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Carl Jung Dream Analysis Seminar Lecture V 

1 dream analysis

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

LECTURE V 20 February 1929

Today we are going to continue with our dreams, no more chickens!

The next dream came two days later.

Dream [5]

“I am coming to a place where a saint is worshipped; a saint who is said to cure diseases when one mentions his name. I am there because I suffer from sciatica. I think there are many other people
with whom I continue my way, and someone tells me that already one patient has been cured. I think that I need to do something more than to call on the saint, that I should take a bath in the sea.
I come to the shore and notice some powerful boulders on the shore towards the land. Between the boulders and the rocky hills is a valley, a sort of bay. The ocean penetrates it in quiet and
powerful waves and loses itself slowly towards the recess of the bay, which penetrates the land to a considerable distance. For a while I watch the majestic surf and high swell passing in. I climb the high
rocky hill. Then I am with my youngest son. We are just about to climb higher up when I see a spray of water rising above the hill we are climbing, from the other side, and then I am afraid that
the surf would be so powerful on the other side that it might wash the hill away, which was not made of bed-rock but heaped-up gravel and boulders. The hill might collapse and a big swell might wash
it away. On account of this I take my boy away.”

The picture of the dream is very clear, well visualized.

There is a flat shore, yet towards the land are heaped-up boulders.

He comes to a hill of gravel and loose stones which could be washed away.

Associations: Saint: “I can’t remember the name of the saint but think it was something like Papatheanon or Papastheanon. I can’t explain this Greek or Romanian name.”

There is much Greek in Romania, because of the mixture of Greek in the lingua rustica, the language of the peasants throughout the Roman Empire.

It still remains as the Romansch in Switzerland.

The magfral cure:

“This is like the cure at Lourdes or at the tombs of saints all over the Mohammedan world, in North Africa, Egypt, etc. I can only explain these cures, whose reality I certainly cannot deny, through belief
in the effect, through auto-suggestion, which is always enhanced by cures. The atmosphere of Lourdes where people see magic cures has a tremendously suggestive effect, crowd suggestion.”

He talks of how one gets under the suggestion of the belief of the crowd, the effect upon the whole crowd.

Then he comes to the fact that he thinks even in the dream it is doubtful that such a cure could come about:

“I am doubtful if I could be cured by a miracle or blind belief despite the fact that others are so cured, and I think it would help to bathe in the sea, and contemplate the powerful movement of the surf during the day.”

Associations: The sea: Here he uses a German term meaning the primordial medium of life. Evolution began in the ocean and the first germ of life appeared there. One could call the sea the womb of nature.

The majestic rollers that come in from the sea:

“One could say that our unconscious is like that. The unconscious sends powerful waves with almost certain regularity into our conscious, which is like the valley that contains the bay.”

He uses a simile that I have often noticed my patients expressing, that the conscious is like a bay, or lacuna in the unconscious , connected with the sea but separated by a dam or peninsula.

He continues, “It is tranquillizing and at the same time most interesting to watch those waves. Speaking in that way our conscious is moved by the up and down movement of the unconscious.”

He means that the unconscious movement is a sort of rhythmic respiration of nature, like Goethe’s idea of “diastole and systole.”

This is the first kind of movement, as in the protozoa.

The movement of extraversion and introversion is what he is aiming at.

The dreamer continues:

“But it can also be quite dangerous to approach the ocean on a stormy day. The violence of the sea can wreck its own walls, the shores and dunes built by the sea itself; and many could not rescue themselves from the powerful waves.”

He says about the boy:

“He is probably my pet. He is my youngest boy, and he identifies himself with me and wants to become what his father is. He is very jealous of the other children and he always watches to see that he has no less than his brothers.”

After the dreamer has contemplated for some time the majestic play of the ocean, he wants to climb higher up on the hill.

He sees the spray dashing up on the other side and is afraid the hill might be destroyed.

His association with this is:

“On the other side there is apparently such strong tension that it might cause a catastrophe, so one must be careful that one does not reach the top of the hill and have it give way so that one falls into the water.”

He expresses himself here ambiguously.

He speaks partly in the metaphor of the dream and partly psychologically, meaning “Tension on the other side is dangerous.”

When you translate the German language into English you cannot give the whole meaning.

It loses something for it is still in a primitive ambivalent condition, so it is particularly well-suited to express psychological meanings with shades and nuances.

When it comes to definite formulations of scientific artificial [not natural] facts, the German language is not very good, it has too many connotations, too many side lines. (This is not the case in English or French. As a legal or philosophical language French is ideal.)

As Mark Twain said, the word Zug has twenty-seven different meanings:

A German uses Zug to express the meaning he wants it to convey and never thinks of its other possible meanings.

This is like primitive language, where sometimes the same word is used for black and for white.

The primitive uses it and means white, but to another it might as well mean black.

In German a draught is a Zug, a train is a Zug, tendency is a Zug, and one of those elastic ribbons which you put somewhere in your dresses is a Zug too.

That is primitive.

In English you have the words good, better, best, and best comes from bad.

In Anglo-Saxon it was bat, “bad.”

The French word sacre has a double meaning also, Sacre coeur, Sacre nom de chien.

I want to hear your impressions of the dream.

First the saint; you remember the dream before?

In the interpretation of dreams it is always our first duty to link the dream up to the dream before.

Can you see any possible connection between the chickens (in the last dream) and the saint? It is very far fetched.

I myself could not tell if I had not analysed many such dreams; and from knowing the motif of the dream before and of this dream.

The motif of the dream before was the archetypal motif of assembling in the pot the sacrificial food, the alchemical procedure for the reconstruction of the new man.

This is the old idea of the transformation of the individual, of the man who is in need of salvation, redemption, cure.

He is like an old broken-down machine, he consists of rags and bones.

He is burdened with the sins of the “Old Adam,” and with the sins of his ancestors too.

He is a whole heap of inconsistent misery.

He is thrown into the pot or krater, boiled or melted in that pot, and comes out new!

This is just faintly alluded to in the chicken dream.

The cooking of the ingredients is a sort of cure.

In German heilig is connected with heil, or “being whole”; geheilt means cured.

Healing is making whole, and the condition into which one gets is a whole or complete condition, while before it was only fragments held together.

So collecting and roasting the chickens means curing or making new.

Here the idea of medicine comes in.

The Saviour is always the medicine man who gives pharmakon athanasias, the medicine of immortality, which makes the new man.

When you take the tincture magna of the alchemist you are cured forever, you never can fall ill again.

These are the mythological connotations of the alchemical procedure, or the melting pot of transformation, so it is no wonder that in the next dream he starts in with a saint.

Why just a saint?

It could have been a medicine man or a magician.

Why did he pick out a saint? It is a nice piece of patient’s psychology.

The saint is the doctor.

He calls me up on the telephone. “Are you Dr. Jung?

Can you cure me? How long will it take?

He invokes Dr. Jung as a saint.

The patient of course does not think of me as a saint.

But his unconscious says, “You are invoking the name of a saint.”

The unconscious conveys it as that same old truth repeated again, that a man has called upon his Saviour, an Indian has called upon his medicine man, the Arab upon his Marabout.

The Catholic rubs the tomb of St. Anthony in order to get healing power from it.

Why does the unconscious speak like that, what would be the use of that?

Mrs. Schlegel: It would help belief.

Dr. Jung: Yes, belief need not mean anything but a willingness to believe, a sort of expectation: “My belief and hope are in the Lord.”

The dream says that the patient is in the same old archetypal situation.

One of the effects of an archetypal situation is that when you get into it there is a great deal of feeling, and the more the unconscious is stirred the more expectation there will be that things will get into the right way.

What happens in our psychology when we touch upon an archetype?

Dr. Binger: There is a welling up of a racial or tribal image from the collective unconscious.

Dr. Jung: An archetype belongs to the structure of the collective unconscious, but as the collective unconscious is in ourselves, it is also a structure of ourselves.

It is part of the basic structure of our instinctual nature.

Anything brought back into that instinctive pattern is supposed to be cured.

This structure of man is supposed to be a wholly adapted animal, a remarkable thing able to live perfectly.

Most of our psychogenic ills consist in the fact that we have deviated from the instinctive pattern of man.

We suddenly find ourselves in the air, our tree no longer receives the nourishing substance from the earth.

So you see, when you get back into an archetypal situation you are in your right instinctive attitude in which you must be when you want to live on the earth’s surface; in your right atmosphere with your right food, etc.

The archetype is the instinctive natural man, as he always has been.

The old priests and medicine men understood this, not by knowledge, but by intuition.

They tried to get a sick man back into an archetypal situation.

If a man had a snake-bite we would give him serum, but the old Egyptian priest would go to his library and get down the book with the story of Isis, take it to the patient and read to him of the Sun God Ra, how while he was walking over Egypt his wife Isis made a terrible worm, a sand-viper with only its snout showing out of the sand.

She put it in his path so that it would bite him.

He stepped on the venerable worm and he was badly bitten and poisoned, his jaws and all his limbs were trembling.

The gods picked him up and thought he must die.

They called in Mother Isis, for she could cure him; then the hymn was read over him, but her magic could not cure him entirely and he had to withdraw on the back of the Heavenly Cow and give place to the younger god.

Now, how could reading this hymn over Ra cure him of the snake bite?

What is the use of such foolishness?

I assume that these people were by no means idiots.

They knew very well what they did, they were as intelligent as we are, they had good results with these methods, so they used them, it was “good medicine.”

When you study the pharmacopoeia of old Galen you get sick,

a most amazing dung-heap, yet he was an excellent doctor.

They had a pharmacology that was absolutely ridiculous according to our ideas, but we do it from the outside in, in a rational way, while they did it from the inside out.

We never see the curative things that come from within; Christian Science recognizes them, but clinical medicine even in our day is living and working by the outer facts.

What that old Egyptian priest tried to do was to convey to that man that his suffering was not only man’s fate but God’s fate.

It had to be so, and Mother Isis, who made the poison, can also cure its effect (not entirely but nearly so).

By bringing the patient to the eternal truth of the archetypal image of the snake-bite brought about by the Mother, his instinctive powers are aroused, and that is exceedingly helpful.

Now with our patient, if the archetypal powers could be brought out he would be helped.

But with us it is not so easy, we are much too far away from such an image.

Someone is in despair or very sad, and the parson comes along and says, “See here, think of our Lord on the Cross, how he suffered, how he bore the burdens for us all.”

We can understand this kind of technique, and for people to whom the archetypal image of Christ still has meaning it has a definite effect, but to those who have deviated from the archetype it is just air.

All such technique naturally started from the unconscious.

Those old doctors like Galen asked their patients for their dreams. Dreams played a large part in medical cures.

One-oTthe old physicians tells of a man who dreamed that his leg had turned to stone, and two days later he had paralysis of one leg from apoplexy.

Certain dreams are very important for the diagnosis of a case.

The ordinary technique of the dream is that it gets the patient into the archetypal situation in order to cure him, the situation of the suffering God-man or the situation of human tragedy.

This was the effect of Greek tragedy.

·Now this dream suddenly gets the patient into a pilgrim role, travelling to a shrine, as to the tomb of St. Anthony at Padua or to Lourdes.

He is put into the situation of the ordinary man of all times, and through that he is brought nearer to the fundamental nature of man.

The nearer he gets to it the nearer he gets right, and we can assume that with some people it works.

Instinctive powers are released, partly psychological, partly physiological, and through that release the whole disposition of the body can be changed.

One of my students made some experiments on the viscosity of the blood, following the viscosity through different stages of analysis.

The viscosity was much less when the patient was muddled, resistant, or in a bad frame of mind.

People in such a state of mind are in a condition for infections and physical disturbances.

You know how close the connection is between the stomach and mental states.

If a bad psychic state is habitual, you spoil your stomach, and it may be very serious.

Mr. Rogers: May I ask a question, a little apart from the discussion. When the same word signifies opposite things, what is it in the primitive mind which brings the opposites so close?

Dr. Jung: It is the baffling symbolism of things that are still in the unconscious where things are existent and nonexistent.

That is a thing you will often find in dreams and in the unconscious.

It is as though you have a hundred-dollar bill in your pocket, you know you have it, you have a bill to pay with it, but you can’t find it.

So with the unconscious contents, things are yea and nay, good and bad, black and white.

Perhaps there is a possibility in your unconscious which you cannot get at.

There are high qualities and low qualities.

It cannot be both, but it may be either. So good people have a certain likeness to bad people in that they both have a moral problem.

Primitivity and accomplishments, as in an artist, may go together.

All Negroes are marvellous artists in what they might produce.

All artists have a very primitive side in their characters and way of living. In their unconscious there is an ambiguous condition.

This is not really a new discovery.

The Gnostics had that idea and expressed it as Pleroma, a state of fullness where the pairs of opposites, yea and nay, day and night, are together, then when they “become,” it is either day or night.

In the state of “promise” before they become, they are nonexistent, there is neither white nor black, good nor bad.

Often it is so symbolized in dreams, as two indistinct animals, or an animal which eats another.

It is a symptom of unconscious contents.

In northern Lombardy one sees friezes of animals which eat each other, and in early manuscripts of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there are many interlaced designs of animals eating each other.

Since the human mind in the beginning was unconscious, and the origin of languages betrays the way in which things were, you can still in a way feel it.

In the dimly lit mind you see something black which almost gives you the feeling of white.

With some primitives it is the same word.

You can see an ambiguous reaction every day, when something upsets you and produces conflicting emotions.

Suppose your servant smashes a valuable statue, you get very angry and you swear “Oh Helli” or “The Devil!” or you might say “Oh God!”

What does “God” mean when used in such a way?

You use it when you marvel, when you are astonished, angry or in despair, just as a primitive says “Mulungu” in all sorts of states.

When he hears a gramophone he says “Mulungu.”

The ambiguous concept “Mana” is used in Swahili to mean importance or significance, so “God” to us not only contains pairs of opposites but it is absolutely undifferentiated in that kind of use; it is ambiguous, it is like “Mulungu,” the concept of something extraordinarily efficient or powerful.

When we think of the unconscious we must think paradoxically, often in terms of yea and nay.

We must learn to think of something good which may be bad, or of something bad which may be good.

When you think of good you must think in terms of relativity.

That is a very important principle in the interpretation of dreams.

It all depends upon the standpoint of your consciousness whether it is good or bad. Good in psychological terms must be related to bad.

Originally that feeling of good and bad signified favourable or unfavourable.

For example, once a chief was asked the difference between good and bad.

He said “When I take my enemy’s woman, that is good.

But when another chief takes my woman that is bad.”

It is not a difference between something moral or immoral but of favorable and unfavorable.

The superstitious attitude always asks: “Is It favourable?”

The mind is terribly alert to these things.

The moral concept comes up very late.

There are plenty of things which we call good and beautiful in the Primitive, but he does not think of them in that way, but only as favourable and unfavourable.

“Have I behaved in such a way that this thing will not hurt me?”

In Hubert and Mauss, Melanges d’histoire des religions, the basic concepts of the mythological mind are recognized categories of reative fantasy, what Kant calls “categories of pure reason.”

Categories of reasoning are only intellectual applications of the archetypes.

The archetypes are the primordial vessels in which you express anything mental or psychological.

There is no getting away from that.

Well now, in the progress of the cure idea the dreamer comes to the spiritual guide or saviour.

Such a process is never gone through without a teacher, medicine man, guide, or guru, a man who watches the initiation process, as in the old puberty rites.

The interesting fact that the saint in the dream is called Papatheanon suggests the father, since of old “Father” is a symbol for a guide, but why not just Papa?

Why this peculiar Papatheanon?

Miss Bianchi suggests that the patient might have been influenced by the opera The Magic Flute, which is a story of initiation.

The word Papagei, meaning a parrot, occurs in the opera Papagei is Italian.

It is a Polynesian word of exotic origin.

It might be that the patient has some association with this opera, or it might be that he did not associate anything of the kind.

He emphasizes the Greek and the Romanian.

Mrs. Sigg: Perhaps he means more than the father. Also the fathers of antiquity?

Dr. Jung: Yes the father is not enough, he wants to add a particular, symbolic form.

The patient speaks Italian and he also knows Greek and Latin, so the word papa or papas suggests to him the Pope, the absolute Father.

The cult of Attis had a temple on the site of St. Peter’s in Rome, and the high priest was called “Papas” so there was already a “Papas” several hundred years before there was a Pope in the Vatican.

The patient has also some associations, which I cannot give here, which would connect with the Greek form.

So it is more or less certain that the Greek form contains the idea of a patriarch, or pope.

The Romanian connotation I could not make out, but I am sure that I could if I had gone into it with unlimited time.

The patient speaks Romanian so it must mean something to him, but we have enough material in connection with the saint to make it perfectly clear that the saint means the guru, the leader, guide, and spiritual adviser; so the patient is put into an archetypal situation.

His next association is that he is in a sacred place like Lourdes.

A sort of archaic cure is suggested by the invocation of the name of the saint. When I was travelling on the upper Nile in a steamer which drew very little water we had barges alongside to stabilize it.

An Arab lying on one of the barges was suffering from malaria, and all through the night I heard him call “Allah!” and then after an interval “Allah!”

That was an invocation of the name of his God for his cure.

In an old Greek papyrus attributed to the cult of Mithras there is a prescription of initiation, an admonition to the pupil, where the initiate is instructed to hold his sides and shout as loud as he can the name of Mithras.

This is a very important part of the ritual.

This patient has travelled in the East, and no doubt his unconscious has assimilated these things.

He brings up the fact that he suffers from sciatica and that he would need more than a mere invocation to cure him.

He is a layman, not a doctor, and he thinks of a pain in his leg as having nothing to do with a nervous disease, because it has nothing to do with his head or his brain.

The layman thinks of sciatica as a physical disease and to cure it something physical must be done for it, as for instance the bathing in the sea.

Mrs. Muller: Sciatica could retard movement, couldn’t it?

Dr. Jung: Yes, the patient’s idea is that sciatica is a physical disease; it suggests that the machine would not go, he could not go forward, certain developments cannot take place.

Any disease or wound of the legs suggests this, and such symbolism is often used in dreams.

With the patient then, the suggestion is that things are at a standstill, also that there is not only mental but physical trouble.

What physical trouble is there?

Mrs~ Muller: His relation to the outside world might be the physical trouble.

Dr. Jung: What would that be?

Mrs. Sigg: He is not related to his wife.

Dr. Jung: The lack of sexuality, a physiological trouble.

He has no physical relation to his wife; call it a gland trouble if you wish, a complicated condition, something physical which leads him to the idea of bathing in the sea.

On the way home someone tells him that already one of the pilgrims has been cured.

He gives an association to this, the suggestive atmosphere of the crowd.

If anyone is cured among them it is encouraging, so the dream tells him that something has already happened in his analysis.

The dream makes the statement that he is already under the spell.

Why should his unconscious hint at this?

Mr. Gibb: Something in him is already cured.

Dr. Jung: Yes, he is already under the spell, one suggestive effect has already happened.

The unconscious gives him this hint for his orientation.

It is exceedingly valuable for him to know that he is getting under the spell of a person or situation.

If one does not realize it, one might be secretly moved by that person.

In analysis if a patient does not know this he gets away from himself.

Primitives are afraid of the evil eye.

If you look at them a bit sharply they mistrust you.

The primitive mind is always looking out for getting under a spell or a charm. In Greece if you point a finger at a man he points two, that makes three and breaks the spell.

It often happens with us that we get under a spell and are unconscious of it.

I have seen so many people get under the influence of other people.

A young girl who consulted me got into the most amazing condition in which she was working out the fantasies of someone else.

You can even live the fantasies of other people quite against your own interests. One asks, “Did you want to do this?”-“Well, I thought I had to.”

The primitives know this but we do not.

When one is under such a spell one cannot help it or see it, but when you get out of the atmosphere you cannot understand how you ever got like that, how you ever thought or felt like that.

How often do I see transferences which are perfectly obvious to everyone else, but the patient himself has no idea of it. He may be on fire and out of the chimney without being in the least conscious of it.

You can get under the spell of very evil people.

That is why so many dreams hint at the situation so that we may know where we are.

They may seem ridiculous, but they are highly important.

It is important to this patient to know that he is under a spell or he will discover it afterwards and then think there is something evil in it and try to get away from it.

He would be likely to develop terrific resistances unless he has understood.

When we analyse our dreams and fantasies we have to analyse not only our own material but sometimes that of our neighbours also.

I think 1 have told you about a patient who did not dream and whom I analysed from the dreams of his son.

This lasted for several weeks until the father himself began to dream.

You sleep in a room and something creeps into it from the next room.

We are such gregarious animals that we divine the slightest psychic change in the atmosphere, like fish which swim in a school, one turns a little and they all turn.

Here it is the suggestive atmosphere the patient gets into.

He enters into this group of people under analysis and he gets under the spell, he must know it or he will develop resistances later.

Sometimes this happens in a grotesque way.

A highly educated, very respectable, reasonable young girl came to me for analysis. She could not go on with her analysis and went home.

Some time later she said to an old patient of mine: “I could not continue my analysis with Dr. Jung because he became sexually involved with me.”

My patient asked her how it was and she replied, “Why, I had quite sexual dreams about him.”

She could not assume that she could have sex fantasies, so I had to have them. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 125-136