Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

To Maria Folino Weld

Dear Madam, 6 September 1953

A lexicon of dream symbols is a nightmare to me, as I see this task from the standpoint of responsible science and I know its enormous difficulties.

We have a large collection of material in our Institute in Zurich, but it is far from being a lexicon of symbols.

It would be a well-nigh gigantic undertaking to work out the comparative significance of dream motifs.

It should be done in the way of monographs.

But this would cover only the archetypal background of dreams and would tell nothing of the actual meaning of dreams.

Such a collection would indeed be helpful to professional psychologists trained in comparative psychology, but to the layman it would be a limitless jungle in which he would lose all orientation in no time.

Last winter I worked out a sketchy and incomplete monograph about the Tree-well, nobody will do more than a few of the kind.

A superficial collection of interpretations would be the worst as well as completely worthless.

But the monographic study of the structure and objective meaning of motifs (mythologemata or archetypes) would be of highest importance, although it is a highly difficult and ambitious task.

If you should intend to do some work over here, I am sure our Institute would gladly give you help and expert advice.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 123.