Dream analysis. Notes of the seminar given in 1928-1930 by C.G. Jung. Edited by William McGuire.

LECTURE VI 12 December 1928

We come now to an important part of the interpretation of this dream, namely, to your critique and the question of the historical character of the associations.

I have exposed my views about this dream quite freely and given you an opportunity to see how one may understand it.

I have given you much of the patient’s personal material and the whole atmosphere of the dream, by which I understand the historical disposition which underlies our actual mind.

The latter is often misunderstood. People say, “Why bring in the historical parallel at all? It is irrelevant and mere fantasy.”

But the historical parallel is not irrelevant, it is exceedingly important, particularly because we white people don’t realize to what extent we are the descendants, the children, of a long series of ancestors.

We like to behave as if we were just recently made, fresh from the hand of God, with no historical prejudice at all, our mind a tabula rasa at birth.

This is a peculiar projection of our minds, this wanting to be free, not held down by any background: it is a sort of illusion of our consciousness in order to have the feeling of complete freedom, as if the historical past was fettering and would not allow free movement-a prejudice which again has psychological reasons.

Our actual mind is the result of the work of thousands or perhaps a million years.

There is a long history in every sentence, every word we speak has a tremendous history, every metaphor is full of historical symbolism; they would not carry at all if that were not

Our words carry the totality of that history which was once so alive and still exists in every human being.

With every word we touch upon a historical fibre, as it were, in our fellow-beings; and therefore every word we speak strikes that chord in every other living being whenever we speak the same language.

Certain sounds count all over the earth: sounds of fear and terror, for instance, are international.

Animals understand utterances of fear of entirely different species because they have the same underlying fibre.

So we can’t possibly understand a dream if we don’t understand the atmosphere, the history of the underlying images.

There are personal problems in dreams which one may think only important for that particular case, but if one goes deeply into the structure, the speech symbolism, one enters historical layers and discovers that what seemed to be merely a personal problem goes much deeper, it reaches the analyst himself and everybody who hears it.

One can’t help bringing in the way in which our ancestors tried to express the same problem, and that leads one to historical matter.

When you are asleep in your own quiet bedroom dreaming your own private dream, what connection is there between your particular dream and the pyramids?-the two seem incommensurable.

Yet you might find a close parallel to your dream in an Egyptian text containing the same symbols.

Or you may see in a very learned book by E. A. Wallis Budge a translation of certain hieroglyphs and you think: that is Egypt and this is my dream and it is foolish to compare the two, there is nothing in common.

But the scribe who produced that text was a human being, in most respects exactly like yourself-hair, two eyes, a nose, two ears and hands, the same natural functions, he was happy, sad, loved, was born and died, and these are the main features.

Even our diseases are practically the same; a few diseases are extinct and a few are new, but on the whole there are no differences.

The main features of human life have remained the same for five or six thousand years or more, for an interminably long period.

Primitive tribes are moved by the same emotions as we are.

A peasant’s horizon is different but the main features are the same, the fundamental conceptions of life and the world are the same; and our unconscious speaks a language which is most international.

I analysed dreams of Somali Negroes as if they were people of Zurich, with the exception of certain differences of languages and images.

Where the primitives dream of crocodiles, pythons, buffaloes, and rhinoceroses, we dream of being run over by trains and automobiles.

Both have the same voice, really; our modern cities sound like a primeval forest.

What we express by the banker the Somali expresses by the python.

The surface language is different yet the underlying facts are just the same.

That is the reason why we can make historical parallels; it is not far-fetched, these things are far more alive than you would think or assume.

There is an ancient parchment written in the old Germanic language which contains an invocation to Wotan (Odin) and Baldur; it is exceedingly rare and precious, yellow with age, and it is kept under glass in a museum in Zurich.

When one reads it, one might say: “Oh, how far away; it could just as well come from the moon!”

One thinks all this has died out.

But there is a village in the Canton of Zurich where the peasants are still living by the same book, only now instead of Wotan and Baldur it is Jesus Christ and his disciples.

There is a bit of mediaeval psychology in it, but it is still the same old thing au fond.

Now, if a boy or girl from one of those families comes to the analyst and dreams of any old thing out of that book, and the analyst relates the two, people would say it was far-fetched.

But they just don’t know, and don’t want to know; they hate to think of old superstitions as still going on.

Take a gathering of fifty normal people and ask them if they are superstitious and they will swear they are not, but they would not live in house No. 13!

They are sure they are not afraid of demons, ghosts, bogies, but knock on the wall of their study and they jump, they believe in ghosts.

And they develop ideas and fantasies which are to be found only in old literature.

Or perhaps in Babylon, Mesopotamia, China, India, one finds the same material.

It all comes out of the same unconscious mind, the irrational and eternal stock, the pre-functioning collective unconscious, which repeats itself throughout the centuries, a sort of eternal, imperishable language.

Insane Negroes, very black Negroes whom I have analysed in the United States, had Greek myths in their dreams-Ixion on the wheel, for instance.

It is only illusion when you think they are far apart; the Negro has the same kind of unconscious as the one that produced those symbols in Greece or anywhere else.

Scientists like to think that symbols have migrated.

This is not true; they are quite autochthonous.

An old Babylonian symbol may be produced by a Zurich servant girl.

Those old peoples were exactly the same as we are, not even anatomically different; you can see a Neanderthal man in the street-cars of Zurich today.

We must go back fifty to sixty thousand years to find real anatomical differences in human beings.

I wanted to make all this clear because I felt that some of you did not understand why I was talking so much about the jeu de paume and the bull-fights.

This is the reason for the historical parallels.

Question: I think you said-in the Zurich seminar, 1925-that when the anima has a child, she dies.

Dr. Jung: That is only metaphorical.

It is as if a personification of the unconscious received life through certain contents, and when the personification is depleted of those contents then that particular personification collapses.

Like giving a ghost its right name-it collapses.

Question: At the Sonne we discussed the illness of the child. Was it chronic or acute?

Dr.Jung: The dream gives the answer.

You remember that the association with that child’s disease was that the sister of the dreamer had lost a child who had dysentery.

According to this association we can assume that the dream-child is ill as the sister’s actual child was ill.

There is always a parallel; the dreamer usually couches his unconscious idea in the terms of actual life or experience, as the dog dreams of bones, and the fish of fishes.

So when you analyse ~a man whose profession you don’t know, if he dreams of meat, joints, etc., you can assume that he is a butcher, or a surgeon, or a professor of anatomy.

Since that child is closely associated, we must assume that it was infected and not born ill necessarily.

The child is a symbolic expression of his new interest in occult studies, which is not necessarily wrong.

It all depends upon the attitude.

If one studies the occult with the wrong attitude one can get infected, for this whole field is full of metaphysical traps through which one can fall, disappear as into an oubliette, and became the
astrologer, the theosophist, or the black magician.

This man was in danger of becoming a theosophist.

Nothing is said directly in the dream about the duration of the illness, but we can conclude

from the parallel that it must have been pretty quick, that the occult studies did not trouble the child for long. lt is probably an acute disease which came from indigestion.

He told me he felt “peculiarly empty” after a time and threw away the books: “I became sick of it.”

Question: There is something not quite clear to me about the animus and anima. Isn’t the animus the mediator between the individual and the shadow world? Doesn’t the ego get its raw material
through the animus? Is not Faust an animus?

Dr. Jung: If we take Goethe as a human being, then one part is Faust, and the other part is the devil, the typical shadow.

Faust would be the grand, heroic, idealized personification of the conscious aspiration of Goethe, and Mephistopheles the personification of all his drawbacks and shortcomings, the negativity of his intellect, the dark part, the shadow.

That has nothing to do with animus or anima, however.

But if you dream of Goethe, then he functions as an animus figure, the personification of the unconscious Dr. Goethe in you.

You might express the situation in a picture of a woman on a mountain between two seas, light on one side and dark on the other, and out of the dark a great figure looms up, Goethe.

This is the way it looks to your imagination.

But let us go back to our diagram (page 51). The individual would be the centre of the personality.

And we would represent Goethe by the small circle on the dark unconscious side.

What is that man doing down there in the shadow world?

He is a psychological function bringing some message from the unconscious, or carrying some intention down into the unconscious.

You can ask him, and he can inform you, or you can tell him something.

He is a sort of human figure to be your mediator and messenger, a function of the personality.

On the other half of the circle appears another figure.

That is your persona or mask, how you like to appear to the world or how the world makes you appear.

The persona also gives you information.

This morning before coming here I put on my professional cloak, Dr. Jung, for the seminar.

In this I appear before you and can be more or less satisfactory to you, as I please: I am partly doing what you want or expect me to do and partly what you don’t want or like-that is my choice.

The personal unconscious is a layer of contents that could be conscious just as well; it is perfectly superfluous to have a personal unconscious, a sort of negligence.

People should not be unaware of natural facts: there is just no sense in not being aware of hunger, trouble with sex, certain relations to certain people, etc.

All these things should be conscious.

Nobody should imagine they are different from others, or that they are perfectly moral or aesthetic or any other illusion.

Such people are incapable of realizing the impersonal unconscious, quite naturally, because they are always in the dark and therefore never aware of it until the personal unconscious disappears, that is, as long as they have wrong theories, expectations, illusions, about themselves or about the world.

No one approaches the Kingdom of Heaven without having passed through the flame and been burnt through and through.

The collective unconscious is the unknown in objects.

People who have no psychological criterion assume they are always the same, but this is too big a role.

What we see of the individual is the persona.

We are all shells here, only surfaces, and we have very dim ideas of what is inside. In doing all their small tasks, most people believe that they are their masks, and thus they become neurotic.

If 1 should believe I was exactly what I am doing, it would be a terrible mistake, I would not fit that fellow.

As soon as I say that I am only playing a role for the time being to please you, I am all right.

I must know that for the time being I am playing Caesar; then later I am quite small, a mere nothing, unimportant.

So this personal crust is a ready-made function from which you can withdraw, or into which you can step at will. In the morning I can &ay “Je suis roi,” and at night “Oh, damn it all, it is all nonsense”

If people are identical with the crust, they-can do nothing but live their biography, and there is nothing immortal about them; they become neurotic and the devil gets at them.

Wagner was the great artist, the great creator; he was nailed to that cross.

When he invited friends, they had to bring the bottles; and he had to write letters to a lady in Vienna about pink silk dressing-gowns!

This persona may be a very attractive thing; if anyone chances to possess an attractive persona, he is sure to identify with it and believe he is it, and then he becomes the victim of it.

Dreams often personify the persona as a most unattractive object.

If I imagine I am what I appear to be, I would have a dream of a miserable scarecrow that symbolizes my persona.

For we are living not only in this figure and in our relations, but also in all sorts of ·ordinary ways, while we eat, sleep, dress, bathe, etc.

Wagner was not the great composer day and night: when occupied with his natural functions, he performed them in the general human way, in no way extraordinarily; if otherwise, it was a perversion and entirely wrong.

So people who are identified with their persona are forced to do amazing things behind the screen as a compensation, to pay tribute to the lower gods.

The opposite of the persona is the anima and animus.

It is exceedingly difficult to see that we have a dark side.

Of course, this is merely a diagram, it is all metaphor and figurative; it is to express the fact that when you turn to the conscious world to perform any kind of activity, you will do it through the mask or persona, through that system of adaptation you have painfully built up through a lifetime.

And then when you step out of this world, you withdraw and think you are alone with yourself, but the East says: “You forget the old man that is dwelling in your heart and sees everything.”

Then, alone, you come to the critical point, to your personal unconscious.

Extraverts, and all people who are identified with their persona, hate to be alone because they begin to see themselves.

Our own society is always the worst: when we are alone with ourselves things get very disagreeable.

When there is much personal unconscious the collective is overburdened; the things which we should be aware of seem to press down on the collective unconscious and enhance its uncanny qualities.

There is a sort of fear, a panic, which is typical of the collective unconscious: like the bush fear, a particular kind of fear which seizes you when you are alone in the bush.

It is that peculiar feeling of going astray in the bush-the most terrible thing you can imagine, people go mad in no time or you may develop the symptom of feeling yourself looked at on all sides, of eyes everywhere looking at you, eyes that you do not see.

Once, in the bush in Africa, I kept turning around in a small circle for half an hour so that my back would not be turned to the eyes which I felt were watching me-and they were there, doubtless, the eyes of a leopard perhaps.

When you come to that loneliness with yourself-when you are eternally alone-you are forced in upon yourself and are bound to become aware of your background.

And the more there is of the personal unconscious, the more the collective unconscious forces itself upon you.

If the personal unconscious is cleared up, there is no particular pressure, and you will not be terrorized; you stay alone, read, walk, smoke, and nothing happens, all is ‘just so,” you are right with the world.

But there may still be some independent activity in the collective unconscious caused through some wrong attitude in the conscious.

You are aware of your personal shortcomings, aesthetic and moral, but your conscious attitude may be somehow wrong.

For example, you may know that you are not quite trustworthy and you think:

“I should not be untrustworthy, I must deny it, I must leap into a redeemed condition: from today on I must be trustworthy, I shall never do that again, I am now redeemed.”

But it does not work and the next day you are doing the same old things.

It is the typical Christian formula:

From today on I shall never do this again.

An old Father of the Church was terribly bothered because certain holy men had sinned even after receiving baptism and being redeemed.

He concluded the baptism hadn’t been right, that something must be wrong with the ritual, and therefore people who sin again must be baptized once more, morally sterilized a second time.

But again there were certain devils who sinned.

So he gave them up as hopeless and decided that those were lost souls, making for hell!

This is the Christian idea of jumping into the kingdom of heaven in one big leap.

That is not true; this idea of sudden reform is wrong. You cannot jump out of your sin and cast all your burdens aside.

To think like that is wrong.

The whole meaning of sin is that you carry it.

What is the use of a sin if you can throw it away?

If you are thoroughly aware of your sin, you must carry it, live with it, it is yourself.

Otherwise you deny your brother, your shadow, the imperfect being in you that follows after and does everything which you are loath to do, -all the things you are too cowardly or too decent to do.

He commits the sin, and if that fellow is denied, he is pressed towards the collective unconscious and causes disturbances there.

For it is against nature, you should be in contact with your shadow, you should say: “Yes, you are my brother, I must accept you.”

You must be nice to yourself, not say to your brother, “Raca, I have nothing to do with you!”

It is a mistake to deny the shadow.

If you do, a reaction from the collective unconscious will loom up from the dark in the form of some personification.

The pious man says to himself, “No, not that!” and pushes the shadow away and is quite satisfied.

Then suddenly peculiar pictures, sexual fantasies, begin to come up into his mind from the abyss; the more pious he is the more evil are the things that befall him.

He is a sort of St. Anthony, and such a pious man would have terrible visions.

Perhaps a woman comes into his mind; that is the anima coming up, usually as a nude woman, terribly natural.

This is nature striking down a taboo, the revenge of the collective unconscious.

The collective unconscious is real, so when an anima or animus comes up, that is real.

And anyone can be the collective unconscious to anyone else; people will behave as demons would behave if they could come up out the abyss-“homo homini lupus,”s man is a wolf to man, the werewolf idea.

Even when you think you are alone and can do what you please, if you deny your shadow there will be a reaction from the mind that always is, from the man a million years old within you.

You are never alone because the eyes of the centuries watch you; you feel at once that you are in the presence of the Old Man, and you feel your historical responsibility to the centuries.

As soon as you do something which is against the age-long plan, you sin against eternal laws, against average truth, and it will not fit.

It is just as if you had eaten something that did not fit your digestive organs.

So you cannot do what you please, think what you please, because it might hurt that awareness which has the age of a million years; in a sudden way it will react.

It has many ways of reacting, and perhaps you don’t feel the immediate impact, but the more you are aware of the unconscious, the more you develop your intuitive sense of law-abiding, the more you feel when you touch the line
over which you should not go.

If you trespass, you will get a reaction either immediately or indirectly; if you have done the wrong thing, a very powerful reaction may reach you through yourself, or you may just stumble or bang your head.

You think that is merely accidental, without remembering what you have done wrong or when you have had the wrong thought.

That is simple, but there is a far more complicated way; a reaction may reach you through your fellow-beings, through waves in your surroundings.

The reaction is not only in you, it is in your whole group.

You may not react, but someone next to you or in your immediate surroundings, someone near and dear to you, your children perhaps, will react; but they will have done justice to you because you have trespassed.

Or baffling circumstances may take over the revenge.

For the collective unconscious is not a psychological function in your head, it is the shadow side of the object itself.

As our conscious personality is a part of the visible world, so our shadow side is a body in the collective unconscious, it is the unknown in things.

So everything that possibly can gets at you through the shadow.

Not all reactions reach you in the form of psychological effects but as the apparent actions of other people or circumstances.

How far these circumstances hang together is hypothesis, but the superstition of all times has claimed this hypothesis-someone has done wrong or a thing like that wouldn’t happen.

If there is evil circumstance, you are perfectly safe in assuming that there is a wrong somewhere.

In a storm at sea, for instance, one assumes that there is a wicked man on board-the general mind blames some wicked man.

It is just as if I said, “This chemical medicine won’t work, but drink this draught, and you will be well,” and it works.

It sounds like the most old-fashioned superstition, to seek the evildoer if the boat is sinking, but it is wise to assume that if things are going wrong someone has been trespassing; for that suits the unconscious and makes for the smooth running of our psychology and our digestion.

We can’t say why, it is just a fact that it is wise to think in a way that suits the Old Man; to do otherwise might suit you or your rationalism, but it takes something out of the world.

There is a Jewish legend, beautiful and shameful, of the Evil Demon of Passion.

A :very pious and wise old man, whom God – loved because he was so good, and who had meditated much about life, understood that all the evils of mankind come from the demon of passion.

So he prostrated himself before the Lord and begged him to remove the evil spirit of passion from the world, and since he was such a very pious old man, the Lord complied.

And as always when he had accomplished some great deed, the pious man was very happy, and that evening as usual he went into his beautiful rose garden to enjoy the smell of the roses.

The garden looked as it always had, but something was wrong, the perfume was not quite the same, something was missing, some substance was lacking, like a bread with no salt.

He thought he might be tired, so he took his golden cup and filled it with some wonderful old wine which he had in his cellar and which had never failed before.

But this time the taste was flat.

Then this wise man had in his harem a very beautiful young wife, and his last test was that when he kissed her she was like the wine and the perfume, flat!

So up to the roof he went again and told the Lord how sad he was, and that he was afraid he had made a mistake in asking to have the spirit of passion taken away, and he begged him: “Couldn’t you send back the Evil
Spirit of Passion?”

And as he was a very pious man God did what he asked.

Then he tested it all again, and marvellously enough, it was not flat at all-the roses had a wonderful perfume, the wine was delicious, and his wife’s kiss was sweeter than it had ever been!

That story should tell you that you take something out of the world when you trespass against the eternal laws of the Old Man, whether reasonable or not.

The world and our existence is absolutely irrational, and you never can prove that it ought to be rational.

You are perfectly safe in assuming there are certain rational considerations which we ought to reckon with; the Alps are in the centre of Europe and we must reckon with this fact-since they hinder traffic we must tunnel them.

And so our psychology is subject to certain laws which are irrational, the Alps in the centre of our psychological continent, and we have to settle down to that fact.

Otherwise the evil spirit world disappears.

It is wise, it is vital that we are convinced of certain irrational facts.

The criterion for psychological truth in general is that we submit what we think to the very Old Man; if he agrees we are probably on the right road and not very far from truth.

But if the Old Man should disagree, we know we are on an errand of our own and we run big risks.

We can experiment, there is no objection to trying it; if you prefer to walk on your hands, then do it!

Question: What happens when the anima returns to the unconscious?

Dr. Jung: The anima acts as a filter: she gives certain effects, as she can receive certain effects.

Through the persona we get certain effects and we also produce certain effects on other people, and we must assume it is the same with the anima.

There are reasons, merely empirical, for this statement.

The anima knows many things which most people are unaware of.

In Rider Haggard’s She you see how the anima from the collective unconscious knows all the secrets which She transmits to Leo and Holly, the man and his shadow.

In the first part of the book, we see how She can work upon her secret world; in the second part Isis is always looming up behind.

By having the ear of Isis as her priestess, She may have influence upon Isis and receive also an influence from her.

It is a psychological fact that the anima is able to influence us in our psychology-just as we pray to Mary or ask the intercession of the saints with the deity.

Saints are helpful anima figures on the way to the deity, helpers in a state of need against special disturbances or evils of mankind. And they have their special districts.

The anima is a sort of intercessor between Isis and the man in She.

You see something similar in your psychology when you understand the anima as a peculiar feeling reaction inside.

Suppose you get disgusted on the world side and fix yourself into this scheme, you draw near and approach the other side: then you get a peculiar feeling reaction within, and that is the anima.

An old Chinese text says that when a man wakes up in the morning heavy and in a bad mood, that is his feminine soul, his anima-a peculiar mood which has an influence on him, and on his dark side, the unconscious, as well.

This is proved by the results of that mood.

This morning, say, I have been down in the collective unconscious, and then I crept up 365 steps and arrived on the threshold and stepped into my house,into~the-eonseious,-where+find-myc-mask,-Ilr-;-JU:-ng,alhead y,
just as in Mme Tussaud’s.

If I got something very disagreeable in the collective unconscious, I curse and bring with me a very bad mood.

Then I affect you with a bad mood, and you affect me, and I am disgusted and go back and affect the collective unconscious with my mood.

And it will react with a series of peculiar images, which you will surely get if you allow your creative fantasy to play on it.

It may create a nocturnal scene, a wild, vast, stormy sea, such as a poet would create.

These images may become very specific and go much further if you put yourself in the scene: now where am I, in what condition?

You may see yourself in a boat tossed about by the waves in the midst of that sea, and then you get the impact of the unconscious and realize all the other pictures.

From these fantasies you can see what your mood has produced in the collective unconscious; they tell you much about the nature of the collective unconscious and how this whole thing functions.

You study the influence of your mood on the background of your conscious mind by the effects that come back to you, as you can study the influence of your persona on the outside world from the reaction of the crowd.

There are many who only learn about themselves from the reactions of others, by somebody knocking them between the eyes.

A man comes to me and complains bitterly, “He said so and so”-while as a matter of fact the man himself has said something which brought about this answer, as one finds out by asking what he did to produce that effect.

People must see the effects to know what their persona really is.

And if you want to know what the anima is, that is the way: get at the contents of a mood, see the pictures that come back from the unconscious.

Some moods are real and necessary.

But if they are unaccountable and too strong and irrational (the Scotch say, “A shadow fell on me out of a blue sky”), it means that certain unconscious contents have been constellated; and if you go into that mood with fantasy, the collective unconscious will produce a series of peculiar pictures or images which explain the state you are in.

Some Eastern religions try to organize in religious ritual a substitute for the living thing for that process in the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 69-81