Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940 (Philemon Foundation Series Book 7)

We apply a structure to the dream that corresponds to the pattern of a drama.

We distinguish four elements: the introduction often specifies place and time, as well as the actors (dramatis personae) of the dream action.

There follows the exposition, which unfolds the problem of the dream.

It contains, so to speak, the theme, or maybe the question posed by the unconscious.

From this arises the peripeteia: the dream action leads to increasing complexity, until it reaches a climax and changes—sometimes in the form of a catastrophe.

Finally, the lysis gives a solution or the result of the dream. Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams, Page 236.

You always have to imagine a dream as like a conversation you overhear on the radio or the phone.

Somebody says something, you hear a sentence of conversation, then the conversation breaks off again, and now you should reconstruct what had been said.

That’s how you should think of dreams.

It is always a “listening in.” You just overhear something for a moment. Something becomes clear subliminally.

You wake up with a sentence on your lips, but perhaps you’ve even forgotten the dream, too. Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Page 359.

This is the secret of dreams—that we do not dream, but rather we are dreamt. We are the object of the dream, not its maker.
The French say: “Faire un rêve.” [To make a dream.] This is wrong.
The dream is dreamed to us.

We are the objects.

We simply find ourselves put into a situation.

If a fatal destiny is awaiting us, we are already seized by what will lead us to this destiny in the dream, in the same way it will
overcome us in reality. Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams, Page 159.

Childhood dreams still remembered by adults are not just any dreams, but have been preserved by memory because they completely contain human life in either longer or shorter periods.

When we have a cursory glance at such a dream, at first we do not understand why it has been remembered.

If we are able to trace it back, however, we can in most cases find clues as to why it has gained such impor- tance.

If things have made a deep impression on us in childhood, we may assume that something highly important lies within what impressed us as such, or that a very important event happened in the neighbourhood of what we kept in our memory, something which is meaningful for the whole later course of life. Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Page 136.

Children also contain a future personality within themselves, the being that they will be in the following years.

The experiences of the coming years are, so to speak, there already, but only unconsciously, as they have not yet been made.

The children already live in a tomorrow, only they are not aware of it.

This figure exists in potential, naturally in a projected form. Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Page 50