Jung agreed with Freud that dreams have meaning and that they should be taken seriously. He also agreed with Freud that dreams sprhig from the depths of the uncon-
Chapter 4 Jung: Analytical Psychology 125
scious and that their latent meaning is expressed in symbolic form. However, he objected to Freud's notion that nearly all dreams are wish fulfillments and that most dream symbols represent sexual urges. Jung (1964) believed that people used symbols to represent a variety of concepts—not merely sexual ones—to try to comprehend the "innumerable things beyond the range of human understanding" (p. 21). Dreams are our unconscious and spontaneous attempt to know the unknowable, to comprehend a reality that can only be expressed symbolically.
The purpose of Jungian dream interpretation is to uncover elements from the personal and collective unconscious and to integrate them into consciousness in order to facilitate the process of self-realization. The Jungian therapist must realize that dreams are often compensatory; that is, feelings and attitudes not expressed during waking life will find an outlet through the dream process. Jung believed that the natural condition of humans is to move toward completion or self-realization. Thus, if a person's conscious life is incomplete hi a certain area, then that person's unconscious self will strive to complete that condition through the dream process. For example, if the anima in a man receives no conscious development, she will express herself through dreams filled with self-realization motifs, thus balancing the man's masculine side with his feminine disposition (Jung, 1916/1960).
Jung felt that certain dreams offered proof for the existence of the collective unconscious. These dreams included big dreams, which have special meaning for all people; typical dreams, which are common to most people; and earliest dreams remembered.
In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung (1961) wrote about a big dream he had while traveling to the United States with Freud in 1909. In this dream—briefly mentioned hi our biographical sketch of Jung—Jung was living in the upper floor of a two-story house. This floor had an inhabited atmosphere, although its furnishings were somewhat old. In the dream, Jung realized that he did not know what the ground floor was like, so he decided to explore it. After descending the stairs, he noticed that all the furnishings were medieval and dated to the 15th or 16th centuries. While exploring this floor, he discovered a stone stairway that led down hito a cellar. "Descending again, I found myself hi a beautifully vaulted room which looked exceedingly ancient. ... As soon as I saw this I knew that the walls dated from Roman times" (Jung, 1961, p. 159). While exploring the floor of this cellar, Jung noticed a ring on one of the stone slabs. When he lifted it, he saw another narrow stairway leading to an ancient cave. There, he saw broken pottery, scattered animal bones, and two very old human skulls. In his own words, he had "discovered the world of the prhnitive man within myself—a world which can scarcely be reached or illuminated by consciousness" (Jung, 1961, p. 160).
Jung later accepted this dream as evidence for different levels of the psyche. The upper floor had an inhabited attnosphere and represented consciousness, the top layer of the psyche. The ground floor was the first layer of the unconscious—old but not as alien or ancient as the Roman artifacts hi the cellar, which symbolized a deeper layer of the personal unconscious. In the cave, Jung discovered two human skulls—the ones for which Freud insisted Jung harbored death wishes. Jung, however, saw these ancient human skulls as representing the depths of his collective unconscious.
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Beyond Biography Did Jung wish for the death of his wife? For insight into Jung's relationship with women and to see how one of his big dreams may have reflected a wish for his wife's death, see our website at http://www.mhhe.com/feist6
The second kind of collective dreams is the typical dreams, those that are common to most people. These dreams include archetypal figures, such as mother, father, God, devil, or wise old man. They may also touch on archetypal events, such as birth, death, separation from parents, baptism, marriage, flying, or exploring a cave. They may also include archetypal objects, such as sun, water, fish, snakes, or predatory animals.
The third category includes earliest dreams remembered. These dreams can be traced back to about age 3 or 4 and contain mythological and symbolic images and motifs that could not have reasonably been experienced by the individual child. These early childhood dreams often contain archetypal motifs and symbols such as the hero, the wise old man, the tree, the fish, and the mandala. Jung (1948/1960b) wrote of these images and motifs: "Then frequent appearance in individual case material, as well as their universal distribution, prove that the human psyche is unique and subjective or personal only in part, and for the rest is collective and objective" (p. 291).
Jung (1961) presented a vivid illustration in one of his earliest dreams, which took place before his 4th birthday. He dreamed he was in a meadow when suddenly he saw a dark rectangular hole in the ground. Fearfully, he descended a flight of stairs and at the bottom encountered a doorway with a round arch covered by a heavy green curiam. Behind the curiam was a dimly lit room with a red carpet running from the entrance to a low platform. On the platform was a throne and on the throne was an elongated object that appeared to Jung to be a large tree trunk. "It was a huge thing, reaching ahnost to the ceiling. But it was of a curious composition: It was made of skin and naked flesh, and on top there was something like a rounded head with no face and no hair. On the very top of the head was a single eye, gazing motionlessly upward" (p. 12). Filled with terror, the young boy heard his mother say, "Yes, just look at him. That is the man-eater!" This comment frightened him even more and jolted him awake.
Jung thought often about the dream, but 30 years would pass before the obvious phallus became apparent to him. An additional number of years were required before he could accept the dream as an expression of his collective unconscious rather than the product of a personal memory trace. In his own interpretation of the dream, the rectangular hole represented death; the green curiam symbolized the mystery of Earth with her green vegetation; the red carpet signified blood; and the tree, resting majestically on a throne, was the erect penis, anatomically accurate in every detail. After interpreting the dream, Jung was forced to conclude that no 3V2-year-old boy could produce such universally symbolic material solely from his own experiences. A collective unconscious, common to the species, was his explanation (Jung, 1961).
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