Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940

Then the dreamer sees the pyramids.

The symbol of the pyramid we are most familiar with is that in the Egyptian cultural environment and in China.

In Egypt, the pyramids even give a great historical epoch its name, the Age of the Pyramids.

The pyramids are burial sites, tombs of the kings.

For the ancient Egyptians, however, the king was much more than merely a real figure of social life, more than a representative of foreign and domestic politics; he stands in a special relation with the gods.

He is of divine origin, successor to the god Re, who, having grown old and tired, had retired to heaven and given over the reign to the kings on earth.

Frequently the name of the god Atum or Horus was added to his own, and he is often directly referred to as the sun.

After death he becomes a god again, namely, Osiris.

There is a spatial connection between his tomb, the pyramid, and the temple in which the god is worshipped; the former is even sometimes directly addressed as Osiris.

The pyramid [ . . . ] is entirely based on the Egyptians’ ideas on life after death: man is composed of at least three parts, the body, the soul (Ba), and the Ka, a being of its own,
for whom it is hard to find a translation.

After death follows the resurrection.

It can take place only if the form of the deceased’s body has been preserved by embalming.

Ba, the soul, often rendered as a bird, has to be able to visit the embalmed body; its way goes through the tomb shaft, situated in the pyramid.

After death, the pyramid itself serves as a home for Ka.

Obviously, Ka is the most important element, an independent spiritual being who has his home in the living individual, guides him through the entire course of life, and after death continues the life, which the deceased began here on earth, in the grave.

Ka is supplied in the pyramid tombs, therefore, with all the household things that are necessary for his housekeeping after death: food and drink, personal objects, weapons, rouge-pots, mirrors, and so on, even the domestic servants who do the housekeeping for him.

For the resurrection it is also necessary that there is a portrait-like mask of the deceased in the grave.

It is either laid over the face of the corpse or is displayed, in the form of a sculpture or picture, in a special place in the burial chamber. [ . . . ]

In the Cheops Pyramid, as well as in the grave of Osiris in Abydos, another characteristic of the resurrection is stressed as important: the burial chamber is subterraneously
connected to the Nile by special channels, through which the fertilizing water of the Nile can find its way into the burial chamber in times of inundation. [ . . . ]

In China, the second cultural environment in which pyramid tombs were erected, the idea of resurrection is symbolically expressed by the choice of the grave site.

It is situated between the mountain and the valley, between heaven and earth, in the Fengshui—that is, in the most favorable geomantic position, where the sun and the
south wind can reach it—and among trees, at the roots of which water pours out of the ground.

In all ethnicities building pyramids as burial sites, there exists, according to Baumann, the idea that the process of physical centering is preceded by destruction, only after
which can the new emerge in durable forms.

So we are able to deduce death and resurrection, the destruction of the one personality and the building of a new one, from the symbol of the old pyramids. ~~Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Pages 152-154.