CHAPTER 9 The Land of Story (complete)
The first time you step through the Iris of Time, you feel a cool breath of fresh air against your cheek, hear the soft chuckles of children, and before you, you’re confronted with the inside of your dodecahedron. Each pentagon is a sheet of fine cut diamond. Each apex sparkles like a new star. You see the thin trace of each line that forms the intersections of the plot pentagons, but you can see through the flat diamond surfaces to the divine sphere that glows a faint blue with deep darkness beyond. You see the whirl of fire-breathing dragons that circumnavigate each pentagon.
The scene shifts, and you realize that you are standing on a thin, slightly arched adamantine bridge, Jung’s Transcendent Function, which extends out into the center of the dodecahedron, where a woman in soft-flowing silk sits on a tripod, with nine beautiful girls in a circle about her, the source of the chuckles. The woman looks for all the world like a priestess. (I recognize her as the woman who left the key in the cupboard for me to open the mechanism that very first time.)
You advance along the bridge, and the laughter stops realizing you’ve come among them. The woman takes her eyes from the girls, turns to look at you and smiles like a goddess. Of course, she is. This is Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memory, and her nine daughters, the Muses. You’ve prepared a gift for them, and now you hand it to the mother, she accepts it and slowly undoes the twine holding the wrapper, which unfolds when she pulls the string. Inside is a golden box in the shape of a pentagon, and when she lifts the lid, she sees ten sparkling pieces of bright colored candy. Each selects a piece, puts it to her lips and touches it with the tip of her tongue.
Figure 9-1 Entering the Iris of Time
The dodecahedron, bridge, and the goddesses dissolve into the framework of your universe, your creation. You are in the land of your story, and it slowly appears about you, emerging from the mists of divine memory. You hear the song of the Muses, a chorus that transforms into accompaniment for the voice of your narrator, and the words of your story come to you as the scene you are creating precipitates out of the sands of time, your characters already in motion, and you realize that yours is not an act of creation at all but one of discovery. It’d been there in psychic space all along.
This is the craft of the storyteller who possesses the Philosopher’s Stone.
Now that we’re inside, what are we doing here? Well, we should have prepared ourselves before hand. And of course, we did. That’s the reason we knew how to position the Ouroboros to stimulate the appropriate portion of the plot pentagon. You did remember to do that, didn’t you? That positioning prepared psychic space for us to enter at the designated location and point in time in the story. It’s a step in your Code of Conduct. Everyone should have a guide, a facilitator, in psychic space, and this is where we come to our first encounter with an autonomous psychic entity, other than the goddesses, of course, who are, well, goddesses. Who would you suppose it to be? Who would be sitting at the center, the dodecahedron bindu, when the mother and daughters are no longer there? That’s right, the narrator of your story. She/he is the one you will channel.
So this is our first task: contacting the narrator; i.e., contacting a voice to tell the story. The first time you go inside, it can be a little frightening. What if no one steps forward to narrate your story? What if no psychic entities appear to play the parts? Well, here’s the thing. If you’ve ever written a story before, you’ve done this. It’s just become a much more conscious act, and a little intimidating because we’ve turned a spotlight on the process, and it’s not fond of bright lights. You must remember that this is the dark subterranean world of the Unconscious. You wonder if this is a good idea. It’s become so complicated, and the process so literally exposed that you’ll never get it to work. Where’s that window? You may want to jump.
Whoa! Come back inside off that ledge. Here’s help.
When you first contemplated your story and came up with the idea, you essentially did contact your narrator. You met her/him/it again when you visualized your initial idea and got it to animate. You even found conflict between characters. These are all familiar processes and a part of Active Imagination, but also you could hear the words as these images flowed through your mind. This is what happens in the plot dodecahedron, the Imaginarium of the alchemist-cum-storyteller.
Let’s stop for a minute and realize that we’ve found a new name for this thing we’ve been calling the Philosopher’s Stone. Since this is a tool specifically for the author, the teller of tales, we need a new name, one that suggests all the power of the Stone but with the added restriction that it’s just for storytelling. More specifically, it’s the birthplace for stories, the womb where the story is conceived and experiences its gestation period before it comes out into the world. This is the Imaginarium.
How do we imagine this story into existence? To imagine is simply to call the Unconscious into action. The activation of the imagination is simply a request sent to the Unconscious. If I ask you to think of a giraffe, immediately an image comes to mind, an animal with an extraordinarily long neck and forelegs. I would be willing to bet that you even envisioned its surroundings. Possibly you saw her in the wilds of Africa with a small but tall calf eating tender leaves from the top of a tree. Even if you hadn’t, upon reading my words, you did then see an image. You couldn’t stop yourself.
Activating the imagination is much like that, an interrogation. The process of imagining is a dialogue between Consciousness and the Unconscious. I’d be willing to bet that you had an image when I first mentioned contacting your narrator. You had to. As Aristotle put it, “Without an image thinking is impossible.” [On Memory, Ref 450a1] You can’t think about the personification of a narrator without an image coming to mind. Your job is to capture that image and expand upon it.
And images don’t exclusively come from memory either. Some, perhaps even most, are fresh and come from the imagination. As you might expect, memory and imagination are connected:
Accordingly, if asked, of which among the parts of the soul memory is a function, we reply: manifestly of that part to which imagination also appertains; and all objects of which there is imagination are in themselves objects of memory, while those which do not exist without imagination are objects of memory incidentally. [Aristotle, On Memory, 450a21-25].
This is the same as saying that Mnemosyne is the mother of the Muses who bring inspiration. Memory is the mother of the imagination. Memory is a storage container that permits retrieval. The more we put into memory, the more imagination we have. The two aren’t equivalent, but they are connected and work synergistically. The imagination doesn’t just have to rely on what you have previously seen. Remember that the archetypes of the Collective Unconscious are images. Later on, we’ll devote a full chapter to this relationship between memory and imagination. Just realize that having a need for something activates the imagination. It’s the nature of the process.
This is easy stuff, but what makes it seem difficult is that we think we have to do something “special” to get the creative juices flowing. Well, you do. And that “special” thing is to realize that you’ve already done it. Your imagination is always way ahead of you. Way ahead. Your problem is to catch up. These images are so pale, and we’re so used to not acknowledging them that we have difficulty believing they are that important. In getting a glimpse of one, you’ve caught your imagination at work, and when you step inside the Imaginarium, your imagination should blossom because that’s where you’ll find all the secrets concerning your story.
We have an offshoot of Jungian psychology that just might be of assistance in understanding how natural and powerful this process is. It’s called archetypal psychology. Archetypal psychology is “deliberately affiliated with the arts, culture, and the history of ideas, arising as they do from the imagination.” [Hillman, Archetypal Psychology, page 1] James Hillman, who founded archetypal psychology, tells us, “archetypes are the primary forms that govern the psyche.” He goes on to say that:
The primary, and irreducible, language of these archetypal patterns is the metaphorical discourse of myths. These can therefore be understood as the most fundamental patterns of human existence. [page 3]
This means that the soul is a storytelling mechanism. And then comes the clincher:
The archetypal images are the fundamentals of fantasy, they are the means by which the world is imagined, and therefore they are the modes by which all knowledge, all experiences whatsoever become possible. [page 12]
He also says, “the archetype is accessible to imagination first and first presents itself as image.” [page 4] What this means is that the intricate thought processes of the mind originate in images, and you can’t keep your mind from producing them. Our task is to catch our minds performing their most basic function. Once we realize what is going on, all we have to do is make a request, and the mind will produce images.
Your narrator can stay in the background, or you can bring him/her/it forward. Use the Iris of Time along with the Code of Conduct provides access to the Imaginarium to activate the Unconscious and provide a separate psychic space within which you can write the novel. Become involved in the process, and let the material flow to you, accepting the content but evaluating its appropriateness. In working out this appropriateness, you consult with your narrator. You have established a working relationship. Graphically, it all looks like this:
Figure 9-2 Story Alchemy – Psychic Process – The Imaginarium
The graphic shows the author with his/her Consciousness, the Iris of Time with the Guardian of the Gate standing before it, the narrator, and then the protagonist alongside the antagonist, and a crowd of people beyond them representing the rest of the characters.
As you enter, muster as many of the senses as you can manage. Notice some new detail at each step, and pay attention to what you hear, feel and smell every time you go inside. Even the repetition of senses causes them to become more pronounced and deepens the experience. Touch the metallic frame of the Iris when you go through, feel the cold, slick surface. Feel the gust of air from the new environment when you step inside. Is it cool and fresh? Or possibly hot and smoky, a dystopian landscape screaming with discontent? The senses help ground you in this psychic world and make it come alive. You don’t have to imagine the Muses each time you enter, but it’s best to envision the narrator, make contact and request her/him/it provide whatever services you require. From here on, the process is the same as it ever was. You write your story. But now it should come alive as never before. You should be able to visualize it in 3D and with full Technicolor.
By stepping into the Imaginarium, the author has entered the liminal state within which she/he will not just “make up” the story but actually experience it. But the author must not stay remote from its emotional impact. Jung says:
…if you recognize your own involvement you yourself must enter into the process with your personal reactions, just as if you were one of the fantasy figures, or rather, as if the drama being enacted before your eyes were real. It is a psychic fact that this fantasy is happening, and it is as real as you — as a psychic entity — are real. [Mysterium Coniunctionis, page 529]
To induce this state fully, not only must you use the Iris of Time, but you will also have to invest yourself in the outcome of the action. Here’s what James Hall has to say:
…liminality requires that the ego-centrum itself disidentify from the dominant self-image, undergo the experiences associated with the liminal state, and then reidentify with a self-image that is usually more comprehensive and inclusive than the original image. [Liminality and Transitional Phenomena, ed. by Nathan Schwartz-Salant and Murray Stein; James A. Hall, “The Watcher at the Gates of Dawn,” page 44]
Give yourself up, your real-world identity, and participate in the process, whether as a closely connected viewer of the action or as a participant, possibly even your protagonist for a first-person narrative. One thing I believe is true about entering so deeply into psychic space is that you keep your Consciousness but lose your identity, at least you lose your earthly identity. You are of indeterminate age and origin until you reidentify upon exiting.
All Active Imagination techniques presuppose that the author has laid a lot of groundwork to familiarize him/herself with the fictional world and characters, as well as the issues that provide meaning to the story. Every gift from the Unconscious comes wrapped in contents from Consciousness. The thing is that if no Consciousness material exists, the Unconscious will package the contents with material of its own choosing, and it then may not be recognizable as story related. That seems to be the reason that to gain inspiration, the author must go into Active Imagination having primed Consciousness. You already have images associated with your story, so you’re not waiting for anything to appear. You started playing around with them back in Chapter 2 when you developed your story’s premise. I can’t begin to tell you how important these images and voices are to what you’re about to do. Since you know what the conflict is about and have identified the protagonist and antagonist, you already have an idea as to their appearance and actions in which they are involved. That isn’t to say they won’t evolve. Particularly during the initial states of conceiving a story, everything will be up for grabs.
Since you’ve configured the Iris of Time for your story, once you step through the Iris, you are in the fictional world of that story. In other words, you’re inside the story dodecahedron, the Imaginarium. Lucy has entered through the wardrobe and what lies before her is Narnia. If you are at one of your plot points or even an intermediate point, the fact that you conceived the scene means that you have mental images associated with it. The trick is to capture those images with Consciousness and let them animate. The characters within those images should start acting out your story.
If you look around, you should be able to envision what this fictional world looks like. It isn’t ordinary reality. Look for the aspects of that fictional world that make it unique. A good example might be a movie from a few years back, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow since it has an otherworldly look. Yours shouldn’t necessarily look like that; it’s just that it does look like an altered reality and illustrates that this fictional world has to be characterized to fit the story. In a way, all stories are paintings — some watercolors, some oils, others ink sketches. And you must apply the craft to bring that fictional/mythic world to life.
I know you’ll undoubtedly say that you’ve set your story in the real world, so no shift is necessary, but that’s just not true. I’m not telling you to make it look different. I’m telling you that it will be different. It’s a characteristic of Storyland. Setting is one of the most effective tools an author has, and characterizing that fictional world is a big part of the story. It’s a characterized reality. That’s quite probably the first lesson we learn when we enter the Imaginarium. Everything within this fictional world is slanted to accommodate the story. In movies, they frequently use digital grading to shift real-world images into the Land of Story. This doesn’t mean that it has to look like Faery Land. It’s a unique world and should look special. So make sure you look around and see what makes it surreal, as all fictional worlds are. All stories have a mythical quality and even if your story is set in the real world, it has a mythical counterpart of which you should be aware and describe to your readers. In the Imaginarium, you need to be your own cinematographer, set designer, and digital editor. Everything your reader encounters must be story specific. The world in which it is set is no exception.
Be patient. Active Imagination techniques develop and perfect over time, and since it is at once both a specific process and in many ways an unimaginable one, you must experience it for yourself to learn to work with it. I have identified seven levels of Active Imagination. Four through seven are advanced levels that involve the dream state, and I’ve relegated them to the next chapter. All levels occur within the Imaginarium.
Level One: Normal Writing. Level One is undoubtedly what you already do with your normal writing process. You sit at your computer and type while imagining your story. This process has worked well throughout the ages, although it’s not been recognized as related to Jung’s Active Imagination. It is a hybrid process where the author is unaware of the connection with her/his Unconscious, yet she/he has direct access to her/his characters. You may use the Iris of Time, but it is optional. The author may then augment this with what Burroway calls “freewriting” and “clustering” [Writing Fiction, 4-12] to let the Unconscious have a more direct say.
Level Two: Active Imagination. This is the first step in adapting Jung’s Active Imagination to writing fiction. It’s a deeper psychic state that pulls more heavily on content from the Unconscious, and it’s what I envision as happening within the Iris of Time and involves the full Code of Conduct. This is also a daytime process, but while using it, you have your eyes closed, perhaps using a sleeping mask, and although you may be typing at the moment, you focus on that space within your psyche, which you have cleared to allow Active Imagination. Early afternoon, siesta time, is perfect for this. You might write before your nap and again immediately afterward. You seek out settings within your novel, explore roads, buildings, but also encounter psychic entities to observe and/or actively engage in conversation. These entities are your narrator and characters. Your story unfolds in real time, and you type it out as it occurs. Once the session is complete, you take that material and adapt it to your work in progress.
Level Three: Twilight Zone. This level of Active Imagination occurs at night, either just before sleep, upon waking in the middle of the night, or just after waking in the morning. It also occurs within the Imaginarium as entered through the Iris of Time with the full Code of Conduct. You can record your activity as it happens on a notebook computer or afterward if your memory serves you well. What is good about this method is that you’re already in a liminal state because you are close to sleep. This is my favorite writing technique.
In the next chapter we’ll discuss the other four methods.
Just as with the yantra and the mandala, the Imaginarium has two modes. In mandala mode, or “narrating mode,” we see the setting and characters at each plot point, the story unfolds, and we hear the words of the narrator residing at the bindu. The second, or yantra mode, is what I call “plotting mode.” We view it as an entirely geometric object: a bindu, pentagram, pentagon and the assembled dodecahedron, all enclosed within a sphere.
When involved in plotting the story and making connections, the intellect is more involved than when writing dramatic material. You are in a psychic position more emotionally removed from the action and experience a different creative state. You see the beauty of the overall structure and the intricacy of connections as you watch the events fall into place like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. We tend to think of the intellect as being unemotional, but the impact on the author when this intricate story structure starts to come together can be quite profound.
When you, through Active Imagination, bring content from your Unconscious into the real world, that content is not ready for the story. It still must undergo a transformation to be fully compatible with that specific fictional world. The narrator makes this transformation, i.e., the author transforms the content by use of narrative craft. Graphically this editing process as the story gains definition and brilliance goes through stages something like Figure 9-3. When you start editing this content once outside the Active Imagination session, it provides a subliminal bridge to the Unconscious and permits additional high-quality content to cross over. The process feeds on itself. You’ve generated the story material inside the far reaches of the psyche, and while editing, it takes you back there but less consciously.
Figure 9-3 Editing
According to my way of thinking, the narrator guides you in the world of the Unconscious, works with you, and helps transform the content into narration. But you still have to do the legwork. You will have to transform the content to achieve the narrative stance and voice consistent with the novel. You might think that the narrator is not doing her/his/its job, but the narrator is your guide and advisor in creating the narrative flow. She/he/it supplies the voice, but you, as the author, are always the one who does the legwork.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that not all dialogue from the Unconscious sounds realistic. Here’s what Jung has to say about dialogue with psychic beings from the Collective Unconscious, i.e., archetypes:
First I formulated the things as I had observed them, usually in “high-flown language,” for that corresponds to the style of the archetypes. Archetypes speak the language of high rhetoric, even of bombast. [Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pages 177/8]
Although it may have its uses, this certainly will not go over well for most storytelling. As a matter of fact, this might go a long way toward explaining why dialogue so frequently goes astray. It comes to us unadorned, so to speak, without the idiomatic touches that characterize the way we converse in the real world.
I realize that this editing process seems laborious, uninteresting, and simple-minded cleanup work. You couldn’t be more wrong. This is possibly the most important stage of writing. Your Consciousness slipped across the boundary that we call the Iris of Time, and confronted the Unconscious head-on. You spent a good amount of time there. Now Consciousness must work on that material on its own turf. It must spend even more time perfecting it than did the Unconscious in generating it. This is where ego consciousness gets the upperhand.
Editing is the final step in the process that forms the bridge between Consciousness and the Unconscious, the Transcendent Function. In many ways, this constitutes meditation on the mandala. Jung spent decades rewriting his Active Imagination sessions, and he documented them in The Red Book. The Transcendent Function is something that we work on our entire lives, but we get something from using Active Imagination for creating a story, and that is the work itself. The story is the real-world representation of the Transcendent Function. It’s not all of it but does represent the labor done on the Transcendent Function during that time period. It cannot be perfected without a lot of hard work by Consciousness. This is where we turn lead into gold.
Figure 9-4 Editing Effects on the Transcendent Function
When editing becomes difficult, it’s because the bridge between this material and its location in the Unconscious is still tentative. That part of the Transcendent Function is still under construction. Perhaps both sides of the bridge aren’t quite connected. Another possibility is that Consciousness and the Unconscious are still negotiating the material. The competing factions can’t come to terms with how it should be presented without the editing process.
You should understand that the editing process is much more than just clean up work. It’s a continuation and completion of the creative act and is very much involved in Consciousness/Unconscious conflict that leads toward resolution. This perception adds an element of intrigue that helps relish getting involved in it. Other approaches to editing make it sound like dog work that has little intrinsic value. Just realize that it is a deeply spiritual process that completes the personal (psychic) and artistic (gold) transmutation.
Failure. What do you do when the process just doesn’t work? I have experienced this although I must say that Active Imagination is remarkably easy and repeatable. But if it doesn’t work, it’s disappointing. That is until you realize that failure, even in these situations, rarely has occurred. I’m not just trying to bolster your spirits. I have learned that in the hours and days following a “failed” Active Imagination session, the work I wished to accomplish actually had been. It just hadn’t as yet come into Consciousness. If it was a problem, it’s been solved. If I was trying to develop a scene, it came to me the next day.
Whatever the case, you shouldn’t assume that you’ve failed. Sometimes the old expression, “I need to sleep on it,” works best. Don’t get discouraged. Nothing disrupts the creative process like disillusionment. Except that disillusionment is also a part of the process, but that’s another story, and one I’ll address in just a moment.
At the risk of getting overly repetitious, I want to reiterate something I’ve already gone over. It has to do with the nature of the psychic world and in particular the reality of that world. The Land of Story I’ve called it. This is possibly the biggest stumbling block for students of authorial craft to digest, or even possibly take seriously. The entities you meet there are autonomous and as real in psychic space as you are in the real world. Yet, your first inclination is to invalidate everything you find there. We speak of it as being “fictional.” This is Consciousnes’s first line of defense.
The proof that the entities we meet in the psychic world are autonomous and real exists in our dreams. All of us have encountered people that we have never met in real life, and these people have autonomy and speak their own minds. We have no evidence that they are anything but spirits of another world. This leads me to say that you should not only give your characters autonomy, but also recognize their own inherent autonomy. The fictional character you have “invented” already has its autonomy, but the intellect is just not used to seeing it that way. This can be difficult because it means that the problem is one of reinterpreting a process that already exists and not one of developing a new skill.
Realizing that you must obey a Code of Conduct to deal with these psychic entities reinforces what Jung said about dealing with them: to always treat them with respect even if you don’t agree with what they say or do. When you address your narrator within the psychic world, you further divorce your own ego from those psychic entities. They are “out there.” Other. Not you. This allows them more autonomy, and your conversations with your narrator prepare you for the observation of the other psychic entities. This technique of getting into the Active Imagination state sets up and prepares your psyche so that you’ll have a good chance of accomplishing your objective.
To more fully understand the writing process using Jung’s Active Imagination, I suggest visualizing it as a relationship most of us have experienced. It’s a big-sibling/little-sibling concept, as shown in Figure 9-5, with the older (Consciousness) scolding and browbeating the younger (the Subconscious). This represents both Consciousness and the Unconscious residing in the author, with Consciousness always invalidating material from the Unconscious. The irony is that the Unconscious is in fact much larger and much older than Consciousness but simply occupies a submissive position so that it must surreptitiously provide its influence. The Unconscious never gets to attend the awards ceremony.
Figure 9-5 Contentious Little-Brother/Big-Brother Relationship
between the Unconscious and Consciousness
Authors are famous for becoming disillusioned with their work. It is possible that Consciousness’s skill at keeping material at bay through denial and invalidation now becomes a major force in evaluating its worth. It seems that everything that is force-fed into Consciousness comes with an element of invalidation, and the more material that crosses the bridge, the more disillusioned Consciousness will be with it. The author has developed an aversion to her/his own work.
For Active Imagination to work, you must have faith (confidence) in the material coming from the Unconscious. Thus, through time, we come to trust Active Imagination and take what we uncover practicing it seriously. When we do that, the Unconscious gains confidence and provides more important and well thought out material. But also Consciousness’s interpretation of the material is put on firmer ground, and we gain insight into it. If we don’t have faith, we gain nothing and learn nothing. It becomes trivial because the material that comes across is trivial, and Consciousness invalidates it.
If all this talk about faith starts to sound a little like religion, that is because it is precisely what religious people talk about. Once you start questioning the process, it breaks down. You must have faith to get the process to work. But faith has a down side. Faith has lead directly to disillusionment. And the big thing here is to realize that this disillusionment is a part of the process.
Once material from the Unconscious is brought into Consciousness and Consciousness takes an objective look at it, the apparent worth of the material starts to break down because Consciousness always has a derogatory opinion of everything that comes from the Unconscious. That’s the way it protects itself from being flooded by it. All this is a part of what we know as the Transcendent Function.
Faith and disillusionment seem to be flip sides of the same coin. Perhaps even more concretely, they are like matter and antimatter. When they come together, they annihilate each other and then we are indifferent. This is reminiscent of Samuel Coleridge’s famous statement that, when he was embarking on a particularly imaginative writing project:
…my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic, yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.
Conceivably, Coleridge’s Collective Unconscious provided this mechanism to him, so that he could have a more productive creative imagination. In other words for Coleridge the Unconscious made a bargain with Consciousness. This is what enabled him to write The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. Note also that Coleridge equates “faith” with the “willing suspension of disbelief,” which must be in force for Active Imagination to be productive. The practitioner of Active Imagination (while engaging psychic entities) is very much in the same position as the reader of an imaginative literary work, and the suspension of disbelief is a necessary part of the process.
All creative individuals become disillusioned with their work. Religious people also become disillusioned. Later in life, Billy Graham spoke of his own disillusionment, how he had suffered from it from time to time. I’m reminded of Christ on the cross saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [Matthew 27:46] Christ’s own faith in his mission failed him. He had lost contact with the myth that was living him. I don’t mean “myth” as something not true, but “myth” as the highest form of wisdom and enlightenment.
Of course, the opposite is also true. Once you’re far enough inside, you get an archetypical dose of delusions of grandeur and believe what you’re writing is the greatest thing ever put on paper. This isn’t such a bad deal, because delusion facilitates the process of creation. However, it does taint it with an overestimation of the worth of the work that might not go away after returning from the creative recesses. Storytelling is an adult task that takes a steady hand at the wheel to reel in both overly positive and negative feelings about your work.
After having visited the psychic space inside the Imaginarium, let’s now take it all a step deeper. Planning ahead and learning to negotiate that liminal space just before sleep can yield some startling results. Let’s see just how far we can push the boundaries, even to the point of taking story elements inside the World of Dreams. The situations and characters you write about will at times be scary, so this may not be the most comfortable technique you’ve ever considered. What if you write horror stories? Others have negotiated the landscape using lucid dreaming, and we will build on their research.
Buckle up. This could be another blue-pill, red-pill moment.