Lucid Improvisations

Explore New Ground In Imagination

Bringing Compassionate Interaction to Light

An Introduction To

Empathy Imaging In Action

illustrated by

“I’ll Teach You A Lesson,”

A Serial Drama In Progress


Janet K Bloom, M.F.A.,

Certified  Eidetic  Imaging  Trainer

Rolling With It

    I open my forthcoming book, Soul Progressions:

    Harmoniously Releasing Ourselves From What Got Into Us,

    with the following introduction to eidetic (eye-deht'-ic)



During Step Into Liquid, said to be “the best surfing movie ever made,” I saw wave after wave coming in, six inch waves, sixty-six foot waves; and I saw man after man, woman after woman, child after child paddling out to a wave, riding in on it, jumping up onto their surfboards, and somehow, mysteriously, diving into the barrel, the tube of the wave, and skiing their way along the front of the inside of the barrel as the crest came crashing down around them, surfboarding their way out of it, only to rise to the height of another rolling crest and stand there, flying on it.

Following a surfer coming along out of the tube, again and again a wave rose in front of the camera and the whole drama went down, disappearing behind that dark wave, only to rise brightly into view and play out in a newly exciting way.

I felt thrillingly at home watching this. I was in my element. It seemed so like eidetic imaging, through which you see and surf the waves of bodymind consciousness, riding on the inner motion pictures that put you on your toes and through your paces.

Eidetic images roll you into – and clear of – your most formidable challenges. You don’t sit around talking about them. You go through them to get out of them. You get to know and understand their ups and downs in your bones, in your heart, on your skin, at your fingertips.

You see your way clear through intricacies that may have long been befuddling or mind-boggling. You see your confusions and shynesses play their drama out for good. With practice, over time, you find yourself, body and soul, in an infinite progression, gaining ever greater clarity in an infinitely dynamic and fascinating realm, discovering new shores.

As with surfing, every wave in bodymind consciousness has a different wrinkle in it. Through practicing eidetic imaging you are increasingly tuned to deal with each new wrinkle more gracefully.


Rolling With It, preface

Lucid Improvisations: Part I

An Overview


Restoring Playground Pride And Joy

Interacting With Our Inner Lights

A New Experience:  Empathy In Action

Gaining Confidence

Discovering Our Inner Support System Of Energies

Reunion With Creation

The Healing Function Of Originality

Outgrowing What's Holding Us Back

Noticing The Disconnect

Restoring Our Connections

Soul Tone

Transformational Action

The Beauty Of It Is Practical

A Vast New Source Of Inspiration

Lucid Improvisations: Part II

"The play's the thing ... "


Lucid Improvisations In Progress, Take 1

"I'll Teach You A Lesson!"

Seeing Teachers as Pillars of Strength and Calm

Regaining Presence Of Mind

Results: Passing It On

Gaining Command Through Realizing One’s True Substance

Lucid Improvisations In Progress, Take 2: Two Weeks Later

“I’m Glad I Have Feelings”

Looming Large

Finding My Center Of Operations

Lucid Improvisations: Part III

A Socially Creative Art Form

Composing Our Lives

Discovering Centering

An Art Of Conduct

Lucid Improvisations Flier

Lucid Improvisations: Part I

An Overview


"Mira!" "Look!" "Daddy!" "Mommy!" "Look at me!" "See what I can do!"

Playgrounds in any neighborhood resound with the pleas of children passionately wanting to be seen for all they can do, especially for their latest feat. Their cries invoke the miracle of admiration, as well as the miracle of mirroring in our eyes, which enjoy nothing more than the thrill of seeing an action well done.

When our good nature has not been overcome, whole neighborhoods reverberate with children’s ambitions, and with the pride and joy of accomplishment these ambitions bring, both to the children performing their feats and to those rooting for them. When the enjoyment and fresh air of the happy playground recedes in consciousness these good spirited ambitions go underground.

“Unless the playful is allowed to emerge, the old becomes tyrannical and proceeds to kill the new in human civilization,” says Dr. Akhter Ahsen, my mentor, the founder of Image Psychology, in an article on the literary technique of consciousness in the scientific Journal Of Mental Imagery he has edited since 1977. Ahsen’s research on imagery over the last fifty years gives us direct access to the playgrounds on our mind which we can go to whenever we need to feel the pride and joy of action and hopeful ambition circulating through our veins.

We arrive at these playgrounds by looking within ourselves and concentrating carefully on the inner motion pictures scientifically known as eidetics, which Ahsen defines as ISMs, Images always involving Somatic – physical and emotional – responses with Meaning. These newly distinguished images bring to light the many good spaces hidden away in our imaginations that have the power to rejuvenate our bodies and souls, and inspire us to act in the best of spirits.

Restoring Playground Pride And Joy

Trained by Dr. Ahsen, I have been showing people how to find and explore these playgrounds within themselves for over twenty-five years. Wherever I am teaching – in third grade, in prison, in the stroke ward, in environmental, senior, therapeutic or art centers – my students enjoy getting into the action on their playgrounds, getting back in touch with exciting early energies they thought they’d left behind, and discovering the beneficial energies they receive, and bring out in others, through sharing eidetic imaging.

Many people sideline imagination, thinking they don’t have any, or even that we can do without it, mistakenly believing that imagination is only fantasy, silly, frivolous, pretend, unreal. Ahsen's approach lets us realize that imagination is often more real than reality in its influence on our daily lives. As a result of his research people of all sorts can see, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that our imaginations are our central powerhouses and our guides. The fascinating new imaging instructions Ahsen keeps developing, which let us look directly into the operation of our imaginations, open our eyes to how certain images shape our lives and why we're lost without knowing how to work in alliance with them.

Interacting With Our Inner Lights

In Psycheye, Self Analytic Consciousness, Dr. Ahsen presents a friendly and fascinating way of discovering our inner lights in Positive Groups devoted to eidetic empathy imaging. Following simple steps for concentrating on the inner motion pictures that move us, participants evoke an infinitely rich array of deep, dramatically clear, and mutually transformational experiences. Expressing their own inner motion pictures in speech, movement, drawing and sound, they also step into enacting each other's characters and scenes. In the process, they become increasingly aware of our newfound ability to see exactly where other people are coming from through being able to see ourselves far more deeply and clearly than we thought possible. While experiencing dramatic reasons for honoring the commandment "Know thyself," they are enjoying fulfilling it.

Being informed by Ahsen’s sensibility as a playwright, poet, painter and spiritual scholar as well as an experimental psychologist and clinician, this empathy imaging process lets us see ourselves through the eyes of the creator in us who has an eye for beauty and suspense, for what’s fascinating and what’s new in us, bypassing our same old stories. While centering on sharing our animating inner motion pictures, participants discover the vast extent to which eidetics direct our lives, shaping our performance in every realm of living, as well as the extent to which we can now use them to illuminate and redirect us.

In my development of Lucid Improvisations, I follow Ahsen’s procedure for empathy imaging, and, in addition, ask participants to stand up and get into the action of their own and each other’s eidetic images. This puts people in play on each other’s grounds. Two or more people animatedly enact the inner motion pictures that are currently playing in front of their mind’s eyes. These images come to them of their own accord in response to the image selected and presented for concentration, as you will see in “I’ll Teach You A Lesson,” a Lucid Improvisation described in detail in Part II of this essay. Lucid improvisors are seeing on their feet, sharing their experience of their inner vision verbally as well as with demonstrative movements.

Just as putting a smile on one’s face can change one’s state of mind for the better, so taking a stand, and getting into the action of one's images, frees up one’s powers of expression and releases better energies. As eidetic energies go into play, lucid improvisors see how the intrinsic beneficence of these images can be relied on to bring out everyone’s good spirits, since they keep showing everyone to happier and happier conclusions.

As inhibiting influences take a back seat, all members of a Lucid Improvisations ensemble become increasingly sensitive to the subtle meanings of their own sensations, which gives them an increasingly strong and clear sense of their own substance. Getting in touch with the subtle forcefulness of their inner resources, they develop an acuity of self-and other awareness that gives them growing confidence in themselves and their interactions. They can see, in action, the gifts and powers they and their fellows have in them to work with. The ever-reliable, and right-on insights that shine out during these interactions keep taking lucid improvisors to fresh sources of powerful and distinctive material that is as useful for perfecting personal and professional performance as it is for composing works of art.

A New Experience:  Empathy In Action

When shared at length, using Ahsen's approach, the most brilliant images that actually illuminate our inside stories give us a new experience of empathy that is as clarifying as it is purifying to our heads, hearts and souls. Participants in Lucid Improvisations put this new experience of empathy into action.

The vast range of our capacity for empathy starts coming clear to us as we sense the extent to which we become what we see, becoming wavy looking at a wave, for instance, or standing tall with a tree. This new understanding takes us beyond thinking that “all the world’s a stage,” letting us realize that the energies of the world we are used to seeing outside of ourselves have an equally strong, or even stronger, presence within us by virtue of eidetic images. Concentrating on them reveals the vast orchestra or repertoire of energies all of us have inside, and puts our fingers on the keys that put our beneficent energies in play.

Because they embody our capacity for empathy, eidetic images enable us to see and sense and clearly demonstrate what's with us. This lets us know ourselves so clearly that we far more readily bridge the gaps between ourselves and others, being able to see into them and relate to their impending reactions far more deeply and compassionately than we ever could.

In discovering the empathic capabilities that eidetic imaging revealed to him, Dr. Kent Lyon, an endocrinologist, said:

“Every time I do this it’s transformational. I now have a literal sense of a wellspring of joy that is there. ... Before I’d reinforce bad feelings;  now I can snap out of it. ... So many things all of a sudden work right.  Major issues have been very quickly addressed. I feel I can go forward with much less fear, intimidation, and sense of not belonging. It’s tremendously exhilarating. You are creating out of yourself a unique mythology. It is a tangible reality as to the essence of your own being. This is as much fun as anything I’ve ever done. I not only see more of what’s inside me, but more of what’s inside other people. It’s simple, direct, helpful, and makes me feel good.”

A person is empathic when he has an accurate sense of the impetus of another person or being. Our capacity for empathy makes art, performance, relationship and vision possible. Lucid Improvisations give us a chance to practice empathy and thus let our dim sense of others develop into true understanding that puts us on surer ground personally, socially and professionally. Through letting our inner motion pictures mingle in empathy imaging, our sense of compassion, which otherwise remains obscure, becomes dramatically clear, bringing ease, fluency and ingenuity into otherwise tight situations.

During Lucid Improvisations all members of the ensemble concentrate on one person’s presentation of their inner motion picture scene. Then each in turn contributes his empathy image. Each new empathy image sheds new light on, and prompts new growth in everyone’s take on the situation presented initially. Thus each new step is transformational all around. The ensuing action is ecological, sociological and mythological in scope, taking each individual beyond a merely personal frame of reference. This transports everyone beyond narcissism to a realm of re-creation that goes beyond education, therapy and even beyond art as we know them.

Lucid Improvisations are usually unexpectedly heroic, healing, transformational, and triumphant adventures that bring a sense of hope and real, fresh, immediate possibilities back into our lives. As I conduct an ensemble, I am calling the playground level of imagination into the forefront of each player's consciousness. In the profound, surreal, kaleidoscopic mix of dynamic, holographically related images that arises, each participant gets more closely in touch with a sense of the centering balance in our universe that provides the armature for more hopeful, easygoing and peaceful relations within and among beings. At the same time realizable views of a better future are coming into being as well.

Gaining Confidence

Just as a fisherman plays his line out, and a mechanic or repairman feels for the play in the parts he is assembling, so each one of us, with every move we make, has to have a feel for the play in our lines. When strictures in our upbringing and our education prevent us from giving ourselves this leeway, we feel and act stiff, blocked, shy, confused, inhibited or stuck. Lucid Improvisations put us onto our natural underlying fluency. They set us up to easily feel out the exact nature of the vital interplays going on in our inner lives, which we cannot get in touch with as long as we keep them cramped up and hidden away in the black box we call the unconscious. Through letting our eidetics shed light into these dark corners, we free our virtues to come out and play in the light and show off their eagerness to resolve our difficult issues. Once our self-renewing acts show up, we are delighted to discover that, instead of being embarrassing, our self-images are heroically self-correcting, each new act being an improvement over the last one!

The chief joy of Lucid Improvisations is perpetually discovering these new selves within us that reveal our ability to fulfill our ambitions. These innate capabilities fuel our dreams but often remain sat on until eidetic imaging shows us, in no uncertain terms, how we can bring them out into play. Doing so is not “just playing.” It gives us confidence simply by restoring our pride and joy in seeing what we can do, and being seen doing it.

Discovering Our Inner Support System Of Energies

As children playing on playgrounds we learn how to dance with the basic shapes energy takes in our gravitational field. We learn – by heart and feel – how to climb ladders and ropes; hang from rings and bars; slide; balance seesaws; impel and slow swings; testing and pushing the parameters of each dynamic. Rowing rowboats, we grasp the mix of oppositional forces we can dip our oars into, turning them and pulling them knowingly in order to steer in the direction we want to be going in. Watching a toy sailboat, we see how the wind steers. Thus in child’s play we learn our place in the pushes and pulls of our energy field; and see how our changes of attitude can put us in different positions and give us different outcomes and outlooks.

Lucid Improvisations give us a chance to practice developing equally clear leverage in handling not only the physical but also the mental, emotional and spiritual dynamics of our personal and interpersonal worlds. As imagers go into play sharing the wide open spaces of imagination, they are freed of the confinement and stuffiness of sitting and talking indoors.  Their images let them see human nature in play in the context of the whole wide world of nature enabling them to draw on the immense fluency of energies in our natural support system.



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