SHRINE 5 – IMAGINE
I love imagining things. Imagination is a gift of nature and essential for change. I feel that it’s the most precious gift I receive each night while I sleep. At night I expand into a timeless dreaming being. Imagination is something I’ve observed and studied all my life as a child, as an artist, in my studies of process oriented psychology (or Processwork) and acupuncture. I’ve come to understand that imagination is not something to be taken for granted or owned personally.
Through my Processwork teachers and many friends I’ve learned how important imagination is in understanding myself, re-creating myself and re-creating relationships. I’ve learned that to disagree or contradict myself, to be confused and not know is ok. It’s valuable and acceptance of confusions offers me freedom. Something is growing. New things are entering and I must value that.
Not knowing and going slowly is crucial to receiving the gift of imagination. How delicious it is to stay with imagining and savour the unfolding. Of course my identity is challenged along the way as happens with any change. In this instance being curious really helps.
As an artist, I’ve learned to trust imagination and not control it. My teacher Arny Mindell sometimes uses the term ‘controlled abandon’. He says;
“this is a matter of abandon and control, of abandoning your identity and controlling the evolution of processes by following them intently” (Arny Mindell, The Shaman’s Body; 1993).
I like this concept and practice because I think of it as a meditation. You suspend your beliefs with your likes and dislikes, and pay attention to what may be emerging, without hurry. You are free to enter other viewpoints and discover something bigger than yourself.
At this point dear Reader you may be wondering what has all this got to do with the above painting? This shrine is a dedication to the Red Book and how it’s influenced my thinking. The Red Book is an account written by Carl Jung of his imaginative journey into his psyche. He journaled this work around 1913-1917, but it was not released into the public sphere until 2009 after significant editing by Sonu Shamdasani. At times Jung was unsure if he had entered madness on this journey, as he questioned the essence of what it means to be human. His experiments within what he went on to call ‘the collective unconscious’ and interactions with ‘archetypes’ led him to formulate a new psychological model that has influenced many paradigms of psychology up till today. But the journey of the Red Book was an experiment that took courage. It was a practice of controlled abandon. It led Jung into the depths of humanity, into dreams and back to the everyday.
Reader, I confess the book is not a page turner. However, I admit that a close reading of the Red Book has significantly shaped my considerations of imagination and how I work with it. All good journeys are a mystery and the practice of controlled abandon helps.
Thanks for reading. Warmly Lynn
This painting is available for sale on my website. Contact me via my contact page if you would like to buy it.
SHRINE 5- IMAGINE
Oil painting on Linen by Lynn Lobo
30cm x 30cm (12″ x 12″)