Inner work : using dreams and active imagination for personal growth

by Robert A. Johnson

Book, 1986



Call number


Call number



San Francisco : Harper & Row, c1986.

Original publication date


Physical description

221 p.; 22 cm

Local notes

From Robert A. Johnson, the bestselling author of Transformation, Owning Your Own Shadow, and the groundbreaking works He, She, and We, comes a practical four-step approach to using dreams and the imagination for a journey of inner transformation. In Inner Work, the renowned Jungian analyst offers a powerful and direct way to approach the inner world of the unconscious, often resulting in a central transformative experience. A repackaged classic by a major name in the field, Robert Johnson’s Inner Work enables us to find extraordinary strengths and resources in the hidden depths of our own subconscious.

User reviews

LibraryThing member bogartmc
""The conscious mind is but a cork bobbing on the sea of the unconscious mind."
"It is through dreams that the unconscious mind speaks to the conscious mind."
If those quotes hit you hard, then this book is most definitely for you.

"Inner Work" is by far the best "do it yourself" dream analysis book
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extant. No image dictionaries, no rules that apply to all situations. no guides to symbols... as it should be. We are as different on the inside as we are on the outside.

Johnson is widely regarded by Jungian analysts as a master of dream work and active imagination. Since I started this book my life has changed enormously. Dreams are no longer just video dumps of the day's activity mixed with meaningless images and symbols; they are masterpieces of symbolic communication.

Make no mistakes, the work you will do as a result of reading this book is hard work that requires much moral courage. If you have that and the discipline to do the work, you will be richly rewarded: your life will change for the better. You will grow, you will integrate the unconscious with the conscious, and you will live a more fulfilling life than you otherwise could ever have lived. And as Steven Forrest, the eminent astrologer says, "integration is the key."

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LibraryThing member ElizabethAndrew
Just excellent. Why did it take me so long to find this book? I've always admired Robert Johnson's memoir, BALANCING HEAVEN AND EARTH. This text should be required reading for anyone working with dreams or the imagination as part of their spiritual journey.

"In fact, no one "makes up" anything in
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the imagination. The material that appears in the imagination has to originate in the unconscious. .... Imagination is a TRANSFORMER that converts the invisible material into images the conscious mind can perceive."

"Our isolation from the unconscious is synonymous with our isolation from our souls, from the life of the spirit. It results in the loss of our religious life, for it is in the unconscious that we find our individual conception of God and experience our deities. The religious function—this inborn demand for meaning and inner experience—is cut off with the rest of the inner life. … If we don’t go to the spirit, the spirit comes to us as neurosis."
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LibraryThing member CenterPointMN
Johnson brings his considerable skills as a therapist and teacher to this clear and easy to read guide. Through a practical four-step approach, he shouws how we can transform our dreams and imagination into an active, creative part of our lives. Johnson calls his techniques "inner work" becuase
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they are direct powerful ways of approaching the inner world of the unconscious. by using dreams drawn from real case studies, he guides us through a simple program for analyzing our own dreams.
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