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Lorie DecharMemberJanuary 26, 2022 at 10:46 am
Beautiful integration underway here, Liz! I really appreciate how you are putting these pieces together in your own way. That is very exciting to me! I am going to respond to your question from my own understanding, visioning and research but I want to emphasize again that much of what we are exploring in the mentorship is emergent / speculative and will continue to morph and clarify through our group conversations.
What I will say for now is that there are a multitude of levels of consciousness available to human beings and alchemy emerges from states of awareness that are not radically cut off from what modern mental consciousness calls the “unconscious.” In fact, our modern mental dualistic consciousness cuts us off from much of what we actually can “know” through our expanded states of awareness. There are many ways that humans have accessed these expanded states. This expansion is a big deal piece of what is happening now at the edges of our culture with plant spirit medicine and the irruption of what I call “integral awareness.”
This expansion in the healing domain is one of the central goals of the mentorship. Here, we work with body felt sense, archetypes, dreams, symbols, subtle diagnostic cues, active imagination and more to open us to these “other ways of seeing.” In our work, we emphasize the capacity to maintain critical awareness / ego perspective at the same time that we expand to unity consciousness, dreams and imaginal sight. As I say in the Alchemy of Inner Work, Alchemical Healing is about keeping the night eyes (dream eyes) open during the day and the day eyes open at night. (In a way, you could say that this is the difference between visionary perception and schizophrenia but even that is perhaps too hard a line of logic!)
Your question regarding the distinction between imagination and perception, between psychosis and expanded vision, is an interesting one … for now, I will answer in a preliminary way and then, let’s keep the conversation going throughout the year …
In the classic Chinese medical text, the Neijing Suwen, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine, we read: “The spirits, oh, the spirits cannot be seen by the ordinary eyes. Only the eyes of the heart can know all that needs to be seen. And then, it is as if, the wind has blown away the clouds.”
From this perspective, as you will understand more clearly after our upcoming spring gathering, the imagination (which is a function of the hun soul) is a messenger of spirit. Used skillfully, this psychic capacity actually opens our eyes to the divine mandates of heaven. So imagination used alchemically is an intrinsic part of our spiritual perceptual capacities. One of the greatest tragedies of modernity has been the loss of this connection to the “star within us” which is our imaginal sight.
Thanks for asking. Thanks for wondering. I look forward to continuing the exploration!