Children’s Dreams Seminars

LECTURE I 9 October 1929

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am going to continue the series of dreams that we worked with last year, with the purpose of demonstrating their continuity, and the development which shows itself in the unfolding of the symbolism in the patient’s unconscious.

Each one seems to ·be a psychological entity, the meaning of which may not show at the moment.

They are little dramas, each with its preamble, dramatic situation, catastrophe, and solution, and yet somehow static.

But if we take a series of dreams we find there is movement, a circular or rather a spiral movement.

Moreover, it gives one a much greater feeling of certainty and safety to know that a wrong guess may be corrected or verified in the dreams that follow; and one is able to get a much better impression of dream analysis when one can follow through a series of the same person.

I must give you some idea of the dreamer himself, since some of you were not here last term.

He is a European but has lived a great part of his life in exotic countries.

He is a very intelligent man, he has had a successful business career, and has now retired and handed the business over to his brother-in-law, but is still the nominal head of the office.

He is 47 years old, is married, and has a nice family, nice children, and a nice fortune.

His problem is the typical problem of that age.

If he were a Frenchman he would retire and go fishing, that would be the normal and wise thing to do.

For after 45, things become rather difficult. Depressions occur at that age, usually because these men have not reached what they had proposed to themselves to reach, they compare the reality with
their ambition and it is disappointing.

They think they are unable to accomplish more than they already have, and a vague melancholy settles down on them; they begin to give way.

One sees the same thing with simple people; the man may take to drink, mildly or otherwise, and he often becomes slightly effeminate, while the woman grows more masculine and takes on the responsibility; often she starts a small business very successfully, perhaps a shop, and he becomes a kind of employee of hers.

This peculiar change begins to take place after forty, really, as though the wind were taken out of a man’s sails; he doesn’t know how or why, but it is a subtle fact.

So normally the beginning of the new phase of life is characterized by a sort of revolution that may be slow or acute.

There is often a sense of resentment against life, because either one has not accomplished what one might or one has not lived what one might have lived.

Then people are apt to do something stupid in business, or, more probably, they fall in love, for that is the side they have neglected.

Anatole France speaks of the “Demon of Midday,” a sort of demoniacal possession through love.

When time brought this man a chance, he found terrible gaps in his intellectual and feeling life.

He had tried to be the respectable married man, but he could not live in that ice-cellar for ever-his wife eternally frigid, not interested in sex and he not too keen about it.

They lived together in a kind of insulated condition.

This lack led him into adventures with demimondaines, but all those things grew less and less interesting, and he said to himself: this is not-the-rnalthing-.~He-is-a-l”efined-type-and-expects-a-mo-1:’ecomplete_ experience, not only sex and money, but love, a higher type of love and real devotion which is not in such women-really a most decent tendency.

But even if out for something decent, he was up against our institutions; in the case of real love, it is more dangerous, one is confronted with impossibilities in that line of life.

So he turned away from that and landed in theosophy, he dreamed himself into an artificial world of images, a stupid place where one can lose oneself in all sorts of heavens, and since it was a substitute, it was like flirting with a sort of spiritual cocotte, and he got very tired of it.

Then he became mildly neurotic and came to consult me, not really for treatment.

He had come to psychoanalysis through his studies, and thought it might be better “dope” than theosophy, for he had heard of the Freudian sublimation idea by which nature is transformed by magic into playing the piano or living a saintly life; one thinks in a marvellous way and sex is wiped out.

I destroyed some of his illusions, the only thing I could do for him, but I told him I could not solve his problem for him.

If I had told him to go on with any number of women, he not only could not do it but he would soon testify that it did not work.

He had tried the spiritual way of theosophy/with its promise of seven heavens and was disgusted, so I said to him, “We will see what your nature, physical as well as spiritual, will produce.

You have to be patient, as I have to be. There is no prescription.”

His dreams have shown that the unconscious has begun to weave a sort of pattern, a peculiar tortuous way, zigzagging through the ups and downs of the human psyche, slowly insinuating certain symbols of ancient cults, through which the mental attitudes of men have in the past been transformed-so the reports say.

One dream, for instance, contained very important individuation or rebirth symbolism.

But whenever a dream promised a step forward, he had a regression; when he should have reached up and taken, he withdrew.

He climbed up a hill near the sea, the waves dashed up and made it impossible for him to stay there.

Every time that he tried to do something definite, to launch his particular psychology in life-in his case, it would mean an attempt at an understanding with his wife-each time that he tried to talk to her,
he recoiled.

And each time I had to admit that there seemed to be very good reasons for it, that it was not mere cowardice.

I have not met his wife and it may be that something in her is the cause; there may be some fundamental incompatibility there.

There is an abysmal gap in sex psychologies.

We are still in a primitive state of participation mystique in the relation between the sexes; we have not discovered that only different things can enter relationship.

I had to tell him to hold himself in suspense and see what would come, no matter how long it might take.

Dr. Deady: Are you still working with him?

Dr. Jung: I have not seen him since last July, but he then seemed to be nearing a solution. He approaches it in spirals.

But he must have more psychological insight and more confidence to stand upon it.

His progress shows in a more positive relation to the work.

It is not quite certain whether psychology is a truth to him, whether he can admit of psychic reality as he admits of the truth of the books on this table.

When he has risen to that degree of certainty, he will be able to launch himself upon it.

It is a very long way for him.

He is a sensation type, worldly, a man of the stock-market, and it is hard for such a man to take as real what cannot be seen with eyes nor touched with hands.

The way is full of risks and dangers, for he might get panicky, and it is possible that there might be something remote, some latent trouble in his unconscious, like freight which had gotten loose; and that might lead to a local schizop

This is frequent and makes work difficult and dangerous.

The dream today follows the dream in which he is approaching that building.

There is a sort of avenue leading up to it, and the building has a symbolic value, as the mansion of the Superior Man (Dr. Faustus). It was a more or less positive dream, where one might expect a decided movement forward.

Dream [19]

He is travelling in an automobile in Poland with an acquaintance, not a friend, a Mr. B., and another man whom he doesn’t know. -They suddenly discover that they have gone too far-south and must
return to the right road by an indirect way, that they cannot get back to the right road directly but must make a detour on a small country road, so narrow and bad that it is not even indicated on
the special maps. But they arrive eventually and then drive furiously over a beautiful, broad straight road. They make a halt, and when they start to go on, the motor refuses to move. They find a mechanic, a short corpulent man who speaks with a South German accent, who finds that the trouble is in the magneto-the revolving part had exploded. He is able, however, to mend it and it works again.

Associations: Mr. B. is a hon viveur, a German business man, very interested in the fine arts, with a great circle of artistic friends. The dreamer does not like him, he is not sympathetic.

About the third man, the stranger, he knows nothing at all. Concerning the journey to Poland, he is reminded that soon after the war one of his business acquaintances came back from Poland and told him that good cigarettes were so rare that for a few one could have a cocotte. He is unable to say anything about too far South, but that discovery leads to the association that, as hon viveur, he is not on the right road, and therefore it is necessary to take another road which is not even indicated on the map, a new individual way, unforeseen. This indirect way turns out to be excellent and straight. But it seems
dangerous to stop, and he concludes that it made the magneto explode.

He says that the mechanic who happens to be there is the motor doctor and identifies him with me. His association is that he had heard a lecture that I had given and was surprised that my German had no accent, as I come from Basel, where the dialect is very pronounced. He says that the little mechanic is in every way a contrast to me, and yet as I am the doctor, it must refer to me. The magneto, he says, is the heart of the mechanism. One could compare it to the heart in the human organism, because it effects the rhythmical ignition without which the motor does not work. Now what is your interpretation of this dream?

Dr. Schmaltz: It is like the one before, in which he tried to go right in, so sure of himself that he sent his furniture on ahead where it was left out in the hot sun; he was not allowed to enter, so he tried clever tricks. Now he goes the other way, in spite of the dream saying that he must take the muddiest country road where the dialect is most pronounced.

Dr. Jung: You very aptly put yourself into the mood of the dream, as one should always do.

Now, why must he take the dirty little country road? In the dream before, he was toiling in the hot sun. In this dream he is not received, apparently, when he goes south, so he swings over to the north, he goes to Poland. This is a peculiar movement within the four cardinal points of the horizon.

Where did we encounter this same symbolism of the cardinal points?

Dr. Howells: It was in the steamroller dream.

Dr. Jung: Quite so. And you remember the drawing that illustrated it, the mandala, the magic circle.

The mandala plays a great role in Eastern cults, used as a psychological aid to individuation.

I have told you that it could just as well be danced as drawn; in India there is not only the static mandala, like the Tibetan, but also a mandala dance.

A patient once brought me a drawing of a mandala, telling me that it was a sketch for certain movements along lines in space.

She danced it for me, but most of us are too self-conscious and not brave enough to do it.

It was a conjuration or incantation to the sacred pool or flame in the middle, the .final goal, to be approached not directly but by the stations of the cardinal points, symbolizing the way in which man tries to reach his goal eventually.

So this dream belongs to the movements of the mandala our patient had drawn several months before.

He is now fulfilling the movement from south to north; he went south, then comes the recoil, and he goes north.

Usually the dance is done in pairs of opposites, north, south, west, east, and at intersections of the horizons.

There are three forms of mandala:

(1) A static design, the magic circle. This underlay, for instance, the rites of the Roman city foundation. The first circle was drawn with a plow around the sacred precincts. In the centre was the
fundus, a sort of storehouse for the fruits of their fields. In China, that is called the space of the former heavens, the house of the ancestors. Psychologically, the central point of a human personality
is the place where the ancestors are reincarnated.

(2) The mandala dance, Mandala nritya. Or the circumambulatio, by means of movement.

(3) The mandala dance, Mandala nrita, or the circumambulatio, by means of movement.

The Pueblo Indians have rites in which they follow the sun’s course for five hours, beginning with the rising sun and ending with the contemplation of the North at midday.

By doing this, they are purified and become true children of their sun-father.

This is not a dance, it is rather a mandala in time, symbolizing the fact that if you live it as you dance it, you purify yourself and return to the original condition, which Christian language calls being the
child of God.

One becomes the child of God only by carrying the cross; if the life is lived without neurotic nonsense, it will be seen as the accomplishment of the mandala in time.

The dreamer foreshadows his life in the steamroller-mandala dream.

One often finds directions in dreams, going north, south, etc., but not always as obvious as this.

It is a principle in life, not only in the structure of the unconscious.

The whole course of the Christian life is symbolized by the carrying of the cross.

In the cult of Attis, a living tree was carried to the cave which represented the womb of the mother, exactly the same idea as in the cult of Mithras, who carried the Sacred Bull, the burden of his life.

One could say that after the patient’s Africa dream he came from the south to the north, to Poland, but with a certain regressive movement to the south.

Now he must return and choose a new way, not even indicated on the map.

Poland in his dream is characterized by the association that cocottes are so cheap there that you can get one for a few cigarettes.

In Africa he was trying to get at the superior man, the most precious thing.

Failing in that, he turns to the north and takes the opposite road, the opposite in every way; he takes now the way of the flesh, he is travelling with a bon viveur in a country where demimondaines
are very cheap.

This is to a certain extent a compensation.

But the new tendency is undermined in the beginning by the fact that the bon viveur is not sympathetic, he doesn’t like him.

Here is the disgust that his worldly experiences gave him.

An interesting fact is that, though in the dream of having gone too far south, he seemed to be seeking something rather high and legitimate, it meant the thing from which he must return.

He went too far south, not too far north-the bon viveur is not his ideal.

Dr. Deady: He must make a compromise. He must find the middle way. What would it be with that man?

Dr. Jung: It is not entirely revealed. The ideal would be the straight royal road in the centre.

This man is a tricheur, he is playing a game. If south, he is apt to be a bit dirty. If north, he makes concessions to idealism.

If you are travelling with a bon viveur, it is no good to pretend that you are shocked and play the idealist.

Dr. Schmaltz: That is like the dream before, where he climbs trees to escape the hot, dusty road. Monkey tricks! He tries to take the mud out of sex, instead of behaving like other people who go
to Poland. He does not go through with the business. The dream slyly tried to show this to him.

Dr. Jung: There is no use in telling that man he is a coward.

He is simply not aware of the fact that he is playing tricks on himself all along the road.

He is not a coward, he is very decent, but he brings in his idealism to save himself from the painful sensation of being a black sheep. It is too painful to be a lost sheep.

Everybody has the tendency to seek good motives for their behaviour, instead of saying:

I have been a pig. One rationalizes on the good side instead of calling things by their right names.

People can say that they are great sinners-we have been educated to the idea of the joy in Heaven over the repentant sinner, brought up to think that one is a fine chap if one can repent.

It gives one a thrill. But the point is to see exactly where the trick lies, for it is quite unconscious and subtle and escapes one’s observation.

There are very subtle spiritual sins. It takes painstaking analysis to show where the real sin takes place.

Such a man can be educated to truth and honesty if one takes the trouble to show him all his little ways.

He is in bad company but keeps an air of respectability a sort of angel risking himself in Hell in order to paint the devils white.

It is like a man trying to convert a prostitute; he eventually lands in slime, worse than the man who goes to a prostitute with a square purpose.

The dream shows him that he has to correct that.

He must take an indirect way, not even on the map.

Up to the present moment, that man has remained within the frame of respectability, mildly protesting, squeezing out of the situation.

But the dreams shows that be immortality – a funny kind!

The libble road is not on the map.

It is the indirect way. Now what would be the way out?

Dr. Harding: A map is a collective symbol.

Dr. Jung: Yes, the map is the official way.

You don’t get out of such a situation in a collective way, saving appearances.

The way out is the individual way.

He should judge the situation individually.

He should say to himself: having joined that trip, is it decent to skin out of it by idealism?

Either you say you have made a mistake and retrace your steps, or you go ahead and do as the others do.

Then Heaven has gained one good sinner at least.

“There is more joy in Heaven over one sinner,” etc.

But you see his expectation of the individual road is an expectation of fear rather-an awful swamp, on no map.

But to his amazement it turns out to be a beautiful road, a straight road, where he can move with rapidity.

He is not the first man who has travelled that road.

Perhaps it is a little oblique. A straight road would be to go farther north, deeper into that kind of experience.

Now when the unconscious uses such an inviting road as a symbol, what does it mean?

Why is it so beautiful? Always when the dream shows an inviting thing, it is to lure the instinct of man, to attract his libido.

The beauty of it overcompensates for any doubt as to its being an individual road.

What does that mean, the individual road?

Mrs. Crowley: His way.

Dr. Jung: In that situation, it would mean his way, the only way in which he can deal with it.

But it includes something generally overlooked.

When you look ahead and see a road leading to the left when you expect it to lead to the right, either you go to the left with doubts or don’t go at all because it seems to lead where you didn’t mean to go.

Now that road to the left seems to keep on for an interminable distance because one can’t see beyond, where the road turns to the right and up to the goal.

This man is quite likely to think the road to the north is the wrong one, whereas the way might lead via Poland, make a curve, and eventually come to the right goal.

The individual way leads in directions that seem absolutely wrong.

One doesn’t realize when one swings to the left that left exhausts itself and swings to the right again.

Our roads still keep to the original trails.

The Swiss trail is a long wave-like curve.

When I was with my safari in Africa, I found that it was exceedingly irritating to follow the bearers at a fast pace, for the white man’s idea is to walk straight ahead.

But one finds that the curve of the safari is really much less tiring; they do about six kilometres an hour, swinging around the curves very easily.

The individual way is a peculiar serpentine way, and that is the way of the dream.

If you could only let things go, you would see that wrong would be exhausted and right would assert itself.

That man does not trust the primitive man in himself, it is difficult to trust the unconscious law.

He always tries to interrupt with his rationalism.

He should make the full swing_ and then he would not lose his consistency, for it is in the hands of nature, and when he has said yes long enough, he will naturally say no.

His rationalism is playing a very bad trick on him.

As a matter of fact, the serpentine way of the individual is the straightest way he can possibly go. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis, Pages 299-308