Modern Psychology: C. G. Jung’s Lectures at the ETH Zürich, 1933-1941
It was the anticipatory quality in dreams that was first valued by antiquity and they played an important role in the ritual of many religions.
It is impossible to put the conscious before the unconscious, for the latter exists before and after consciousness.
In childhood we are still contained in it and our consciousness slowly emerges from it as islands which gradually join together and form a continent.
It is as if our consciousness were a continent, an island or even a ship on the great sea of the unconscious.
The subject of the unconscious has been occupying philosophers for some time back and there are thousands of examples on every side which show how consciousness is fed from the unconscious; we are only able to speak if ideas flow to us from the unconscious part of the psyche, which is the mother of consciousness.
So we cannot judge dreams from the conscious point of view, but can only think of them as complementary to consciousness.
Dreams answer the questions of our conscious.
It is a primeval belief that questions can be put to the Gods and answered by dreams.
We are not far from the truth, in fact we are very near to primeval truth, when we think of ourdreams as answers to questions, which we have asked and which we have notasked. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lectures, 23 November 1934
[Image courtesy of Craig Nelson]