Dream Analysis Seminar

LECTURE VIII 12 March 1930

Today we shall hear the report about the different attempts that have been made to get at the composition of dreams or the melody of their motifs-the task which I suggested at the beginning of this term.

Dr. Baynes: There are seven attempts here. The general difficulty, according to the feeling of the committee, was that any attempt to find a rhythm in the motifs of the dreams was almost
impossible in such a short series, that there was not sufficient length to allow repetitions to come in regular rhythm. Also it was felt that the actual condition of the dreamer’s consciousness was required to give the contrapuntal effect. That contrapuntal effect would be between the position of development of his conscious attitude and the growth and the realization of his dreams. The whole development of the dreams necessarily involves the question of realization, and the chart made by Miss Ordwayrepresents the curve of that realization process; but no one, as far as I can make out, has a really contrapuntal design.

[Here Mrs. Deady’s artistic design in colour was shown.]

Dr. Jung: The idea here would be the spiral, showing the attempt of the unconscious to penetrate the conscious.

In the progress of the dreams, you really see that attempt to impress the conscious with the unconscious point of view.

The final fact would be the complete blending of the unconscious attempt with the actual quality of consciousness.

In colour that would mean the mixture or the sum of all colours, which would be pure white.

Also, by intuition, you have something here that suggests the Taoist symbol.

In the black you have the white spot, and in the white the black spot, indicating that when Yang has reached its culmination, Yin is born in it.

[Dr. Howells showed a chart which was not made out in pictorial form.]

Dr. Jung: The method used here does not speak to the eye, it speaks to the thought, but it yields a decidedly interesting result, in that you have such a comprehensive list of the archetypes occurring in the dreams.

It probably seems to you very difficult to make out the archetypal motifs or symbols, but it is not really so difficult, because the mistakes you make in discrimination are not very important.

If you give the motif a wrong name, it does not matter much, because the archetypal motifs are so exceedingly vague that there is nothing very definite about them.

Any archetype is really perfectly indescribable, something perfectly empty, but capable of assimilating a certain kind of material of tremendous variation, yet always pointing to a certain archetypal quality.

For instance, the archetype of a house, a hut, a cave, or a temple.

These are all very different, but it doesn’t matter by which name you call them, because all these names or concepts are merely attributes of the underlying thing, which is really indescribable.

In this chart, you can see that, in the beginning of the sequence of dreams, a set of archetypes is shown quite different from the ones that appear later.

Those that are conspicuous until about the middle of the series more or less disappear later on; one sees a decided change.

From that, we can draw an important conclusion, namely, that the whole process of development is slowly moving into a different atmosphere.

I don’t want to qualify it, but I think we are safe in the assumption that the later development of the dreams chooses a new language, as if creating a sort of superior superstructure
overlying the original primordial motifs, as if a new building were going up upon the basis of the original archetypes.

This is a working hypothesis, a point of view, and it remains to be seen in the following dreams whether it really holds good, whether it amounts to a law.

In that case we would have gained an important point of view, only we should then find a suitable method by which it could be presented to the eye.

If you could combine your faculty of abstraction with the pictorial faculty, that would make a perfect blend. I recommend that marriage.

[Mr. Henderson’s chart.]

Dr. Jung: In this we see something rather remarkable.

At first things are quite fragmentary, not well characterized.

The stronger characterization takes place after the middle of the series.

So we see here the great advantage of the graphic method that speaks to the eye.

We see, for instance, that the motif of analysis actually undergone is definitely increasing in volume, and in the end there is a tremendous increase of religious feeling.

That shows again a new aspect.

[Miss Ordway’s chart.]

Dr. Jung: The advantage of this method is that it would show the degree of conscious realization, and also whether the dreamer is moving towards or away from his goal.

One gets from certain dreams decidedly the impression that they are on the upward climb, while others seem to show regression, and of course it is very important in working on dreams to take into consideration the amount of conscious realization shown-not only the operation of the archetypes, but also their relation to consciousness.

I have the impression that the demonstration of their actual behaviour is better shown in the charts by Dr. Howells and Mr. Henderson.

In this one it is difficult for my imagination to see the statistical frequency of their occurrence, but on the other hand we get a better idea of their importance to consciousness which is surely a point of view which has to be kept in mind.

[Miss Hannah’s pictorial diagram, in which she made unconscious pictures to represent her conceptions of the dream motifs.]

Dr. Jung: You invented these!-you did creative work on his dreams! That is, instead of thinking.

It is nothing to laugh about, there are many things that I have to do instead of thinking.

There are certain unconscious things that you can get at only in that way because thinking destroys them.

For instance, I found something fundamentally important through carving.

My hands did it, not my head.

The central idea here is the spiral, and consciousness is in the centre.

Mrs. Deady’s temperament, in her spiral design, puts consciousness in the centre with rather the idea of intensification there, while Miss Hannah’s is just the other way around, the consciousness is moving out of that central spot into wider and wider spirals and finally widening out to the cosmic dream of the river.

This difference has to do with types.

One gets consciousness from without and the other from within.

I am very glad that these two attempts towards the spiral have been made, because it shows that there is a temperamental inclination to produce a graphic demonstration on that basis.

I had really never thought of that, and it seems to me an idea quite worth considering, though I think it would be exceedingly difficult to show the continuous flow of dreams through that method.

My imagination is not very helpful to me there. My temperament would rather incline to see it in the way

Dr. Howells and Mr. Henderson have worked it, which would probably be the more intellectual and abstract way, while the other is more dynamic, a method chosen by people who are more impressed by the peculiar dynamism of dreams.

If I may make a suggestion, it would seem to me interesting to try to combine the methods of Dr. Howells and Mr. Henderson.

Dr. Howells’ archetypal motifs are more exact, more statistical, while Mr. Henderson’s general outlines are more suggestive.

If you could do that, then let Mrs. Deady try her hand at the dynamism of the whole thing, we might get at something in that way.

These attempts are worthwhile.

To myself personally, the fact that the later dreams chose new motifs is enlightening.

I foresee the possibility that one could demonstrate how the unconscious gradually develops and produces archetypes which eventually might catch the conscious.

Of course, we have not followed up material enough to see whether the unconscious eventually joins the conscious, whether the two blend, and by what kind of archetypes they finally are joined.

For the sake of completeness we should write records of all the conscious states of the dreamer during his analysis.

That is a task for the future-that somebody should make a diary of whatever occurs in his conscious, and thus we would have the two sets of material to work with.

Dr. Howells: There is a discrepancy in my report.

I could not tell in the steamroller dream whether to put the steamroller under the head of mechanism or sex, because the dreamer himself had no sex awareness in that dream.

Dr. Jung: No, but to my mind the sex mechanism comes out quite clearly in his associations.

I would record it under sex and mechanism and also the way.

One sees the motif of the way there, though it is a peculiar way.

That would make an accumulation of motifs, but several archetypal attributes are nearly always contained in one picture.

Dr. Howells: But that would be putting it from the point of view of your or my consciousness rather than the dreamer’s consciousness.

Dr. Jung: You cannot possibly put it from the dreamer’s consciousness.

Things may have unusual connotations, but he never mentions it, he thinks it is indifferent or he forgets it; yet it would be exceedingly important for the qualification.

In this case he does not mention that there is a sex nuance, but it will come out somehow in his associations.

So I would rather proceed in a more or less arbitrary way.

The motif of growth or increase can be demonstrated in many ways; for instance, by the symbol of the tree, which has the meaning of growth and many other connotations besides.

One finds that vagueness of concept not only in mythology but to a certain extent also in philosophy.

Schopenhauer made an interesting chart, a whole network of intersecting philosophical concepts, showing how they overlap so that no concept is ever quite by itself, all are connected.

Otherwise we would not be able to think.

It is only by those bridges which overlap that we can think; if we have to do with irreconcilable concepts which nowhere touch, it is impossible.

So that overlapping and intermingling is indispensable for the thinking process, and probably that peculiarity is in the unconscious itself.

The more we approach unconsciousness, the indistinct things become, till they are only dimly visible and everything means everything else.

We see that in primitive psychology-the most extraordinary paradoxes, like the famous story mentioned by a German explorer which I told you last term, of the Brazilian Indians who call themselves red parrots.

They say that the only difference between themselves and red parrots is that the parrots are birds and they are not; otherwise they are exactly the same.

Just as we would say we are all human beings, but some are English and some are German, showing that we have advanced far enough to discriminate between man and man, but they even fail to notice the difference between man and animal.

That coincides with other primitive ideas; for instance, that they do not place man on top in the scale of animals, but somewhere around the middle.

First the elephant, the lion, the python, the rhinoceros, etc., and then comes man, by no means on top.

We are now proceeding to the next dream, but before I read you that, I want to sum up the situation in the last one.

We have seen that it shows a hindrance to further progress.

The machine seemed to be in order and able to work, and then obviously it did not work because of a considerable hindrance, namely, the Church and what the Church implies, the traditional Christian point of view.

I emphasize this point once more because in a later dream we shall come across this motif again.

As I told you, when I analysed this dream with the patient I did not tell him half that I have told you.

There must be a foundation upon which to place certain ideas; one simply cannot begin at once to pour them out into the head of the poor victim.

There are so many fallacies, cherished illusions, and sensitivities there that it is better to stick to the simple and obvious.

So when the obstacle of the Church comes up, it means that the solution the unconscious is trying to find is hurting him on account of the traditional Christian ideas.

He is way back in his childhood, and it seems as if his religious point of view had not developed since.

I pointed out that you would never suspect that from his conscious presence; in his intellect he is way ahead, but in his feeling and the greater part of his shadow personality, he is
still under the sway of the old prejudices.

Temperamentally he is still a Christian of the particular creed in which he was brought up.

The Jewish type of man who upsets the communal singing is the voice of all that material which has been stored up in the unconscious, and which would have formed a continuous development of his religious feeling, if he had made any progress in that respect since his childhood.

You see, the religious spirit is not one and the same thing always.

It changes a great deal, and therefore suppositions concerning it change a great deal.

One hears the most extraordinary differences in the definitions of religion or the religious spirit.

There is a Church standpoint and there is a very liberal standpoint-two absolutely different points of view, almost irreconcilable, and here we have the contrast between the two.

While he is still clinging conservatively to the traditional Church in his feeling life-I am not speaking of the intellectual-the progress in his feeling that would correspond to the progress of his mind is simply stored up, and that unconscious accumulation finally forms a personified something, a person.

The peculiar fact in our unconscious psychology is that any accumulation of energy has always a personal character; it is always a thing to which one could give a personal name.

One sees that in insanity, where unconscious thoughts or feelings become audible or visible; they become definite people.

A lunatic recognizes the different voices, yet they are nothing but thoughts.

The idea of inspiration and even certain ghost theories are based upon that. In this case, the progressive feeling corresponding to the intellectual development appears in the form of a
person of Jewish type.

The dreamer is not in reality anti-Semitic, but he cannot help having that anti-Semitic feeling which expresses the negative aspect of the figure.

But on the other side there is the prophetic element in the Jewish character, which is indicated in his associations by his reference to Sephardi in Meyrink’s book, who leads his people to a land of safety.

There is the prophetic and guiding quality.

Now, the intruder is for the time being a doubtful figure.

Not in its purpose-it is definitely the new thing, but no matter how good, useful, or wonderful the new thing may be, it might have a bad effect if it hits upon an immature condition.

It is always a question in psychology whether one strikes the right word at the right moment. Saying the right thing at the wrong moment is no good.

Always the two must come together.

We assume that the right word cannot do harm, that the truth is useful at any moment, but that is not so; it may be perfect poison and nowhere does that become so clear as in analysis.

Such an intruder, no matter how true it is, no matter how valuable if the patient could realize it, is nevertheless perhaps inopportune and therefore nonsense.

There have been very great people who indubitably told us the truth but it was not the right moment and they had to be wiped out.

The right moment would have been seven hundred years later, perhaps.

The great question is, is it the right moment or not?

Mr. Holdsworth: Do you think that if Christ had lived today and preached what he did, that he would have been crucified?

Dr. Jung: No, he would have been sent to the lunatic asylum or to prison.

But it would not be the right word now.

He was crucified, but nevertheless he said the right word at the right time; that is why it worked to such an extraordinary extent.

Somehow it went home, it was apropos.

In our dreamer’s case it would not be apropos to tell him all that we have concluded here about the nature of that voice. It would not hit the right condition.

Now, after our exploration into the field of religion, we will return to the actual human reality of our case. “Tout est bien dit, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin.”

Dream [24]

He was doing gymnastic exercises in a sort of child’s bed with high sides-a crib–and beside it was his wife on a mattress on the floor, watching him do his stunts.

He was doing these exercises in such a wild way that the whole crib broke down, leaving one of its high sides in his hands.

At that same moment he saw a mouse jumping away from under the bed.

He tried to kill it, beating down on it with the iron wall in his hands, but it ran away through the open door into the next room where usually their boys were sleeping, though he did not know whether they were actually there then.

He took the matter rather lightly, thinking there was no importance in it and that they could let that mouse go.

But when he told his wife about it, she instantly got terribly excited and thought it might injure the boys.

She took a stick and went into the next room in order to murder that little mouse.

Associations: Concerning the exercises, he says that usually in the morning he does gymnastic exercises, thinking that it stimulates the circulation of the blood and also improves his mood. “At least, as far as my experience reaches,” he adds.

About the child’s bed, he says that his children all slept in such white iron cribs with movable walls which one could remove at will.

Concerning the fact that his wife was beside him but lying on the floor on a mattress, he says that fact seemed to mean that he was doing his exercises beside her bed, and he compared her bed to a child’s bed. This is entirely wrong; he is in the child’s bed, but he mixes himself up with her, not seeing it.

About the mouse he says that a mouse always has the effect of producing a state of fear in women. He thinks that there is a sexual analogy there, because when a mouse is about, a woman always jumps up and tucks her skirt around her legs so that the mouse cannot run up. Once in a hotel I suddenly heard the most terrible scream so that I thought there was surely a murder. Then I saw a woman jumping and screaming at the top of her voice for help, and thought it must be a bad case of epilepsy; but it was a mouse. The dreamer continues that he thinks that this mouse might symbolize the fear his wife has of sexuality, or her resistance to it.

Then he returns again to his gymnastic exercises and says that they might be his intellectual activities which his wife is watching, “and I think,” he says, “that if I practice such mental exercises, it might drive away her fear of sexuality.” A very complicated thought! He is now mixing up gymnastic exercises with chasing that mouse. He says further that the fact of the mouse running into the next room would indicate that the fear of sexuality is transferred to their boys, and it might injure them, so he thinks it is quite necessary to go after it with a stick to kill it.

Now consider the amazing difference between all that material we have discussed and the actual situation of the dreamer.

He is not even in church, but in a child’s crib, and he is hedged in by high walls; those cribs have high sides in order to prevent children from falling out and hurting themselves.

That means that he is still at an age. when he has to be fenced in in and protected.

How would such a condition show in the conscious?

Dr. Baynes: He makes his wife the custodian of his instincts.

Dr. Jung: Yes, he arms his wife with a stick, but that is very metaphorical; things are not so drastic as that.

Dr. Schlegel: On account of his mother complex, he may have a childish attitude towards his wife.

Dr. Jung: How would that show in his mental behaviour?

Answer: In extreme conventionality in everything.

Dr. Jung: Exactly. No pep concerning moral problems, they are kept strictly in the crib as if he were threatened by a mortal danger if he should fall out.

He has an abject fear of being incorrect or unconventional in trying to get out of that safe place.

Now this is of course a very sad demonstration, and it makes you understand why I did not go into further discussion of the dream before.

It would have been like talking to a baby in the crib, so how can one expect him to realize the great religious problems of the present time?

With his mind, yes, but then he would have gone off in a balloon ten thousand feet above sea level, and after that he would come down into his crib and things would be as they were before with one exception, we must admit one thing.

He is doing gymnastics in the crib, and obviously he means it as something mental or intellectual, What would that be?

Mrs. Crowley: His analysis.

Dr. Jung: Yes, but it is not only analysis.

He was interested in theosophy and various mental pursuits of a more or less occult nature, and also he has that hygienic streak, eating the manna and thinking the right thoughts, and so, most hygienic of all, analysis.

So he takes exercises in the morning beginning with the bath, probably singing in his tub–that is exceedingly healthy-and then he would drink a non-alcoholic coffee and eat a particular kind of bread. And the same with his mind.

These are exercises which are intended to be exceedingly healthy, but they are too violent and the bed breaks apart, which is extremely awkward.

Of course the breaking up of the childish crib would not be so bad if something else did not happen, the mouse; and the mouse does not bother him, it bothers her.

That is the trouble.

Now, what do you assume these violent exercises express?

Mr. Holdsworth: A very great anxiety to get on terms with his soul.

Dr. Jung: Yes, I should say it was that.

He started in on analysis in the usual hesitating way, with many objections of an intellectual and moral nature, but he became quite serious.

When he had once grasped the idea he fully applied it.

So he obviously did his morning exercises with great force of belief, and when one goes into analysis thoroughly, the crib goes to pieces after a while and one cannot hinder the mouse from escaping.

The cat is out of the bag-a most lamentable fact! Obviously he thinks the mouse is connected with his wife.

He supposes that it is the cause of fear to her and also implies that it is the reason of his wife’s resistance to sexuality.

But we should speak first of the fact that his wife is watching him while lying on a mattress on the floor.

What is the reason of that peculiar position?

Mrs. Baynes: She is waiting for him to grow up.

Dr. Jung: She seems to be in the form of a mother, but why is she on a mattress on the floor?

Mrs. Sigg: At least he would not run the risk of falling from the bed to the floor.

Dr. Jung: That is a point of view. That is what is done with lunatics.

Mrs. Baynes: I think he did it because he was in a crib, so she had to be in a worse position-lying on the floor. He wanted to reduce her power.

Dr. Deady: He could not carry on in his attitude if she were in the same bed with him-they would have to be grown up.

Dr. Jung: It is said that there is room in the smallest hut for two loving souls, but not in a child’s bed!

Well, I think the most impressive point about their respective positions is that he is higher up and looking down, as Mrs. Baynes points out.

He is obviously admiring himself in his intellectual stunts, for most people who do physical gymnastics are a bit narcissistic, in love with their own bodies.

It is a sort of autoerotic business, and he has that quality a little too, he would admire his wonderful spiritual process.

That bit of vanity is not very disturbing.

It does not hinder his seriousness of purpose; it is just a little human touch.

One must allow for that, it is altogether too human. So his mental superiority is probably expressed in his looking down on his wife on that mattress.

It is not a very comfortable position for her, the mattress on the floor must be hard so the dream insinuates that she is rather uncomfortable; moreover she is in the position of the mother and yet looked down upon.

We must take note of these possibilities, because here comes an intricate bit of psychology-the next thing is the escape of the mouse.

Well, we have to detach ourselves here for a moment on account of the confusing associations which he produces.

Obviously he is trying to clarify the situation, but he gets hopelessly muddled, and the confusion starts already with the fact that he compares his wife’s bed to a child’s bed.

His bed is a child’s bed, not hers, he can’t make out which is which.

There must be a peculiar entanglement, participation mystique, and for the time being he cannot make out what his part is.

That really is the case in participation mystique, one doesn’t know whether it is oneself or one’s partner.

It is as if I called my brother by my name, unable to make a difference between him and myself.

Or as if a Catholic accustomed to a Father Confessor called me Father Jung, making me identical with the priest.

Patients call me Dr. So-and-So after explaining to me what a terrible man that doctor is!

So our patient is very obviously muddled, and therefore we cannot take his associative material at once, but must look at the mouse from an abstract point of view and ask what the mouse is in general.

Mr. Holdsworth: It is the woman’s sexuality, I suppose.

Dr. Jung: When we are interpreting with no regard to the patient’s associations, we must be careful to be as naive as possible, to have no prejudices in connection with the associations.

Take the thing literally, concretely.

How would you describe a mouse to somebody who had never seen one?

It is a tiny grey animal, hardly seen in the daytime, which disturbs one at night with disagreeable little noises; they eat all kinds of things and one must always be careful that they don’t get at the good things in the kitchen.

They live in houses, parasites, and one tries to catch them by means of traps and cats because they are generally a nuisance in any house.

Then the mouse appears often in folklore and typically in fairy stories. Now what would it represent psychologically?

Dr. Baynes: Repressed instinct.

Dr. Jung: Yes, but what instinct?-because any animal, taken psychologically, represents instinct in man. In as much as we are automatic and instinctive we are nothing but animals, because our behaviour is then in no way different from that of an animal.

We can say it is an instinct whenever an animal occurs in a dream, but, mind you, it is always a very particular instinct, by no means the instinct.

A lion or a huge snake would mean something quite different.

Mrs. Crowley: Fear? A mouse is terribly afraid.

Dr. Jung: Yes, it is really a terrified animal, but they are quite fresh too.

Dr. Deady: They are always tolerated. The household never makes any attempt to eliminate them really.

Dr. Jung: That is a perfectly healthy point of view. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 524-535