us which tells me your creative ability (presence) is alive and well beyond dream states.  Sounds like someone/something rained - misted  your creative imagination, but I believe, the flame still glows in the midst of magically vanishing.

      Have a great day.  Ric wished me a weekend full of "Letting the Sun Shine In" and my creative imagination immediately went to the song - the Age of Aquarius and into memories of the best New Year's Eve party my husband + I attended to date.  Sending warmth, peace + love your way.  Regards Linda  

  • Good morning Ric - Wow, quite the photo - thanks for sharing, inspiring, challenging us.  I will admit I have not read the Arabian Nights, so I googled Roc - the great predatory bird.  My initial curiosity was does image represent what one might imagine while contemplating the God head (egg head)?  Then, another curious idea arose that this man is holding up a gigantic egg in front of/for himself to face and my mind wandered to an old saying - egg on one's face.  My thoughts wandered into the origins - egotism, then back to Chris's comment about being 'denatured by contemporary thought - science, etc.'

    The closest I got to travels in the seas/sailors was a song my Dad used to knock on the door and sing to me in my childhood. the tune for Barnacle Bill the Sailor.  When he knocked, I would sing 'Who's that knocking at my door?'  He would knock again two more times and I would replay in song with the same question and then, happily he would announce 'It's only me from over the sea, said Barnacle Bill the sailor.

    Then, I imagined creating designs upon this egg shell and memories of my paternal grandmother, who taught me in childhood the art of the mystical signs, symbols of her village and the meaning of colors in her egg designs, symbolic of her ways in the old Ukraine, her immigration story (escape from behind the iron curtain) and back to Ric and the child within says thanks for rekindling these great childhood memories connected with the sailors and eggs from my way.  Peace + love Linda 

    • Dear Forum Travelers,

      I'm very struck in this lecture by this statement: "distill the gigantic emotion down to its impulse where it becomes an egg and then it can incubate again."  This is very much what I've experienced in doing Embodied Imagination with traumatic memory--which by definition feels gigantic.  "The substance of imagination is  more volatile and therefore less organized and therefore less gravitas/heavy and therefore can be carried."  By experiencing the traumatizing other as imaginallly real, it becomes possible to be with the ego/factual reality along with the imaginal reality.  This allows for a digestion of the stuck trauma and for real movement to happen.

      I'm reviewing some memory work I've done over the years in preparation for my final EI training in Los Angeles.  And I'm experiencing the recurrence  of this distillation and incubation process. Daring and effective work!

      Best to you all.  I may not have much access to a computer while traveling. Enjoy savoring Lecture 8 and I'll rejoin you in Lecture 9.


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