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Carl Jung’s Dreams Analysis Seminars Lecture VIII 13 March 1929

1 dream analysis

LECTURE VIII 13 March 1929

Let us see now what we can get out of this rather long and complicated dream.

The first symbolism is that of the great waves through which the dreamer is swimming.

He identifies his unconscious with the waves coming up out of the ocean into consciousness.

Are you satisfied with that? This association is the sort of interpretation which thinking types make.

In sensation and intuitive types the associations are not of an explanatory character but are coincidents or coexistences, things which are in the same picture.

For example, if it is a question of the wall, the sensation or intuitive type might associate that chair with it, which is just coexistent.

This is an irrational type of association.

With the rational type we get explanatory associations.

If the rational type tries to have irrational associations they are always false, they do not fit, so I ask them just to tell me what they think about it.

Are you satisfied with the dreamer’s interpretation?

Where has he spoken of the same symbolism before?

Mrs. Deady: It occurred in the dream before, where he associated the little boy with his conscious, and the waves of the great ocean of the unconscious sweeping into it.

Dr. Jung: Yes, and he was afraid that the waves would wash away the ground under his feet. What was he afraid of really?

Mr. Gibb: Of his unconscious emotions.

Dr. Jung: Yes, the connotation of the waves is that they are emotional, dynamic.

The rational type does not like the irrational quality of things.

There is no safety in it, so he leaves out the irrational or emotional element.

Even in his associations he does not pay attention to the fact that these waves coming up from the unconscious are emotional.

He is shown dealing with the situation in a perfectly competent way.

He is diving through the waves, and in his associations he says that one can do this and not be washed away. This dream cheering him up.

The former dream said that the waves might wash away the place where he is standing, but this dream says, “You can deal with the situation, it is not so dangerous.”

It is all positive, and up to him, then comes the but he sees the son of the prince (whom he does not know personally).

The prince himself is a very important man, an aristocrat, playing a very important role in his own country.

When such a figure appears in a dream, you can be sure it means a very important, an almost ideal figure.

Now the son of that man appears here, but the dreamer has no associations with him.

When a patient has no associations it is difficult.

Look for the next thing in the dream, perhaps it is a contre-coup.

The next figure that comes into the dream is that of his father, therefore the son of the prince must have some connection with the dreamer’s father. What is it?

Mrs. Zinno: Isn’t the son the dreamer’s brother-in-law, who is in business with him? As his father and the manager are associated, then his brother-in-law and himself could be.

Dr. Jung: But it is doubtful whether these figures in the dream are psychologically real persons for the dreamer.

He is now no longer in actual business relations with the General Manager, so he (the business manager) is a symbol.

Thus the son of the prince cannot be a psychologically real person.

Dr. Binger: Isn’t it the dreamer himself?

Dr. Jung: Yes, as his father follows immediately after the prince’s son in the dream, it probably means his father’s son.

Hence we get the fact that the father is the prince, in contradistinction to what the dreamer says later on in his associations that he himself is the prince.

Can it be possible that he expresses his father by such an ideal figure?

Dr. Binger: Yes, through his father complex.

Dr.Jung: Yes, he expresses his father by the figure of the prince.

He has a positive father complex but he goes on saying in the dream that his father is a fat formless man, who almost fell on the stairs and had to be carried down into the water.

This looks very negative.

He says in his associations that such fat and formless ·people are often inferior, also in the further development of the dream, his father is blundering and tactless with the General Manager, so that much damage might be done in the firm.

Hence the dream represents his father as an inferior person in every way.

He is really reviling his father. Why is that?

Mr. Gibb: It is showing a negative view of his father.

Dr. Jung: But why?

Dr. Shaw: An unconscious compensation for his positive father complex.

Dr. Jung: Yes, his father complex is too positive.

A positive father or mother complex can be just as injurious as a negative one.

It fastens one down.

The unconscious cares little for love or hate.

You are held down by either.

Whether it is love or hate matters only to the conscious, to the ego.

Hate can be just as passionate a force as love.

We speak of people clinging together out of pure hatred, so the dream is attacking the positive father complex. Why?

Mrs. Sigg: If these positive qualities are invested in the father then he hasn’t got them himself.

Dr. Jung: Either a father or mother complex projects a sum of energy in an impersonal or ultra-personal form.

It is just as if I were ascribing certain qualities of my own to someone else, as if they belonged to the other person and not to me.

Why do we do it? Is there any gain? any loss?

Mrs. Sigg when good qualities are projected they-clo-not-have to be lived.

Dr. Jung: Yes, then you have the advantage of being able to live the provisional life.

If I had inherited a fortune, which happily I did not, and could give it away, I would lose the fortune, but at the same time I would not have the responsibility of it.

So if you can project your qualities into the father you are freed of the responsibility for them, and you can lead the provisional life.

You can live undisturbed because you have given over to the father all the qualities for which you alone are responsible.

The dreamer’s father was a clergyman.

What was he likely to project into him?

The object of your projections must offer a little hook.

You cannot project genius into an ass.

Suppose you want to project lies into someone, when it is really you who are the liar.

You can only make such a projection into someone who has a suitable hook. [Laughter.]

I know this well and am ready to meet the occasion.

It can happen to any of you that someone may project into you, so you are in the same position as I am.

We all have hooks, you have to look for the hook in yourself as I do.

Projection is a terrific force.

You are moved by it and you do not know why.

The impact of the projection comes at you like a billiard ball.

Through projection terrible things can be brought about.

If you do not know of the hook in yourself or of the open door, then the devil creeps in (the projection) and has a tremendous effect.

You cannot be indifferent to a projection.

It is just as important whether

I am projecting into someone else or someone is projecting into me.

It functions in both cases with almost mechanical effect.

From projections there can arise the most amazing and inexplicable things.

In the story The Evil Vineyard a man is led to commit murder through a woman’s unconscious projection.

It is the story of an animus projection.

The Arnstein case in Germany may be a similar one.

A man in one night killed eight people, and absolutely no motive, no reason for it, could be discovered.

Why should a man who is not mad commit such murders?

Up to the time of the murders he could not sleep, he felt burdened, but did not know why.

After the murder in prison, he slept like an old rat.

He ate well and gained eight pounds and seemed perfectly satisfied.

He had killed eight innocent people, his wife, his mother-in-law, all the family, the gardeners and even his dog, which was much worse.

When I inquired into the case I found that his wife belonged to a sort of praying sect.

There is always a reason why people do that, put a question mark after her.

My idea is that this woman was a sort of devil and projected the whole thing, and he got it all out of the atmosphere like a medium.

He was weak and harmless. His own brother could not understand it at all.

He may have committed those murders under a projection, just as was the case in The Evil Vineyard.

This man was also weak while his wife was strong, and it is possible that the wife’s unconscious (the wife who goes to a prayer sect could have such an unconscious) insinuated what it was that he ought to do.

He may have been labouring for years making an hypothesis in his unconscious.

He always had the feeling that there was another person in him with whom he ought to deal.

He had written a diary, and a diary is a sign of an unconscious that is alive and has the need to converse with someone, so he had the feeling that he should write the story of his other life.

A few weeks before the crime there appeared several entries in the diary about a long knife, a suggestion of the unconscious.

It might mean, “Get ready, this is what you are expected to do.”

So it might be that his wife’s unconscious was projected into him and he was ready, as was the husband in The Evil Vineyard.

But of course there was a hook.

In the case of our dreamer we cannot speak of the effect on the father, but parents who receive projections can be forced into the role of a God-Almighty-likeness.

Many analysts are made into the Saviour, and it gives them such a push out of reality that they go wrong.

This is the typical disease of the analyst, because he offers a hook for projections by bothering about the souls of people.

The doctor must expose himself to infection, so the analyst must expose himself to projections but he must be careful not to get washed away.

What is the value of the projections which the patient makes into his father?

Mr. Gibb: Moral and intellectual ones.

Dr. Jung: The whole thing began when he took up the occult studies, substituting them for moral and intellectual values.

So it looks now as though the unconscious was criticizing his father, the stronghold of moral and intellectual values, in order to destroy these projections.

Then what could happen?

Mr. Gibb: All these responsibilities would fall back on himself.

Dr. Jung: Yes, he can like the provisional life no longer, hereafter he must depend on his own decisions of right and wrong, no longer on his father.

Anyone who leads the provisional life can depend on values and decisions made for them.

This is the advantage of the Catholic Church.

Eternal laws have been decided beforehand, so one is freed from deciding these matters for oneself.

Now the patient becomes his own father.

But we are still in the process of undermining the father image.

When I project my moral values into someone else, my responsibility is projected into him.

I am not burdened with responsibility or with self-criticism, so I can blunder along without any blame or consideration of the consequences.

I say, “I am very sorry, but I did not know.

Excuse me, what can I do about it? I will pay damages for the blunder,” but I go right on the same way.

There are people, you all know them, who blunder about like this.

They fall into a hole and have to be pulled out.

Then away they go and fall into the same hole again, as if it had never happened to them before.

It gets to be almost a system with them, they go on committing the same nonsense again and again and never see it.

These are the people who live the provisional life, not conscious of their responsibility.

When the father complex is undermined then the dreamer inherits the responsibility and self-criticism.

Now the father talks to the General Manager of the great estate, who has the black beard that the actual father used to have.

Obviously this man is identified with his father.

The fatness was just to make him disagreeable, he was not like that.

Now he is mixed up with a man who is definitely corrupt.

What would that mean psychologically?

Dr. Binger: A split in the dreamer, here represented by the father’s two sides, the father as a prince and as a fat imbecile.

Dr .Jung: Yes, but do not forget that this is not the father himself but projections of the various elements of the dreamer onto the father.

Things appear in the image of the father that really belong to the dreamer; values as well as vices.

Hence on one side he is the prince and on the other the corrupt manager.

On one side he idealizes his father as the superior man, the Prince, on the other side he depreciates him as the General Manager, who is corrupt.

Both of these are parts of the dreamer himself projected into the father.

He makes himself a more successful and intelligent man than his father, but he is also more corrupt.

This he does not see.

If he projects his moral values he does not have to recognize his corresponding vices.

There is nothing high that is not built on low.

Nietzsche said, “The tree whose branches reach to Heaven has its roots in Hell.”

The prince has now invited the dreamer, the General Manager, and the father to stay for lunch to talk business.

What about that role of the prince?

We say that the prince is an overvaluation of the father.

Now this superior person invites them to talk business and obviously highly psychological business.

Mrs. Sigg: The word business has in it something very definite, very positive. It is a good thing psychologically to be business-like, positive.

Dr. Jung: Sure enough, the business aspect can be a very positive aspect because of its reliability and justice.

If I understand you rightly you mean that the prince, being the positive father, suggests fair dealing, a business-like procedure.

Mrs. Sigg: Ruskins said, “First justice, then love.”

Dr. Binger: Isn’t this a sort of Board of Arbitration?

Dr. Jung: Yes, there is so much injustice, such a confusion in these projections, that it is as if the unconscious said, “Now, let us sit down and discuss the whole situation.”

The rest of the dream is an important clearing up of things which need an explanation.

The first point is that the father does not behave like a business man at all.

He even tells the General Manager that he suspects him of dishonest dealings.

This would be an impossible beginning and shows how unfitted his father is as a business man.

The dreamer makes the remark, “The father is dismissed as a business man so the responsibility falls to me.”

Yet the General Manager is the dreamer, in the last analysis, the one who is doing underhand things.

Occasionally his left hand does not know what his right hand is doing, so it is relatively easy to have a good conscience.

The point is that one cannot do honest and successful business because the General Manager is corruptible and does not offer decent conditions.

This is what the dreamer must explain to the prince, that there is no dealing with the General Manager, who is bought by the other firms.

What do you make of this?

Dr. Shaw: The prince is the best side of his individuality.

Dr. Jung: Yes, the prince, the positive father image is a sort of superior man with high moral values, which are now drawn out from the father and come back to the dreamer, to the superior man in himself – the superior self.

This sounds very clumsy but in reality it is quite simple.

For instance, when two men who are on good terms quarrel and it comes to a fight, and one of them says, “We are not fools, why should we fight like two dogs?

Let us be reasonable and look at things calmly,” that is the superior side coming to the fore.

This would be the prince and the dreamer, coming together to exclude the corrupt methods of the General Manager, really the interference with effective psychological activity.

You see, the General Manager would be the mean inferior man in the dreamer, his own lower self who tries cheap or corrupt means for momentary advantages or profits, having no horizon.

In the long run a big business is only thriving when it is honest, it cannot

thrive on corruption because corruption eats itself.

The dream is trying to put that man right in his psychology, because the problem, the onslaught of these unconscious waves, which he has again encountered, can only be dealt with by honesty, not through sly corrupt means.

His problem can only be dealt with by making an appeal to his higher self, but that appeal would be worthless so long as the man is not his own higher self, so long as his higher
values are projected into the father, and he is living the provisional life.

Those who lead provisional lives are in metal cases, there is no access to them.

Therefore the unconscious has to call back all the projected vices and virtues, and then, when the man is fully conscious of himself, he can be appealed to for honest dealing,

This refers to analysis!

Some people think of it as a technique which you can buy in order to make everything smooth and simple.

“Doctor, could you analyse me? I am suffering from a father complex.

Could you get that stuff out of my system?”

That is using corrupt and cheap means.

That is like removing an organ from the body, as though one could remove an arm in a minute, or pull out the heart and throw it away.

It can’t be done.

You cannot just remove a complex and the case is cured.

There are numerous publications representing the technique of analysis in that way.

It is mere corruption, and yet well-meaning people have published such stuff, as though it were all as simple as that.

Are there any questions in connection with this dream? It is fairly simple when the main idea is clear.

Dr. Binger: How much of his projection is due to the fact of the split in his own private life?

Dr. Jung: That is difficult to say.

I assume that his father complex has always existed.

Whenever a thing is projected it is always split. He undervalues and overvalues his father at the same time.

It is a yea and nay; plus and minus; positive and negative.

We have to learn that kind of paradoxical thinking when we want to understand psychological facts.

It is the same with all pairs of opposites-inferiority feelings mean megalomania, sadism means masochism, etc.

So I assume that this man was always split, only lately when his development became urgent did he destroy the provisional life. He has to see that he is the maker of his own life.

There are no rails, the track is not trodden.

I would not explain his complex as due to the difficulties in his marriage, rather the other way round. Because of the father complex he did not take enough responsibility in his relation with his wife.

Father would take care of all that. Thus people dismiss the Eros problem.

People with a father complex are exactly like people in the Catholic Church.

A good Catholic might say, “Why worry over philosophy and psychological questions? All this was settled two thousand years ago by wise men at a conclave in Rome.”

Such people can do amazing things, without having any qualms.

Mr. Gibb: Must not the active business discussion have to be taken into account, as a cotton business that might be of great value? Has he not in mind some new value of life?

Dr. Jung: Obviously his life is his business.

Unsettled business deals are grave obstacles.

His business cannot advance because his firm cannot deal with those big estates.

The unconscious is trying to get over to him the idea that he should establish a different rule for his life, that this business cannot be dealt with in little cheap ways, but only with his highest values.

Mr. Gibb: You don’t think it is something more specific?

Dr. Jung: Not consciously. I am quite positive about that, he must deal with the prince himself, with his own higher values.

People want the doctor to juggle away their difficulties, but it cannot be done.

Next dream [12], the same night: There is an extraordinary difference between the next dream and the last, with a most remarkable compensation.

“I am in a bedroom with my wife, and I see a door which eadsinto another room slowly open. I immediately go to the door, push it open, and in the other room I find a little boy
completely naked. I carry him into the bedroom and I am convinced in the dream that he is not a natural boy. In order to prevent his getting away (he is struggling in my arms) I press him against me, and he gives me the most remarkable feeling (not at all a sexual feeling) of satisfaction as if this true thing were satisfactory to the longings of my feelings. Then my wife brings in a variety of food for the child. I see black bread and white bread. The child does not want to eat the black bread but eats the white. Then suddenly he flies out of the window and beckons to us from the air.”


Door slowly opening: An allusion to a passage in the second part of Faust when Faust is getting old and has been trying to live a rational life. There is a monologue about the fact that he
likes to think along the rational lines of the day and be scientific; then night comes and all is different, the door opens and no one comes in! We cannot do without magic. In the man’s dream the door opens and no one comes in. That means something supernatural. He has studied occultism, and he uses the word exteriorization, the theory of what formerly was attributed to spirits, tabletipping, rapping, noises in the wall. His theory is that it is not done by a ghost but by something in ourselves, the exteriorizing of psychological contents, and the dreamer is convinced of the reality of such facts. In the dream he has the feeling that the door is opening in a queer way. So he goes to see and finds the little naked boy in the other room.

The boy: The only association he had is the traditional representation of Eros, the naked baby boy. It gives a peculiar satisfaction to his feelings when he presses the boy against him.

Bread: The black bread is more nourishing than the white because it contains a protein in the silver skin of the grain. “The little amourette has not been fed in the right way by my wife, therefore he flies away and is beckoning from afar.” Here you get a precious piece of masculine psychology. I am giving the whole sex away! That dream needs some mending. It is a good dream, an intimate, personal dream. How do you explain it after such an objective dream?

Dr. Binger: The contents are much the same. He sees himself as a child, Eros his infantile self. In the other dream he projected himself into his father, so he himself was a child.

Dr. Jung: Well, that needs discussion.

I think we had better begin with the text to be sure that we are going right.

The dreamer is in the bedroom with his wife, therefore it means in an intimate situation with his wife.

That statement in the dream before, that he has to deal with his highest values and not with his lowest, leads him to his intimate problem with his wife.

Something in the business does not work, something in his relation to his wife does not work.

The man who leads a provisional life does not deal with Eros.

His father knows all about that, so he does not have to bother about it.

He can close his eyes to the whole Eros side, and he is not adapted to his wife at all.

You cannot deal with a woman with mere objectivity, so it is quite natural that in this dream the obstacle appears.

The dream leads him right into the bedroom, for it is also a sexual trouble, sex being the strongest and clearest expression of relatedness.

In this situation, certain contents of the unconscious seem to be exteriorized.

As far as my knowledge reaches, those contents of the unconscious that are so near, so close that they are almost conscious, have a tendency to get exteriorized.

They are almost ready to burst into consciousness, but certain obstacles are in the way and they are exteriorized.

Here we have a little miracle.

I have no prejudice against these little miracles. Such peculiar things take place occasionally, but how they are connected with our psychology God knows, I don’t.

Only fools think that everything can be explained.

The true substance of the world is inexplicable.

In this case it should dawn upon the dreamer that the thing lacking in his relation to his wife is Eros.

It is almost a miracle that he has not seen it. It is Eros that ought to come in.

He opens the door but no one comes in, then he finds the little boy in the other room and he holds him in his arms for a minute, feeling a peculiar satisfaction to his feelings when he presses the child against hime and the thinks it is odd it is not a sexual feeling.

That is one of the foolish ideas which men have.

They think that Eros is sex, but not at all, Eros is relatedness.

Woman has something to say to that!

He likes to think that it is a sexual problem, but it is not, it is an Eros problem.

Bread: Black bread wo~ld be more nourishing, yet the child refuses it and eats the white bread.

Dr. Shaw: Does the black bread stand for his thinking, his superior function?

Dr. Jung: There is no sign of that.

Miss Bianchi: He stresses the difference between the white and the black, the contrast. Can one assume that it has something to do with the nature of the two people?

Dr, Jung: I am not so sure of that.

I would say that bread suggests food. Our mind, heart, body, every function must have its specific food, to continue living, so Eros cannot live without being fed.

The food given to Eros is here called bread. Black and white is the ordinary symbolism for moral values.

White is innocence, purity; black is earth dirt, night, Hell.

The very black bread (pumpernickel) is very heavy and not easy to digest.

They have a very primitive way of grinding the grain, so that all the husks are left in. It makes moist and heavy bread, but it is very nourishing.

The boy refuses the black bread and accepts the white. What does that mean?

Mr. Gibb: He accepts the more idealistic.

Dr. Jung: The dreamer is much concerned with the kind of food he eats himself.

He has a complex about food, and if you study such complexes you always find something interesting behind them.

White bread is made from the very heart of the grain and the husks are thrown away, or given to the swine, so white bread gives the idea ofluxury, nobility, or soul.

It is made from the “soul” of the grain.

The people who eat only white bread are noble, fine people, and those who eat black bread are coarse, vulgar, plebeian, earthy.

Now, the question is whether the child is fed with heavy substantial food of the earth.

To our Christian conscience that means food of devils and Hell.

What is of the earth, earthy? Sexuality!

But the general assumption that Eros is fed on sexuality is wrong.

Curiously enough, he is fed only on white bread, on the very heart of the grain, by something hidden within sexuality, that is the feeling, the relatedness.

If I should say to the patient, “Having sexual intercourse with your wife does not prove that you are related to her,” he would not understand, for he thinks it would.

You have relatedness by your feeling, by your rapport, and that is what feeds Eros.

One expects that after sexual intercourse the soul should not be sad, but often the worst fights and misunderstandings in marriage happen after sexual intercourse, because sexuality does
not feed Eros.

This is often the direct cause of quarrels and separations.

The dream so far is a very important realization.

Eros comes in a miraculous way and disappears in a miraculous way. He flies out of the window. What does that mean?

Dr. Binger: The man is not ready for a feeling relation.

Dr. Jung: We don’t know what Eros would do if he stayed long enough.

He might feed on the black bread too after a while, but he does not stay long enough. He just says, “Nothing doing; goodbye I” It is a good joke and a terrible truth.

It is the promised land,

but only for a moment is the fleeting vision clear; then he flies away before he can feed on the black bread.

This is often the way in analysis. Just for a moment you see the way ahead quite clearly, then the vision vanishes, the mist gathers, and again you are in confusion.

It is a sudden vision of the truth that appears and vanishes again without concretization.

Eating the bread in his house is an archaic symbol for hospitality.

But Eros does not eat all the bread, only the white, then he disappears, beckoning from afar,

“Au revoir, nice to have seen you, perhaps I will see you again, it’s not quite certain.”

Mrs. Sigg: I have some doubt about the boy being only Eros.

In Faust, the boy had something to do with poetry and imagination.

He was something else.

Dr. Jung: True, he may not be Eros alone. I have my doubts too.

But I kept to Eros as the dreamer was unaware of the general quality of his dream.

One could say that the fact that he associated with Faust in the beginning points to the charioteer, Homunculus, and Euphorion, the three forms of that element which I technically
term the Puer Aeternus symbol in dreams.

To my mind it refers to this symbolism.

After the father complex, the infantile complex necessarily appears, where he is the son.

First he turned his eyes to the father, now he is the son, still in the psychology of a boy of eight or ten years, so the Eros figure would be the infantile side ofthe dreamer.

But if you say that, then the infantile side is to come inte-r-elation-with–his-wifo,-ana-he-isn’-t-quite-up- te–that-situation yet.

You could say that his natural unsophisticated feeling had better come into relation with his wife.

It is quite true that the child is the infantile side of the dreamer, but it is also the promising thing in him.

The things which one has developed are finished, but the undeveloped things are still a promise for the future.

So the boy represents what may be developed, the self-renewing thing in man, and a good term to give to this figure is the Puer Aeternus.

The old idea was that the Puer Aeternus was a Divine Child who eternally appeared and disappeared in a miraculous way.

The Etruscan boy Tages, a little naked boy, appears in the furrow where the peasant is ploughing, and he teaches the people laws, arts, and culture.

Adonis was such a boy.

Tammuz appears to the women every spring.

The Babylonian fish-god Oannes comes out of the water as a fish, appears at sunrise, and teaches the people agriculture, laws, etc., during the day, disappearing at night into
the sea again.

Meister Eckhart had a vision of a little naked boy who visited him.

Then there are some English fairy stories of the radiant boy, in which the vision of the boy is always unlucky, sometimes absolutely fatal.

There must be some reason for this, I do not know what it may be.

The Puer Aeternus is simply the personification of the infantile side of our character, repressed because it is infantile.

If the dreamer allows that element to come in, it is as though he himself had disappeared and come back as a little naked boy.

Then if his wife could accept him as such, everything would be all right.

The little boy ought to be brought up, educated, perhaps spanked. If the inferior element can enter life, then there is a promise of future life, things can develop, there can be progress.

In mythology, the figure of this little naked boy has an almost divine creative character.

As the Puer Aeternus he appears in a miraculous way and then disappears in the same way.

In Faust he has three forms: Boy Charioteer, Homunculus, Euphorion.

They were all destroyed by fire, which meant in Goethe’s case that the Pueri Aeterni all disappeared in a passionate outbreak.

Fire puts an end to everything, even an end to the world.

Fire that is the sap of culture can burst forth and destroy everything.

This happens from time to time, as for instance in the Bolshevist Revolution, when the cultural form could not hold the tension of energy any more, and the fire broke forth and destroyed the Russian civilization. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 162-175