Dream analysis. Notes of the seminar given in 1928-1930 by C.G. Jung. Edited by William McGuire.
LECTURE IV 13 February 1929
We have quite a number of questions to deal with, most of them about the I Ching.
This seems to have aroused general interest. Mr. Gibb’s question goes to the root of the whole thing: “This question refers to the design in the previous dream and to the subject of such designs and patterns in general.
Are we justified in assuming that such dreams and fantasies support the truth of a particular form of philosophy, for example one based on the idea of four functions? Or should we just take them as an expression of an unconscious desire or need for a philosophy of some kind; that is, for some way of making a complete integration or synthesis of experience?
I feel that at most they indicate that there is a need for a philosophy based on psychic experience instead of on the collected abstractions of physical science.
But are we justified in saying any more than that?
An -example of what I mean is the Mogul emperor Akbar’s Divan-i-Khas (hall of private audience) at Fatehpur Sikri.
This building is constructed so as to form just such a design as we are discussing, and Akbar used to sit in a sort of saucer in the middle of it, while learned men from all parts of the world told him about all sorts of religions and philosophies and discussed them with him.
There he tried to make an integration for himself.
“The red sandstone saucer is supported on a pillar with a jet black stem, in the middle of the square hall.
Four gangways lead to the saucer from the four corners where they meet a gallery that goes round all four sides of the hall.
When one looks up at the saucer the black stem of the pillar is practically invisible so that the whole thing seems to be suspended in mid-air.”
Dr. Jung: I admit that what we said about the mandala and its possible meaning sounds like philosophy, but it is not philosophy.
It is akin to Pythagoras and his four.
It has to do with principles, yet in itself it is not philosophy.
It is merely an expression of unconscious facts.
I would not even say that it expresses an unconscious need for a philosophy, as many people would prefer a religion to a philosophy.
These figures are naively produced by the unconscious and therefore you can find them all over the world.
The earliest one I know has just been found at Chichen Itza, in the Mayan Temple of the Warrior.
An American explorer has broken through the outer wall of the pyramid and discovered it was not the original temple; a much older, smaller one was inside it.
The space between the two was filled with rubbish, and when he cleared this out he came to the walls of the older temple.
Because he knew that it had been the custom to bury ritual treasure under the floor as a sort of a charm, he dug up the floor of the terrace and found a cylindrical limestone jar about a foot high.
When he lifted the lid he found inside a wooden plate on which was fixed a mosaic design.
lt was a mandala based on the principle of eight, a circle inside of green and turquoise-blue fields.
These fields were filled with reptile heads, lizard claws, etc., One of my patients has made a similar mandala with the same sort of divisions but filled in with plant designs, not animals.
These are expressions apparently so natural that they are to be found all over the world.
Mr. Gibb gives us a beautiful example.
It is a naive expression of the same idea: the Mogul Emperor, Akbar the Great, in his hall of private audience.
The pattern of the building quite clearly forms a mandala, the Mogul sits in a sort of saucer of red sandstone supported by a slender pillar, so that the saucer appears almost to be suspended from heaven.
It is a fine idea for the old man to sit in that manner in the middle of his mandala, so that wisdom should come to him from all four corners of the world.
In Chinese philosophy the mandala is the “Square Inch Field of the Square Foot House.”
It is said that the house means the Imperishable Body and the building up of that mandala means the building up of the Imperishable Body.
Mead wrote a very interesting study on the theory that man possesses a subtle body besides his physical material body.
Geley has a complete theory of it, a new physiology called “systeme psychodynamique,” a new word for an old thing-as are most of our scientific terms.
The subtle body is the definite abode for what old philosophy would have called entelechia, the thing which tries to realize itself in existence.
Now, the Chinese idea is that the mandala is the symbol of the subtle body.
According to the Eastern theory, by meditation on the mandala all the constituents of the subtle body are withdrawn from the outside and are concentrated in the innermost man, where they build up the imperishable body.
The new man of St. Paul’s early Christian teaching is exactly the same thing as the subtle body.
It is an archetypal idea, exceedingly profound, which belongs to the sphere of the immortal archetypes.
There may be something in it, it may be true, I do not know; I am not God himself who knows everything; I must keep to my psychological world.
At all events, the Eastern theory and its symbols agree, in the most astonishing way, with our work.
A Chinese text explains the art of prolonging life by building up the subtle body.
It-eentains a lot of symbolism which I have seen with my patients, and while all this symbolism is well-known to me
I do not dare to make bold interpretations such as the East is making.
The East dares to use such terms as the “transmigration of souls.”
To the early Christians it was nothing to call a man a “Son of God,” it was a commonplace, it was their daily bread.
For thousands of years the King of Egypt was the Son of Ra, so that when Christ was called the Son of God there was no difficulty in believing.
But to us it sounds rather incredible because our belief in God is an abstraction, we have become philosophical.
So with our archetypes of immortality, the more we come to talk of immortality the more impossible it seems, even to hard-boiled spiritualists.
What about the teeming population of all the ages, what about the animals and insects, the dogs and fleas, etc.?
It soon becomes absurd, and we could hardly imagine heavens and hells enough for all.
In metaphysical matters you can never decide the truth, the only criterion is if it “clicks.”
If it does, then I can feel that I think properly, and thinking like that I function properly.
We have no other proof.
All so-called spiritualistic experiences can easily be criticized.
You never can prove a ghost. There are a thousand loopholes for self-deception.
Dr. Shaw’s question: “How do you account for such things as are found in Chinese philosophy being so applicable to our psychology today? I conclude you draw our attention especially to the 50th hexagram of the I Ching because it symbolizes the way of analysis as well as of Yoga.”
Dr. Jung: Dr. Shaw points out the analogy between analysis and Yoga.
The chapter of the I Ching dealing with pot is one of those chapters which contain Yoga procedure, and our analytical procedure produces Western forms of what in the East is Yoga.
The terminology is different, but the symbolism is the same, the purpose the same.
The Chinese form of Yoga is quite like the symbolism we get in dreams and from the unconscious in general.
To speak of Yoga is to speak of a certain form of analytical method. These things are little known and arouse resistances.
Resistances are usually founded on ignorance.
Very few people in Europe know anything about Yoga.
We are filled with the most amazing megalomania, we assume that people in the East are ignorant and that we in the West have discovered a great truth.
Many people assume, for instance, that astrology is all nonsense.
It is true that astrology has nothing to do with the stars.
The horoscope may say that you were born in Taurus, but the constellations today have moved and horoscopes no longer correspond to the actual position of the stars.
Since 100 B.C. our time-measuring system has been kept at a standstill quite arbitrarily.
Our spring point is now at about 29° of Pisces and is no longer in Aries, although horoscopes are made on that basis.
The spring point is about to enter Aquarius.
But people criticize astrology as though it had something to do with the stars.
If one mentions Yoga, people at once think of fakirs, people standing on their heads for seven years, and all that nonsense.
A real knowledge of Yoga practices is very rare in the West. I felt quite small when I became acquainted with these things.
Here is a reproduction of a picture in the temple of the “White Clouds” in Peking.7 It belongs to the Chinese Tao system.
It is just as though I should write a treatise on how to proceed along the road of analytical psychology.
This picture has not been published, but if it were no one would know what it meant.
The mandala and the idea of the cooking-pot are in it.
A tremendous experience of unconscious symbolism would be necessary to understand all these details.
The form of this picture shows the human spine-head, eyes, the region of the heart, and below there are other centres or zones.
Instead of the vertebral column there are rocks standing on the bank of a river which flows up hill from the water-zone.
The Taoist Yoga has many parallels with analysis.
Just recently a text one thousand years old has been found by a Chinese and deciphered by the Chinese Institute at Frankfurt.
Wilhelm tells me it contains material similar to our results here.
It is a sort of psychological bridge between the East and the West.
There is no reason why we should have any sort of megalomania in connection with Eastern things.
We cannot assume that the Chinese is an idiot, and that we are terribly intelligent.
It is always a mistake to underrate an opponent.
Dr. Binger: Will you give us the derivation of the word mandala?
Dr. Jung: Mandala means orb or circle with a connotation of magic.
You can draw a mandala, you can build a mandala, or you can dance a mandala.
The “Mandala Nritya” is a dance in which the figures describe a mandala.
Here is another question that has to do with the famous chicken which runs away and gets squeezed and was found in the pot in a more or less eatable condition.
Mrs. Sigg thinks that the chicken which ran away was intuition.
But I see no possibility of interpreting that chicken as intuition.
I cannot see that we can assume that the patient has developed any particular function.
Mrs. Sigg: The first dream was naturalistic, then comes the mandala which expresses the whole situation, and now we see the whole process by intuition; it is synthetic.
Dr. Jung: The man was confused and bewildered, so something had to happen to give him clarity about the whole situation.
The mandala was a sort of letter from the μnconscious meant to clarify his mind. In this case its function is to bring order out of a state of confusion, and this order seems to be established in this particular mandala pattern. It is like an amulet.
Amulets often have a mandala form.
Quite a number of prehistoric mandalas from the Bronze Agive have recently been excavated and are in the Swiss National Museum.
They are called sun-wheels and have four spokes like old Christian crosses.
This is also the design on the Host in the Catholic Church and on the bread used in the Mithraic cult, a sort of “mandala bread” as shown on a monument.
Eating the bread is eating the god, eating the saviour.
This is the reconciling symbol.
Eating the totem animal symbolizes the strengthening of the social unity of the whole clan.
This is the original idea repeated eternally through the ages.
Mrs. Sigg: I don’t see the difference between an inner vision and intuition.
Dr. Jung: When you dream, you can’t say that you use this or that function, yet something can get into your head.
You do not need your eyes to get it. Intuition can mean a conscious effort.
If I need it in a situation I must look for it in order to get it.
It is quite possible that this man has made the effort before, but the thing in the dream is just a vision of a fact.
It is no function of the mind.
Mrs. Sigg: It is difficult in a dream to exclude the effort which he has made consciously.
Dr. Jung: We do not need to comfort ourselves and the patient by saying that he has made an effort and now as a reward there is the good dream.
Sure enough, this thing is the result of his thinking, but it is not intuition.
We have said so much about this dream already that we might assume it has been sufficiently dealt with.
Are there any points not clear to you?
Do you see the whole meaning of the dream in connection?
Mr. Rogers: How do you know when to include consciousness and when to leave it out? In some explanations where there were three figures, as in Macbeth and in Faust, you added consciousness to make four. But if you added it in others there would be five. In Macbeth the three human beings with consciousness would be four; here with the four chickens it is not. How do you know when to exclude?
Dr. Jung: The difference is that in our dream there are four animals, four chickens.
That points to the fact that the self, as represented by the mandala, is unconscious (animal!). There is no consciousness to add.
Mr. Rogers: How about the four sons of Horus, how would that work out?
Dr. Jung: Horus is in the centre and his sons are his four attributes.
With Horus as with the four Evangelists, the central figure is human and the four are merely attributes.
The Horus as well as the Christ (Rex gloriae) group symbolizes the self with three unconscious functions and one that has reached consciousness.
Thus the sons of Horus are often depicted as three with animal heads and one with a human head.
The same is true of the Christian mandala.
It would be difficult if we encountered a group of four such things alone, but we never find them without Horus.
So with the Evangelists, you never see them alone but always grouped around the Saviour.
You have to be careful in speculating about numbers and geometrical designs.
I am giving you mere conjectures in explaining our mandala motif by mythological parallels and in interpreting the mythological figures by our psychological observations.
It looks as if four animals without a centre would represent the unconsciousness of all four functions, whereas three animals and one human-headed figure would represent the fact that three functions are unconscious and one only is conscious.
A fifth figure in the centre would represent the sum total of man: his four functions [conscious and unconscious] under the control of a God or “nonego
Is there anything else about our dream to be considered?
Miss Hannah: What about the hind wheel? You have not told us about it yet.
Dr. Jung: What does the hind wheel represent?
Dr. Binger: The dreamer himself interpreted it as the driving force.
Dr. Jung: What is that psychologically?
Dr. Binger: It means libido, the chicken is escaping with the man’s libido.
Dr. Jung: One of those functions is escaping where the motivating libido is. Why?
Mr. Roper: Is it going with that woman?
Dr. Jung: That woman was fantasy.
There is no indication in the dream that it goes to a woman.
The dream says one function escapes where the motivating or creative libido is.
If you assume that he is motivated by the fantasy of a woman, then this may be where the chicken escapes.
Mr. Roper: Could it be the occult studies?
Dr. Jung: How are these connected with the libido?
Mr. Roper: They are one of his two strong lines.
Dr. Jung: Yes, one doesn’t know with this man whether the stronger motivation is his fantasy about women or his occult studies.
If he has devoted more time to his occult studies than to his experiences with women then you can be sure he is more interested in them.
I always try to get at the exact amounts of time and money one has expended on a thing, then I know how important it has been for the patient.
A woman counts not by the intensity off peeling but by the time you spend with her.
Better four hours with less insistence on beauty of feeling than fifteen minutes with only marvelous words.
Women are merciless, but this is a very efficient means. I learned it from women.
Three-fourths of analyses are made by women, and I learn from them.
In this case we have no way of knowing whether or not the motivating libido, “the hind wheel,” is more concerned with the occult studies than with sex fantasy, but we at least may assume that it is concerned with the leaking-out by the hind wheel.
The leakage in analysis is very important.
There are many people who when they are being analysed try to establish a sort of stronghold, an island, a place where nothing moves, where nothing happens, where nothing is displaced.
It is the construction of a counterpole which I would not destroy, and the idea of such an island is a happy and important symbol, but many people make a wrong use of it by reserving their judgments, or witholding something.
Out of politeness, these reservations are always rationalized or pretexts are made.
By such subterfuges they create a safe place where they can sneak out.
A certain lady comes to me for analysis and falls in love with another man at once. One wonders why.
He is not particularly the sort one would expect to attract her. It is simply a safety valve for her, she is protecting herself against the transference.
The other man becomes the place of leakage.
The patient will not quite admit her falling in love, she says, “Oh just a little fantasy”; but there her libido is leaking away.
Nothing happens at all in analysis because it is all leaking out.
Then the analyst has to work on a sort of background of wet cloth.
You get no reaction, everything is postponed by leakage into this safe place.
When you have to deal with such people you can do just nothing.
Whenever you try to catch something it recedes.
You do a sort of provisional analysis.
It may be the same in life where the son remains in the father as a safe deposit.
You may discover that these people have a counterpole or safe deposit where the leakage is.
The influence of the analyst is counteracted by a steadfast autonomous something until he discovers the counterpole.
So this man at that stage of analysis was inclined to make a restriction mentale, a curious kind of trick.
For example, there is a story about a monastery of the eighteenth century, which wanted to get the estate of a peasant.
They had no right to it but they did everything they could to get it.
Then the abbot learned from a wise man that he could apply restriction mentale for certain things that would be decided by oath.
So the abbot got some earth from his own garden and put it in his shoes, then he stood on the peasant’s land and swore “I am standing on my own earth.”
Passe-partout par l’Eglise Romaine is a book on such restrictions.
They are terrible things, but they do happen.
The restriction mentale in this case would be that the patient might say, “Yes, I am doing analysis.
Oh yes, it is very interesting but it can be explained in a different way, as for instance, that Dr. Jung is a sort of medium.
The things he says which are good are inspired by Mahatmas in a monastery in Tibet, and the other things that he says are nothing.”
With such an assumption, I could do nothing.
He had no such reservations really, but some tendency to it.
This is happening in analysis all the time, the animus and anima are busy at such things.
Once I had a case which really made me mad.
I was trying to explain something to a woman patient and I used a good deal of vitality to make it emphatic, but she got more and more dull and soon I
saw that she was not listening.
I found that she thought I was in love with her and was sexually excited, because I was so interested and lively and she saw no importance in what I was saying.
That was a restriction mentale where something was leaking, and I could do nothing.
So with this man, my idea is that the occult studies are the leak in the motivating libido. ~Carl Jung, Dream analysis Seminar, Pages 114-124