Letters Volume II

To Romola Niiinsky

Dear Mrs. Nijinsky, 24 May 1956

Thank you for your letter of the 15th.

I was interested to hear of your various activities.

The question of colours or rather absence of colours in dreams, depends on the relations between consciousness and the unconscious.

In a situation where an approximation of the unconscious to consciousness is desirable, or vice versa, the unconscious acquires a special tone, which can express itself in the colourfulness of its images (dreams, visions, etc.) or in other impressive qualities (beauty, depth, intensity).

If on the other hand the attitude of consciousness to the unconscious is more or less neutral, or apprehensive, there is no marked need for the two to make contact, and the dreams remain colourless.

When Huxley says that a symbol is uncoloured, this is an error.

“Yellowing,” “reddening,” “whitening,” the “blessed greenness,” etc. play an important role in the highly symbolic language of the alchemists.

You can also find the symbolism of colours in quite another field-that of
Christian liturgy.

You have only to think of the significance of the variously coloured garments used in the Mass.

The intense perception of colours in the mescalin experiment is due to the fact the lowering of consciousness by the drug offers no resistance to the unconscious.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 299-300.