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Active Dreaming

The world desperately needs non-intrusive Dream Teachers and Guides

Parting with the Jungian school of Analytic Psychology started through a series of dreams showing me that my Unconscious just wasn’t along for the ride.

I had been so happy to start the education as it was the only “proper” psychological school I had found that dealt with dreams and dreaming in a serious academic form. My Ego was thrilled as I posted about getting admitted on Facebook! 

To my big disappointment the honeymoon ended as soon as the school year started. Already during my first year of studying Jungian Analytical Psychology at the Danish C.G. Jung institute in Copenhagen and working with a new Jungian Analyst on my dreams it became clear that the container was too constricted to hold the matter. 

I believe Jung himself would have agreed. After all he did follow, observe and analyze his dreams in a very openminded way, especially for the times he lived in. 

The analytic way I was presented seemed intrusive and uninspired. As soon as I would ask the BIG questions about metaphysics, life after death or synchronistic evens I would get shut down and told these were too big questions to ask in a group and that I should take it up with my analyst. “Bad, bad, nosey girl, stop interrupting our flow and work on your issues” was the subtitle. Once a teacher wanted and seemed to actually be able to answer my questions. This wonderful old Finnish lady got shut down too in a painful conversation that I will never forget.

The approach reminded me of catholic class when I as a young girl would ask if my run over beloved cat had gone to heaven. I was bluntly told by an aspiring nun (that we all suspected slept with the priest or at least wanted to), that I will never see my cat again and it is blasphemy to think that animals go to heaven. 

I didn’t stop asking uncomfortable questions and spent most of my time thrown out of class with another girl (who later became a successful investigative journalist).

My Jungian analyst was non the wiser, proposing that we should talk about my childhood (for the tenth time). I’m sure there is a lot to heal and learn from my childhood and always will be – but it was not what I was asking for at that time and not from her. I felt as if she tried to mold my dream stories and experiences into the framework that she knew well, but it was too constraining for me. In the end we didn’t even talk about my dreams at all as she said: “talking about dreams is a form of escapism”.  

Inner Critic

I was lucky at that point to have my shamanic background to lean on and a big community of active dreamers to validate me. I was worried that the starved ghosts of academia will come drooling after me as I embark on the path of writing as a medical doctor and psychotherapist about matters of the soul such as dreams and real life magic, weaving in the therapeutic and healing effects of such practices. In my mind there was a hord of eloquent well groomed Jungians waiting to jump strait for the carotid if I dared to write about The Master. 

I followed my own medicine, had a chat with my Inner Critic (at that time looking like a mummified Jungian covered in library dust and with a superior smirk on his face) and chose to speak my truth and write anyway. Because it is MY understanding of the journey and my right to speak my truth. Hopefully stepping up to my power and being honest will make the inner landscape clearer and dreams more fun to play with for others – and for me.

Dreams and synchronicities are NOT some smelly regurgitations from a traumatic past (even though a few might be dreams bringing healing of the past). Dreams are so much more. They are sacred and the person holding the right and the key to interpret them is The Dreamer. ONLY The Dreamer. Psychologizing someone else’s dreams (especially when not asked for) is painfully intrusive to the soul. When it was done to me it almost made me abandon the dream practice all together!

I am very glad I have found a different, non-intrusive approach to active dreamwork. Today dreams bring immense joy and guidance in my everyday life.

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