What Does Psyche Want?

July 24, 2014

We know much about psyche’s images from the groundbreaking work of imaginal psychologist Mary Watkins.  She says, “The psyche reveals herself in the form of images, for that is her experience.  If we wish to befriend her, to love her, we must take great care in how we react to her, as her life speaks of itself to us. (For more read Waking Dreams, 1984).


Our relation to the image, therefore, becomes important.  I will often ask, “Have I spent some time today wondering about an image that has presented itself to me.”  Image might be a dream figure, a mythical character somehow showing up in my consciousness, even an intuition or a color. I might wonder for instance, “What associations do I have with this image?  What experience does it remind me of?”


Sometimes I will ask after remembering a dream, “What does psyche know about me that my ego does not?”   That very question arouse one morning as I remembered a particular dream:


In the dream I am in a room around which different art materials (the dream figures) are scattered, inviting me to create a meaningful work.  In the dream I don’t think I can accomplish the task.  Still  others in the dream , figures I experience as wise and creative, confidently tell me I am more than capable.


To the question, “What does psyche want me to create that my ego believes I can’t?” an answer comes.


“Psyche wants you to go forward with revising your manuscript that needs to be brought to the world.”


Today, many months later that same manuscript has been positively received by a respected publisher.  More will follow on this part of the story as the production phase begins.  For now let’s just say that psyche wanted the writing project, in its early stage, to be nurtured and to find voice through me.  At least for the moment, I listened deeply, a gesture which gave  psyche what she wanted.

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