“Every good idea and all creative work are the offspring of the imagination, and have their source in what one is pleased to call infantile fantasy. Not the artist alone, but every creative individual whatsoever owes all that is greatest in his life to fantasy. The dynamic principle of fantasy is play, a characteristic also of the child, and as such it appears inconsistent with the principle of serious work. But without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.” [Jung, 1921]
I am a writer. I’ve known that I was a writer since I was a teenager. Likely the roots are even older than my first creative efforts in the form of poetry and sketches contrived with words. But to examine that past under a microscope to determine the exact moment in time I became a writer is irrelevant to the fact that I am a writer.
For many years I wrote what I believed was non-fiction, a written record of truths. Some of these were published as editorials in newspapers, some were published as social histories, and others focused on education – computer-mediated-communication and second-language learning. It wasn’t until the recent past when I turned to writing my autobiography in a three-volume series, writing that I believed was also non-fiction, when I realised that nothing I had written at any time in the past, wasn’t a product of something beyond my simple ego, my conscious intention.
I had learned quite a while ago that the use of active imagination as a counsellor and therapist, allowed me and my clients to access deeper truths, stuff hidden in the shadows of the client’s personal past. Were these deeper truths that allowed both myself and my client to work together to bring some needed healing, actually truths? Or was it all just fantasy? Could I trust memories? In time, it became obvious to me through working with clients, and on my own issues, that the truth was indeed present and even larger than what had been found.
I saw my story seeping into the stories of others, with the reverse also happening. I saw my story reflected in the stories and writings of others when I remarked within myself, “yes!” Even science fiction stories spoke to me, telling me truths that had been hidden behind a veil. The boundaries, the walls between my story and the stories of everyone else had begun to crumble despite my desperate attempts to barricade my “self” from the “others” who would absorb whatever or whoever I was, resulting in my disappearance. My head [ego] still believed that it all was “I-it.” There was myself separated from the universe.
But now, I can’t quite hold that “truth” anymore. The “it” has disappeared. I have become the “it” as well as the “I.” I am the universe.