Carl Jung Dream Analysis Seminar Lecture VII
LECTURE VII 6 March 1929
The last dream was about the two roads, the one above and the one below, in the Riviera.
Now, what is the actual situation in our patient’s problem?
A series of dreams is like the development in a play.
We don’t know what the actual goal is; we can only watch the development of the drama.
I wish you would always make up your minds before the seminar, as to the actual situation which has been reached in the analysis.
There was the dream about the sewing-machine and the tailoress, a girl ill and working in a humid hole; after that the steamroller making a pattern, then later he had a dream of a new machine for
pulling up weeds, :;md now we have the dream of the Riviera.
How do you see the situation of the dreamer’s problem? What does the last dream demonstrate?
Mrs. Deady: He has made a regression because of his wife’s rnaGtiOn,and~thefussshe made ·about~the children.’The-symbnlfsm of the upper and lower roads shows him where he is in his analysis.
Dr. Jung: What is the dream emphasizing?
Mr. Gibb: Was he not originally more or less identified with his respectable side? The dream showed that things are in a disordered condition with him. Must he not deal with his opposing impulses
Dr. Jung: Yes, he took up that problem before, and then he ran into his wife’s reaction, and that showed what the possible effects might be, so he was frightened and held back; then came the dream showing the disorder in him which needs a machine for pulling up the weeds.
Mrs. Sigg: Isn’t the unconscious forcing him to take the irrational road?
Dr. Jung: Yes, in a situation where he should accept it.
Dr. Binger: He must go through the horrid thing though it is difficult and long.
Dr. Jung: Yes, his mistake was to take the whole thing too simply.
He thought he could just turn a switch then things would be all right, so he went at it quite enthusiastically.
Analysis is like a chemical laboratory where people take steps experimentally, but they see all the consequences which would arise if they took the steps in reality.
As in cannon practice, one uses a low charge of gunpowder two hundred grams instead of two kilos.
It shows how the thing works without the risks.
So he took the steps and ran into difficulties, which were hints of what might happen if he should make the move in reality.
His eyes were opened and he withdrew.
Now again he goes forward and finds himself going to the Blessed Island, the Riviera, and there he learns that the whole enterprise is not so easy as he thought it would be.
He finds an awkward situation, all those peculiar traffic regulations which one has to observe when one is there for two months, but one who stays for a few days only need not observe them, and at the last he is told that he must pledge himself for six years.
The unconscious means by six years a long time.
In Nigeria there was once a story that a thousand Germans had marched through British territory, so a company of soldiers was sent out to inquire about it, and they came back and reported that
just six soldiers of a patrol which had gone astray had gone through.
The explanation was that six in the language of the natives meant many.
They could only count to five, so six meant anything beyond five, therefore 1000 or 10,000.
I worked with an old medicine man who said he could count to 100.
He did it with sticks, and when he got to 70 he said “70 and that is 100”; he could not count beyond 70, In the course of civilization all numbers between 1 and 9 have become sacred: in religious language, for instance, the three of the Trinity and the seven-armed candelabra, the seven times seven, etc.
But two and one are also sacred, and in Indian religion it is four, in Egypt eight and nine.
Three times four = twelve, also a sacred number.
The fact that all root numbers are sacred simply means that they have retained a certain taboo, a mystical value.
Originally they were not merely numbers but qualities and not abstract quantities.
When our unconscious says three, it is less a quantity than a quality. [Dr. Jung demonstrated this by placing three matches together in one place and two in another.]
If a primitive is asked how many matches there are here, he says, “Three matches,” and in this place he says, “Two matches.”
Now, if one is taken from the group of three and put in the group of two, he will say, “Here are the two three matches and there are the two matches and one three match.”
The quality oftwoness and Threeness is involved. The primitive counts from the figures things make.
He makes an aesthetic distinction because he counts without counting.
For example, an old chief knew whether all his six hundred head of cattle were in the kraal, although he could not count more than six.
He knew them all individually by name, so that he could tell if “little Fritz” hadn’t come in yet.
The count is made by the extent of the ground covered by the cattle, and the way the ground is checkered by them; it is a vision of the ensemble.
The number has a quality value, a visual; aesthetic form value.
You could say a man is three, not three people, but meaning taboo or holy three.
It all depends on the value people give to the number.
Geometric figures have high psychological values and therefore magical qualities. Numbers take on the qualities of degrees, as 3 X 3 = Holy-the Holiest of Holy.
The figure seven is one of the most sacred numbers which can be imagined, therefore a figure which has seven points, seven angles, or seven units is particularly powerful.
So when the dream says “six” it has all those connotations in it.
It seems to the dreamer that quite a number of car-drivers are protesting against paying for a license for six years when they only mean to stay for a little while.
He is thinking of a pleasure trip to the Riviera and associates it with a trip in the unconscious.
He will have a few pleasant dreams and then return, but he finds it is otherwise.
His unconscious says, “You just wait!
You must pay for six years, pledge yourself for a long time and with great intensity.”
When the unconscious forces such an understanding on him it disturbs him, he doesn’t quite like it.
He wants to have the thing simple and reasonable, so he is rather doubtful about this dream business.
In the next dream [g] he is in a somewhat intimate situation with his wife.
He wishes to show her some tenderness, but she is pretty negative.
He begins to talk with her very seriously and asks her to be reasonable.
He tells her that he thinks she should allow him to have intercourse with her at least once a month.
While he is talking to her all of the children come into the room, or perhaps not all,
but only the eldest boy who is fourteen or fifteen, so he cannot continue the talk with his wife.
Associations: “I make an attempt to talk to my wife occasionally, but when I feel the slightest resistance on her part I give it up, for I know from her remarks what resistance she has against sexuality.
This is particularly evident since she was sterilized by x-ray treatment for a tumor. Since then she has developed quite a serious resistance against sexuality. When the children came in, they seemed to make further discussion impossible.”
The oldest boy: “He has always been a particular pet of his mother, and has caused her much sorrow. When he was eight months old he almost died of enteritis. Since his third year he has suffered
from asthma. There is something queer about that boy. I get quite irritable with him when he is a little naughty, in a way that is quite unreasonable on my part. I am sure that if the other children should
do the same things they would not irritate me so much; my wife has called my attention to this fact.”
Dr. Jung: Now what is your idea about this dream? What connection has it with the former dream?
Dr. Binger: The impasse in the former dream is like the impasse with his wife.
Dr. Jung: What would you conclude about the former dream?
Has he accepted it? You can always tell. He sees that analysis is a very serious business. Has he accepted it?
Dr. Binger: He has seen the situation with his wife and that drives him to realize what analysis might mean.
Dr. Jung: First comes the dream which makes him realize that analysis is a very serious business.
He is trying again to bring about some reasonable solution of the problem with his wife, so we can think that he has accepted the Riviera dream, but is this attempt to solve the problem with his wife reasonable?
Dr. Binger: It is compensatory, but it is unreasonable in the sense that it is ineffective.
Dr. Shaw: It is reasonable, but after all he is up against a woman and she has something to say.
Dr. Binger: He is butting against a stone wall.
Dr. Shaw: But his wife is not a stone wall!
Dr. Binger: His technique is not reasonable, arguing is no good.
He should win her love first.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he should win her love first.
It is terribly stupid
of him to treat his problem in that way.
Rational treatment never
has appealed to a woman’s heart.
You can talk to a motor and convince it that it should go, you might convince a sewing-machine, but never a woman in such a way I The dream shows him how stupid he is, but of course he has not done this in reality.
We don’t know what would happen if he tried in a right way.
I have never seen the wife but she seems to be something of an ass, as she is afraid of me.
After a while the devils will take care of her. She is the X in the whole situation.
There is something wrong there, and I don’t know at all how this case will end. The dream points out to him that the way he has taken is wrong.
Why should the children interrupt, why do they come in?
Dr. Binger: The children represent his feeling side.
Dr. Jung: Have we any evidence of that?
Dr. Binger: Yes, the way he took the suggestion of the children’s illness.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is a good point. What about the oldest boy?
Dr. Binger: He is a symbol of the parents’ first love.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and he suffers.
He is the symbol of conflict between the parents.
The child evidently has a neurosis and is laboring under the weight of the wrong relations of his parents.
The child has been ill since he was three years old with asthma, what does that prove?
Dr. Binger: That something has been wrong between the parents and the child since the child was three hears old.
Dr. Jung: Yes, when a woman refuses herself like that to a man there must be a serious thing in between them.
You can be absolutely sure that something has been wrong since the child was three years old.
The constant oppression of that black pall of suppression, the cloud of fear hanging over him at night, causes the difficulty in breathing.
Asthma is a suffocation phobia, and the more the fear increases, the more actual the suffocation, darkness, and unconsciousness.
In the daytime everything seems reasonable and all right, but in the night all that heaped-up sexuality makes an archaic fear I When you come into certain houses where there is such a situation you feel it in the air.
You get it from the atmosphere, inhibitions, fears, taboos, ghosts, so a little child gets it.
Asthma at that age is either organic or it comes from the parents.
Children of three have no such psychic problems of their own.
They are not dissociated. They can be terribly nice and amiable one minute and the next minute horrid, without being split by it.
They have no moral values at that age, because they are not conscious enough.
While such a child has no psychological conflict, it is not beyond the reach of parental problems.
The father as well as the mother is full of vibrations and the child gets the full impact of the atmosphere.
If you had to live there you would jump out of the window and run away, but the child cannot escape it.
He has to breathe the poisoned air.
The child is memento mori, the very symbol of the things which are wrong.
That child is the silencer.
When he comes into the room, the silencer works. “Shut up, this thing is deeper than your rational arguments.”
Next dream , the night after:
The problem is going on, and we shall see for ourselves in how far it has to do with the problem of love.
The patient says: “Someone brings me a sort of mechanism. I see there is something wrong with it. It does not function as it should. I take it apart and try to see what is wrong with it. The piece of mechanism has the form of a double heart, the back and front are connected by a steel spring. In the dream I think there must be something wrong with the spring, it doesn’t function because
of unequal tension, as if twelve on one side and four on the other.”
Association: “As a rule the spring is something like the soul of a mechanism. The fact that this object has the form of a heart is perhaps a sign of human mechanism. I should identify, for instance,
thinking with the head, intuition with the sympathetic nervous system, feeling with the heart, sensation with the limbs. In this dream I naturally think of my marriage. The mistake must be in
the different tensions of the feeling. Probably I should begin there,in order to bring up feeling to a conscious level; to try to induce my wife to think about delicate subjects without getting emotional.”
Dr. Jung: How about this dream?
Miss Chapin: It is less purely mechanical than the former dream. He goes over into something human.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he says in the dream before that the rational way did not work. Now he sees that he is not dealing with a rational mechanism, but with a human heart.
What about this double heart with a spring as the soul of the mechanism, like the spring in a watch?
The heart as the spring of the mechanism is an excellent simile.
We speak of the heart as the seat of life, and it has always been the symbol for emotions.
The Pueblo Indians say they think with their hearts, which of course means an identification of thinking with feeling.
They think that the white man is crazy because he thinks with his head.
Often Negroes say that they think in the stomach, sensation and intuition are mixed, all the functions are drawn together.
They talk of dreams as reality; you cannot tell in which world they really live. So thoughts are localized in the stomach. With the more civilized man the thinking is in the head.
Now what about the symbol of the double heart connected with the same spring?
Dr. Binger: The heart of himself and of his wife with a difference of tension between them of twelve to four.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he assumes this is the symbol of the feeling of himself and his wife and his tension is twelve, hers four.
Dr. Binger: Mechanically that is a good spring.
Dr. Jung: Yes, but he must get away from that cramp of thinking.
He has had a hard business life in which he had to fight for himself and for success.
He has reduced everything to rational thinking, and he knows what he can do with his intellect.
He is identified with it, so that now he is in a sort of spasm of intellectuality which allows him no free movement.
He is one-sided, and it will take him a long while before he can get rid of that and get back to the human heart.
He thinks that he is full of feeling, but it is all sentimentality; he has no feeling because he is only mind.
Only men are sentimental; a woman as a rule is not sentimental if she is on good terms with her animus.
Sentimentality is a weakness an indulgence, always a sign of inferior feeling.
Some people believe that they have wonderful feelings because tears flow.
We go to the movies and weep! Aren’t we full of feeling? Marvellous!
I am not quite satisfied with this idea
that the other half of the double heart is the heart of his wife. It does not quite fit in with reality.
One bed, one dish, one cup, one spoon, etc. is his sentimentality.
His idea of a perfect marriage is one heart, one mind, one soul, etc.
I should much prefer the idea that the unequal tension is in himself.
Dr. Binger: This man has a double heart.
Mrs. Zinno: Number twelve is in his business and number four is in his feeling and the spring is made of steel.
Dr. Jung: Yes, his heart is still a mechanism made of steel!
A mighty good substance, steel!
The vibrations of the steel, he thinks, are his feelings. In reality it is his tension, icy cold and hard.
So he has two hearts, but in reality it is one with an unequal tension between the two halves.
The greater tension is business, money, power, and the smaller one is the marriage.
It is the idea that every respectable man holds, that the wife goes by herself, that the marriage will work itself out.
The only thing that does not go by itself is business.
With the wife the only thing that does not go by itself is marriage, for that is her business.
Some difference in the point of view!
Are there any questions about the dream?
I think the interpretation is perfectly clear and to my idea satisfactory.
I feel a sort of satisfaction when the interpretation seems to fit the dream.
The mechanistic idea is a prejudice of our rational mind.
Nature hates this petrification.
The dream seems to be driving home the idea that the unconscious is going to root up this mechanistic idea, that is the meaning of the machine for pulling up the weeds.
A man stops living when he lives by rational ideas alone.
Dream (11] one night later:
“I am in a bathing place on the seashore, diving through high waves which are coming up on the shore. I see there the son of a certain prince.” (In his business he has to deal with this prince; let us call him Prince Omar. He knew the prince himself, but he does not know the son.)
“Then comes my father but as a terribly fat, unshapely, formless man. He says that he almost fell down the stairs, and that they had to carry him down into the water. He talks with the General Manager of the estate of the prince, a man with a thick black beard.” (This man has no such beard in reality.)
“Then comes Prince Omar himself and invites us to have lunch with him after bathing. We are sitting at a table with many others, and my father talks to the General Manager, speaking Swiss.” (Of course the man would not understand Swiss. I must explain about the business. Much cotton was raised on this estate, and the dreamer was in a business connection with the General Manager.)
“My father says that our firm could compete with any other firm when it came to buying the cotton crop, but the price is so high that our firm would prefer to leave the buying to other firms. He assumes that the estate make better terms to other firms than to ours. It has often happened that we were asked higher prices than other firms were, but it was never so bad as this. Then he blamed the General Manager directly for being paid by someone to raise the price to our firm and so making a profit for himself, as such things were often happening in that particular trade. The prince himself did not know of the deal. My father tells me that I should explain the whole situation to the prince. I am of the same conviction, but it is clear to me that I should lose any further business, even the cotton seed trade with this firm, if I explain as directly as my father wished me to do. I was quite hesitant, and afraid that I could not explain so that the business manager would not be offended. But I tried, speaking French.” (In reality this business manager used to buy cotton seed from the dreamer’s firm because they used the best seed, but as a rule he did not sell his cotton to their firm.)
“I said that we could buy their cotton at a higher price than that given to other firms, if an allowance could be made for it in the handling of the shipping by his own people.”
(When you buy from a plantation, the selling is done by one set of men, and the shipping by another set, just as when you buy wine in the vineyard you have still to pay for collecting, for barrels for
transportation, for storage, etc.)
“I am convinced that the shipping is handled better for the people who have bought hitherto. This is understandable because other firms were known to the people on the estate, while our firm is unknown to them, since we have never bought from them before. Shipping conditions are always far more reasonable on other estates than on that of the prince. The prince saw the point and agreed to look into the matter, to remedy the situation.”
Associations: Bathing in the sea: “I have often thought of the sea as my unconscious and the waves that come up against the shores as part of the unconscioius which comes up into the conscious.”
Diving through the waves:
“When one is swimming in the waves one can be easily carried away by the breakers, but one can get along quite easily if one dives, then you are not carried away. It seems as though I could deal with those waves coming up from the unconscious when I have learned to dive through them.”
Father: (The father had not been in business but was a clergyman and is long since dead.)
“My father is deformed in the dream. Fat and formless people are, as a rule, somewhat slow physically and mentally-and are inferior. Obviously the dream disfigures my father in every respect. He was not at all like that in reality. It represents him as quite inferior and also the future development of the dream shows how tactless he is in the way he discusses the business about the General Manager. This could do no end of damage to our firm. It obviously shows that I put myself far above my father in the unconscious, for I would not handle a matter where there might be a question of such foolish corruption. In my conscious I could never have such feelings of superiority over my father.”
Black beard: “The General Manager had no such beard, but my father had in my youth, later it grew grey.” Prince Omar: “He is the type of a very distinguished aristocrat, a beautiful tall man with
a truly royal demeanour. He also plays a great role in politics, although he has no official position; he is an obviously powerful figure.”
The long business discussion:
This is rather tricky, and the patient is confused, because he realizes that he has mixed up his father with the General Manager and himself with the prince.
“Is the whole dream a conflict of my father with himself? My father and the General Manager disagree, and this could end in a fight, therefore is my father in conflict with himself as the general manager
of the estate and have I to step in, to solve that conflict by explaining the situation to the prince, thus taking the whole matter out of my father’s hands?”
Dr. Jung: Obviously the father and the General Manager are getting into a disagreement, and the prince must step in and do something about it.
As yet there is no sign that the patient and the prince are one, but as his father has the black beard of the General Manager, the patient feels that they are somehow identical and draws the conclusion also that the prince is identical with himself.
But he is not convinced that he is right.
He says that from his eighth to his tenth year his parents were living in a house right opposite to the palace of Prince Omar, on the other side of the street, so he can identify himself with the prince.
Detail of the business transaction:
This is a reality. The General Manager has always quoted higher prices to the patient’s firm than to others, so he thought it might be a question of corruption oh the part of the General Manager. But the General Manager always bought cotton seed from his firm, as they had the best seed on the market. Now what do you make of this?
Dr. Binger: The disfigurement of the father in the dream is a compensation for the admiration and the infantile overvaluation of the father.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is right.
The father was a highly educated clergyman.
The dreamer, as the oldest son, admired him very much. The father was learned, the son went into business, so the father remained on a pedestal, the wise unalterable one!
So he stayed his whole life there. In the dream a negative image of his father comes up.
The dreamer despises the General Manager from the bottom of his heart but he identifies him with his father, so he puts his father into the category of such feelings, he also disfigures his father’s physical beauty, which in reality was great.
So the father in him is lowered considerably. How would you think of the father in the dream?
Dr. Binger: The father image is disfigured.
Dr. Jung: Yes, but that is figurative speech.
What does that mean psychologically? The father has been dead for a long time.
If he were still living near him in the next street or was associated with him in the business we could say that the unconscious was showing him his depreciation of the father, and that he might be open to
corruption like the General Manager.
But the father is dead and one does not depreciate the dead, so it must be something left over from the father, a beautiful memory of him perhaps.
When he thinks of the father as the dream presents him, what does it mean?
Dr. Binger: If the father is a fine man, he is able to shift his responsibility into him and be infantile himself.
Dr. Jung: That would be the psychology of a son whose father is still living. Then the son might live a provisional life.
He feels father will somehow always come across with an open pocket-book.
Dr. Binger: Can that attitude not survive the death of the father?
Dr. Jung: Yes, somewhat but not in such a definite form.
I have seen two cases of sons who collapsed when their fathers died.
They had been living the provisional life and believed it to be reality, so when the father was taken away they collapsed.
This reminds me of a story by Alphonse Daudet, Tartarin de Tarascon. 1 Tartaron was the greatest bluffer and swindler in all Provence.
He belongs to the Alpine Club, but he has never done any mountains in Switzerland, so he decides to go there and climb the Rigi.
He arrives with a sun helmet and all the paraphernalia of the expert mountain climber.
He finds a railway going up to the top and there are lots of uninteresting English tourists.
He gets drunk and rages against such stupidity, then he hears that the Rigi is by no means the highest mountain, he should try the Jungfrau.
So he goes up with two guides.
There is not the slightest possibility of danger, it is all arranged for tourists by the Compagnie Anglo-Suisse.
He laughs, it is all so easy, then he goes home and tells the most outrageous lies about his exploits.
One of his friends doubts the truth of these stories, and challenges him to climb Mont Blanc without guides.
So the two set out and very soon Tartarin discovers that this is real, that it is a duel between life and death.
They lose their way in the mer de glace, clouds of mist come up, all is dark and fearful!
If we fall we die. By God, this is real!
They rope themselves together and try to walk on the glacier.
Suddenly there is a jerk on the rope, and Tartarin whips out his pocket-knife and cuts the rope behind him and there he stands with his little tail.
After hairbreadth escapes he manages to creep back to Chamonix.
At home in Tarascon he tells his friends of his bravery and courage and how his companion died in his arms.
Then after several days the other man turned up and said, “But you are not dead!”
The mystery was solved when the guides found the rope cut at either end.
This is an example of the provisional life. Tartarin had believed in the Compagnie AngloSuisse, his father, then nothing was real.
So it is quite possible for a man to keep the attitude he had when his father was alive, and go on living in a provisional way.
We all have done the same.
Ask yourselves whether this has not been true of you.
It is the greatest temptation to make the assumption that “something will arrange it” and live in that way.
That is a father complex, a positive one.
If a man has a negative father complex he believes that nothing in life is prepared for him. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 150-161