Conversations with the Daimon: Imagination Is Reality

In this article I want to look at active imagination as a means of making contact with the daimon as inner companion. According to Jung, the individuation process can be brought to consciousness in only three ways: therapy, attending to dreams, and active imagination.

Dreams, like fantasy, are passive imagination, and are useful only when brought into consciousness. The great advantage that active imagination has over dreams and visions is that the ego can intervene and generally control the process. In it, one can personify this daimon as inner companion as well as other aspects of the Self and deal with them. In my own experience, the daimon revealed himself as Hermes.

Much of our problem today lies in the low esteem held by modern society concerning the imagination. Actually, imagination is the faculty of deforming the images offered by perception-something which we experience all the time in dreams. Parmenides’ goddess said that if you can think it, it is. If this is so, we must accept that the deformation of these images in one’s imagination are real. Hermes once told me when I asked why my prayers were often answered in disasters, that since he lives in my unconscious, my world is distorted in his eyes just as his world is in mine. Therefore I must make clear to him in words what and why I seek. Only if one can accept that deformation which we see in dreams as reality, can one then accept the reality of the imagination. It follows, then, that the revelation of the gods comes not only from the outside and above, but also from within the perspective of the observer-from within the psyche itself. This is the link to the transcendent. Kabir Helminski says in Soul Loss and Soul Making:

“We have lost our ability to perceive through the Active Imagination which operates in an intermediate world, an interworld between the senses and the world of ideas. . . . This imagination does not construct something unreal, it unveils the hidden reality. It helps to return the facts of this world to their spiritual significance, to see beyond the apparent and to manifest the hidden.”

I have incorporated psychological polytheism into Active Imagination with considerable success, with the help of Hermes as daimon. All paths are misleading, since none get you there without many obstacles. There is no direct path. Those who follow gurus who seek to ride about in gold Cadillacs are being misled. But that is their path. The only thing wrong is that they often take others with them, but as the myth of Parzifal points out, each must enter his path alone. Sooner or later these misled ones may discover that and be the wiser for it. Each must find one’s own Truth. Someone once told me he had had a visit from Hermes who told him many interesting things, but since he knew Hermes was a Trickster, he didn’t believe any of it and dismissed it without consideration. That, I believe, was a serious mistake. Certainly Hermes may have misled him, but how much richer his life might have been if he had followed his advice, stumbled many times as a result, but what he could have learned in the process! I have found no author who views the Trickster function in this constructive manner. You shall see, however, how experience has driven me to this conclusion: Spirit lives in you as you.

There are two birds in a tree. One eats of the fruit of the tree. The other watches. As William Irwin Thompson wrote,

“Mystics know that there is a part of our being that is projected into time in the form of an ego that is going to die, but there is another part of our being that never incarnates. Heraclitus wrote: With our eyes open, we share the same world but with our eyes closed each of us enters our own world.”

But Heraclitus also said, “How many things are lost through disbelief!” He said that 2500 years ago, when the forgetting had hardly gotten underway. Indeed, it has been said that the world is the reality of the spirit in a state of trance. Actually, life is anything we choose it to be since there is absolutely nothing to compare it to. Ibn Arabi saw the world as the luminous shadow of God. That is certainly one way of looking at it. Everything that we see is a shadow of what we don’t see.

We must first of all remember that the images we deal with in these altered states are not mere images. Standing behind them are the eternal archetypes of the collective unconscious, which are in communication with you through the archetype of the Self, which presents itself in greater or lesser disguise through all the images of our dreams. It is useful to keep in mind that all the events and words in dream are directed by the Self, and the same goes for every one of those images in active imagination. which are not your ego speaking and acting.

In that sense, the Self is Other, and here we call it the daimon as Socrates does. It must be objectified if we wish to deal with it and discover its nature which is ours. Just remember that otherness is a necessary illusion. To get you into the mindset, let us look it at the way the Sufi does. Just keep in mind that the Self is usually imaged as the same sex as the person, which sometimes misleads people into thinking that the Sufi mystics were sometimes homosexual. Ibn Arabi speaks of the Self as the Beloved and the Seeker as the Lover:

“The Beloved is all in all, the Lover only veils him. The Beloved was stealthily apparent, and I unaware. He was hidden in my breast, and I unaware. To the exclusion of all the world, I sought him openly. He was the whole world, and I was unaware. . . The eyes which are prevented from beholding the Beloved, and yet are desirous of looking upon him, cannot be fit for that vision without first weeping.”

The weeping comes from the frustration of being unable to achieve oneness with the Beloved in life. It is after all the impact of eternity breaking into the field of time which causes the splitting into opposites, in this case the spirit and the flesh, and therefore it is useless and even dangerous to both to try to unite them in time.

The daimon is most likely to make contact with your consciousness when you have not necessarily lost hope, but when you see no rational way out of an impossible situation. My first contact with a daimon was with one of its feminine aspects (the daimon has many forms, since form is what enables it to become apparent to us). This was in a class on active imagination led by Mary Watkins who studied with Jane Roberts & the channeled entity Seth.

After a descent into an underground cavern, I contacted an aspect of the Self whom I recognized as Medea. I had first seen the painting of Medea by Delacroix in a class in Art History in college and was so taken with it that when I went to France in 1971 I traveled to Lille where it hung in the museum. In this active imagination, I recognized her as she was seated at a table in a small cave looking into a crystal ball. She asked me in and immediately started to berate me about the way I had been treating her, and asked me why I kept her in this miserable cave! It had never occurred to me, of course, that I could determine the living conditions of figures in my imagination. She accused me of ignoring the feminine and downgrading her in my life. This encounter left me with a three-day headache. Von Franz points out that the first encounter with the Self can be hostile and even dangerous, and must be contained by the presence of an experienced guide.

My next encounter with the gods occurred in the summer of 1982, a year before my retirement, when I ran across a book, The Homeric Gods by Walter Otto. While reading the chapter on Hermes on a bright sunny day, I became fascinated by this extraordinary god. I felt him as a kind of inner identity-apparently the ideal Self. While reading stretched out on a sofa with my shoes off, a philodendron house plant, which was hanging over my feet, began to sweat profusely. My reading became distracted only when my socks became soaked with moisture. I immediately recognized this as a paranormal phenomenon and gave it the full sensate test-tasting the water running down the leaves, smelling it, letting it drip onto my hands-the only sense I omitted was that of hearing, because the whole experience was completely silent. There was absolutely no way I could have considered this as a mere coincidence and realized it was most likely a visitation from the spirit about whom I was reading at the time. It is interesting that many pictures of the Annunciation depict Mary reading a book at the appearance of the angel. Since then Hermes has been an inner companion.

At first I avoided active imagination because I didn’t want any more three-day headaches. However, when Hermes wanted me to recognize him, he generally appeared in dreams and visions as depicted in ancient Greek sculpture.

In 1983 I took a long trip to Europe with a friend. We bought a car and traveled around at our leisure, off-season. This is where Hermes became distinctly active in my life. David had seen the evidence of the weeping philodendron, but I did not talk about Hermes a great deal because I didn’t want David to feel uncomfortable traveling with someone seemingly on the verge of insanity. As we were wandering around the 6th c. BC Greek temples at Paestum in Italy (the best preserved Greek temples in Europe) on a warm December day with no one around, I had a strong intuitive feeling that Hermes was in the vicinity, even though I knew he had no temples of his own. I mentioned this feeling to David who told me to turn around
so that I could see the marble foundation I had not noticed before. On it was inscribed the name of Hermes with an inscription noting that the statue which had been on this pedestal, Hermes at Rest (as you see on the right) was now in the museum in nearby Naples, which we then went to see.

Later that month, while we were staying at an apartment lent to us by friends at Lerici, at the southern end of the Italian Riviera, I decided to see what would happen if I tried active imagination while in bed. I could not do it seated without getting seasick, a problem which von Franz had said was not uncommon. Since it should work as long as the spine is straight, I simply closed my eyes, the room was dark, and I imagined I was leaving the earth at night, flying to a forest where there was a small clearing with a spring in its center. Both the spring and the clearing were circular but at the edge of the clearing was a stone wall about four feet high. Seated on the wall was Hermes with one leg dangling and leaning against an abutment, obviously relaxed and waiting. He did not have his cap of invisibility.

Here is a portion of our first conversation. It foreshadowed some extraordinary adventures connected with the automobile David and I had bought on our arrival in Europe.

Hermes: I am ready if you are.

(I, knowing he was Guide of Souls to the Underworld, assumed he meant he was ready to take me into the Underworld.)

Me: But I am not. I want some time in my new home.

Hermes: I see no problem with that. As you know, no one can remain here longer than the Fates have decreed, although anyone, man or god, can shorten one’s time on earth. I do not yet know what time the Fates have set for you, and I do not care to know for I couldn’t tell you if I did, but I will let you know when the time comes. I always try to warn people ahead of time, but that is difficult with unbelievers, especially when they are young and healthy.

Me: Could I make better contact with you or any of the other gods if we went to Greece or the Greek islands?

Hermes: Do not seek me or any of the gods in Greece. I shall be where you are and can make any contacts you need. There are still places sacred to the gods on a few places like Ibiza (we were about to leave for Ibiza to see friends, even sooner than we then expected as it turned out). It is close to the Hesperides and still relatively unspoiled. If you obey Poseidon you will find me there.

Me: What do you mean, obey Poseidon?

Hermes then set down his caduceus and picked up a trident and pointed it at me playfully. I felt an electric shock. He raised it to the vertical and spoke in a commanding voice, apparently to show it was a message from a high god and he was carrying out his role as messenger of the gods.

Hermes: If you wish to arrive on any island, you must drive on the mainland. On the islands, it does not matter.

Me: What does that mean?

Hermes: How am I supposed to know? I am only the messenger.

As if to imprint the importance of this beginning relationship on my soul, he set down the trident, picked up the caduceus, and stepped behind me. He placed his hand on my shoulder and I experienced an extraordinary wave of joy, then immediately fell off to sleep.

The literal meaning of the message soon became apparent. I could not bring myself to tell David about the conversation, which in the cold light of day seemed unreal. Therefore I also couldn’t tell him that Poseidon had forbidden him to drive until we got to the islands, about a week thence. I assumed this would be too difficult for David to believe. So I disobeyed Poseidon and shared the driving.

I was soon to discover a lesson in this: these instructions from the Self are also metaphorical. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden were meant to disobey in order for their level of consciousness to be raised. To disobey the literal is often necessary for the increase of consciousness, even though the results may be painful. This constitutes freedom as Adam and Eve learned in being forced out of the unconscious Paradise of Eden.

The second part of the instruction, concerning driving on the islands, is also metaphorical. The ego must rule our conscious life, but not necessarily our inner life. Man must retain his freedom. Act not as Abraham, who insisted on obeying even to the extent of sacrificing his only son, but as Job, who retained his faith in and loyalty to his god, but insisted on his right to defy him when he believed God was being unjust. Spirit either resides in or is identical to the unconscious, and wills to become conscious, but can only accomplish this through mankind, through mankind’s exercise of the freedom to disobey, as in the Garden of Eden. But the doctrine of correspondences is also active-as above, so below-the happy fault brings its own consequences. The first time David took the wheel, I felt no problem arising and thought perhaps the whole thing was the result of an overactive imagination. That night we stayed in a hotel in Cannes on the French Riviera, fortunately off-season, as we could not leave for three days. I was sicker than I had been for years with a case of flu such as I had never experienced before. This was the first of several times that Hermes used flu as a symptom to keep me on the path. We then left, heading toward Spain, though I still told David nothing. We soon got into Spain and David got sick. We gave up all attempts to see Spain and left immediately for Ibiza where we had friends with me driving as he was unable. Along the way I told him what happened and was surprised at his readiness to accept my story. Of course, he was in no position to argue.

As soon as we got to Ibiza we rented an apartment, and I determined to find out what was going on. At that point I was not yet ready for the final lesson, that the expulsion from Eden was the gift of the gods-higher consciousness, which can be said of all misfortunes, so I naturally felt accursed. Of course, one might say that we might have gotten sick anyway. Even that the tree might have wept anyway; after all, miracles and disasters do occur. But in every case we must look at the context. In Ulysses, Penelope weaves the metaphoric shroud protecting us from the brilliant light of the spirit, and it contains a complex pattern of events. We cannot readily see through it to the light. Outer events and incidents alone do not contain synchronicities. Only when woven together with inner events and knit into a pattern do they have meaning and they should not be ignored. Since I was not yet ready for this insight, I was taught the ritual of sacrifice. Rituals are necessary for those in a state of worship who have not attained identity.

My next conversation with Hermes presented me with a challenge.

Hermes: Well, you got here, but only with difficulties. You see, you ignored Poseidon’s warning. You should do something to make up for that misdeed.

Me: What do you suggest? All the old rituals for dealing with the gods have been suppressed and forgotten.

Hermes: You must give him something that has been yours for some time. Remember, he is a great collector. The sea floor is strewn with the results of his collecting over the ages. Perhaps your blue ring.

This refers to a ring of which I was fond, having bought it at a Romanesque cathedral in southern France in 1971 which had the coat-of-arms of its bishop enameled on it in blue. Though it had cost only 5 francs, it was quite lovely.

I went to the shore and walked very far out on a series of flat stones like a walkway. These stones were quite flat and just a few inches above the surface. The Mediterranean is like a lake when the weather is calm so there were no visible waves. I went as far as I could and threw the ring far into the sea and stood there. In the distance appeared a wave about a foot high coming toward me, and I knew my sandaled feet would be soaked, but I figured it was to be expected. As it approached it reduced in size so that when it reached me it merely splashed against the rock and my feet remained dry. I took this as a response indicating that Poseidon had accepted my sacrifice.

This was followed by another conversation with Hermes.

Hermes: So you did it.

Me: Yes, and I believe I got a response. But before doing it, I wanted to invoke Poseidon with a little prayer, but all I could think of was a praise of his power. That seems to be the only form of worship before the Christian era. A kind of fear. Was love never a factor between man and the gods? (Implicit in this question was a desire to know how close I could get to Hermes in this relationship.)

Hermes: Well, after all, Zeus loved Europa and Leda, and there were priestesses who loved their god and we sometimes went in to them if we found them attractive.

Me: Hermes, physical desire is not what I mean.

Hermes: Well, if by love you mean a striving for oneness and identity, you had better be careful. You must remember that the relation between man and the gods is a symbiotic one. Gods need man to verify their connection to the material aspect of the world and man needs the gods to verify his connection to the spiritual aspect. If the balance is tipped too far in the direction of the spirit, one dies to the material. It also works the other way. Prometheus suffered terribly for his love for and identification with mankind. On the other hand, your anchorites and ascetics must die to the flesh once they establish their identity with their god. You also find this when people become unwittingly identified with the gods. Apollo’s young lovers always ended up being killed by Apollo himself, much to his sorrow. Also people who are adored as gods by humans as Psyche was must die. You have seen it with Gandhi, Lincoln, and Kennedy. Between man and the gods there must be no vulgar intimacy. (At a later date, Hermes continued in this connection) Separation is the will of the beloved else how would you perceive me as Other? It is my will that we be separated. For the soul separated from its original state of unity by its fall from the material world, the path of return necessitates the death of the conscious self or ego-annihilation. This is only attained in life when the individual becomes a passive vessel, emptied of self, to be used for the expression of the Divine Will. This is unity. This the ego fears, and so the Seeker may only pray: Not my will, but Thine be done.

After this we began having regular talks.

Me: Hermes, why did you appear to my mother in that particular form?

(I was referring to a story my mother had told me about a man dressed in long robes with a pointed hat who came to warn her of her impending death. From her description I identified him with Hermes Trismegistus.)

Hermes: I always appear to the person in the form in which I will be the most credible. In the Middle Ages I appeared as a skeleton wrapped in a black cape.

Me: You actually appeared in that form?

Hermes: Certainly!

Me: Good God!

Hermes: That may well be the case, but such goodness really has nothing to do with this situation. (He pranced as a child might when it had gotten the best of someone in a word game) During the time of the Greeks, I appeared as you see me now (image of a Greek runner). Earlier (vainly), I had a full beard.

Me: Yes, and before that you were a pile of rocks (referring to rocks piled where 3 roads meet as places sacred to Hermes.)

I foolishly thought I could play games too, but at this I felt like my head exploded. I saw all kinds of lights and thought I was blinded. It was like an electric shock. This was only momentary however.

Hermes: You better smile when you say that.

In other words, I was to understand that with the shadows of the ancient gods there can be no vulgar intimacy.

And, from yet another conversation:

Me: You are the Guide of Souls to the Underworld. Tell me something about the afterlife.”

Hermes: You must know the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden-how they were driven from Paradise because they began eating of the fruits of various kinds of knowledge. One of the primary functions of all the gods is to prevent mankind from finding out whence he came and whither he will go. Yahveh’s prohibition.

Me: Do you mean to tell me that the story you taught the Greeks about the Underworld is a lie?

Hermes: Not a lie but a metaphor. How could man accomplish his purposes here on earth if he did not fear death? Why even gather food if he did not fear starvation? All man’s accomplishments are based on the fear of death, and the more he fears it, the more he accomplishes. What the Greeks had to fear was nothing to the hellfire feared by the Puritans, and they created the basis for the greatest technological civilization the world has ever seen.

Me: But it was you, Hermes, who taught me that death is not to be feared.

Hermes: (Seriously) Odysseus was given his glimpse of the Underworld only after he left Troy on his way home. Only after the ripples have cleared on the surface can one see into the depths.

Me: But he had not really finished fighting. He had one more serious battle to fight.

Hermes: Now we have arrived at the point. This is a struggle which many do not make but everyone should. This is the struggle to be reunited with one’s own soul which one had to abandon in youth in order to fight battles in the world. Unlike the Trojan War, which involved men against men, and gods against gods, in this struggle one can have the help of any god one calls upon. That is why I am here, to help you in this attempt if you wish to make it. I have not come to take you across the line but to help you reclaim your soul, which like Penelope has been waiting all these years. You must first eliminate the suitors.

Me: That raises a question which has been bothering me. Even while teaching I never really realized who the suitors were. What do they actually represent?

Hermes: Look at what they were doing. They were eating, drinking, and whoring, and most importantly, were wasting the substance of Odysseus. They represent the excesses which one indulges in youth, and the physical strength and aggression which one needs to fight the battles of youth, but which prevent you from becoming one with yourself (as Odysseus with Penelope). Those who are old without having made the struggle with the suitors become imperious and ego-ridden, fighting the battles of youth with weapons which have become shadows, becoming ridiculous and even contemptible. It is only by eliminating those characteristics that one achieves the wisdom and serenity which ought to be associated with age.

At this, Hermes slowly walked away, leaving me in tears.

I was to learn more from him about the after life through an archetypal dream. I was concerned about his not being able to accompany me through the bardo after death, for I let him know that although I was not afraid of death, I was afraid of being lost, wandering around in semi-consciousness not knowing where I was. So in a dream he met me and led me to the opening of a great cave which was faced with a great wrought iron gate, closed. In front of it stood a young man dressed in Greek style like Hermes, but he was dark more like Dionysus is usually pictured. Hermes left me in his company and this person told me that he was the one who would take me through this gate, but that when the time came I would first have to remove my garments (you must shed the ego and the persona which cannot be taken with you). I felt embarrassed at the idea not realizing that he was speaking metaphorically (seems to be true of all my dreams and visions). He then said: I too shall remove my garments and you will then know me for who I am.” At that the dream ended.

We shall now turn to the last conversation in Ibiza where he tells me I should go home. He appeared without being called, and sat on a log, motioning me to sit down. Then he put down his caduceus.

Hermes: I am the guide of souls and I must teach you a lesson which is of the utmost importance for the rest of your life. I as guide am like you as teacher, and the highest and best function of both is to make the personal presence unnecessary in life. It has been quite apparent that both of you have realized the spiritual nature of your journey, that it is a transition to the next stage of life as well as a closer knitting of your relationship. If you think about it you will realize that that purpose has now been achieved. You have sought my guidance, received it, and, up to now, profited from it. It is now necessary, in this stage, to acquire the wisdom which ought to go with age. Many do not, but it is absolutely essential for you if you wish to lead a fulfilled long life from this point on. You already have the tools, but you must still learn to perceive the patterns in seemingly unrelated events and processes within and around you. Synchronous events are not only relationships between external events, but events which demonstrate the unity of all processes and events both internal and external. True wisdom is the ability to perceive the unity of the pattern of all events and processes in the world. Of course, no human can perceive it in its entirety, but it is a goal worth striving for, and you must also act on this knowledge. This may seem rather abstract, but I can give you an example. I have already mentioned the fact that you have made the transition and have now entered a new stage. You will now see a new series of events patterning themselves which will continue to increase unless you attend to them, and if you do attend to them, may diminish and be replaced by another pattern. You both have residual colds and coughs. Just yesterday you received a letter, an external event, mentioning the serious illness of people whom you know. This reinforces the internal events. Soon you will experience other events which will reinforce the pattern still further. You see, the gods speak to you all the time, not just as I am now, but their voices can be heard in the overall patterning of events and processes, internal and external. Listen to them. It is apparent (he picks up his caduceus) that the pattern you are entering is one concerning health (hence the caduceus). You previously asked for some time in your new home. I implied in my answer that it is up to you as much as to the gods. This unfolding pattern may be taken as a warning. Since the journey has now accomplished its prime purpose, and this unfolding pattern is making itself known, you better hie yourself back to your medical friends in California without wasting too much time.

Here he refers to synchronous events, which were weaving together the internal and external events and processes in my life. I found a doctor who healed a long time back problem and a therapist who healed my relationship with Medea. She is now living, not in a dank cave, but in a charming country house and has become much more supportive.

Hermes spoke of the body and illness (his symbol, the caduceus, is still used today as a medical symbol) and, from that point on, he used words less and medical symptoms more in communicating with me. I had to learn that the body is actually a metaphor for the spirit. I learned this when in an initiatory vision, during which I was torn into four pieces by four dogs, each seizing one quarter of my body and carrying it off. I was left with no body at all, so when I complained to Hermes that I didn’t know where I was, he replied:

Hermes: If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are. Who are you? Think about that!

I have been thinking about that ever since. I cannot tell you that I was standing in one place without a body because what was it that was standing there? Am I a metaphor? If I still existed without a body, what was it that existed? As the goddess said, if you can conceive of it, it exists.

Discovering I had colon cancer I had decided to retire. Six months later the cancer was gone. It was the decision to change my life style that apparently brought about the cure, or else the caduceus was already active. Thus, I had been able to go to Europe without concern.

Shortly after moving into my new home the conversations began again:

Me: It’s been a long time.

Hermes: For you, perhaps.

Me: As Hermes Trismegistus, you have spoken of reincarnation. Would you tell me what aspect, if any, of the ego survives the death of the body?

Hermes: The ego is important for the development of conscious awareness of one’s identity as separate from the world, but for little else. Just as the physical body reaches its greatest individuality of form at early maturity and then loses it gradually (except for the face) in later life, so does one’s need for the ego’s gift of individuality increase and then decline. The awareness of oneself as a unique individual and one’s success in dealing with the environment as a separate identity are an important phase in psychological and spiritual development, but later one comes to realize that by enriching the ego, the individual, one has enriched the Whole, and that there is no distinction between the two. At this point, the need for the ego falls away. But this invariably takes many lifetimes. The ego each time is new, but that does not mean we must start over at each birth. Each person is enriched by the progress made in previous stages.

Me: Well, if the ego dies, what about those children who show their parents where they lived in a previous life?

Hermes: That occurs only with the deaths of children who reincarnated so rapidly that they have not drunk of the Well of Lethe. There are also highly developed people who can go deeply into the personal unconscious and remember previous lives. There are also those who have done this in altered states of consciousness (although perhaps not remembering it later). This in itself demonstrates that nothing important is lost simply because it is not known to the ego. Consciousness is not well understood. As you know, many psychologists even deny its existence. Personal consciousness is related to the ego and dies with it, yet as I said a moment ago, progress made is not lost simply because one is endowed with a new but embryonic ego at birth. As you have recently been reading (Rupert Sheldrake), once a step is taken, it is easier for others to take. The implications of this are only now becoming known. It is true that consciousness is not energy in the way that magnetism and heat are, but it is analogous; the more people who have learned how to do something, the easier it is for others to learn it, even though there is no discernible connection between them. Objects can be moved and phenomena created by will or intention; it soon becomes more common. UFO’s are an example of this. You will soon hear of a formation on the surface of the planet Mars which baffles many scientists since it appears to be man-made. With centuries of human projections onto the Earth’s nearest neighbor as a likely home for intelligent life, it is only natural that it should come to appear so.

Later I wanted to thank Hermes for a very successful slide lecture series on “Myth As Metaphor” that I had started in my home. I followed the early ritual and went to the forest glade. I found him prancing about with a self-satisfied grin. Is he also my inner child?

Hermes: You had a great success, didn’t you?

Me: Yes, but I wanted to thank you. (He continued prancing and it became a kind of dance. I took his hands and we danced about in an active dance. This was the first time I had moved to touch him).

Hermes: If you’re thirsty have some water.

(I went to the pool wondering whether to fill my hands and drink or dip my face in the pool and get my head wet, which would be OK. He stood by the pool, arms akimbo, watching me as I bent down to drink. To my great surprise I saw that my reflection was beardless, and although vague, was similar to my face in youth.)

Hermes: Did you get tired dancing?

Me: Of course not. I wasn’t using my body.

Hermes: When you danced in your youth, you didn’t get tired either, but your present body does. So you need another body to continue the dance. — That is why I am here. That is why you are here!

I ended that conversation with goose pimples.

Some of you may feel that this phenomenon I have been describing is similar in some respects to channeling. Perhaps it is, and this raises the question as its validity. Why do channeled entities differ so widely? Is it because the spirits being channeled are individual, and therefore their messages will differ? What is revealed in active imagination, as opposed to channeling, will be shaped by one’s ego because the ego is active, whereas in channeling it is completely passive and the spirit will then form the message without the ego’s influence, and the message will be comparatively impersonal as a result. Where then does the truth lie? What is true for each individual is often simply that which facilitates self-expression, self-fulfillment, and discovering authenticity, and that may vary greatly from person to person. Therefore I make no claims to universality, but am simply attempting to give examples of how enriching to the soul such techniques can be.

I would like to conclude with a bit about what my communications with Hermes have been like recently so that you can know that things like this never remain the same for long.

First of all, Hermes discovered through experiences I brought up earlier, that he could communicate his messages most readily through the body-that is, with symptoms. I found myself getting flu frequently, something I had never had before. In a dream, I found out that Hermes was becoming frustrated by my ability to simply turn them off with homeopathy. This apparently annoyed Hermes as I found out on a Thursday night when I awoke with full flu symptoms and decided to go to my homeopath the next day. I then fell asleep and Hermes came in a dream and asked me how I got over the flu so easily. I told him it only works if I get sick between Wed. and Saturday as that is when the doctor is available. He immediately said, “Excuse me, I’ve got to arrange something” and left. Little did I know that this was the Trickster in action, for I thought, “Great, he’s going to heal me himself.” The next morning, Friday, all symptoms were gone, and I thought, “Hermes has done it! He cured my flu!” Saturday afternoon, when when my doctor wouldn’t be available for four days, I came down with the worst case of the flu I’ve ever had. I then knew the meaning of the word Trickster. But, because I had learned so much about Hermes in this exchange, I actually looked upon the experience as positive.

I realized that when I was working on my path, I was relatively symptom-free. If I lazed off, I got sick. In this way, I did not feel symptoms were negative. It was then I heard a voice sound over the radio, which was not turned on. It said very clearly,

“How can I bring you sorrow, if you accept it as blessing?”

Since then, I have not had the flu, although I get minor chronic ailments, seemingly associated with age (82), but they still become less difficult when I pay attention to him.

The last point has to do with an extraordinary message I received which has been verified several times, once with a scientific work. That was an interruption to a dream in which Hermes suddenly appeared standing next to a woman and said clearly,

“You don’t have to know, all you need to do is ask.”

Immediately they disappeared and the previous dream resumed. From this point on, all kinds of things have happened to verify this statement. I was told of a book which verifies this for anyone who wishes to practice it: Power vs. Force by David Hawkins. The first attempt I made to bring Hermes’ statement into practice occurred when I told him I wanted to find out how the ancients thought; not what they thought, but how. A few days later, a friend showed up at my door, unannounced, with a set of books on that very subject.

Books, however, are not always necessary, as a dream showed during this process. In my dream I was a professor of history at a college where I was showing one of my students how to use the library for research. We went into the library which seemed old and little used. The shelves were only partially filled and the books were old, their pages flaking, and some were unreadable. I took from the shelf a book, which I had found very useful in college, to show the student (I still have a copy) and, although it was in relatively good condition, the covers were bent like a soft cover. I then left him and went downstairs where I believed more useful books could be found. The staircase was very wide, but the steps were narrow so one could not get an entire foot on them. I descended many flights to get well below the surface of the earth, and entered a large room at the bottom with almost no furniture and only a few books. But this was, I knew, where true knowledge could be obtained. I believe I was being told that books were useful for me to obtain factual material and basic data, but one had to go deeper than that for actual knowledge. Active Imagination has been, for me, the way to go deeper.

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4 Comments on “Conversations with the Daimon: Imagination Is Reality”

  1. marygreer Says:

    These words of Hermes are inspiring and so much in accord with what I’ve learned from my studies of tarot—the Book of Thoth (Hermes). I look forward to reading all the things you and Hermes have in store for us in this blog.

  2. Christine Irving Says:

    Beautifully articulated demonstration of what the an act of creative imagination entails.
    Thank you. I particularly like the description of the ego falling away as a natural attribute of doing the work of indivuation, paying attention and coming into compassion. It makes so much more sense to me than attempting- trying hard to dismantal the ego deliberately and fiercely.


  3. Jack Meier is one of those rare elders who has both the gift of articulate description and the gift of being connected tangibly and clearly with that force referred to as “God” or “the Gods.” He has carefully tread a path of description that is not confined by the jargon of any particular religion, yet refers to myths that guided the lives of the ancient peoples, the ancestors of Western civilization.

    His message is a timely account of the eternal perennial wisdom of all traditions, ever renewed when one strives to contact and live the gifts of interface with that which is beyond the material.

    Jack continues to enter into the realm of soul where he becomes “transparent to the transcendent,” as stated by one of his important teachers, Joseph Campbell. He is a person who is slowly fading away as the experience of becoming spirit teaches him the freedom that comes with release into Beingness vs Doingness.

  4. davidhaight Says:

    As always the TRUTH sings! We ignore our inner voice/Daimon at our peril. No matter how we attempt to escape our personal truth we have an eternity before us!Forget all the escapes and compulsive addictions — you are trapped in eternity. . . GOODY! Oh? well, just look about you at the cycle of life ever repeating. How arrogant of us to think this is “it” when we cross the threshold of Death. It’s only a doorway to something new.


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