To Dr. S.

Dear Colleague, 28 January 1935

Your question about dreams relates to the little explored problem of the attitude of the dreamer to what is dreamt.

There are various levels of realization, different degrees of intensity and enfeeblement of the dream experience.

So far as I can judge, it seems that a certain degree of waking consciousness is correlated with an inner distance from the dream event; in other words, when I am on the point of awaking from a dream, this expresses itself in a kind of pushing away of the dream experience, so that it looks as if someone else were experiencing the dream and I were getting only a report of it.

Conversely, it very often happens that at the beginning of a dream one merely experiences something like a cinema show, or that one knows something has been said earlier, or that one has maintained an opinion, and that only with deeper sleep does one enter into the real action as an active protagonist.

Then, suddenly, one is in the dream.

I would be very chary of the assumption of “make-believe.”

I have good reasons for doubting whether there is such a thing in dreams at all.

With best regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 185-186