So what are Eden Dialogs?

December 3, 2007

The short but unsatisfying answer is: I don’t know. That said, my plan is to give some background and an few theories for your consideration. A number of years ago I began a daily spiritual discipline using a technique called Active Imagination described in Robert A Johnson’s book Inner Work. My goals, at the time were inner exploration, to learn and to grow. My exploration took the form of travels, dialogs and quests in Active Imagination, through an inner Eden. I wrote recorded my experiences in journals as they occurred.

When I began the process, I had no intention of publishing my journals. Then as the dialogs began to accumulate, it occurred to me that some of them might be useful or at least interesting to others. They seemed to say nearly as much about what it means to be human as they do about what it means to be me. At that point, I began thinking about publishing them in a spiritual workbook. I never did, but I also never quite gave up the idea of offering them to the public in some way.

But what are these dialogs, and where do they come from. Here are a few theories:

Theory 1– I’m insane, anyone who sees and hears things like this must be insane. Not my favorite theory but it’s certainly a possibility.

Theory 2—I am speaking to Jungian archetypes. The results are to be taken seriously but not too seriously. That is, after all, the whole point of Active Imagination. It’s actually an altered state of consciousness that is intended as a means to interact with the subconscious while you are awake. You learn the method, you practice it and you get results; no guarantee what archetypes you will end up conversing with. The key is, never let any of these voices take control, never take any advice that does not make sense. Otherwise you are likely to become an example of Theory 1.

Theory 3—Everyone has multiple minds, and I am no different, I’ve just trained myself to set up, and listen in on, conversations between them. This theory comes, loosely, from recent developments in the field of Neuroscience. Theory 3 is not so very different from Theory 2 at least not in terms of evaluating the dialogs.

Theory 4—I’m just making these dialogs up, this is how I create. It doesn’t seem that way when I’m doing it, but this could be correct.

Theory 5—The personalities in these conversations are who they say they are more or less. At least some of them involve conversations with the God that lies within all humanity and indeed all things. In these conversations I experience this connection expressed in symbolism I can understand. The symbolism is irrelevant, the connection is everything.

The last theory is my favorite, which is not to say it is correct. I have no real basis for rejecting any of them. In fact , I see value in all of them in terms as possible world views from which to consider my own thoughts and actions. Nevertheless I choose to adopt Theory 5 as part of my belief system and act on that belief system, which is how I define faith.

Therefore, I see publishing the dialogs as an act if faith, faith in myself, faith in the process that produced them, faith in the experiences themselves. My hope is that perhaps, someone will find them useful.