LECTURE VI 19 June 1929
As far as I can judge we have arrived at a satisfactory interpretation of the patient’s incest dream. Are there any questions?
Dr. Gilman: How badly was the man knocked out by your interpretation of his dream?
Dr. Jung: Oh, he wasn’t knocked out at all, because he did not realize it.
In certain cases realization comes only after a long time.
It is amazing how blind some people can be.
This is the first time the man’s unconscious has dealt him a knock-out blow-and I tried to hand him a sugar-coated pill.
There is an anaphylactic1 system in every one to protect him against a too acid realization; I have none of the Protestant feeling that I should rub things in.
Only when I think that a patient should begin to realize certain things do I insist on his understanding.
This patient’s realization was carefully theoretical.
Such people take a particular pride in their ability to understand.
If I had said to him, “You have the murderous instinct,” he would have answered, “Yes of course, we all have,” but to think that he could actually break a bottle over his wife’s head-impossible!
A thinker is never struck by thought, only by feeling. No one is more impermeable to feeling than the feeling type in an argument.
The feeling type gives no access to his feeling because he manages it.
It is his faculty, he uses it to get into connection with other people.
You reach a thinking type through his feeling, for there he is vulnerable.
We are not vulnerable in our superior function. It is as if it were inclined to be lifeless, cheap, containing too little blood; it is dull and thick-skinned, but very clever in attacking other people and producing certain results.
is a valuable tool but not very sensitive in itself.
We make a great mistake in assuming that a thinker’s thought is very profound.
It is rather the opposite, and only profound when it is mixed with the inferior function; and for the feeling type, the corresponding truth holds good.
Our patient realizes that there is something in this question of incest, but from that to bringing up his feeling about it is a long way.
He is not a neurotic case and I only see him off and on. It took him about two years before he began to understand what feeling is.
I told you how he almost stopped the analysis when he first approached feeling, so he is far from a realization of feeling in his incest dream.
He would say, “Yes, those facts are all right,” but he would speak exactly as though they were printed in a book.
Dr. Deady: What would be the feeling realization of that dream?
Dr. Jung: Oh, a feeling realization would be profound horror, which would produce a tremendous impulse to change the situation at once.
He would say, that shall not happen.
He would talk to his wife about the dream and say, “By Jove! This shows a terrible situation and we must do something about it.”
But even yet he has not said a word to his wife. I don’t press him; I told him we would go very slowly, no matter if it takes six or seven years.
Dr. Schmitz: What would be the result if you pressed him a little?
Dr. Jung: Oh, he would say, “I am not such a damned fool as to put my hand into boiling water.”
He would stop his analysis.
As you know, I am not anxious for patients, but I am interested in this case as a quiet laboratory experiment.
Dr. Schmitz: Does it move at all? What if you pressed him again after a fortnight, or mustn’t you press him?
Dr. Jung: Yes, it moves. He is not neurotic; if he were, his condition would press him. Why should I do it?
Dr. Schmitz: Why does he come?
Dr. Jung: He has an intellectual interest, he is an intelligent thinking man.
It is not my duty to press him, that is no job for me.
I am not his doctor in that sense, for he is not a therapeutic case.
If he were a neurotic patient I should press him and say, “Now don’t be a damn fool, go to your wife and do something about it.”
The original understanding between us is that this is a gentleman’s game.
Dr. Schmitz: You say that the patient is not accessible to thinking, so must be struck by feeling, and that a feeling type cannot be struck by feeling. I thought a feeling type was struck by situations that leave a thinking type quite cold, such as seeing an overloaded horse carrying more than is good for it.
Dr. Jung: No, they only talk like that. They work through their superior function and talk the language of feeling.
If one has to work with a feeling type one must use the same language.
For instance, I was treating a woman who was a feeling type.
Her son had just been engaged, there was a slightly incestuous game going on theie underneath, but the mother was not able to appreciate that problem.
I did not mention the situation, but I said to her with a subtle intonation: “It must be very difficult for a mother to lose a son.”
She took it right away at its face value, ate it up and said, “No, it is not so bad. I think it is worse to lose a daughter.”
Now if I had talked with her intellectually, we should have had an argument about all the mess regarding incest and ugly things like that, then she would bring out, “It is so hard for a mother to lose
She knows and I know that it is not real. It is a necessary make-believe.
This woman is a bright feeling type, not a fool.
If there are two thinking-type men who are not fools, they know that while they are talking their intellectual stuff, saying a + b = c, etc., they know very well that they are just wrapping up something
else in a parcel.
They are putting things in decent intellectual form to hand it over. It is a falcon de parler.
Each thinks, “he knows that I know,” and so it is with the feeling type.
My patient puts it very nicely, as if some tears were repressed in a corner, but we both know that the game is made up for the occasion.
We know that things are not so very hot, not so hot as when they were cooked.
That is the superiority of the superior function, things are not so hot, not so hard.
The superior function is really aloof, the hard thing is underneath, inaccessible, but we have the illusion that we are getting at it, otherwise you strike the sore spot and that leads to a conflagration. With a thinking type you cannot talk feeling language, as with a feeling type you cannot talk thinking language.
If I used a feeling argument with this man and said, “Isn’t it terribly sad when two human beings who love each other, who have been living together for years, sharing the pleasures and pains of life, are not in mutual confidence?
Just go to your wife, take her in your arms, etc.,” he would think me ripe for the lunatic asylum, or he would swallow it and with tears in his eyes he would fall on my neck, and tell me that he would do it.
Then he would go out and say, “Hell and damnation!
What was that fellow doing with me, making a weeping willow out of me?”
Treating a thinking type in that way and making him weep would arouse hellish resistances in him for half a year.
If he has any guts he will not talk with his wife, for he has been lured and cheated.
When you take a feeling type and begin to talk intellectual stuff to him, you lay the train for an explosion and something awful might come out, for the inferior function is not adapted yet.
Give an orang-outang a gun and see what happens.
Therefore in analysis we must adapt to the superior function and be on our guard. Let the patient talk.
When I have a feeling type I don’t talk too much, for I don’t trust my feeling.
When I talked to that woman about her son, I thought she might see the cloven hoof, but she took it and swallowed it, so I judge that my feeling function is up to date.
It is a proof that my feeling function works quite well.
It is the right kind of introduction, a good morning to the incest complex.
That is good form for the feeling function.
Dr. Deady: Good form for her superior feeling?
Dr. Jung: Yes, to establish a good rapport.
To her it seems good form on my part; it is just an absolute swindle, but the intention is good is decent.
Formerly I would have been ashamed to use such means, but it is really just good form, no more dishonest than herself.
Suppose you have a neighbour whom you think is the devil incarnate, isn’t it better to greet him than to shoot him?
Dr. Deady: Suppose she could bring up her inferior primitive feeling?
Dr. Jung: That would be very bad. It is the last thing to do.
That would give the push to her incest complex and make it evident.
What happened was that at the end of the hour we arrived at the conclusion that a mother can have certain feelings for her son.
If she were not far advanced in analysis, she could not stand even this thought.
But she still lacks the inferior primitive feeling that is behind this incest.
Bringing up her inferior primitive feeling would come later, and then she would be really conscious.
Even though this man could understand what his feelings are in regard to his incest complex, even then the very last touch would still be lacking.
That last touch would be the realization through his inferior thinking.
Invariably I see that the last realization, the primordial stuff from which the superior function is made, is the last thing to be touched by analysis.
A thinker, for instance, has a thought morality.
The thinker will say, “Thinking cannot be wrong, it is sinful to think illogically, such thinking is impure, to think illogically is a sin against the Holy Ghost.
Thinking must be instinctively right.”
So with a feeling type, feeling must be right; if it isn’t, then he is lost.
It gives one an idea of what an enormous effort it was for man to detach himself from the inferior parts of his superior function in order to become human, to establish himself as it were against nature.
But this is a question of very advanced analysis.
Dr. Schmitz: Can the inferior part of thinking be anything other than thinking?
Dr. Jung: It is thinking, all right, but entirely impure; that is, thinking as nature would think, the worst kind of feminine thinking, like the thinking of an ignorant cook.
Dr. Schmitz: The natural mind of woman?
Dr. Jung: No, rather the thinking of the female worm.
Let a man like Kant see his inferior thinking and he would hang himself right away.
For me to admit my inferior thinking is the worst thing under the sun.
I would admit anything, moral insanity, incest, any vice, first. That inferior thinking is the worst.
But this would lead us too far away. Before we go on to the next dream, I want to reconstruct the situation for you.
Before the incest dream, we had the dream of the cherry-tree.
The dreamer was led to see that an irrational growth is taking place in him and that he should pay attention to his own individual development, instead of admiring what is developed in me.
Then he has the incest dream.
Everything begins from below, so he must get at some basic facts in himself. St. Augustine said: “Between feces and urine we are born.”
He must understand incest before he can go forward. He must know that his feeling is low.
It is like an old mystery initiation. “Give away all that thou possessest, and then thou shalt receive.”
He must humiliate himself, he must repent, then an incubation dream comes for the understanding of the mystery.
It happens in our psychology in the same way.
Our dreamer must understand the idea of incest and as much of the feeling of the situation as he is capable of, which is very little.
We are going now on the assumption that he understands it intellectually at least. Perhaps something is happening.
Next dream [17 ]:
“I am walking on a road that is ascending.” (The incest dream meant a humiliation, a going down, and now he is going up again. In the old mystery initiations after repenting, prostration, going down, there is often flight of steps, meaning in astronomical language the seven constituents of man, or climbing up through the seven spheres4 of your constitution, the complete realization of yourself.) ”
The walking is very painful so now I leap; I get along very quickly, half flying and half leaping, just touching the ground occasionally. Thus I catch up with an old beggar with a staff, wandering on the same road. There are trees on either side of the road, and suddenly I find myself leaping into them and jumping from branch to branch like an acrobat in a circus. Then I see a woman and a little boy walking on the road. Apparently they belong to me in some way. As lam clinging to the lower branches of a tree the boy comes up and tries to beat me with a rod. I catch the rod and try to take it away; then I see that he is now holding it in his mouth. I tear it out and then I ~ee that his mouth is bleeding. I say, ‘There you have it, when you want to beat other people.’
Eventually the road leads to a building of yellow stones roughly built with two side wings and a sort of courtyard in front. ere the wings open there is a bar, a sort of gate. First I
have the impression that it is a prison. The sun is very hot and is beating down on that yellow stone building. There is a sort of porch next to the gate that would. lead into the garden, but then I see
that it is only a low wall, about as high as a man’s chest. I can look over it and see an old man lying on the ground. He is in rags, and stretching his arms up stiffly. He is quite immovable, and I do not
know whether he is alive or dead. In the garden there is an Arab child of six or eight years who is mocking us. Then I jump and leap up to the bar of the gate, so that I am astride of the gate with
my feet toward the garden. Then the Arab child begins to howl and says that we are not allowed to come into the court. But I don’t mind him, I climb over and approach the door of the house. It is
very hot, and along the wall near the house we find a number of pieces of new furniture, as if they had just been unpacked from a van. Among them is a sort of washstand, with a frame for a mirror
but no mirror. I say it cannot be very good for the furniture to be there in the sun (ironically). Then I try to catch the Arab child with a rope and bind his arms to his body, but the child is howling like
mad and I think I had better let him go. I approach the door of the house and see on a plate the name ‘Dr. Bauer,’ then I go to another door and ring the bell.”
The patient says, “I compare that ascending road to the evolution of mankind, also to the evolution of the individual, which can be expressed by walking on an ascending road. Such a progress cans be effected without pain. In order to move forward more quickly it is necessary to detach oneself from the earth, to use the earth as a point de depart. In taking the leap he uses the earth as though it were a jumping board. The old beggar on the road: “He makes me think of the Hindu fakirs, a sort of saint.”
Jumping from branch to branch “reminds me of monkeys and the way they travel from branch to branch in the trees.”
Woman and boy on the road: “It was an unknown woman, but I think of my anima, and the boy might be Eros in the dream of the Puer Aeternus. I feel that the woman and child belong to me, but in what
way I don’t know.”
The boy beating him with a rod: “For a moment I was not quite aware of what the boy was going to do and then he began to hit me.”
The blood in the boy’s mouth: “The blood might be a castration symbol.” The yellow stone building “reminds me of certain buildings in Africa, near the Libyan Desert, buildings that might belong to the Egyptian administration, but in reality there would be no garden.”
In the dream his first impression of the building is that it might be a prison, and he says in his associations, “The body is the prison of the soul.”
The porch beside the gate at the main entrance: The dreamer says, “In Africa the entrance to an estate is watched by a porter at the gate, who usually lives under the porch or in a primitive sort of building near the main entrance. For us it would be called a gatekeeper’s lodge.
The old man lying in the porch: He is not sure whether the man is dead or alive, and he reminds him of a Hindu fakir or yogi. He says: “Yoga has been of great interest to me, yet I must confess that the absolute introversion, with the complete loss of the external world, even the loss of the reality of one’s own body, is not quite sympathetic to me.” You remember that in the first part of his analysis he said that he felt that his interest in occult studies was morbid and didn’t get him anywhere. Then he talks again of the woman and the boy who accompany him. He says, “Curiously enough, when I jump up and sit astride the bar of the gate the woman and child are actually sitting in the garden, as if it had been no trouble for them to get in. As soon as I put my foot over they are inside, so I conclude they must be part of myself.”
Peculiarly enough, the Arab child arouses no associations. He says, “It is just an ordinary child such as one sees by the thousands in Africa, absolutely real. I have no access to that child.” About the
new pieces of furniture put up against the house in the full glare of the sun, he says, “it was cheap stuff, such as you often see in cheap shops. There was nothing individual or personal about it, nothing
desirable at all.”
From the patient’s remark in the dream that it is not good for furniture to be out in the sun, I conclude that the pieces of furniture do not really belong to that building. Trying to bind the Arab child
with a rope: The dreamer says, “I am not clear whether it is a boy or a girl.It is as if I were trying to show that child that I am not afraid of him. The child may belong to that house perhaps to the concierge.” If that house were a private estate in Africa, and the family away for the summer, naturally it would be watched by a caretaker, and these people always have retainers, so there are any number of dirty urchins hanging around. Suddenly he remembers that it is eight years since he spent a summer abroad. So he has been in Switzerland for the last eight years. Inscription on door plate,
Dr. Bauer: “That reminds me of Dr. Faustus and also of the last two words inscribed on Pernath’s breast in Meyrink’s story of Der Golem. I think this inscription means the entrance of magic or
The last two words to which the dreamer refers are the Hebrew words “Aur Bocher,” meaning “light” and “disciple,” referring to the one to be initiated, so his intuitive interpretation would fit it: “The youth to be initiated into the light.”
Now of the whole dream he says: “In order to be able to climb that ascending road of evolution, it is necessary to detach oneself from the earth, and to use the earth merely as a point de depart.
One should not be troubled by Eros, yet his accompaniment is inevitable, or perhaps necessary. It is necessary above all to have introspection and introversion, but it is not the all-important thing.
When one is approaching the gateway of the soul cheap things like that furniture should not be in the garden of the soul. I should remove them.
I think these cheap things are certain prejudices.
The door with Dr. Bauer on it does not seem to be the right entrance.
I feel that is the magic way.
So I leave that door and go to another to ring.”
About the Arab child he says, “I have not the faintest idea what it has to do with me.”
I must tell you that this dream is somewhat influenced by his having read Meyrink’s Der Golem.
In the last part of that book, the hero Pernath is led up to the gate of vision, which opens into the unknown garden of a strange house.
On the gate are the cult symbols of Osiris, depicting initiation and rebirth. Initiation always takes place in the underworld, and Osiris is the god of the underworld, so the situation in The Golem is in a way the stage setting for the dream, though of course it is translated into entirely different terms.
This is a pretty difficult dream, and we must go step by step.
In the beginning there is the road which leads him up to a certain goal.
Since walking in the blazing sun is so painful he leaps from branch to branch in the trees like an acrobat or a monkey.
Prof Schmaltz: I am pretty suspicious about his explanation. Is jumping from tree to tree the right way to reach the goal? The difficult road with the hot sun blazing down is probably the right
way, and he evades this by taking to the trees, the easier way, the intuitive way. I should say that the explanation he gives is not quite satisfactory for the true meaning.
Dr. Jung: He himself was not satisfied with it.
Prof Schmaltz: And I don’t think the boy is Eros either, but a figure that wants to tell him the truth, and beat the truth into him. I don’t believe there is any castration symbol. The rod in the mouth of the boy is truth and very disagreeable truth, the truth must bleed.
Dr. Jung: Yes, you can beat or lash a man with words.
At first the boy beats the man with the rod, then when the dreamer seizes the rod it is suddenly in the boy’s mouth, and he tears it out with blood.
The dream begins in the right way.
We are starting from a situation which we assume the man has realized.
He has humiliated himself, and now lifts himself from his prostration, in order to go on the ascending road, but on this road the walking is very painful, a sort of torture.
The sun beats down like tons of lead, and the dream very aptly uses the language that the man knows well.
He speaks of “la chaleur accablante” of an African summer, still, when there are trees you can walk in their shadow.
But if you are “untricheur,” a man who plays tricks, or a monkey, you might avoid the dust of the road by jumping from tree to tree.
That would be a very intuitive way to go, the intuitive goes by leaps, just touches reality and then is off again.
He sees the goal from the mountain top and assumes that he is there, just touching the earth now and then.
His assumption that he can reach the goal by leaping from tree to tree is not true.
He can only get there by painfully putting one foot before the other, climbing laboriously and painfully, hence we must be suspicious of his mode of travelling by leaps and bounds, while he lets the woman and the boy toil along in the dust of the road.
They have to walk, but he does tricks and goes like a monkey-monkey tricks!
So we must conclude that in the dream before, he did not come down to the real feeling situation.
In spite of his confession and humiliation, he only partially realizes the truth, and so he tries to go ahead the same oldd way.
He has an intuition of the hot painful way of the ascending road, so he tries monkey tricks again.
He is afraid to touch the painful reality.
The dream shows that in the very beginning.
Mrs. Sigg: After the last dream I had an impression of the parallel between the dream of the little boy, the Puer Aeternus, who had to be fed with white bread, and of the little girl of the incest dream. In both dreams the realization is incomplete, so he must repeat the thing again and again until it is made clear to him.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is true, as I have pointed out before.
The dream thus far is a critique of his cheap ways of evading reality.
The dreamer feels that the Eros boy of the former dream is again the same boy.
In other words, here is the same problem, the problem of his relation to his wife, which of course is not settled at all.
If he would put the problem to his wife once, it would be pretty painful, but that would be the real road, walking in the heat and dust.
He still flirts with the idea that the boy should be a sort of Eros.
But the Puer Aeternus means really your most devoted attempt to get at your own truth, your most devoted enterprise in the creation of your future; your greatest moral effort.
Only, the man must walk on the road, he couldn’t jump from tree to tree.
So when the dreamer comes down from the tree the boy is trying to lash him.
This is again a critique, he ought to be whipped like a naughty boy for avoiding his problem.
But he tears away the rod from the boy’s mouth, which surely means that he tears away the word of truth that comes from the Puer Aeternus.
His real essence or innermost soul and spirit of truth says, “Now see here, you are playing monkey tricks, deceiving yourself, cheating yourself. You know quite well what you ought to do.”
He doesn’t want to hear himself, he doesn’t want to see that symbol, His idea that it is a castration symbol might be true in a metaphorical way.
He has “castrated” his God, his divine voice, he took the power away, as Kronos in the old Greek myth castrated his father Ouranos.
So castration might simply mean laming his best truth, destroying his guiding principle.
It is the sin against the Holy Ghost, acting against his real conviction. Au fond he knows quite well what to do, but he prefers not to do it.
This is a precious demonstration of how dreams work. It is difficult, in the face of such a dream, to say the unconscious has no moral function.
This dream is the best kind of morality you can imagine, yet many dreams are not moral at all, so I finally came to the conclusion that we cannot speak of morality but only of the fact that dreams show that certain behaviour is inadmissible because nature will not stand for certain things.
This man is more decent underneath than he is on the surface.
I am pretty much convinced that if this man were a real criminal, meant to commit murder, his unconscious would say, “You must commit that murder, or you evade your own problem.”
The East knows this, so the East can say, “The perfect one will play the role of the king, beggar, criminal, or murderer, being aware of the Gods.”
The East knows a murderer must commit a murder, or he is immoral.
This means that the man who is meant to be a criminal, or murderer, must do it, or he does not fulfil the role given to him in this life.
It is easier for the East to have this philosophy, because of the belief that one life does not exhaust the whole of a man’s possibilities.
We in the West are in such haste because of all we must get into our one unique life. In the East they can make up in the next life what they have missed in this one.
Hence they have time enough to realize the profound truth that you shall play the role assigned to you.
After the scene with the boy we reach the building.
What about that?
There is something of the story of the Golem here.
The building symbolizes the goal he should attain, it stands in front of him with outstretched wings.
Here again something happens that is not right. What is it?
Mr. Gibb: He is barred out.
Dr. Jung: Yes, but he climbs over as if he were a burglar.
Again it is a monkey trick, like leaping into the trees.
At the end of The Golem, there is such a building seen in a vision.
I will translate the description: “It is the same way that I have walked in my dream, and again I take the little road that leads up to the castle.
I am afraid, my heart is beating, now the empty naked tree will come into view, whose branches reach over the wall.
Now I see it, but the tree is white with blossoms and the air is full of the sweet perfume of lilac.
At my feet is the town in the early morning light, like a vision of the Promised Land.
There is no sound; perfume and splendor only.
It is the quaint old street of the alchemists; the way up to the castle, but when I saw it in the night there was a little wooden lattice gate in front of the white house.
Now I see a most splendid gilded gateway at the end of the road, barring the road to me.
There are two sombre yew trees on either side of the entrance. I stand on tiptoe to look over the wall and am again dazzled by fresh splendour.
The wall of the garden is covered with mosaics, with a beautiful turquoise-blue background and peculiar golden frescoes, which represent the cult of Osiris.
The gate is the god himself, a hermaphrodite, the two parts forming a double gate, the right side the female, the left the male.
He himself is on a throne of mother-of-pearl in bas-relief. His golden head is the head of a hare.
The ears are cocked and touch each other, like the pages of a half open book.
I smell dew and the perfume of hyacinths coming from over the wall.
I stand perfectly still, marvelling, and suddenly an old gardener, or servant, wearing an old-fashioned coat, with a lace ruffle, and shoes with silver buckles, appears from the left side and asks me through the bars what I want.
Without a word I hand him the hat of Athanasius Pernath. (The hero got his hat by mistake, and because he wore it he thought he was Athanasius.)
The servent takes the hat and goes through the great gate of the castle.
As he opens the door I see a marble house like a temple.
There is Athanasius Pernath and leaning against him Miriam (the heroine, anima). I see both are looking down on the town.
Just for a moment she sees me, then turns and whispers into the ear of Athanasius.
I am spellbound by her beauty, she is so young, just as I had seen her in my dream.
Athanasius also turns his face slowly towards me, and my heart ceases to beat, for as one sees oneself in a mirror, so his face is like mine!
Then the door crashes to, and I see only the shimmering hermaphrodite.
The old servant gives me back my hat and says, ‘Mr. Athanasius is obliged to you, and asks you not to think hardly of him if he does not invite you into the garden, but it has been for ever so long against the rules of the house. Mr. Athanasius also begs to inform you that he has not worn your hat, because he noticed immediately that the hats had been exchanged. He only hopes his hat has not caused you any particular headache.’ ”
That is the story of a man who inadvertently got into the role of himself.
He saw it as a mistake.
That is what people say who fall into a hole. “Hell and damnation, I have fallen into a trap and the trap is myself.”
They always treat themselves as the greatest mistakes ever made. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 269-281