Seminar on Dream Analysis. C.G. Jung
LECTURE IV 5 June 1929
As there are no questions we will go on with the dream.
We got as far as the deeper meaning of the worm which is destroying the fruit. In the last part of the dream there is the question of how the dreamer will cope with the situation.
The discovery of the worm is of great importance, though of course it is an entirely unconscious perception.
The patient’s consciousness is rather remote.
In spite of the far-reaching explanation I gave him, he is still far from understanding the importance and scope of the dream.
He would never have arrived at the explanation I am giving you.
Here we are trying to go further in order to understand the whole theory and principle of dream expression.
Each dream is like a short drama.
At the beginning is a sort of exposition, giving a statement of things as they are, just as is shown very beautifully in the Greek drama.
First there is a demonstration of the situation from which things start; then comes the entanglement or development, and at the end the catastrophe or solution.
The second part of the dream usually consists of the problem of how the dreamer is going to deal with the situation.
This may seem a bit arbitrary, but the unconscious really does work in such a way.
First, the statement of the unconscious point of view; second, the possible way the dreamer will deal with it.
We are inclined to say, “What the dreamer ought to do under the circumstances,” but except in very rare cases, the unconscious does not say what one ought to do, never except when it is very obvious.
Usually several solutions are possible, hence the dream simply presents a choice of possible solutions.
It is the same as in the I Ching, where the first hexagram you cast gives you the present situation, a picture of things as they are.
This may be static, meaning that it will last a long time, and in that case you have no second hexagram.
But if you are in a state of movement the numbers indicate a second hexagram which is derived from the first by transposing the lines.
Thus the second hexagram gives the prognosis, an idea of the possibilities of future transformation.
There is no certainty about it, for there may be unforeseen changes in the conditions, and also much depends on what conclusions you draw from the first hexagram.
For instance, the first hexagram might show you how you should behave.
If you pay attention to its intimations and follow them in the best sense, then if the prognosis of the last line is unfavourable it need not come off.
There are all sorts of possibilities according to what you do with the first.
This dream is built almost like an I Ching hexagram.
In the second part of the dream the dreamer says, “I want to inform our agents by cable, and therefore I take the code in order to keep the information secret.”
You see here the beginning of the activity of the dreamer.
He wants to do something about the report of the worms.
He has the right idea of informing his agents, and secrecy is perfectly fair in that part of the business.
Translated into psychological language, the idea in the dream is that something has happened, a new worm has suddenly appeared, the worm which seemed to be a terrific danger; yet we saw that it also has a very positive meaning, the beginning of higher consciousness.
That is why so many people are afraid of higher consciousness.
For it appears as a greater responsibility and danger. Can you give me s0me·examples?
Dr. Bertine: Prometheus who stole the fire from the gods and then was punished by having a vulture tear at his vitals for years.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the discovery of fire, that is a good mythological example. It is like the doctors who paid with their lives for carrying on experiments with x-ray. But you have historical examples.
Dr. Kirsch: Galileo.
Dr. Jung: Was he in danger? Yes, he got into trouble with the Inquisition.
Mrs. Sigg: Luther?
Dr. Jung: The Reformation, yes, or the much more impressive example of the advent of Christ which upset civilization and caused great slaughter.
Think of the hundreds and thousands of people who went into the desert to lead the ascetic life; whole towns were depopulated, and the monasteries were filled to the top, and even the graves were used as shelters.
It was devastating! Also there was the upsetting of individual families.
That was the real reason the Romans hated Christianity so much, because it split up families, and thus threatened to rip open the foundations of the Roman state.
The Romans were tolerant of all sorts of religions, but Christianity, that was too devastating. This is a good example of what a new thought can do.
Mrs. Sigg: Freud.
Dr. Jung: Yes, how many are cursing psychoanalysis.
Dr. Schmitz: But not Jung.
Dr. Jung: Oh yes, I could tell a long story about that, and you all could furnish the material for it. A thing of blood was the explosion of Islam in the East.
Think of the Crusades, the Reformation in Germany and the upheaval of the peasant wars. A new thought makes a road paved with blood.
Dr. Deady: What about the situation in Russia? Is that a widening of consciousness?
Dr. Jung: Surely.
Dr. Deady: It is hard to think of the Communists as being an example of widening consciousness.
Dr. Jung: But the Communists are only a thin layer.
It is the muzhik.
There is a very good book by Maurice Hindus, Broken Earth, 1 showing why Bolshevism is a widening of consciousness.
The muzhik is beginning to grumble with fate, with the Government, to swear and to complain, that means he is beginning to think.
That is the miracle in Russia. Russia has remained unconscious for thousands of years beside Europe and nothing has filtered into it.
The muzhik remained just primitive, but now something begins to move in his brain.
To us the Communist means nothing, but to the muzhik it means that he might think.
I am quite convinced that in the long run the muzhik will be stung into action and made to think socially and politically, and this will be the positive result of Bolshevism in Russia.
Up to now the peasant has been willing to have anything on top of him, but if he begins to think something might come of it.
Now the danger of increased consciousness stirs our dreamer into action.
The dream says symbolically that he is going to inform his agents secretly. How would you translate that psychologically?
Mrs. Sigg: In the last dream he wore the cap of the earth, and now the fruit of the earth is spoken of. The agent might stand analytically for the analyst.
Dr. Jung: I refuse to be the agent of the patient. He is going to inform his agents. The agents are surely not the analyst but the man’s own subordinates.
Dr. Schmitz: His functions.
Dr. Deady: His superior function that keeps him in contact with the world, his tools.
Dr. Jung: Yes, of course, he is informing his consciousness, his agents are his consciousness, they are all the threads that go from his brain into the world.
He wants to inform consciousness; to realize it. Now the code, what does that mean?
Mrs. Sigg: Shortened language.
Dr. Jung: No, not shortened but hidden language.
He could send a cable saying, “The cotton crop in such a part is infected with a new pest,” but what would be the mistake in that?
Dr. Schmitz: Everybody would know about it.
Dr. Jung: Yes, in such an important matter with millions at stake, he could not risk sending an open telegram to his agents, the news could be too easily betrayed.
It is funny that he could not inform his consciousness in a direct way, Why couldn’t he?
Mrs. Kirsch: To do it in a direct way would be too shocking to him.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is a good reason, but there is another.
He can inform his conscious secretly in such a way that he only knows it, so the code must protect the message against betrayal.
That can be due, as you say, to the fact that he wants to spare himself, therefore he does not put it too bluntly.
It might have another consequence, he might be betraying himself.
Suppose you have a feeling that something is not quite right, and you have a hunch that you had better keep it to yourself, and then another voice says, “Damn it, things are so and so and you had better tell
So you go to your wife and your friends and say such a thing is so, as though you were very sure.
That is the danger, you would get into trouble at once.
So the code protects him against the clear knowledge, against any immediate manifestation of his conviction.
But when he has only a vague hunch or “feeling” he can keep it in a compartment.
That is the meaning of the code form.
He must use the key, but now he finds that he holds another book in his hand.
His brother sees his mistake and smiles when he asks him for the code.
And now it turns out that his brother has already sent the message, so that the agents are informed, but the dreamer does not know the text of the cable.
It looks almost like pedantry to go into all this, but it is most important because it shows the exceedingly subtle way in which we deal with ourselves.
We are most diplomatic.
We have all shades of consciousness, dim, clear, half-clear, dark, and with each level we have a certain way of dealing with it.
We say things to ourselves in a sort of hushed voice, and thus do not upset the compartment system.
If we speak loudly they will hear us in the next room and it will upset them in there.
It is practical to keep quiet about certain things, and that is the reason why I talk about these subtle ways.
You can catch people at such tricks.
The point is that he wants to inform his consciousness in a clever way, with no sting in it for him, but he makes a mistake. What is it?
Dr. Schmitz: He intended to send the cable by the usual code, but now he has found a new code, perhaps a book of yours. Psychoanalysis.
The brother is the shadow.
Dr. Jung: It is exceedingly probable that if the brother has sent the cable, he has sent it in code, for, as the managing director, he is as much aware as the patient is of the seriousness of the situation.
That means that the consciousness of the patient has been informed quite automatically by the shadow.
Dr. Schmitz: Since his experience in analysis he tries to do it in a new way. The book means a better code, as it were.
Dr. Jung: The very fact that it was done by the shadow proves that it was done in the old way.
The shadow means shadowy ways.
If we leave things in the dark then they go on in the old ways, or even a little bit worse, like a leaking conduit or an engine when nothing is done to it.
When the dream says the shadow has done something, you can be sure that it has been done in the old way.
The dreamer makes a mistake in taking another book for the code, but really it is his first attempt to do things in the new way, although he is not at all aware how he could inform his consciousness
in a new way. Of course the dream says nothing about analysis.
The dream says “another book.” The man has no associations, he has no idea how his rather scant analytical knowledge could be used to inform his consciousness in a new way.
There is an analytical way of information.
When you discover a shocking truth in the unconscious, you sometimes realize it in that
blind way of the code.
But sometimes it comes to you so clearly that you can only say, “Well, it is so.”
It may strike you like a blow on the head, so that you are dazed by it and cannot understand it.
Here analysis comes in.
The analytical way is to understand when you realize it. Many dreams are quite dreadful.
For instance, suppose you dream that you want to kill someone, your father or your husband; if you have no way to understand it, it is too horrible.
That is because you have no analytical code, and do not take it in the context, so it falls on you like a block of lead and almost crushes you.
Analysis tries to give the necessary context, to show the relativity of such situations.
If you take the dream literally, that you want to kill your father.
It is terrible, but it is by no means terrible when it is translated into analytical language.
It is as a rule to be taken symbolically, so to kill the father may mean remove the father, or it might mean remove his influence so that he will be inactive.
The drastic primitive language of the unconscious just says, “Kill him,” meaning no more than we do when we say, “Kill time.”
It is quite innocent, it means just “stop his activity.”
If you can put it in such a way the conscious can accept it without being blown to pieces.
You can say there is an instinctive murderous impulse behind it.
Well, we all have murderers among our ancestors, and there are many among us who could commit a murder under certain circumstances with no particular qualms.
The original blood-lust is in it, but the meaning is different, so you can accept it.
‘This is the analytical code that makes all things possible instead of the old code, which, taken literally and without the context, would be destructive.
The old code simply served to conceal a thing instead of bringing it into full consciousness.
The dreamer wants to inform his agents, but according to the old code.
He is shocked by the report of the danger to the crops and does not know what to do with it.
Many of my patients say, “How could I commit a murder?” “What can I do about it?”
The old way is just to repress it, but the new way, the analytical way, would be to digest it to a certain extent, making it manageable.
I say, “It doesn’t mean that you are going to kill your father literally.
You can counteract his influence without that.”
That already shows the patient what to do; he gets the information in a digestible, manageable. form, it fits into the picture of his world, there is no shock, he can assimilate it.
But our dreamer is not yet prepared, not yet able to get it in this way.
There is no indication of what the book is that he holds in his hand, nor any information as to how he can use it in a different way.
All he gets is anger at his brother for not showing him the cable.
The patient realizes that it was his shadow, his brother, who did it; what he himself could have done remains in the dark.
That is the negative end of this dream.
The new facts are presented in a disagreeable, threatening form, but the facts alluded to in the symbolism of the worm are not negative.
The dreamer is beginning to discard the old ways and take up the new, so I would say that the dream is not at all negative, it presents positive contents in a negative form.
Next dream : “I am standing under a young cherry-tree looking at the ripe, very big red cherries. I say to myself, ‘It is worthwhile.’ Then I see that my children are collecting the immature fruits that have fallen off the tree, in a little basket. I say to them: ‘These cherries do not belong to us and they are not ripe.’ I throw them again under the tree on the ground. I notice a little girl of about two years among the children. She says, ‘I too have a cherry tree of which I am very proud.’
She wants to show it to me, and leads me through the bushes to a quite young tree, and she speaks with the same intonation that my wife has in her voice when she speaks to little children. She says, ‘There are no cherries on it.’ I talk soothingly to her and explain that the little tree must grow up before it has fruit on it.”
Associations: The cherry-tree with fruit:
“It is well worthwhile to plant these trees because in time they have such beautiful big fruit.” The children collecting the unripe fruit: “I think of my former dream with the strange hat that makes me ridiculous. Just so the fruit of this tree is not my property. Therefore I shouldn’t touch it, but I should plant my own tree. This little girl brings back to me the child in a former dream.”
The “child of two years” brings back the little girl in his first dream, the little sick child of the anima who didn’t want to pronounce the “a” at the end of Maria, the name of the dreamer’s wife, so you see we have here the reappearance of the anima. He is particularly struck by the fact that the child has the same intonation that his wife uses when she is talking to little children. He says, “It seems now as if the little girl had made a relationship with my wife, because she speaks with her voice to me.”
Analysis of the dream:
It begins with the beautiful cherry-tree full of ripe fruit.
The dreamer says, “It is worthwhile,” as if someone had just said, “It isn’t worthwhile.”
He has practically no associations
because he is still under the spell of the dream before, where he was concerned with the unripe fruits of the cotton.
I forgot to tell you what Mr. Gibb ·has just recalled to me, that when the cotton is infected by this worm, the fruit drops from the stalk in an immature state.
I remember that my patient described this to me fully at the time.
Here we have again the immature fruit. What do you make of this beautiful tree and the cherries?
Mr. Gibb: The tree of knowledge.
Dr. Deady: The thing growing from the soil and producing fruit.
Mrs. Crowley: Would it be a question of sex, the cherries?
Dr. Jung: Yes, we will come to that later. In the dream before, something was wrong with the crop, the fruits were not sound, but here is a beautiful tree with fruit.
The first impression is of health, completeness; sickness is overcome. What has happened in between?
Dr. Schmitz: It is a compensation for the mechanical way of the business man. He would never think of planting a tree or a flower. He would say, “It isn’t worthwhile, it doesn’t pay.” Analysis is like
something of the earth, a natural growth. You must have the patience of the peasant who tills the soil, and be satisfied with small results, very different from those of the business man. This beautiful
tree is nature, and he sees that “it is worthwhile.”
Dr. Jung: You are describing the atmosphere of this dream.
You see that the unconscious has shifted the scenery and insists on an entirely new aspect.
In the dream before the growth of the cotton does not interest the dreamer in the least, it is only a question of buying and selling.
Now in this dream he is confronted with a new problem, the growth of a tree, in which he has never been interested because he can buy the fruit in the market.
But it is as though he could not buy the beauty of a tree full of fruit.
He says, “It is worthwhile.”
He must recognize that there is a practical virtue and merit in raising such trees, which to him as a business man would not be worthwhile, too small a business.
So the whole psychological problem is expressed in a new language, one could say natural language, the language of the soil.
The problem with which he is dealing can no longer be expressed in terms of business.
The language of buying and selling is too rational, so the language of the unconscious now proposes a different symbolism.
Here is a beautiful tree with fruit, and he must admit this is also worthwhile.
It is something opposed to industrialism, his former attitude.
Every day I hear, “What is the use of it?” “What can I do with it?” “What is the result?” “One only spends a lot of time and money and can do nothing.”
Only a few days ago I said to a patient, “The only thing you want to know is what are the facts and what you can do with these facts.
This is all on the surface.
You never ask what comes up in connection with these facts or how you are affected or feel about it, or what you can do with yourself.”
We think nothing can be done without applying dynamite.
We do not realize that much can happen through development, through growth.
Often we are led to a wall, it is too high, we cannot get over it and we stand there and stare at it.
Rationalism says, “There is no getting over it, just go away.”
Yet natural development has led the patient up to an almost impossible situation to show him that this is the end of his rational solutions.
It is meant that he should get there, and perhaps stay there, make roots and grow like a tree; in time overcome the obstacle, grow over the wall.
There are things in our psychology that cannot be answered today.
You may be up against a stone wall, but you should stay there and grow, and in six weeks or a year you have grown over it.
The I Ching expresses that very beautifully.
A similar situation which looks quite hopeless is depicted thus: “a goat butts against a hedge and gets its horns entangled.”
But in the next line: “The hedge opens; there is no entanglement.
Power depends u pan the axle of a big cart.”
So if you could stop butting against the fence you would not get your horns entangled, and presently you would have the power of a cart with four wheels.
There is another way in nature, the way of a tree.
This is against rationalism and the impatience of the animal man.
It is concupiscence that wants to leap like a tiger over things.
The tree stands still and grows and makes roots, and eventually overgrows the obstacle.
So this dream calls his attention to the other kind of symbolism.
It is a way especially useful in dealing with psychological difficulties.
Today he is surely quite unable to deal with his problem, he wouldn’t know how to make a decent relation with his wife, he has no words, no manner for it, so he would just make a mess of the whole thing.
His unconscious says, “Better shut up.”
Then his rationality says, “Better run away,” make compartments.
But the way of nature’s is to be like a plant, a stable being, and in time the tree will bear fruit.
The only way in which he can be helped is through evolution.
This idea goes right through the dream.
The little girl leads him to her tree, proud of it although it is so young that it does not bear fruit, and he himself explains to her that in time it will grow up and bear fruit.
Now what about the cherries which drop off and are collected in baskets?
Obviously these are the immature fruits of the cotton that fall off, infected by the worm. Every cherry-tree produces fruit that does not mature.
What does this mean psychologically?
Dr. Leavitt: Certain psychological processes are not meant to mature, they die before they reach maturity.
Dr. Jung: Yes, in everybody’s psychology there are certain things that are meant to die, just useless husks that must be cast off.
In the metabolism of the body certain cells die daily-living today, dead and ready to be cast off tomorrow.
So in psychology we must build up certain things that never reach maturity.
They are useful for a time then disappear, as for instance, certain gifts that are promising in youth; after a while they often wither and drop off.
Why do you think the dream insists on such a banality?
Dr. Leavitt: Might it not mean unprofitable experiences?
Dr. Jung: Life is a laboratory, an experiment of nature, and many things fail.
People say, “This failed and that failed,” and they remain quite unconscious of what they can do, they are pessimistic an are only conscious of what they cannot do.
The dream says:
“Everybody takes risks, nature takes risks, we are all experiments that might fail.”
The immature cherries drop off. But our dreamer cannot see it.
If he were a little less rational he could play more with life, but such a rationalist cannot play with life, for play is irrational.
We must be able to say of certain things, “I will try it even with the conviction that it might be an error.”
Only when you live in this way can you make something of life, perhaps today one way, tomorrow another.
Every root in the earth has to find its way around a stone.
It may take the wrong direction.
As soon as you come to the idea of growth and development you are confronted with the irrationality of nature.
Every rationalist hates this, for with him things must be safe, “no risks please.”
Now the children are collecting the fruits which have no value at all! What would that mean?
Where do the children suddenly come from?
The children are the immature fruits, they represent his own childish tendencies, but what does picking up the immature fruit mean?
Mr. Gibb: Hanging on to childish values.
Dr. Jung: That is exactly the picture the dream presents.
It says, look at children, how they play, they take life as it comes, they even gather the rotten fruits, they don’t ask “Is this a valuable cherry?”
This is the idea the dream shows to him.
You have to live certain things in life as though they were meant to become mature fruit and if they do not ripen drop them; they must be taken in a playful way, a childlike way, without prejudice.
As soon as you are prejudiced you exclude certain possibilities, and life is no longer full.
Dr. Schlegel: One could interpret it as the man’s infantility, collecting these immature fruits as though they were valuable, and his unconscious criticizing him as childish for behaving in that way.
Dr. Jung: That is an interpretation that would be perfectly good for an irrational type, but we must take into account that this man is a rational type.
He would say just that of his own dream.
I interpret it my way, because one of those children is the child of his anima.
With the dreamer’s interpretation he would exclude his anima, hence he would exclude his soul, then he would be back at the beginning again.
This is a good theoretical interpretation, but it does not take the psychology of the dreamer into account.
Often people whom I do not know send me their dreams, but without a knowledge of the dreamer
I can only interpret them theoretically.
You have no point de depart for the interpretation.
Therefore, in contrast to Freud, while admitting that dreams use the same images, we must remember that they are symbolic of different psychological situations.
A snake in one case may mean something favourable, “the wisdom of the depths,” in another something unfavourable, such as a physical illness.
Once a woman dreamed of a snake a mile long, as big as an elephant, which meant typhoid fever.
The woman had said, “Always before I am ill I dream of a snake, but never of so big a one.”
A snake may have seven thousand meanings.
Dr. Bertine: Could you interpret the dream before her illness?
Dr. Jung: No, I didn’t analyse her. I only met her and she told me about it, but I thought it meant a long illness.
Whenever the unconscious is on top, whenever it prevails against the present, it grows heavy and important, and is pregnant with the past or the future.
When the unconscious is full of the future, or is an activated form of the past which has not been realized, then it prevails over man, Therefore the snake can mean the past or the future.
Dr. Schmitz: What about types that are not defined, as the intuitive for instance, who can’t live on intuition and who has thinking or feeling as a secondary exaggerated function? His new language is good, he seems very rational. When we develop a new language, we are more eager to use it than our own. So an irrational type may thus become an exaggerated rational type. Then how would you interpret a dream?
Dr. Jung: This is a complicated case. If the person is exaggeratedly rational, then the dream should be interpreted as I did.
I am not sure in this case, in fact I almost think that the dreamer was originally an irrational type.
He has developed his thinking and has begun to rationalize himself, so he overdoes it.
Very likely he is a sensation type and has compensated by an exaggerated rationalism, so the dream has to break that up.
Mrs. Crowley: Doesn’t that make it very difficult to interpret one’s own dreams?
Dr. Jung: Yes, with my own dreams I am just as helpless as anyone else.
The dream falls in my own shadow where my light fails.
It is just as though I had never heard of dream analysis.
That is, of course, the maddening thing, that you are never equal to your own dreams.
I have to begin at the very beginning and come to the most painstaking analysis.
That proves that our dreams are always just ahead of ourselves.
We never grow into the divine stature, we are never with our gods.
The essentially human thing is that man is always a little below, a little incomplete. He must be so!
So you have to assume the attitude of a newborn babe.
One must always be humble when it comes to one’s own dreams.
After twenty or thirty years I have learned this attitude, that the things that are worthwhile are ahead of me.
There are things in us that are superior to ourselves, therefore we get the idea of a hypothetical new centre superior to the conscious one.
Irrational types are always putting their foot in it.
They are nearly always on the wrong path, hunting spectres.
If they gather fruit on the road they throw it away because it is an accomplished fact.
We come now to the important fact that one of these children in the dream is his childish anima, and why she is only two years old.
Her age has to do with the beginning of his psychological studies. From earlier dreams we saw that his interest in philosophy and theosophy was rather morbid.
He was inclined to take theosophy in too concretistic a way, so the child of his anima was sick.
ln the dream to which he refers, she could not say the name of the dreamer’s wife, and now she speaks with the intonation of his wife’s voice and is on good terms with her, an important change.
So after a month of analysis the child is no longer sick, and she shows her beautiful young cherry-tree to the dreamer.
Obviously he feels that the big tree does not belong to him, so he does not let the children collect the fruit. When his anima takes him to her tree he feels it is entirely her own.
Where then does the big tree belong?
Dr. Bertine: Did he have an intuitive perception of the possibility of such a tree from talking with you?
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is the tree of my anima.
He only intuitively perceives it, senses that the stuff we talked about seems to be worthwhile.
Then comes the temptation to swear on the words of the master, like the Pythagoreans, and to take every word I say for the eternal truth.
I say a lot of nonsense during the day and there are certain people who pick up all the immature fruit and rotten berries and eat them and think they have dined well.
That tree produced a lot of immature stuff, and this man might have been inclined to pick it up and value it without criticism, but the dream warns him and says, “You let that stuff alone, it is not your tree,
you have your own job to look after.”
Then his little anima takes him to her own tree, and he is very paternal and says, “Just have patience and in time it will grow and bear fruit.”
He is too paternal when he talks to his animal Why is she so young? He is forty-seven, she is only two.
Dr. Schmitz: She is newborn.
Dr. Jung: Now with more spiritual interest she begins to live.
She is immortal, she can change her form, sometimes she is very old, an old witch; why is she so young here?
Dr. Deady: She is young because his relation to this child, which is his relationship to woman, is so young.
Dr. Jung: Yes, his relation to his wife, and also because his attitude in the conscious is too old, hence his unconscious compensates for that and makes it too young.
Any rationalist tries to live as though he were two thousand years old, like an experienced great-grandfather.
If we had agreed with old Pythagoras the whole world would, by this time, be rational.
When we live from the rational point of view, the anima is a baby.
Two years old is pretty young, so you can see what the age of that man is, about nine hundred years old I should say.
What he needs, in order to become human, is an enormous dosage of youth.
The difference between two and nine hundred symbolizes the gap in his own nature.
Obviously the tree to which the little girl leads him is his own tree.
It is an old Germanic idea that every man has his own tree, his totem planted when the child is born; if anything happens to this tree something happens to him, but if it grows and flourishes he is well and happy.
You could injure a man by driving a nail into his tree or you could kill a man by cutting down his tree.
The tree is used as a theme in The People of the Mist, by Rider Haggard, where each individual of the tribe had his own tree.
There is a peculiar relation between each man and his tree, and when his tree falls the life of the man comes to an end.
According to Caesar, the Druids used to cut a tree into the shape of a man with outstretched arms in the form of a cross.
Christ on the cross is another example, for the cross is also the tree of life.
Then there is a Jewish legend in which Adam, just before his death, is allowed to look for the last time into Paradise.
The tree is dead, but in its branches is lying a little baby. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 241-254