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

LECTURE I 13 January 1929

We are going to continue the series of dreams we began in our last seminar, for you will get a better impression of how dreams are analysed if we follow a series of dreams of the same patient.

I have noticed that there are certain prejudices in regard to analysis which I should like to speak about before we go on.

One of the most important things to consider is the age of the individual; that should make a tremendous difference in our attitude when we analyse.

Everything that is important in the latter part of life may be utterly negligible in the early part of life.

The next consideration should be whether the individual has accomplished an adaptation to life, whether he is above or below the standard level of life and whether he has fulfilled the reasonable expectations.

At forty, one should have roots, a position, family, etc. and not be psychologically adrift.

People who have no objective at forty, who have not married, who are not established in life, have the psychology of the nomad, in no man’s land.

Such people have a different goal from those firmly established in homes and families, for that task is still to be accomplished.

The question to be asked is, is the individual normally adapted or not?

The young are unadapted because they are too young, others for various reasons; because they have met obstacles, resistances, or through lack of opportunity.

Things must change in the one case which must not change in the other.

Certain forms of fantasy may be the worst poison for the person who is not reasonably adapted.

But when you find germs of imagination in a man who is firmly rooted, perhaps imprisoned, in his environment, they should be treated as the most valuable material, as jewels or germs of liberation, for out of this material he can win his freedom.

All young people have fantasies, but they must be interpreted differently.

They are often beautiful, but for the most part of a negative importance, and unless young people are very carefully handled they get stuck in their fantasies. If you open the door of symbolism to them they may live it instead of real life.

A young girl who came to see me a few days ago is engaged to be married, is in love with the man as the man is with her.

She has been analysing for four years, five days a week, and has had only three weeks of vacation in the year.

I asked her why the devil she didn’t marry.

She answered me that she must finish her analysis, that it was an obligation which she must discharge first.

I said to her, “Who told you that you had an obligation to analysis?

Your obligation is to life!”

That girl is a victim of analysis. Her doctor is also stuck.

This is a case where the girl is living in her fantasies, while life is waiting for her.

The girl is caught by her animus.

Even should she do something foolish, it would nevertheless push her into life. As it is, the result is confusion, air, nothing.

Her analyst follows a theory, and the girl makes a job of analysis instead of life.

If she were a woman in the second half of life the treatment should be altogether different, that of building up the individual.

I do not question that doctor’s motives, but by contrast I am a brute in the way I treat my patients.

I see them only two or three times a week and I have five months of vacation during the year!

I will briefly go over the case we are following.

The dreamer is forty-seven, not neurotic, is a big merchant, very conventional and correct a highly intellectual and cultured man.

He is married and has children.

His trouble is that he is too much adapted, he is entirely chained by his environment, by obligation to his world.

He has lost his freedom.

So in his case if there is any trace of imagination it must be cherished.

He has sacrificed all creative imagination in order to be “real,” so fantasies in his case are extremely valuable. Now his problem is very subtle.

Consciously he could not see what it was.

He has had some erotic adventures with women, not satisfactory; then he slowly discovered that he felt there must be something more to life.

He began to read theosophy, and he had read some psychoanalysis, and then he came to me to see if I could help him, I have seen him for two years off and on.

From the analysis of his first dream he discovered that he was terribly bored with life in general and with his wife in particular.

The second dream was four days later and dreamed on the basis of his knowledge of the first dream.

Here is the dream [ 2]: “My wife asks me to come with her to pay a call on a poor young woman, a tailoress.

She lives and works in an unhealthy hole, she is suffering from T.B. I go there and say to the girl that she should not work inside, she should work in the open.

I tell her that she could work in my garden-but she says she has no machine.

I tell her that she can have my wife’s machine.”

The dreamer has the impression of having forgotten important parts of the dream.

In his associations he says “in spite of the fact that there is nothing erotic in the dream I felt that it had that atmosphere.

When my wife asked me to pay the visit I felt that something might happen.”

You can see that same look of expectation on the faces of men sitting in the lobby of a hotel, the look of a dog who might have a sausage dropped on his nose.

So the dreamer had the expectation that something might happen.

“My wife played a completely passive role but I apparently acted as though I were quite alone. She [the tailoress] was dressed in dark clours, and I remembered that someone had told me that people who had T.B. were often erotic. When people have unused libido the erotic comes up. The sewing-machine belongs to my wife, and I had the feeling that she should say the first word.”

He associates his own imprisoned life with the girl’s life.

He cannot allow his feelings to work in the open-the only thing to do is to have the girl work in his own garden with his wife’s sewing machine.

The feelings of a respectable man cannot work in the open, hence “in his own garden” means pressing his feelings back into his marriage.

One of his motives for respectability is the fear that his health might be affected by venereal disease.

The result of the analysis of the first dream is that he can admit his boredom in his marriage.

It is very difficult for a rational man to admit what his Eros really is.

A woman has no special difficulty in realizing her Eros principle of relatedness, but it is exceedingly difficult for a man for whom Logos is the principle.

Woman has difficulty in realizing what her mind is.

The Eros in man is inferior, as is the Logos in woman. A man must have a fair amount of the feminine in him to realize his relatedness.

Eros is the job of the woman.

You can fight with a man half a year before he will admit his feelings, and the same with a woman and her mind.

It is so contradictory.

My mother had a split mind, and from her I learned the natural mind of woman.

I was an awful boy and I hated all the nicely behaved boys whom my mother liked, with nice clean clothes, clean hands, etc.

Whenever I got a chance I used to beat those boys up and play tricks on them; to me they were disgusting. “Such nice children,” my mother would say, “and so well brought up.”

A family in the neighbourhood had such children and my mother was always holding them up to me as examples.

One day when 1 had done something particularly outrageous to these nice children my mother scolded me and said that I would spoil her life if I went on like that. I was deeply depressed and went off and sat down by myself in the corner of the room.

My mother forgot that I was there and began talking to herself; I heard her say, “Of course one should not have kept that litter,” and I was instantly reconciled to my mother.

Woman has two minds, the traditional, conventional mind, and Nature’s ruthless and sensible mind which says the truth. She can think on both sides.

This is illustrated very beautifully in Penguin Island, by Anatole France.

When baptism was administered to the penguins the dispute arose whether it was not a blasphemous thing to do, because the penguins have no souls.

They are only birds, and birds could not have immortal souls because souls belong only to human beings.

The dispute waxed so hot that finally a Council of the Fathers of the Church and the· Wise Men was called in Heaven.

Unable to settle the question, they called upon St. Catherine.

She paid compliments to both sides and said, “It is true that penguins, being animals, cannot have immortal souls; but it is equally true that through baptism one attains immortality, therefore,” she~ said to God, “Donnez leur une ame mais une petite. ”

Woman, to a certain extent, is Nature and Nature is terrible, inconsistent and logical at the same time.

Naturally when a man looks at his Eros side he finds it hard to reconcile with what he has been taught.

His Eros has opposite ideas, conflicting tendencies.

Yet there is his relation with Nature and it bewilders him.

He feels the awful thing which woman thinks.

It was a great achievement that the dreamer was able to admit his boredom. He is lonely with his problem.

All people feel that taboo of the natural mind.

Of course the dreamer keeps all this from his wife. The dream soothes him, we might conclude, but that is not true.

It is not. a benevolent thing saying something consoling, for kindness is not natural.

Kindness and cruelty are human categories, but not nature’s way.

When the dream says, “My wife asked me to go to see the girl,” it mitigates the man’s trouble.

If the man can feel that his wife is not against him, it begins to make him feel less lonely.

We must assume that this dream has constellated an attitude as there is no satisfactory way of reaching the real truth about it.

What is the wife in the dream?

The girl represents his feelings which go abroad, the wife the feeling at home, the respectable feeling.

The interpretation is “my feelings, which are with my wife, have an interest in trying to deal with those other feelings.”

Actually his wife has no interest in those feelings towards other women, but the dream says it will make his feeling towards his wife more individual, more real if he deals with these.

He has perhaps been thinking of his wife in a rigid and inflexible way because he has done a similar injustice to his feelings.

If he can learn to deal with his feelings that go abroad, which are creative feelings, his relation towards his wife becomes living, because doubtful.

Doubt is the crown of life because truth and error come together. Doubt is living, truth is sometimes death and stagnation.

When you are in doubt you have the greatest chance to unite the dark and light sides of life.

As soon as he begins to deal with feelings abroad, relationship with his wife becomes doubtful and experimental and alive.

The dream has not the intention of helping him, but it does call his attention to the fact that his relation to his wife will be benefited by a new feeling relationship on his part.

When a woman is brought up to think only certain things, she cannot think at all.

You cannot bring anyone up to function only in certain ways.

If you hinder anyone’s feeling or thinking, he will not function properly any more.

If you are bound to believe a certain dogma you cannot think about it.

Feeling, just as any other function, must have space.

The dreamer’s relation to his wife will suffer from the fact that he is not allowed to feel.

If he can deal with his feelings which go out, he can have a relation with his wife.

“Don’t doubt” is a great mistake.

We have arrived now at the understanding of the fact that dealing with his unconventional feelings will help him with his relation to his wife.

When he pays attention to his feelings, he finds them associated with a girl who is infected with a serious illness.

Feelings and thoughts can grow sick and die.

A few days ago a woman came to me for a consultation.

She had been a patient of mine fifteen years ago.

She was a difficult case because she would not see certain things, she would not play the game, she wanted to remain a child.

Certain people cannot take life seriously, as if they were born to be eternal children.

If a case comes to me with diabetes and the patient will not pay attention to his symptoms or take my advice, there is nothing I can do.

A few days ago I saw my old patient again.

She looked awful and I was shocked.

She saw it and said, “Yes, it’s very bad, but I have no problem anymore.”

She wanted me to tell her husband that she was no longer hysterical, and it was true she had no problems, no troubles; she had sucked them in, converted them into her body.

In such cases the heart races for psychological reasons, and the result is a neurosis comparable to a shell-shock.

One jumps at everything and has no control of action.

When problems are converted into body, outer problems go, but the body rots.

If the neurosis has gone deeply into the psychological processes a tremendous scourge is necessary, perhaps a risk of life itself.

Generally a trapdoor shuts down for ever.

Heraclitus, the Dark One, the most intelligent of the old philosophers, said, “It is death to the soul to become water.”

It is death to the soul to become unconscious.

People die before there is death of the body, because there is death in the soul.

They are mask-like leeches, walking about like spectres ~~dead but sucking.

It is a sort of death. I have seen a man who has converted his mind into a pulp.

You can succeed in going away from your problems, you need only to look away from them long enough.

You may escape, but it is the death of the soul.

If our dreamer does not pay attention to his feeling problem, he loses his soul.

Go into the lobby of a hotel-there you will see faces with masks.

These dead people are often travelling on the wing, to escape problems; they look hunted and wear a complete mask of fear.

Some time ago I met a woman who was on her third trip around the world.

When I asked her what she was doing it for, she seemed surprised at my question and answered, “Why, I am going to finish my trip. What else should I do?”

Another woman I saw in Africa in a Ford car.

She was fleeing from herself with flickering eyes full of fear.

She wanted to confess to me, to tell me how she had given up her life.

She had only the memory of herself as she used to be.

She was hunting what she had lost.

When you see that a certain spark of life has gone from the eye, the physical functioning of the body somewhere has gone wrong.

The girl in the dream is a tailoress, meaning a maker of clothes; the maker of new attitudes.

The birth of a new attitude has a long historical background.

There is a Negro myth which tells of a time when all were immortal and everyone could take his skin off.

One day they were all bathing and an old woman lost her skin; she died, and that is how death came into the world.

By analogy, people must behave like snakes, casting the old garments aside.

In Catholic confirmation, the young girls wear white clothes.

In Africa I have seen the boys who have been circumcised in the initiation ceremonies wearing a bamboo hut, entirely covering their bodies.

This is the new spiritual skin, a spiritual clothing.

The Polynesians put on a mask to denote the spring renewal.

During Carnival one puts on the garment of the new year.

You are reborn in the new year.

It is most flattering to the analyst to be called a tailor.

When he is dreamed of as the tailor he is the maker of the

new body, the new skin; he is the initiator of a new immortality.

The unconscious feelings of the patient which have been going abroad and which have been repudiated contain the possibility of new birth.

That unconventional feeling, the tailor girl, is the maker of a new skin, the creator of immortality.

If he goes the way of that new feeling, new life will be given him.

Everything you do and repeat often enough becomes dead, worn out.

Women beyond the age of forty begin to realize their masculinity, and men their femininity, because it is new and untried.

There is an Indian myth of a chief having Manitou appear to him and bidding him eat with the women, sit with the women, and dress like the women-a curious psychological intuition.

In some places, in Spain for instance, the old women have strong black beards of which they are very proud.

Women’s voices sometimes get deeper.

We often see here, among the peasants as they grow older, that the man ioses his grip on things and the woman gets on the job.

She will open a small shop and earn the living.

Man becomes woman and woman becomes man … The thing that has not been considered, the thing that has been despised-that will be the birthplace of the Saviour.

Therefore the feeling, which is the most awkward to him, contains the making of a new attitude.

There are two machines, two methods.

One the girl’s, the other the wife’s.

The machine is a psychological factor, a mental machine which one can learn to use and by which you produce results.

The machine is method.

With a method you follow a certain way, a definite way.

Now we can see deeper into the dream.

The girl says “I have my own way.” He offers the method of his wife.

How is the new method produced? Sewing is fastening things together.

The method must aim to fasten together, to join that which has been separated.

That which should be joined together in the man, psychologically, is the conscious and the unconscious.

Analysis fastens them together-and that is integration. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 85-92