Do you, too, have an inner Tyrant, a hypercritical judge who monitors your every word and action, and tells you what’s wrong with you? I do. He ruled my inner world for many years. Sometimes he was just mean and bossy but most of his attacks were damaging, convincing me I was pretty stupid and my efforts worthless.
For a long time, I thought he was the voice of my conscience, my better self, so if I didn’t obey him, I’d be “in the wrong.” But when my marriage fell apart and I had to fend for myself and my three children, the physical and mental distress he inflicted on me were too much to bear. I sought help through a Jungian exercise called Active Imagination, a psychological experiment that attempts to bridge communication between our conscious selves and the unconscious world within. It offered me a path to a more positive relationship with him and with other inner personas I discovered along the way. In other words, with myself.
Taming Your Inner Tyrant describes my experiences with psychiatrist C. G. Jung’s “active imagination” exercise, in which I dialogued with my intrusive inner critics over many years and gradually found relief from both physical and psychic pain. Now that Jung’s Red Book has been published, hailed by the New York Times as “the Holy Grail of the Unconscious,” there’s increasing excitement about this mysterious process. Yet a book about it written by a non-psychotherapist is very rare, if not unique. That’s why I offer my imaginal adventure, with an eye to helping others undertake a similar journey. Each chapter ends with experiments the reader can make, to learn more about his or her personal inner tyrants.
Taming Your Inner Tyrant is dedicated to G. I. Gurdjieff, who first called my attention to our Inner Tyrant and the many little ‘i’s, or personas, that move us, unaware; to Jeanne de Salzmann, who lit my path toward the development of consciousness; and to C. G. Jung and Marion Woodman, who helped me discover what I had long undervalued in myself.
Visit the website for Taming Your Inner Tyrant here.