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Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940 (Philemon Foundation Series)

Professor Jung: Yes, the dream is a pure product of the prenatal psyche, and belongs, so to speak, to a virginal layer that hasn’t had any contact yet with the outer world.

In such cases the images persist in their original form.

This glass house does not correspond to any experience; otherwise, the dreamer might perhaps have rather talked of a “lantern,” and then tried to make a connection between this strange object and some known form.

Here, however, it remains completely unreal.

Even if he had once seen a pyramid, there certainly was no glass house on top.

During this winter term we will deal with some more of those abstract dreams.

The dream in which four gods rise from the four corners also comes from layers that had not been in touch with the world before.

In all these cases with such remote images, we have to consult an extremely multi-layered symbolism to reach an understanding.

Let us only add some few remarks to the exhaustive paper of Mrs. Jaffé.

It was mentioned that the glass house standing on top of the pyramid represents its center.

We also find this idea of the vessel as the center of the pyramid elsewhere, for example, in the Maya culture.

During the excavations of the great pyramid, a lime vessel was found beneath the altar inside, there where the ancient temple had stood.

It contained a wonderful work of art in the form of a mandala, made of about three thousand small turquoise stones.

It portrays four snakes aligned in such a way that they point to the four world regions.

The vessel also plays a crucial role in alchemy, where it appears in the most varied forms.

As you have heard, it can also be a glass house, the domus vitrea.

Often an old man sits in it, the senex, sweating, for the glass house is a sweat house.

In the Visio Arislei, the king’s daughter and son are imprisoned in the triple glass house under the sea.

It is unbearably hot there.

In this heat the transformation of the dead prince takes place.

To perform such transubstantiations, the alchemists often used round glass bowls, called uteri, whose roundness indicated perfection.

A beautiful parallel can be found in the Mountain Chant of the Navajo Indians.

It is a healing ceremony to which they subject themselves when they have had a bad dream, for instance, or do not feel well for some other reason.

In this ceremony, a circle of about 650 to 1,000 feet in diameter is staked out.

In the center of this circle, which represents a mandala, there is the medicine lodge with the sweat lodge66 at its side.

The latter is a little round hut built of branches and earth.

Often the rainbow goddess is drawn with colored sand on its top, leaning over the hut as over her own uterus.

The hut is heated up and the man to be healed crawls into it and starts to sweat.

Do you know of a parallel in the heroic myths?

Participant: The night sea journey in the womb of the whale.

Professor Jung: Yes, there the hero sweats so much that he loses all his hair and reemerges bald-headed, like a newborn child.

As a matter of fact, he is reborn indeed.

In India the sweating corresponds to the tapas.

This is a kind of self-brooding.

By the concentration of the soul powers on this one point, on the central point of the self, it is hatched like an egg.

One is enclosed in it oneself, as in the retort or in the uterus.

Where do we find similar ideas on transubstantiation?

Participant: In the Christian church, in the ritual of consecrating the baptismal water.

Professor Jung: Yes, this ritual of the benedictio fontis was performed on Holy Saturday.

It goes back to the seventh or eighth century and is full of mysterious things.

The regulations for this ritual are laid down in the Missale Romanum.

After certain preparations of the water, for example, separating the water in the form of a cross, exorcizing, and benediction, there follows the fertilization with the help
of the Paschal Candle.

It is thrice dipped into the baptismal font, which contains the sacral water, the third time down to the fundus, the bottom of the font.

This imparts the facultas regerandi to the baptismal water, the power to give new birth to man.

Man is reborn into a new childhood through being touched by this magic water and is completely purified.

This fertilization of the uterus ecclesia is a veritable coniunctio, because the candle represents Christ Himself, and the baptismal water the mater gratia, the Mother of Grace.

In this union the transformation of the water to the aqua permanens occurs, the eternal divine water, as it is called in alchemy. ~Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Pages 294-297.