Some years ago I had a series of what I call narrative dreams ~ stories that unfold in my head, sometimes whilst I'm asleep but also often repeated during day dreaming moments. My narrative dreams combine elements of watching something, as if on a TV screen, with elements of hearing a story being told by some unseen presence. Some of these narratives are somewhat obscure and a bit boring (there's one frequently repeated one about a teenage lad in America from a zealously fundamentalist family who converts to paganism, to much consternation, and I usually return to consciousness round about the point when his parents have burnt all his "unholy" books and redecorated his room in a manner they deem wholesome) and some have more potential, such as the plot for my sixth book which I'm not repeating here yet!
I think it may be an endemic thing to storytellers, that we keep drifting in to other peoples lives... or maybe it's just that my life is a bit boring so I keep prying into imaginary lives. Anyway, back to the dreams of a few years ago ~ an unwritten episode of Doctor Who kept playing itself over and over in my head. This episode involved a number of elements, but primary amongst them was a group of humans who had come to trust a race of benevolent angelic beings who were eventually revealed to be murderous robots being controlled by something deeply nasty hiding off stage. Low and behold, about 18 months after I started having these dreams there screened a Doctor Who episode called "Voyage of the Damned" featuring killer robot angels in the thrall of an unseen villain menacing helpless humans. None of the other elements in the show (the Titanic, the conker-faced alien etc.) appeared in my dream. I had never told anyone about my recurrent story-dream, so in no way am I suggesting that anyone nicked my idea.
What I'm considering is something far more interesting. Whilst I do not subscribe to all of Jung's ideas, by any degree, nonetheless the notion of a collective human unconscious (or more likely one that interlinks upon all sapient species) is viable. The biological mechanism by which such a thing could exist is beyond my capacity to explain, so I'll briefly hide behind some of The Doctor's own hugger-mugger and mutter some nonsense about morphic fields.
I have written elsewhere about the Classical notion (echoed, I believe, in many other cultures) of daimones as entities, good and bad, that embody a single intense emotive sensation and effectively grow by inspiring humans and other beings to exhibit their emotive note. Archetypes have also been written about endlessly by numerous authors and researchers, so I wont echo any of those ideas.  I wonder if the collective unconscious is also home to what might be thought of a sort of aisling, a potent visual image that craves manifestation and floats about alighting on dozens of minds until eventually it finds one that will not merely be aware of it (as I was) but transform it into a TV script, book, poem or whatever. Musicians might be able to relate to such a concept but instead of a visual image consider there to be preformed musical "visions" (echoes?) in search of a capable ear to make them into symphonies, songs, operettas etc. Likewise there may be concepts in search of an artist's canvas, a sculptor's chisel and so forth.
I'm not referring to the intense emotional forces of the daimones or to the complexity of archetypes, but something more like a fragment that forms the keystone of a larger piece. The image of a murderous robot angel (did I just actually write that... how do I get away with this crap?) could have found life in any of two dozen different ways... my plot, the one that Russell T Davies came up with, the one that someone in the arse end of Ohio was thinking about writing etc... but life it wanted and life it found.


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